A hot car is far from comfortable for anyone. The temperature inside your car can rise about 20 degrees in 10 minutes. Even on a cooler day, your car’s interior can reach scorching temperatures, especially when you park it in the sun. These numbers are significant to remember when leaving your belongings and other passengers in your car on a sunny day. Items can quickly become damaged, and passengers and pets can even experience health effects in some cases.

Learn what not to keep in a hot car and ways you can lower the interior temperature of your car.

Things to Not Leave in a Hot Car During the Summer

Most people keep personal belongings in their cars, and you probably do the same without thinking twice. Hot summer temperatures can damage the everyday items in your car, from sunglasses to water bottles. Next time you park your car on a hot day, make sure to take these things with you or leave them at home:

  • Electronics: As technology use continues to rise, so does the number of devices we carry with us. Try to leave these devices at home or take them with you when possible. High temperatures can damage electronics to the point of no return. Your hot car can even damage the battery in these devices. 
  • Medication: Most medications are meant to be stored at comfortable temperatures, and some even require refrigeration. As a good rule of thumb, it’s best to take your medication out of your hot car. High temperatures may shorten the medication’s shelf life and alter its chemical composition, impacting its effectiveness.
  • Sunglasses: Many sunglasses are made with combinations of plastics and metals. Leaving your sunglasses in your hot car can cause the materials to warp or melt, ruining your eyewear. Take these items with you so you know they’ll be in good shape when you need them again.
  • Food or candy: Food goes bad quickly in hot temperatures, and chocolate and candy will melt faster than your food can go bad. Spoiled food will leave an unpleasant odor in your hot car. In addition to a bad smell, food has the potential to spill and melted chocolate can create a mess. Save yourself the clean-up and take food and candy with you.
  • Plastic bottles: High temperatures in your car can do worse than leave you with a warm drink. In addition to melting and warping the plastic, the heat can potentially release toxins and harmful chemicals into the liquid. Plastic water bottles have also been known to start fires in cars. It’s better to bring bottles with you if you’ll be gone from your car for a while.
  • Lighters: Temperatures must be extremely high for lighters to combust. However, with the knowledge of how fast your car can heat up, it’s possible for the chemicals inside the lighter to expand, causing an explosion or fire. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so remove your lighter from your car on scorching hot days.
  • Batteries: Batteries of any kind are susceptible to damage when left inside a hot car. When exposed to high heat, batteries may leak, burst or lose power. While you may not leave loose batteries lying around your car, keep in mind items like flashlights use batteries, so it’s best to leave them out of your vehicle.

Unsafe Temperatures for Passengers and Pets

It’s no secret that a hot car in the summer can be dangerous, especially now that you know how fast a car can heat up. If it’s not a good idea to leave items like food and electronics in a hot car, then it’s not safe to leave other passengers or pets in the car, even on a relatively cool day. 

Hyperthermia, or heat stroke, occurs when your body gets so hot it can no longer cool itself down. Kids’ bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s. When children or elderly loved ones are strapped in with seat belts, their lack of movement can heat them up even faster. Hyperthermia can occur when the body temperature reaches 104 degrees, and the risk for death increases as the body temperature does.

Leaving windows cracked for pets and other passengers doesn’t help with air circulation and won’t lower the interior to a safe temperature. Although leaving the air conditioning on can keep the interior temperature lower, it’s not a viable option for long amounts of time. Running the AC requires you to leave your keys in the car, which makes stealing your vehicle much easier.

For their safety and your peace of mind, it’s best to take your furry friends or children with you when you park your car. 

How to Lower Your Car’s Interior Temperature 

While you should never leave kids, older adults or pets in your parked car, there are ways to help lower the interior temperature of your car. Consider the following tips to help increase your parked vehicle temperature control:

  • Park in a shady spot: Shade from trees or buildings can prevent the sun from beating down on your car. If you’re planning on being parked in one spot for an extended period of time, try to find a shady parking spot. Even if you have to walk a bit farther to get to your destination, it’ll pay off when you return to a cooler car interior.
  • Use a dash cover: Dash covers can help make your car’s interior more comfortable on a hot day. The cover blocks the hot sun from heating up your seats and dashboard.
  • Get a solar-powered fan: A solar-powered fan coupled with cracked windows can help increase air circulation in your car. The fan will blow hot air out and encourage fresh air to flow in.

Try Madico Automotive Window Film to Keep Your Car Cool

Sometimes, parking your car in the hot sun is unavoidable. When that’s the case, you’ll want to ensure your car will be protected. When looking for the most effective way to protect the interior of your car on hot days, consider the benefits of having an expert install vehicle window tint

Madico window film blocks 99% of harmful UV rays, protecting your skin and helping to reduce fading of the interior of your car. Madico films can even provide temperature control while you’re driving. Also, enjoy a better sense of privacy with our window tints, to help keep your car and belongings safe.

Trust Madico for quality and protection while increasing the comfort in your car. Find a Madico film dealer today.