Survival Guide to Beating the Heat in Your No A/C Beater

The summer is upon us and there’s no worse time to be without A/C in your car.

It’s not likely you suffer this affliction; most of us will buck up and fix the A/C so that we can remain comfortable.

But comfort is costly, and the frugal among us just aren’t willing to shell out hundreds of dollars to prevent perspiration. Dang it, I was given sweat glands for a reason and I intend to use them.

If you’re like me—without car A/C and distressed about the looming summer—have no fear. I’ve published a little guide here to help you through the heat.

Here’s my Survival Guide to Beating the Heat in Your No A/C Beater.

1. Make Plans to Bake – You know it’s going to be hot as equatorial crap in your car. Don’t be a fool by failing to prepare.

First, always have ice water handy. Of course, this will melt in mere minutes in your Saharan tank of a transport, but if you can get your hands on a Yeti or Yeti-like vessel, you’ll always be just moments from a modicum of refreshment.

Next, you need a towel nearby. Five minutes into your drive you’re gonna be sweating like an Amazon warthog. While the sweat beads do nicely to temporarily cool, they’ll leave your clothes a damp mess. Unless you are indeed off to the gym, this is not a good recipe for people wanting to be around you. A towel nearby will temporarily save you this embarrassment.

2. Get a great parking spot – People with A/C know their car will cool fast, but you don’t have that luxury. And it is a luxury, cooled cars. Much of the world is still confined to bikes, camels and donkeys for their commute, and no freon on the planet can make those suckers comfy.

Of course, premium parking spots are often in the baking sun. Let those rich motorists have them. What you need to do is find the shady spots in the lot, if there are any. Observe trees and the daily movement of the sun. Park your car in a spot with maximum daily shade duration. Be willing a walk a little longer to your destination. If you execute all of this perfectly, you’ll reduce the initial thermal blast of entering your car from a blistering 137 degrees to a balmy 113. It could save you approximately two minutes of sweat. #worthit

3. Think “sauna,” enjoy the heat – Even with shade, you’re still gonna be roasting like a Chinese duck in minutes. So you might as well embrace the warmth on your skin. I, personally, sit in a cool office all day, and the feeling of hot air is temporarily therapeutic. When I get in my car, I close my eyes and envision I’m enjoying the spa at a world-class resort. My skin is happy and seems to tingle with thankfulness.

4. Keep windows up until your breaking point. Oftentimes, A/C-less rookies will put their windows down the moment they start up the car. Big mistake, cheechako. You’ve just wasted an opportunity of profound relief later for fugacious comfort now.

What you need to do is sit there like a tea kettle. Let the sweltering, suffocating cloud of oxygen work its way from the outside in. Feel the sweat beads form on your forehead and neck. Then, when you have the thought “good golly I don’t think I can drive anymore,” release your windows and let the slightly less stuffy outside air rush in and blow over you like an industrial fan.

That car better be moving though. If you release your windows in bumper-to-bumper traffic, you’ll wish you weren’t alive.

5. Welcome Others’ Pity – When you arrive at your destination, you’ll literally be a hot mess. It may look like you just took 30 on the treadmill when in fact all you were moving was your lower lip to blow up air onto your face.

When people see you, they’ll feel bad that you obviously been suffering. Take advantage. Accept the cold beverage, position yourself under a fan, and even head straight past the family to the shower. It’s ok. They don’t want to be with you anyway.

Inevitably, upon cooling down and actually hanging out with people, you’ll be asked why you don’t get your A/C fixed. Then you may utter something completely sane like “Because I don’t need it,” at which point everyone will laugh and tacitly reveal their belief that you’re a fool.

And that’s ok, too. Deep down you understand that lacking A/C builds character, and makes you appreciate walking into a cooled building so much more.

If you can hold your head high and remain convinced you don’t need A/C, you can happily drive cars without it for years to come.

Isn’t that what it’s all about?


  1. Now I’m confused because I thought that doing the Hokey Pokey and turning myself around is what it’s all about!

    Seriously though, great post. ??

  2. Well said, Carson. I’ve spent a couple of summers A/C-less, and these are valuable tips for that .001% of us that has the guts to swallow the sun-baked summer air with unflinching vigor! Ride on, sweaty man. Ride on!


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