by: By Tom Torbjornsen | AOL Autos

    Have you ever walked across a hot asphalt parking lot, and, with each step, dreaded the moment you have to open the car door and climb into an oven? That hot summer sun: we love it, we hate it. But who enjoys burning their hammies, their hands, and every other body part that makes contact with a car's interior on a hot summer day? The good news is that I am the "Sultan of Cool," bearing tips to help you keep your car cool during the summer.

    Keep these tips in mind to beat the summer heat inside your car:

    1. Parking Tips

    The most obvious thing we can do to keep the car cool is park in the shade. If there is no shade, try to park so that the sun comes in the back window. At least that way the front dash, steering wheel, and seats don't get as hot.

    2. Vent the Windows

    Another technique I've used is to crack the windows about a half-inch to allow some airflow. My daughter uses side vent shades on the backseat windows. They look a little tacky, but they keep the sun off the backseat; and when her kids are riding in their car seats, it keeps the sun off them, protecting them from UV rays as well as the heat.

    3. Don't Be Afraid to Blast the A/C

    Once you enter that hot car, turn on the air conditioner and open your windows a couple of inches. Some people think they have to run the car for a while (to warm up the engine) before turning on the air conditioning (increasing the load). There is no truth to this. Start the car, open the windows, and turn the air conditioning on high. This will efficiently lower the interior temperatures because the cool air produced will displace the hot air, pushing it out the windows. As soon as it's cooled off, close the windows.

    4. Shield Your Windows

    A car sitting in a parking lot all day can reach temperatures well over 100 degrees F. There are several companies that make windshield shields that block out the sun's rays. Not only do they lower interior temperatures, but they also stop the UV rays from damaging dashboards and fading fabrics. A cheaper alternative is to use a common household item. A friend of mine keeps a white towel in her car and throws it over the dash/steering wheel. The white reflects the light and helps reduce the heat somewhat.

    If you want to spend the bucks and really lower interior temperatures, PPG has just released its Sungate EP automotive glass windshield which they claim significantly reduces the transmission of solar energy, keeping the interior cool and improving fuel economy. The new technology employs a glazing process built into the glass of the Sungate windshields, which reduces front seat temperatures 27 degrees F and air-breath temperatures 16 degrees F. Since air-conditioner workload decreases, so does fuel consumption and carbon-dioxide emissions, according to PPG. Many new cars feature UV blocking of some sort, so the chances are that you've likely already seen or driven a car with a UV-blocking window.

    5. Tint Your Windows

    Window tinting is very effective in lowering interior temperatures. However, there are different rules regulating window tinting for every state. Some states prohibit tinting of the front windows so police officers can see into a vehicle during a traffic stop. Other states allow tinting, but the degree of tinting is defined, which varies from state to state. So before having your vehicle's windows tinted, check with your state DMV to make sure you don't break any laws.

    6. Car Shoppers, Keep This in Mind

    For those of you in the market for a car, there are two important things you can keep in mind as you purchase your next vehicle. We recommend drivers in southern states choose cloth interiors rather than leather. Leather tends to absorb heat and thus it gets much hotter in the summertime (it also gets colder in winter). A second (but more expensive) option is to opt for air-conditioned seats if you're buying a luxury car. In these cars and trucks, small refrigerant units are built into the seats. When activated, they circulate cooled air up through the seat, keeping your underside quite cool, dehumidified, and downright comfortable.

    Submit your questions about car maintenance to Tom at carownership@aol.com

    Read More Stories from Tom Torbjornsen:

    - Smoke From Your Tailpipe?
    - Oil Changes: Where Should I Get Them Done?
    - Fluid Leaks: Unsafe and Expensive

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    1 - 20 of 52 Comments
    javelina Jul 27, 2009 10:40 AM
    Typical Internet advice column. Contains a lot of common sense advice and then a ludicrous suggestion that the reader consider installing an expensive new windshield to lower the seat temperature by 27 degrees. Get yourself a reflective window shade at Wal-Mart for $16 and forget about air-conditioned seats and hi-tech windshields. This stuff is an incredibly stupid waste of resources.
    Report This
    valleybacker Jul 17, 2009 11:24 AM
    Do not buy metallic tint, it will cause distortion in your radio signal and cell phone reception.
    Report This
    discotx Jul 16, 2009 8:24 PM
    Everything IS Geore Bush's fault. He will go down in history as Americas' mos UNPOPULAR prsident of all time!
    Report This
    txscowboy16 Jul 16, 2009 8:00 PM
    mysticdanzer what is arrogant and ignorant is when people think that Bush was the cause for the way our country is in now.
    Report This
    ioioiioioi Jul 16, 2009 7:51 PM
    Stop driving and take a cab!
    Report This
    findmerepo Jul 16, 2009 7:33 PM
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    doliver698 Jul 16, 2009 7:07 PM
    Park so that your shield blocks the sun. I see so many cars pointing north with the sun shield on the front window. The sun is to the south.
    Report This
    xbeccaberryx Jul 16, 2009 6:57 PM
    hey these are good ideas
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    gr8bsn Jul 16, 2009 6:52 PM
    Oh, and the tint you buy should be the good "metalized" tint. Even if it is lighter colored, metalized tint actually reflects the UV rays. Along with keeping you cool and protecting you from sunburns while driving (they happen in Arizona), it keeps your upholstery from fading.
    Report This
    gr8bsn Jul 16, 2009 6:48 PM
    I have lived in Arizona since 1983. 26 years in Phoenix, where temperatures that exceed 110 are common during the summer. So, here is what you have to do to keep your car from causing second degree burns to your skin: 1. Buy a car with Air Conditioning and keep it working. Be sure to use the "Max Air/Recirculate" option. 2. Get the darkest tint you can get away with, and if possible, go a little darker. It's like sunglasses for your car. 3. Get a steering wheel cover. I have a cheap fabric mesh one (like gym shorts) that I bought for $6 and it works perfectly. Most steering wheels are made out of black (or darkly colored) plastic and sit in the sun if you park outside. 4. If your car has a sunroof, leave it cracked open. Most people can't squeeze through it anyway. 5. Buy one of those heat shields for your windshield. Keep in mind, it still gets unbearably hot in the car while it's parked out here, but these things keep you from scalding in a car that gets up to near 200 degrees in the interior.
    Report This
    mysticdanzer Jul 16, 2009 6:38 PM
    carlm13 6:21 PM Jul 16, 2009 Report This! , well its called the heat of the moment , you should try it some time, it makesyou do awfully great things. but yet again who knows. arrogant condescending ppl bring out the worst in others.
    Report This
    carlm13 Jul 16, 2009 6:21 PM
    I love it when someone tries to call someone else stupid and then can't even spell the word right.
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    jerryrayw Jul 16, 2009 5:54 PM
    Smoke From Your Tailpipe? wow be careful doing this you could burn your lips.
    Report This
    jerryrayw Jul 16, 2009 5:53 PM
    I meant TENT instead of ********* so hot I forget how to spell or maybe its als hammer
    Report This
    jerryrayw Jul 16, 2009 5:52 PM
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    jerryrayw Jul 16, 2009 5:52 PM
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    jerryrayw Jul 16, 2009 5:51 PM
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    jerryrayw Jul 16, 2009 5:51 PM
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    jerryrayw Jul 16, 2009 5:51 PM
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    jerryrayw Jul 16, 2009 5:51 PM
    How about some tips on how to get rid of Obama.
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    1 - 20 of 52 Comments
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