Aerial view of beach side by the road with parked cars on a side, Hove, East Sussex, UK

Parking Tips During A Heatwave

Ah, summer. We all long for the days that we can spend relaxing on the beach or in the garden, half-dressed with a chilled beverage at hand. Then, we remember that we’re actually going to spend most of our time at work or, worse still, on the way to work. Don’t let the heat stifle your commutes or ruin those rare road trips. Learn how to park your car to keep it cool during a heatwave with Scrap Car Comparison.

If you want an upgrade to cope better in the summer sun, give Scrap Car Comparison a call on 03333 44 99 50 or use our scrap value calculator to get a price for your old car in around 30 seconds! We’ll find the highest offers from scrap and salvage dealers in your local area and thanks to a network of buyers that covers 99% of the UK, we can offer our vehicle collection service to every customer at no extra cost.

Is It Safe To Park Your Car In Direct Sunlight?

There are few things more uncomfortable than coming back to your car on a hot day to realise that the interior has quite literally been turned into a sauna. It can make sitting in it for even a short period of time not just unbearable, but downright dangerous to your health. When getting into your car that’s been parked in the sun, get the windows open or air conditioning on if you have it, and get driving as soon as you can to increase the flow of cool air getting into your car.

Health issues aside, there are also damage risks associated with parking your vehicle in direct sunlight. While it’s unlikely that the car will spontaneously combust due to the excessive heat, it is possible that the Sun’s rays could melt any plastics or even set fire to carpets or fabrics.

Again, this is unlikely to occur simply through the Sun’s direct contact with said materials, but could happen if you leave other objects on the dashboard or seats. A pair of glasses or a bottle of water, for instance, could pinpoint the rays to a specific part of the car and turn up the heat enough to melt or burn your car.

If in doubt, buy a windshield reflector.

Where Should You Park Your Car In A Heatwave?

Of course, the best place to park during extremely hot weather is in the shade! If you’re lucky enough to own a garage, it’s absolutely worth clearing out the bits and bobs you’ve got stored in there so that you can park your vehicle inside, away from the harmful rays of the Sun.

Failing that, try to park it in a shady spot. Annoyingly, everyone will have the same idea on a hot day, so cool parking spaces will be hard to come by. Unless they’re on the far side of a car parking or under a tree filled with pigeons, that is… do we need to explain why?

Still, if you really want to keep your car cool, it might be worth walking a bit further or giving the exterior a scrub once you get home.

Can The Sun Ruin A Car’s Interior?

As we mentioned above, extreme heat magnifying into your car can indeed do some serious damage to its interior.

Over extended periods of time, the Sun’s heat can actually warp or even crack the plastic on your dashboard, which will not only impact the look of your car, but could lead to problems with internal wiring.

Other materials, plus the dashboard, might start to fade and change colour after prolonged exposure, too. Seat fabrics and other upholstery can lose their colouring and start to look old and worn out long before their time.

What Temperature Is Too Hot For Cars?

When driving, the temperature for modern day cars can hit more than 100 degrees celsius. Before it reaches this, though, the coolant will come into play in an attempt to reduce the temperature and the radiator will try to turn down the heat when things start to reach the maximum advised temperature. If your car is running at more than 100 degrees for extended periods of time, this could lead to problems and could be considered too hot.

Can A Car Overheat In The Sun?

It’s unlikely that a car will overheat while it’s parked, but when it’s running, particularly during lengthy journeys, a car’s inner components can get extremely hot. Therefore, it’s not uncommon to see some cars – particularly older or poorly maintained ones – overheated in traffic jams when the mercury rises just a bit too high.

The clearest way of preventing this from happening is to ensure that the car’s coolant levels are topped up adequately and that there are no cracks or leaks in the system. However, if you do find the temperature of your car’s engine becomes dangerously high, there are a few other measures you can take to combat this.

Firstly, pull over and turn the engine off if you can, then lift the bonnet and allow the heat to escape as much as possible. Don’t touch the coolant cap though – if you open it, you might get a face full of scalding hot steam!

If you’re not in a position to pull over safely, like if you’re on a motorway with nowhere to  stop, your best bet is probably to get off at the next junction. To get you there, you’ll need to try a tactic that sounds ridiculous – turn the heater on. Roll down the windows and turn your air blowers on, then crank up the temperature to draw excessive heat away from the engine. Desperate times call for desperate measures, after all…

What To Do If You Cannot Park In The Shade

If you’ve been left wondering where to park your car in a heatwave because all of the shady spots are taken, there are a few alternative options. Firstly, get a windshield reflector. They should be at the top of your “how to keep your car cool in the summer” checklist as they’re great at not only stopping the Sun’s rays from directly burning your interior, but they also help keep the extreme temperatures at bay.

If you’re in a safe enough location (you’ll have to use your own judgement on that one) then you can leave the windows cracked open slightly to allow some air to circulate around the car. Don’t expect it to work miracles, but it might help bring the interior temperature of the vehicle more inline with that of the outside world. Just remember to remove any valuables that you might usually keep in the car.

Want to get rid of your old car and get something that you can enjoy driving in the summer? Give Scrap Car Comparison a call on 03333 44 99 50 or use our scrap value calculator to get a price for your vehicle in under a minute! We’ll find the highest offers from scrap and salvage buyers in your local area, and we’ll even arrange for your car or van to be collected free of charge! Our network covers 99% of the UK, so find out how much you could make by selling your car in your area today with Scrap Car Comparison.

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