Vehicle interior temperatures in warm weather

Tempsafe Safety Label

Tempsafe Indicator reacts to high temperatures

About this time last year we conducted a very basic set of tests to find out how hot a car interior can get when in direct sunlight, with outdoor temperatures reaching 25 to 30C.

We parked a car with a black interior outside our office and lined up our liquid crystal and Tempsafe indicators on the dashboard.

The liquid crystal labels start to react at low temperatures, and we weren’t surprised when the colour change went to 55C. What was very worrying was that the Tempsafe very rapidly changed colour at about 70C. The other indicators then continued to react until an astonishing maximum temperature of 85C was recorded in the car.Liquid Crystal Thermometer

The car windows and doors were all closed, the car had been in direct sunshine for 2 hours before the tests commenced and we then observed the colour changes through the windscreen.

A roast chicken is said to be cooked when the centre reaches 80C. A pet left in the car would survive only minutes.

The BBC got in contact about the tests – they had recently reported a story about two dogs dying in a hot car – and we went on Radio 2 to help warn people about the dangers of leaving pets in vehicles. Even if the windows had been left open to allow air to circulate, the car interior would still have reached dangerous temperatures very quickly.

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