Does it Work: Auto Cool

(KPLC) - It's a summer staple we can all live without: getting into a hot, parked car. The Auto Cool promises to help you beat the heat, but does it work?

The Auto Cool is a solar-powered fan that fits in the window of any car. It claims to blow out hot air that builds up inside, keeping it cooler. A thermometer in the shade of our test car reads a stifling 118 degrees in the heat of the 10 a.m. sun.

To install the Auto Cool, roll down the window. The device sits on the window with the solar panel facing outward. Attach the weather stripping that blocks the gap left between the window frame, and the unit is ready to go.

The panel didn't start running immediately, but after putting the fan on the other side (in direct sunlight) the fan began running. However, it only ran intermittently as clouds passed in front of the sun.

After 15 minutes, our car was still sweltering hot.

"It doesn't feel any different than it did before I put the Auto Cool in," our car owner said. "It's been about 15 minutes here. The temperature on the thermometer is reading 117 degrees, which is only about a degree or a degree and a half lower."

For a second test, a thermometer registered 134 degrees in a black car. After 15 minutes with the Auto Cool, it dropped to 132.

We left the unit in the black car for about an hour. The internal car temperature even climbed at one point in the hot, unobstructed afternoon sun while the Auto Cool was running. Leaving the windows cracked without the Auto Cool allowed some heat to escape, which lowered the temperature a few degrees.

The Auto Cool can't take the heat and gets a "No" for this Does it Work test. The Auto Cool sells for $16.99 and comes with a bonus rubberized foam car cup organizer if you decide to make the purchase.

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