Cars and heat
Whilst the high temperatures we are currently experiencing may be perfectly pleasant when it comes to enjoying spending time outdoors, they can become a real ordeal for drivers and their passengers.
When you think that the temperature inside a car parked in direct sunlight can reached up to 60°C, it’s not surprising that these temperatures place a huge burden on the driver and can really put their nerves to the test.
Whether you travel by car on a daily basis or are driving on holiday this year, the Automobile Club has put together some tips to follow before you get behind the wheel.
- Start with your windows wide open to cool the inside of the vehicle quickly before turning on the air-conditioning.
- The air-conditioning in the car will cool the air effectively, but the difference between the temperatures outside and inside the car should not exceed 6°C - anything more is too great a difference and can create problems with the circulation. Avoid directing the air vents directly towards your body in order to avoid catching a cold.
- If the vehicle is parked in direct sunlight when idle, think about using an interior sun visor to cover the dashboard. Cover any child’s seats with a light fabric to prevent them from getting too hot. Needless to say you should never leave children or animals in the car.
- If you are setting off on holiday, try to leave early in the morning or in the evening. When the weather is particularly warm it is best to take a break between the hours of 12pm and 3pm. Be sure to make frequent stops, around every 2 hours.
- Drink lots of cool water or juices or even herbal teas and avoid heavy or spicy meals.
Finally, the heat inside a vehicle also depends on the colour of the bodywork. Tests have shown that the outside temperature on the roof of a white car rose from 25 to 55 degrees in 20 minutes and up to 70 degrees over the same period of time on the roof of a black car. The temperature rose less quickly thereafter but still reached 60 degrees on the white vehicle and 80 on the black after just an hour.