There are a lot of things people come to dread during the hot summer months, especially in areas where the thermometer climbs into the triple digits (Tempe, Chandler. Phoenix anyone?) One of these dreaded things is getting into a hot car and sweating it out until the air conditioner can work its magic. There are a few different things you can do to help keep your car considerably cooler. One of the most obvious things is to park in the shade. While this isn't always possible, if it is, it truly can help. Now, there are a few downsides to this: sometimes, the only tree in the parking lot is a good distance away from the building, so you'll have to walk farther in the heat. Another issue is the trees are often home to birds, and they love to leave droppings all over cars (especially recently washed ones). Think about where and when you're parking. If possible, park so that the sun is behind your car. This way, it will not be shining directly into the driver's seat, which will at least keep it and your steering wheel from being too hot to handle. Another way of dealing with the heat at home is to park in your garage. If you can't, or if there are no trees nearby, you can at least put a sunshade across your windshield. These inexpensive items not only keep your car a little cooler but also protect your dashboard from fading or cracking. If you have the money, you might want to have your windows tinted. This can certainly help reduce the interior temperature of your car, but there are two concerns with tinting: it can be costly, and the laws regarding tinting vary from state to state. These laws mainly revolve around the amount of light that must be able to pass through the window after it's tinted. You can also buy some temporary window screens for the back side windows. These usually come in the form of plastic clings that can be easily attached or removed. Have you ever tried driving with one or two fingers because your steering wheel is too hot to put your hands on? You may want to invest in a cloth wheel cover. You can find these at most stores that carry auto supplies, and they come in a number of colors and designs. If your car has leather seats, you might also want to invest in a seat cover for the hotter months, especially if you wear shorts a lot. Finally, remember that a car's engine and other components generate a good amount of heat themselves, and they're going to get even hotter during the summer. It's important to have your car checked regularly so you don't get stuck on the side of the road during the heat of the day. You should always carry extra water during the summer months. You may need it to drink while waiting for assistance, or your car may need extra water if it's overheating.