How To Keep A Car Cool Without Air Conditioning

Driving in the summertime without an air conditioner in your car can be frustrating and unnerving. You won’t enjoy your ride. So, if your car air conditioner is out and you can’t fix it now, you need hacks to keep the car cool in summer.

Simplest and ideal way to stay cool while driving a car without AC is by rolling down all windows and doors and using a reliable portable cooling fan. In addition, parking in a shaded area and utilizing a windscreen sun shield will keep the cabin cool.

You’re not alone if your car AC is out in the summertime. Rx Mechanic has provided several methods you can deploy to stay cool even without car AC. The following few paragraphs will discuss how to keep a car cool without air conditioning.

hacks to keep car cool in summer

How To Keep A Car Cool Without Air Conditioning

Repairing car air conditioning can drop an expensive repair bill on the table. However, this depends on the cause of the AC malfunctions. If you don’t have the money to fix the AC issues, there’s always a temporary car AC fix to beat the summer heat.

Here are some ways you can beat the summer heat without AC. However, you don’t need to apply all the methods. Instead, you can choose a combination of two, three, or four ways.

Roll down all the windows before entering the car

Rolling down your car windows to allow trapped heat escape before entering the car should be a culture, especially during summertime. 

This may take some time before expelling trapped hot air. If you don’t have the time to waste, open one of the doors while all the windows are still down. Close the door, open it again and close it. Repeat it ten to fifteen times. It’ll push out the hot air through the rolled windows. This is the right guide for you if you ask how to keep a car cool when parked in the sun.

Hot air escape trick

You can try this method if you’re not cool with rolling down your windows before entering your car. This is like the first method, but it takes less time. Here’s how it works. First, start your engine, wind down the windows, open the floor air vents and switch the air to max settings.

This will pull up all the trapped hot air and push it off the windows. Next, let the floor air vents do their magic for around 45 seconds. After that, switch on the dashboard air vents.

Drive with wet hair

Before commuting on a hot afternoon journey without a car AC, bath or wet your hair. If you’re like my hairy wife with long hair, tackle the hair to avoid soaking your clothes and the car seat.

Get some ice beverages

It’s okay to feel hot at some point. Ice beverages will refresh your body and make you feel relaxed even when you feel warm inside the car. You can get ice packs. If that’s your thing, see the next option.

Make ice packs with water bottles

Get a cooler with you and put ice packs, water bottles, soft drinks, and wet hand towels. You can place the towel on your chest or at the back of your neck whenever you feel hot. The beauty is that you have cold drinks to relax with.

Park under a shade

By this, it could be under a shaded garage or a tree. Always be thoughtful in your daily life. If you don’t have a garage at home or no free shaded parking space at work, look for a shaded parking slot and pay a few bucks. 

Here’s what you need to know. First, think of where and when you want to park your car. For example, you may ignore paid parking spaces in the morning if you plan to leave before the sunrises. But if you intend to park in the afternoon, consider investing extra bucks in a covered parking space.

Open the windows while driving

Occasionally, I prefer to switch off my air conditioning system and open my windows. Indeed, this is an excellent DIY air conditioning for cars but knowing when to roll down your windows is even better.

If you’re on the highway, do not roll down the windows. Instead, roll up your windows and turn on the AC fan to the max settings. But when driving within the city, turn off the air and roll down the windows to get some cool air. This will save you more gas than running the AC fan.

Get a tinted windows

If tinted windows are legal in your region, you can invest in them. They significantly reduce heat from the cabin. However, they are the most expensive options on the list, and it’s worth the investment if you spend more time in your car and always commute in hot weather.

With tinted windows, you can have 10% cooler air than the outside air inside your cabin by investing in tinted windows. This proves why regulators have fewer restrictions on window tinting in extremely hot weather regions than in others.

In addition, studies have shown that darker tinted windows reduce more heat than others. However, if you’re on a budget, you can ignore it and look for another option.

Invest in a reliable car cooling fan

Investing in a reliable car cooling fan is another great idea, especially if your air vents are not pulling out enough air. Unfortunately, some car fans do not meet our standards because they don’t have a high-powered electric motor.

If you are in this situation, you can google search best fans for cars without AC. Or better stills, get this 360 adjustable electric cooling fan which is a frequent recommendation. This is an excellent investment because the fan has a few settings to choose from and is easy to move around.

Cooling seat covers

Another significant investment that you need to consider if you’ll be commuting a lot this summertime is a reliable seat cover. We recommend OASIS AUTO Leather Seat Covers. First, however, you have to check if this is the right fit for your car.

Is it a bit pricey? Is it above your budget? Then, the next method will beat your budget.

Place a wet towel on the air vents

I know what’s going through your mind – isn’t this awful? Yes, it sounds strange, but it’s a good option. Don’t skip this option if you’re asking how to keep the car cool in summer without AC. To do this, soak a towel in a bowl of cold water. After a few minutes, remove the towel and squeeze the water. Then, place it over the center of your air vent.

Turn on the fan and enjoy the cool air inside the cabin. Ensure you wash the towel later on to avoid mildew.

Get a dashboard sun shield

The common cause of hot air inside the cabin is sun rays. A reasonable means of eradicating anything is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. A dashboard sun shield is a great tool to prevent or reduce the amount of hot air in a car.

If you choose to get a dashboard sun shield, the EcoNour Car Windshield Sun Shade is the best you can find on the market shelves.

diy air conditioning for car


Q: How can I cool my car naturally?

Suppose you don’t have a functioning air conditioning system. In that case, you can also keep your car cool naturally by parking in a shade, keeping windows slightly opened, rolling down the windows before entering your vehicle, driving with wet hair, or using the hot air escape trick.

If these didn’t meet your target, check the other options above and pick the ones that’ll meet your needs.

Q: How can I keep my car cool without being on?

Parking in a shade is a proven and excellent way of keeping a car cool when it’s not running. You should slightly wind down the windows if you’re packing the vehicle in a safe place. This is an excellent way of keeping your car cooler when parked and without spending a dime.

Q: Can I put a portable air conditioner in my car?

Portable air conditioning for cars can be a perfect AC alternative, especially during summertime. An excellent portable car AC will chill the entire cabin compartment and offer an unbeatable driving experience behind the wheels, even in extreme weather conditions.

Getting portable air conditioning is one thing but purchasing a reliable one is a proven investment.

Q: Can you install AC in a car without AC?

Buying a car without air conditioning does not mean you can’t install one. You can install AC on a car without AC by contacting a mechanic to estimate the cost of repairing the AC. This may include a compressor, condenser, AC drive belt, and other missing parts.

Q: Does cracking a window keep the car cooler?

Cracking a car window is one of the ways of keeping your car cooler even in extreme weather conditions. Even a slight crack will help expel heat from the cabin and allow cool ambient air to come inside.

While this is an excellent way to keep a car cooler, it can expose the car to theft. Do not crack your windows in an unsafe environment.

Q: Can you drive a car with a broken AC compressor?

Of course, you can drive with a broken air conditioning compressor. However, if the compressor clutch is bad and the belt is wobbling, you need to take precautions by removing the belt entirely. If your car has one giant belt connecting to all the pulleys, the best option is to replace the AC compressor or the compressor clutch.

Final Words

We have outlined several tips and tricks on how to keep a car cool without air conditioning. However, as reiterated above, one method may not be able to keep the entire cabin cool for an extended period. So, you need to choose the most suitable ones for you.

Whichever method you choose, always park your vehicle under shade. This will prevent your cabin from getting hot in the first place.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts