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Extreme Heat Testing Reveals That Using an Auto
Sunshade Can Reduce the Heat Build-Up in Cars

You wouldn't stick your hand into a hot oven without the protection of an oven mitt, right? Well, the same notion holds true for getting inside your car on a hot day. Believe it or not, when the temperature rises outside, the combination of extreme heat, direct sunlight and closed windows can turn your parked car into a virtual oven with dashboard temperatures reaching up to about 192 degrees Farenheit. Not only can this heat build-up be uncomfortable for you and your passengers — it can be damaging to your car's interior as well.

On a typical sunny day, the sun's light combined with the external ambient temperature is transmitted through your car windshield and windows and is converted into heat that remains inside the vehicle. A recent "AUTO SUN PROTECTION TEST" conducted by Shell Global Solutions (US) Inc. for Auto Expressions TM, a leading brand of automotive accessories including sun protection products, found that on an 89 degrees Farenheit day (1), air trapped inside your vehicle can heat up within minutes.

Results showed that a parked car without the use of a sunshade experienced extreme heat with the dashboard heating up to 192 degrees Farenheit, high enough to cook a chicken and the steering wheel topping out at 191 degrees Farenheit, high enough to grill a hamburger. In fact, a car parked in direct sunlight with closed windows can heat up to alarming temperatures in just minutes. The average temperature on the dashboard in a car without a sunshade, after fifteen minutes, reached 149 degress Farenheit. The testing further revealed that, in the same extreme conditions, a car using an accordion style sunshade in the windshield was able to keep the dashboard surfaces an average of 43 degree Farenheit cooler. The high temperatures and the rapid increase in the heat inside your vehicle exemplifies the need for an auto sunshade to reduce the temperatures inside your car, even when you will only be away for a short period of time.

Sunshades reflect sunrays by blocking the sunlight coming through the windshield. They were designed primarily to help prevent heat build-up and protect your vehicle. Since they act as a radiant barrier, they can help reduce the heat in your car in addition to blocking 99 percent of damaging UV rays in the protected area. Sunshades help protect your car's interior since heat and prolonged exposure to the sun can cause your car's interior to fade, crack, discolor and chalk.

"Using a sunshade and other sun protection products in your vehicle are simple and effective ways to help keep you and your car cooler," said Laurie Stevens, director of marketing for Auto ExpressionsTM accessories. "When the temperature rises and the heat becomes unbearable, it's vital that drivers take extra precautionary steps to help protect themselves, their passengers and their vehicle from the sun's damaging rays."

Tips for Having a "Cooler Car" — How to Help Beat the Heat

  • Park in the shade whenever possible.

  • Use a sunshade to help reduce the heat build-up.

  • Use a fabric-based steering wheel cover to help protect your hands.

  • Open doors and let the air circulate in car forfew minutes before getting inside.

  • Set your air conditioner to "regular or fresh air" before switching to "maximum".

How to Reduce Car Damage

  • Use a sunshade to help reduce heat and sun-damage in your vehicle.

  • Reduce harmful UV rays with tinted windows.

  • Protect steering wheels, dashboard and seats with covers.

  • Wash your vehicle regularly and use a wax with a UV absorber.

  • Maintain vinyl and leather interiors with a UV absorbent cleaner/protectant.

  • Have your cabin air filter and air-conditioning systems serviced annually.

Auto ExpressionsTM products are widely available to consumers in the automotive aisles of many major retail chains. The sun protection product offerings include the accordion fold reflective AutoShadeTM sunshades; the spring like collapsible AutoShadeTM sunshades; and side and rear window glare reducers to help protect backseat passengers. For more information, visit

About Auto ExpressionsTM
Auto ExpressionsTM products are produced and marketed by Shell Lubricants. Shell Lubricants collectively refers to the companies of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group engaged in the lubricants business. Shell lubricants companies are global leaders in lubricants and operate in approximately 100 countries worldwide. They manufacture and blend products for use in a range of applications from consumer motoring to food processing and heavy industry to commercial transport.

Shell Global Solutions
Shell Global Solutions is a network of independent companies of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group. Shell Global Solutions provides business and operational consultancy, technical services, and research and development expertise to the energy industry worldwide. Combining leading-edge technology with extensive operating experience, they provide innovative, yet practical solutions, designed to add maximum value to their customer's operations.

Auto ExpressionsTM, via Shell Global Solutions, fielded a series of tests between April 20-21, 2005 in Southern CA, to determine the interior temperature differences of two test subjects (identical cars - same year, model, color) under similar settings and conditions. One test subject included a car with an Auto Expressions TM shade, and one test subject included a car without a sunshade. The test subjects consisted of three different types (SUV, Mid-size, Compact) and colors (Blue, Burgundy, Grey, White) of cars.

(1) Findings are based on inside surface temperatures of a car on an 89° F day (April 21, 2005) in Southern California. Actual results may vary depending on geography, time in sun, make of car, size of window and direction to which car is parked.

(Source: Auto Expressions)