How to Keep a Car Cool in the Summer

I’m so excited about our upcoming road trip but also nervous about our car basking in the sun in between destination points. To help us better understand how to keep a car cool, we spoke with Tom Norkiewicz, Engineering Group Manager for Vehicle Development and Traffic Safety, who for close to a decade have been in Yuma, testing out GMC trucks and SUVs against the heat. They put vehicles up against what the most extreme conditions drivers will have to face. Between regular testing and living in a climate that easily climbs over 100 degrees in the summer, they’ve learned quite a few tips on how to keep your car from turning into an oven on wheels. Read on to check out our interview featuring some common myths and facts about on how to keep your car cool this summer.

Interview with Tom Norkiewicz on Keeping a Car Cool

car cool in the summer
2017 All-New GMC Acadia Denali

Weekend Jaunts: What are some of the best ways to keep your car cool over the summer?

Tom Norkiewicz: Here are some common myths and facts about keeping a car cool.

After 30 minutes, car interiors reach their highest temperature, then start to cool down.

Myth! This applies to the engine, not the interior. GMC trucks and SUV engines have cooling fans that are automatically activated to displace heat and cool your engine while running. But, if nothing is done to deflect or release the heat from a vehicle’s cabin, temperatures will continue to rise.

Interior temperatures peak at around 125 degrees.

Myth! On days where temperatures rise above 85 degrees, interior vehicle temperatures can hit up to 175 degrees, making it crucial to ensure nobody gets left behind in a hot car. To help drivers, GMC engineers developed “Rear Seat Reminder,” an industry-first technology intended to help remind the driver to look in the rear seat before exiting the vehicle under certain circumstances. Rear Seat Reminder does not detect people or items in the backseat. Drivers should always check their rear seat before exiting.

The darker the car’s interior/exterior, the hotter your car will get.

Fact! A black seat will retain more heat than a white seat, and the difference is about +/- 50F.

Sun shades for windows work best on your car.

Fact! By using sun shades on the interior of the vehicle, heat is minimized coming through the glass and getting trapped in your vehicle. Using a reflective car covering will be most effective in blocking the sun’s rays.

Blasting the A/C before turning your vehicle off will keep your car cooler longer.

Myth! But, by starting your vehicle remotely using GMC’s Remote Link app on your compatible phone (vehicle must be compatible with Remote Link and have factory installed remote start), your car can push some of the hot trapped air out of the interior before you step inside.

Weekend Jaunts: What are the best covers for your car when it’s not in use?

Tom Norkiewicz: Anything with a reflective surface.

Weekend Jaunts: How does GMC’s remote link work?

Tom Norkiewicz: More info here, but essentially it allows you to start your car from the MyGMC app.

For more info on remote link, please visit:



Make the most out of your weekend!

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