6 Fastest Ways to Cool Down the Inside of Your Car

You don't have to sit and struggle in the sweltering sun.

Climbing into a sweltering car on a hot summer day is sure to make anyone miserable. The air conditioning never seems to work fast enough, leaving you struggling with sweat dripping all over—not to mention the pain of touching the scorching interior. But you don't have to sit there and suffer. Talking to experts, we gathered some useful tips on how to bring your vehicle's temperature down from triple digits in no time. Read on to discover the six fastest ways to cool down the inside of your car.

RELATED: 5 Cost-Effective Ways to Boost Your Air Conditioner's Power.

Turn your car on while the doors are still open.

woman opening a door on the driver's side before entering her car.

Even in the summer heat, many of us climb into our car and shut the driver's door straight away. But Andrew Kuttow, an auto expert and the editor of LamboCars, recommends unlearning this reflex. Instead, he says you should be starting your car and blasting the A/C while the doors are still open.

"By opening the doors and turning on the air conditioning, you allow the hot air to escape while quickly replacing it with cool, conditioned air," Kuttow says. "The wide-open doors create a pathway for the hot air to move out, making the cooling process more efficient."

Of course, there are certain times when this might not be the best idea. "Ensure that you are in a safe and secure location when doing this, as leaving your doors open can be a security risk," Kuttow cautions.

RELATED: Police Warn About Razor Blades at Gas Stations: "Inspect Pump Handle Before Grabbing."

Roll the windows down.

Businessman driving a car with sunglasses on and windows down.

If you have to get going immediately and don't have time to leave the doors open, you can always try a different ventilation method, however.

"Roll the windows down and run the A/C on high while the car is moving," Julie Bausch, managing editor of the automotive news outlet Car Talk, advises.

According to Bausch, air that has been sitting hot and stagnant in your car can also escape through open windows—despite your windows being a much smaller exit space than your doors.

"By the time the cool air from the AC gets going, the hotter air that had been building in the car will be gone," she says.

Start your A/C with outside air mode.

Car Dashboard air conditioner close-up view

Air conditioning can be a godsend for your car in the sweltering summer. But you won't want to just turn it on absent-mindedly. Josh Mitchell, an HVAC expert and the owner of AirConditionerLab, says drivers should avoid using the system's recirculation mode at the beginning.

"Instead, when starting the car, set the A/C to the maximum and use the outside air mode," Mitchell advises. "This pushes the hot air out and rapidly cools down the interiors."

RELATED: 5 Ways You're Inviting Snakes Into Your Car, Experts Warn.

Utilize the lower vents.

Closeup of hand driver man checking adjusting air from conditioning the cooling system with flow of cold air in car.

You should also pay close attention to the vents you're using if you want your car's air conditioning to make a difference quickly. According to Varda Meyers Epstein, an auto expert and the editor of Kars4Kids, you should be using the vehicle's lower vents in this situation—not the upper air vents.

"Heat rises and you want to force the hot air out the windows as it does so," she says. "That means aiming the cool, air-conditioned air into the footwells of your car, blasting the hot air up and out the open windows."

Epstein says that you should keep the upper air vents both on your dashboard and at the base of the windshield closed when doing this. "That ensures the air flow goes only in an upward direction," she explains.

Create a fanning effect in your car.

Woman hand opening the door of a white car casting a shadow over it at sunrise time

If your car doesn't have A/C or it's just not working well, don't worry. You can use the "4-10" window method to create a fanning effect in this case, according to Kuttow. This is done by rolling down one window and then opening and closing the opposite door (for instance, the driver's side window and the passenger side door) four to 10 times.

"It's like manually creating a breeze to force out the stagnant hot air," Kuttow shares. "This method doesn't require any special equipment and can be done anywhere, but it might not be as effective in extremely humid conditions."

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Let your car sit in the shade.

red car parked on shaded tree road

Many experts recommend parking your car under a tree or in a garage in the summer to prevent it from being hit with direct sunlight. But if you haven't done that beforehand, you can still utilize this advice to quickly cool down the inside of your car.

Neil Ferguson, an automotive expert and author of NeilsGarage.com, tells Best Life that you should immediately take your car, go park in some shade, and sit there.

"Then blast that A/C to full power, and hang tight for a few minutes until you feel the difference," he says.

Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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