In Germany, there is an odd word that is associated with parking your car in the shade. The word is Schattenparker and it’s a derisive term that denotes weakness. We aren’t making this up. The term Schattenparker is a noun that describes someone who is cowardly or wimpy because they prefer to park their car in the shade rather that out in the hot sun. Evidently, parking out in the hot sun makes you a bold, self-assured person who is able to endure any sort of discomfort. Again, we aren’t making this up.
Well, Schattenparker or not, our friends at Miracle Chrysler of Gallatin, a local Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealer in Gallatin, TN, have 4 good reasons not to park your car in the sun. Bottom line: It is always best to pick a shady spot when you are parking, if there are any nearby. Even if the spot is only shady a few hours a day, it’s still worth parking in. Let’s examine why.
The greenhouse effect
When your car is out in the blistering sun for hours on end, everything inside gets scalding hot. Hotter that the outside temperature, in fact. Why is this? Because your car acts just like a greenhouse. The sun’s rays heat up the car’s surface and this heat radiates into the car. And, it stays in the car, building up and up as long there is sun beating down. Temperatures of 120-140 degrees F are not uncommon.
Don’t burn the kids
When you get into your mobile greenhouse after being in the sun, everything is going to be very hot. You might dismiss this because as soon as you get in, you are going to throw the AC on. However, all the metal parts are going to remain very hot for several minutes. If you have smaller children, you don’t want them to get blisters from contact with a metal toy or seat belt buckles. The author has seen this happen.
Don’t cook your paint
Automotive paints are designed to stand the rigors of all sorts of temperature extremes but that doesn’t mean they stay nice and glossy forever. The sun’s rays contain a healthy amount of Ultra-Violet radiation and UV radiation breaks down the clear coat on a car’s paint over time. Take it from us, paint jobs are expensive, why ask for one any earlier that necessary just because you bake your car in the sun daily. Solution? Park your car in the shade and reduce the UV rays hitting your car.
Avoid the vapors
You know that new car smell you get when you get into a new vehicle? That’s the combined effect of all the plastics “outgassing” as they age. As it turns out, these polymer gases aren’t terribly good for your health, but you don’t have to worry about it under normal circumstances. It will fade away in a few days. However, excessive heat will make these gasses bleed out for many days. Again, keep your car out of the sun and the outgassing of polymer gasses will be minor.