When outside temperatures reach 80-100 degrees, the temperature inside a car parked in direct sunlight can quickly climb to between 130 to 172 degrees, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fortunately, there are a few simple, easy steps that you can take to keep your car cool this summer.

From maximizing your air conditioning to finding a shady spot when parking, the following tips can help you maintain a cooler vehicle on those hot and humid days.

audi in sunny caliBlock Car Windows from the Sun

Sun shades: Sun shades help block the direct rays coming into your vehicle, keeping the temperature slightly lower.

Tinted windows: A more expensive, yet constant way to block the sun is with window tinting. Make sure you know your state’s laws, as some have restrictions on how much or which windows you can tint.

Covered parking: Looking for a shady spot or parking your car so the sun is hitting the rear window instead of the windshield, helping keep the steering wheel and front seats slightly cooler.

Keep Your Car’s Seats Cooler

Beware of leather seats in summer! You may want to cover them with towels or use cloth seat covers to help keep them cooler during the summer, or even purchase cooling gel covers or pads.

If it’s in your budget, you might also buy a vehicle with air-conditioned seats, which circulate cool air around your backside.

Typically, this works by utilizing a porous mesh on the car seat so air can flow through it. Fans inside the seat produce air circulation, which is diffused to spread the cooling effect throughout the seat and through the mesh, cooling the seat’s surface.

Take Advantage of Air Conditioning

To maximize your car’s cooling ability, turn the air conditioner on full blast as soon as you start driving and lower your back windows for 10 to 20 seconds. helps push hot air out as the cool air comes out of the vents.

While there may not be a regular interval at which your air conditioning system should be professionally checked, but you may want to get it inspected if the air coming out of the vents doesn’t feel as cold as you remember. If the air coming out doesn’t feel cold, you may need your local auto body repair shop to top off the refrigerant to recharge your system.

Never Leave a Pet in the Car

It is very dangerous and even lethal to leave an animal in a parked car for any amount of time. According to Michael Dix DVM,

“Never leave your pet in a parked car when the outside temperature is above 70 degrees. Not even with the windows partway down, not even in the shade, not even for a quick errand. Dogs and cats can’t sweat like humans, so they pant to lower their body temperature. If they’re inside a car, recycling very hot air, panting gives no relief, and heat stroke can happen quickly.”

While you can’t change the weather, you can prepare your car for the hottest months of the year. Remember these tips this summer and enjoy a cooler car.