When the scorching summer heat arrives, it can turn your car into a sweltering oven, making driving an uncomfortable experience. However, with a few simple techniques and preventative measures, you can effectively cool down your car and make your summer journeys more pleasant.

Keep reading to discover some practical tips to cool down your car during the hot summer months.

Use air conditioning correctly

We know it’s obvious to use your air conditioning during hot weather, but many people don’t think to use the recirculation button. This button shows a circular arrow, and its purpose is to block the outside air from entering the vehicle and to recirculate the existing air. The recirculation button helps your car interior get cooler as quickly as possible as well as preventing exhaust fumes from entering your vehicle when driving through busy urban areas.

If your air con loses its cool, find out what to do with our handy guide. Or, you can book our free air con check to ensure your air conditioning is in full working order, ready for the warmer weather.

Activate the lower air vents

Activating the lower air vents will allow a blast of cool air into the footwells, forcing the existing hot air upwards and out of open windows. Turning off any upper air vents will help the upward flow of cool air.

Fan the car

While this may look a bit strange, fanning your car interior using the side doors can be an effective way to cool everything down. Make sure your side windows are open and swing the door backwards and forwards in a fanning motion to help provide a breeze.

Open the windows

Another obvious one, but opening the windows temporarily can help the hot air escape. After a few minutes, close the windows and let the air conditioning do its magic, not forgetting that all-important air recirculation button.

How to prevent your car from overheating

While the above tips will help cool your car down, we’ve also got some tips to help prevent it from overheating.

Park in the shade

Where possible, try and park in a shaded area away from sunlight such as under a tree or inside a garage.

Use sunshades

Sunshades are an easy way to prevent surfaces in your car interior from becoming too hot. We stock a variety of sunshades including ones to place on your windscreen to fun cat sunshades to place on your side windows.

Halfords Cat Side Sunshades - 2 Pack

Leave windows ajar

Leaving your windows ajar will help air circulate through the car, although make sure the gap is small to prevent thieves from reaching inside.

Use seat covers

We all know that feeling of sitting on hot car seats when wearing shorts! To avoid a nasty shock when sitting down, placing covers over your car seats is a simple way of shielding the sun’s rays – particularly useful if you have leather car seats!

UV rays can also damage car seats and paintwork, so using a car cover can help avoid heat-related wear and tear.

Halfords Car Cover - Small 429366

Wipe any hot surfaces

It’s also a nasty shock when you get into your car on a hot day and the steering wheel, gear stick and handbrake all feel like the surface of the sun! On hot days, it’s a good idea to wipe these surfaces down with a damp cloth before handling them to help cool them down.

Maintain your air-con

During the summer months, it’s essential to ensure your air-con is well maintained. If your air-con is not as cool as what it used to be, it likely needs a re-gas. If it’s been a while since you last checked your air-con, visit your local Halfords store where one of our experts can carry out a free air-con check.

Final summer driving tips

If you’re unsure of how to best prepare for your summer journeys, just remember FORCES:

F is for Fuel

You don’t want to be caught short on your journeys by not having enough fuel! Always ensure you have a full tank before you leave, especially if you have a long drive ahead of you. If you’re driving at peak times, stop/start driving in heavy traffic can significantly impact fuel consumption, so it’s essential to be prepared during busy periods.

O is for Oil

Always check your oil level before you head off and ensure you’re sufficiently topped up. You could always take advantage of our 10-point car check, which includes an oil level check by one of our experts.

R is for Rubber

Changing weather can impact tyre pressure, so monitoring this before a long journey is essential to avoid a blowout. Our 10-point car check also includes a tyre depth check and an inflation check and top up, so you can get peace of mind your tyres are in good nick before you head off.

C is for Coolant

Coolant or antifreeze is vital for ensuring your engine remains at the optimum temperature and doesn’t get too hot or too cold.

E is for Electrics

Car electrics cover a variety of components including windscreen wipers, lights, windows, and indicators. Before you set off during journeys in hot weather, make sure you check each of these to ensure there are no mishaps during your getaway.

S is for Screenwash

Having enough screen wash is vital during summer journeys and is particularly useful for wiping away the likes of bugs, tree sap and, if you’re heading to the beach, seagull poo!

So, when you’re driving in hot weather, remember these simple tips to help cool your car down and have a more comfortable journey. For all your upcoming summer drives, from products to services, you’ll find everything you need at Halfords.