Keeping Your Parked Car Cool(er) 
 
It's inevitable that leaving your car parked outside on a hot, sunny, summer day is going to make for a very warm re-entry. Although you certainly won't come back to a refreshing spot, there are things you can do to make things a little more comfortable, and maybe to save yourself the agony of a hot metal seatbelt or a roasted steering wheel. 

1.  Use a sunshade or a window visor, or a dash cover. First line of defense is always to try to eliminate as much heat generating sun as you can. Putting a second cover in the rear window helps even more! 

2.  Cover your steering wheel with a towel. Your car might still be hot, but you'll be able to touch the wheel. 
 
3. Park in a shady area, or a covered garage, if available. (Remember, the morning shade might seem smart when you arrive at work, but for the best "end of the day" spot, see where the shade is when you plan to leave, and park accordingly. It's worth the extra walk!) 
 
4.  Keep your windows slightly cracked. Obviously, you don't want to leave your car wide open, but even a small crack (if you can fit your arm through, it's too big) can help all that oven hot air escape. 

5. Throw blankets over your seats. Leather seats can be miserable for bare legs in the summer time. A blanket can keep the seats much cooler, and they're easy to store in the trunk. 
 
6. Invest in a car seat cover. If hot seats and buckles are tough on you, they can be downright dangerous for a baby or toddler - especially metal latches! There are plenty of heat deflecting covers available. There are also some great DIY covers with pockets to hold cold packs! 
 
7.  Keep a small spray bottle with water in the car. When you get into the hot car, give all the metal and hot dashboard items you need to touch a quick spritz. The water will evaporate quickly, leaving a much cooler piece behind. 
 
8.  Consider a solar powered car fan. They're fairly new on the market. Clip them onto a cracked window and they'll keep the air moving inside a parked car, relying on solar power. If the sun is already shining, make it work for you! And most importantly, make sure that you aren't leaving your car with anything that can't handle the rising heat - check your backseat for pets and kids!

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