How to Cool Down a Hot Car in 90 Seconds

The definitive answer to ”Do I roll down my windows?”

A major heatwave is hitting Los Angeles, with triple digit temps ahead. Does the thought of running errands give you premature heatstroke? We connected with Pam Oakes, an automotive technician and founder of Pam’s Motor City Automotive, to find out how to get your car as cool as possible.

Besides buying a sun shade, look for a shady spot. As for when you return to your mobile oven, Oakes says roll down those windows fast, and slam on that AC. We know your uncle said that rolling the windows will let hot air in, but he was wrong.

“Drivers forget that the vent ports under the dash need to be purged of that hot, stagnant air,” Oakes tell us. “Put the windows down, but turn on the climate control with the blower set on high. Need to get the hot air out of the climate ‘boxes’ behind the dash.”

Then, don’t wait for a cool-down. Start driving. Oakes says to get moving as quickly as possible to get that airflow moving. In a minute and a half, you can drop your car’s interior temp from 160-180 degrees to half that.