Car too hot inside? Use the PHEW! Principle to cool it quick!

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Temperature reading in car
Image Credit: (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
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Summer is here and we don’t need to tell you how hot your car can get when it’s parked in the sun.

Everyone’s had this experience: You open the door after being parked in direct sunlight. Suddenly, you’re hit with a sheet of air so hot it feels like you’re conducting a thermonuclear fusion experiment inside your automobile.

Well, Carmax has a way to limit the heat buildup in your car during the hot months.

Introducing the PHEW! Principle…

Read more: These are the 21 deadliest cars in America

Follow these PHEW! steps to keep your vehicle’s interior cool

  1. Place a towel over your steering wheel and seats to limit their direct exposure to sunlight. The more surface area you can cover, the better!
  2. Help hot air leave your car. Crank up the AC and roll the windows down to let heat escape. If you have a sunroof, open it a few inches to let the rising hot air exit.
  3. Evaporation is your friend. Keep a damp washcloth in a plastic bag inside the freezer at work. Use it to wipe down your steering wheel and shifter. Pay special attention to your seat belt buckles. Nobody likes a hot metal burn on hands and fingers when trying to buckle in!
  4. Work those doors to help the stifling air get out. Open and closing your door repeatedly acts like a fan to pull the heat out.

And let’s not forget some other simple things you can do to cut down on interior heat:

  • Crack the windows when you park in the sun to let heat escape as it builds up.
  • Use one of those shiny windshield sun shades to reflect the punishing solar rays right back out of your vehicle.
  • Park underneath a tree or in the shade! Most parking lots at stores have at least some small shade trees. Claim one of these spots and you’ll be cool in the shade!

Save $100s by replacing your side-view mirror yourself!

Read more: The top 25 best cars for senior drivers

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Theo Thimou About the author:
Theo is director of content for clark.com. He has co-written 2 books with Clark Howard, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Clark Howard's Living Large in Lean Times.
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