Why You Should Avoid Cranking Up the AC in Hot Weather in a Parked Car


The interior of a car heats up quickly when it’s parked in the sun. Even under shade, with the windows rolled down a bit, or reflective windshield sunshades popped into place, the inside temperature rises quickly. On a sunny 70° day, the inside air of a vehicle can easily reach a whopping 100°+ degrees, all within a matter of minutes. Twenty minutes to be exact says the scientific table in the article, ‘Temperatures Rising in Enclosed Cars’ from the educational website, ThoughtCo. Imagine your car parked at a spot near the beach while you’re baking in the sun. How hot will the inside temperature be? Unbearable. All the while you’re dripping with sweat and waiting for that blast of cold air on your face. Throwing your wet beach towels on the seats barely takes the edge off. Blame the fast rise in car temperature on what’s a mini version of the greenhouse effect.

How to Cool Off the Inside of a Hot Car

No doubt, you want instant relief from the extreme heat as soon as you open your car door and jump into the driver’s seat. It’s tempting to crank the AC to full blast to force the inside air to cool. After all, the job of the air conditioning system and coolants (like Freon) is to cool down the air in the cabin of your vehicle for your comfort and that of your passengers. Don’t Pre-Cool or Idle Did you know that going full force with the AC while the car is idling stresses the cooling system? Avoid placing a strain on your car’s cooling and electrical systems during these end-of-summer months. Pre-cooling your vehicle might seem like a good idea, but it’ll waste plenty of fuel and time. It’s far better to be driving while you’re cooling off the inside of your car.

Get the Airflow Moving

Here are a few tips to get airflow moving before and after you start the ignition:

  • Try fanning doors between 6-8 times first before you enter the car in the parking lot (if space allows between neighboring cars).
  • Start your car’s engine, then roll down the windows.
  • Turn on the AC fan and expect a blast of warm air until cool air flows.
  • Put the AC in ‘recirculation mode’ to pull air from the front to the back.
  • When cooling starts, roll up the front windows but keep rear windows cracked for another 10 - 20 seconds. This moves cold air to the back of the cabin and lets hot air escape.
  • Adjust the AC to a comfortable level for all passengers in the vehicle, usually at a cool temperature with high fan speed.
  • Change ‘recirculation mode’ to ‘outside air mode’ when passengers are in the backseat.

Let Us Maintain Your Vehicle’s AC System

Don’t put stress on your car’s cooling and electrical system. If you notice your vehicle’s air conditioning system isn’t cooling efficiently, or if hot air is blowing from your vents, contact our AC Repair for Import Cars specialists at Reliable Import Service Center in Raleigh, NC.


Air Conditioning
Reliable Import Service | Raleigh is committed to ensuring effective communication and digital accessibility to all users. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and apply the relevant accessibility standards to achieve these goals. We welcome your feedback. Please call Reliable Import Service (919) 821-1077 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.