How Hot Can a Car Get in the Sun? 7 Surprising Facts Revealed!

How Hot Can a Car Get in the Sun?

Have you ever wondered how hot a car can get when it’s parked in the sun? Well, on a scorching summer day, the inside temperature of a car can reach incredibly high levels. In fact, it can become dangerously hot within just a few minutes.

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When a car is parked under direct sunlight, its metal surfaces and windows act as a greenhouse, trapping the heat inside. This effect is known as the greenhouse effect, and it causes the temperature inside the car to skyrocket. Even with the windows slightly cracked open, the interior temperature can rise rapidly.

On an average sunny day, the temperature outside can be about 80°F (27°C). However, inside a parked car, the temperature can rise by 20°F (11°C) in just 10 minutes. Within 30 minutes, it can increase by 34°F (19°C), and within an hour, it can soar to over 40°F (22°C) hotter than the outside temperature. This means that on a sunny day, the inside of a car can easily reach 120°F (49°C) or more.

These extreme temperatures can pose a serious threat to people and pets inside the vehicle. Children and pets are especially vulnerable to heatstroke and dehydration in these conditions. Leaving them unattended in a hot car can have fatal consequences.

Effects of Extreme Heat on the Body

Heatstroke, also known as hyperthermia, can occur when the body’s temperature rises to dangerous levels. It can lead to dizziness, confusion, seizures, loss of consciousness, and even organ failure. In severe cases, it can be fatal.

Dehydration is another risk associated with extreme heat. When the body loses more water than it takes in, it can result in dizziness, weakness, and fatigue. Severe dehydration can lead to complications and may require medical attention.

Preventing Heat-Related Incidents

To prevent heat-related incidents and ensure the safety of everyone, it is crucial to follow some simple precautions:

  • Never leave children, pets, or anyone else inside a parked car, even for a short period.
  • Always check the backseat before locking your vehicle, especially if you are not accustomed to having passengers in the back.
  • Choose shaded parking spots when possible, or use sunshades on the windshield and windows to reduce the amount of heat entering the car.
  • If you have to park in the sun, consider tinting your windows to block some of the sun’s rays.
  • Keep your vehicle well-maintained. Make sure the air conditioning system is working properly, and check the temperature before entering a parked car.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, especially during hot weather.

The Dangers of Hot Cars for Pets

It’s not only humans who are at risk in hot cars; pets are equally susceptible to the dangers of extreme heat. Leaving pets in a parked car, even with the windows slightly open, can have dire consequences.

Dogs, in particular, are vulnerable because they regulate their body temperature through panting and have limited sweat glands. With the temperature rising rapidly inside a car, they can quickly experience heatstroke, which can be fatal.

If you see a pet locked inside a hot car, it’s crucial to take immediate action. Try to locate the owner or contact local authorities for assistance. In some cases, breaking a window may be necessary to save the animal’s life.

Frequently Asked Questions On How Hot Can A Car Get In The Sun? 7 Surprising Facts Revealed!

How Does Heat Affect The Temperature Inside A Car?

The heat outside can rapidly increase the temperature inside a car, turning it into a hot and potentially dangerous environment.

Can A Car Become Hotter Than The Outside Temperature?

Yes, due to the greenhouse effect, a car can become significantly hotter than the outside temperature.

What Temperature Can A Car Reach When Parked In The Sun?

On a hot day, a car parked in the sun can reach temperatures of up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

Why Is It Dangerous To Leave A Living Being Inside A Hot Car?

Leaving a living being inside a hot car can lead to heatstroke, organ failure, and even death due to the extreme heat.


In conclusion, the temperature inside a car parked in the sun can rise rapidly and reach dangerous levels within a short period. It is important to be aware of the risks and take necessary precautions to prevent heat-related incidents. Never leave anyone, including children and pets, unattended inside a parked car on a hot day. By staying vigilant and following these precautions, we can ensure the safety and well-being of ourselves, our loved ones, and our furry friends.

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