July 5, 2005

Summer heat can turn a vehicle cabin into an oven

Oakville, Ontario – A report from accessory company Auto Expressions says that extreme heat, direct sunlight and closed windows can turn a parked car into a virtual oven. On a 31 degree C day, the dashboard of a car parked in the sun can reach 89 degrees C, high enough to cook a chicken. The steering wheel can reach 88 degrees C. In the same conditions, a car using an accordion-style sunshade in the windshield stayed an average of 23.8 degrees C cooler inside.

Suggestions to beat the summer heat include parking in the shade whenever possible; using a sunshade to reduce heat buildup; using a fabric-based steering wheel cover to protect your hands; opening doors and letting the air circulate for a few minutes before getting into the car; and setting the air conditioner to “regular” or “fresh air” before switching to “maximum”.

To reduce damage to the vehicle, the company further suggests that you protect steering wheels, dashboard and seats with covers; wash the vehicle regularly and use wax with a UV absorber; maintain vinyl and leather interiors with a UV-absorbent cleaner and protectant; and have the cabin air filter and air conditioning systems serviced annually.

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