Fact or Fiction: Using a Sun Visor Helps the Interior Temperature of Your Car

A sun visor under a windshield

Fact! As the summer months heat up, you’re probably looking for ways to beat the heat. If your car has good air conditioning, the stifling heat from parking in the sun dissipates after just a few minutes, but roasting in the meantime is no fun. Find out the difference a sun visor can make and other ways to keep the car temperature down this summer.

Benefits of Using a Sun Visor in Your Car

While a car parked outside on a hot summer day will inevitably have a hot interior, using a sun visor makes a big difference. Here’s how:

  • Lower the interior temperature: Blocking and reflecting the sun helps lower the buildup of heat inside your car. This makes it easier to breathe when you first enter the vehicle. Blocking direct sunlight also prevents you from burning yourself when you touch the seatbelt, steering wheel and gear shifter.
  • Protect your electronics: Car stereos and CDs can be damaged by direct sunlight and excessive heat. Touch screens in newer cars are particularly vulnerable in cars that sit parked outside in the sun all day for months on end. A sun shade blocks direct sunlight and helps prolong the life of vehicle electronics.
  • Protect the interior: The sun can also do a lot of damage to your car’s interior. Dashboards and seats can fade as the sun saps the color out of them. They can even crack and warp from the extreme temperature. A small investment in a sun shade can help your car’s interior stay looking like new for years to come.

Do an Experiment Yourself!

There’s no doubt about it – when the sun shines directly into your home through the windows, the space heats up faster. Since cars have many windows, it’s logical that the sun pouring in heats up the interior.

It sounds like common sense, but if you want to test the logic yourself, place a thermometer inside two similar sized, colored and window-tinted cars sitting side by side in a parking lot. Place a sun visor on the windshield of one car, but not the other. Make sure the thermometers are placed out of direct sunlight for more accurate results. Leave the cars for an hour and come back to check the thermometers. Chances are you’ll find that the temperature in the car with the sun visor is substantially lower than the one without.

Other Ways to Keep Your Car Cool

Using a sun visor is a tried and true way to keep the car temperature down, but it’s certainly not your only option. Here are other ways to help your car stay cool this summer:

  • Tint the car windows: Tinting doesn’t completely block out the sun the way a visor does, but it makes a bigger difference on your car’s interior temperature than you might think.
  • Park in the shade: If your home has a garage or carport, park there to keep your car out of the direct sunlight. Then when running errands, park in spots shaded by trees as often as possible.
  • Keep the windows cracked: When you’re confident rain isn’t in the forecast, leave your car windows cracked an inch or two. This added ventilation helps prevent sweltering car temperatures.
  • Cover the dashboard and steering wheel: This tip doesn’t decrease car temperature, but covers can help protect the interior and prevent you from burning your hands. Many car manufacturers make upholstered dash covers, and a light-colored steering wheel cover makes driving a hot car less painful on your hands.

To learn more about auto glass care, please contact Glass Doctor® today.