Can A Parked Car Become Dangerously Hot?

Broken Down Cars

A cool car parked in sunlight in this weather will have the internal temperature rise from 18 degrees to 47 degrees in just 30 minutes. The dramatic rise was demonstrated by the AA in a short video filmed at their Central Garage in Dublin.

“It was dangerously hot for a small child or an animal within 5 minutes.” Says Director of Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan. “In 12 minutes it was over 40 degrees, in a approximately 30 minutes it reached 47 degrees. That would have been fatal for a small child. It is a scary reminder of just how quickly it can happen.”

Parking Your Car Safely in Summer

Motorists are being warned of the risks associated with warm weather ahead of the weekend, with AA Ireland particularly warning drivers against leaving children or animals in their car for any period of time.

“When we did this little test the temperature outside of the car was 24 degrees – certainly a hot day but something that we can tolerate. But the internal temperature of your car will rise drastically; heat gets in but can’t get out and builds up very quickly. The message to motorists is that under no circumstances should you leave animals or children unaccompanied in your car for any length of time, even if you’re ‘only going to be 5 minutes’,” Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs warned. “It is much more dangerous than people think. If you do have to stop somewhere then you are better off either not bringing the animals or children with you or dropping them home first before returning to the shop or wherever it is you intended on stopping.”

“Unfortunately we do also see situations happen where a child or animal can accidentally become locked in a car. The AA attends cars with keys locked inside 6 times a day AA Rescue will treat it as priority if there is an animal stuck inside. But prevention is better so it’s best to simply avoid leaving a vulnerable person or animal alone in your car in case they accidentally lock themselves in.”

AA
Damage caused to an AA member’s vehicle by a vanity mirror in their car.

AA Rescue is also warning motorists to keep their car free of clutter which could attract the sun’s light after recently being called out to a case where a mirror in an AA member’s car caught the sunlight and burned a hole through the inside of her door. Motorists are being urged to cover any glass items or mirrors which they have in their car or to store them in the glove compartment.

“This weather and heat isn’t something we’re used to and we can get a bit careless when it comes to taking necessary measures to prevent damage to our vehicles. In this case a small vanity mirror which the AA member had in their vehicle focused the sun’s rays onto the door causing quite significant damage as the day progressed,” Faughnan added. “Fortunately the wiring underneath the panel wasn’t burnt through or this incident could have proven to be a lot worse.”

AA Membership is available online from just €10 per month.