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It's getting hot in herre...
March 18, 2012 3:55 PM   Subscribe

From Japan, a way to rapidly cool down your car on a hot day. (SLYT)
posted by reenum (109 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
I've been doing this for as long as I can recall. Who didn't know about this?
posted by Splunge at 4:03 PM on March 18, 2012 [22 favorites]


oh my god, i live in AUSTRALIA and this is the first i've heard of it. is there a conspiracy to keep me stupid and hot?
posted by taff at 4:04 PM on March 18, 2012 [15 favorites]


If only this worked with bicycles.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 4:07 PM on March 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


Does Japanese TV consist of watching Japanese people watch things on TV? Every video clip I see from there is of people watching whatever the video is about.
posted by Legomancer at 4:09 PM on March 18, 2012 [24 favorites]


So, if I understand this correctly, using the door to pump the hot air out tends to reduce the amount of hot air in the car...?

What will they think of next???
posted by IAmBroom at 4:13 PM on March 18, 2012


I'm 31 and live in Virginia where our summers can be pretty brutal and this is the first time I've ever seen this.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 4:16 PM on March 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Actually, you are using the door to pull air out. As the graphic shows, the narrow opening of the far side door window allows air in, and your motion opening the door pulls out the hot. While this does reduce air temperature in the car, all the surfaces will still be hot, for keeping cool in situations like this radiant heat transfer is an equal problem.
posted by meinvt at 4:16 PM on March 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


BTW: leaving your windows cracked 1/2" with vent shades leaves your car not-hot, resistant to ice-over (since the window cools before it can melt snow accumulation), and still safe (no one can see the windows are cracked).
posted by IAmBroom at 4:16 PM on March 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Dear Deity of your choice, I despair for humanity.

WTF, why is this NOT common sense?

This reminds me of once having bought a Batman play set for my little brother (a wee tyke at the time) and taking it to the service desk at Toys R Us seconds later, where I pointed to the side of the box where it said "WARNING: Cape does not allow user to fly!" and asked her if I could return that one and purchase the one that DOES allow the user to fly, figuring my crafty repartee would distract her from remembering that Batman does not, in fact, fly and being able to get my little brother the BEST PRESENT EVAR!
posted by Samizdata at 4:17 PM on March 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Actually, meinvt, it works in both directions equally well. Air flows in through the narrow gap as easily as it flows out; the point is that it flows out of the car.
posted by IAmBroom at 4:18 PM on March 18, 2012


I had no idea that everyone didn't already do this.

The other tip, if you have aircon, is to set it to blow on the top of the dashboard, not right on your face. It feels good on your face, but if your car is like mine, the dashboard really soaked up the heat and is putting out a huge amount until the car cools down.
posted by lollusc at 4:19 PM on March 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


In Minnesota winters we just reverse said process. Ought'n to start the engine and let er warm up a bit first. Works best telling your teenager to go out and do it.
posted by hal9k at 4:22 PM on March 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


The dashboard doesn't soak up the heat if you use one of those windshield reflector thingies.

What I usually do is open all the car doors, then go around and close them. Is that better or worse than this method?
posted by serena15221 at 4:23 PM on March 18, 2012


This is not nearly as over-engineered as I was expecting from the title.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 4:30 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


To everyone saying OMG it's so obvious!!! - it's the opening of the opposite window that's the clever (and not so obvious to me, anyway) part of the technique. I'll be using it for the first time this summer, if I remember.
posted by aturoff at 4:30 PM on March 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'd like to see this compared to a car where all windows are just opened up. The sheer heat of the air should cause some circulation and equalization to happen. Also, pushing out the hot air doesn't change the fact that the surfaces in your car are still hot (seats, dash, etc.) and will continue to radiate.
posted by knave at 4:33 PM on March 18, 2012


I really thought this was going to involving smacking people or school girl panties (not Japanese-ist).
posted by Roman Graves at 4:33 PM on March 18, 2012


Does Japanese TV consist of watching Japanese people watch things on TV?

Yes. It's a standard feature of variety/info shows. You get the spot about, say, how to cool off your car, then you get anywhere from 4 to 6 to 8 to 10 people talking about it afterwards. But so the home viewer can immediately know how whatever celeb is reacting at the moment of viewing, you get those little insets showing celeb's face.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:35 PM on March 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


Metafilter: It feels good on your face
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:36 PM on March 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have lived in Florida for 29 years and I did not know this was possible.

My car is going to be flapping its doors like a demented aluminum duck from now on.
posted by cmyk at 4:43 PM on March 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


Doesn't compare to a few minutes of good ol' 4-80* air conditioning.

* Four windows rolled down, driving at eighty miles an hour.
posted by ceribus peribus at 4:44 PM on March 18, 2012 [12 favorites]


Only works with the following makes - Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Suzuki, Mazda, Daihatsu, Mitsubishi, Subaru.
posted by lampshade at 4:47 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Actually, you are using the door to pull air out.

So why is he slamming the door?
posted by R. Mutt at 4:50 PM on March 18, 2012


So why is he slamming the door?

Duh. Because he's Japanese. You know how rough, rude and noisy they are.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:55 PM on March 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


So he can pull it completely open again.
posted by clockzero at 4:56 PM on March 18, 2012


The best solution is to set the car next to yours on fire. Your car will feel cool and comfortable by comparison.
posted by orme at 4:59 PM on March 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


So why is he slamming the door?

Is there some other way of effectively closing a car door?
posted by Sys Rq at 5:02 PM on March 18, 2012


Another tip, especially helpful if you live in an area with relatively low humidity: Keep a little spray bottle of water in your car. Get in and just start misting everywhere. Large quantities of heat will go into evaporating the tiny water droplets and your car will cool down remarkably quickly.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 5:02 PM on March 18, 2012 [13 favorites]


Once upon a time it was hot in my ride
But then I learned to park in the dark.
I put it in the shade
Total eclipse of my car!
posted by vibrotronica at 5:04 PM on March 18, 2012 [49 favorites]


I just grin and bear it and drive away, sweating profusely. But I'm wearing sunglasses, so I LOOK cool.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 5:04 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seeing as it's going to be 86F here on Tuesday (3/20), I expect it to hit highs somewhere in the 130s this summer so this might come in handy.
posted by octothorpe at 5:07 PM on March 18, 2012


"oh my god, i live in AUSTRALIA and this is the first i've heard of it. is there a conspiracy to keep me stupid and hot?"

This was standard operating procedure when I was a kid - Qld, summer, parents owned an XP Falcon (i.e. humid, hot, car with an all-metal interior and vinyl seats). No need to open the whole window; opening the quarter-glass was enough.

Had to close the door on the box vents in the footwell, though, because they just sucked the hot air from above the bonnet…
posted by Pinback at 5:08 PM on March 18, 2012


I may be exaggerating a bit about the 130F but seriously 86 degrees in March?
posted by octothorpe at 5:11 PM on March 18, 2012


If you're outside and it's hot, you can cool off by holding your hand in front of your face, with the palm towards you. Oscillate it rapidly forwards and backwards and it will create an air current that helps you get cool!
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:13 PM on March 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


I may be exaggerating a bit about the 130F but seriously 86 degrees in March?

We can't afford full seasons anymore so we're buying them on discount a week at a time.
posted by ZeusHumms at 5:19 PM on March 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Why not just drive naked?

It works for me.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:20 PM on March 18, 2012


WTF, why is this NOT common sense?

Because this doesn't work. Seriously, that car can only have been sat there in the sun until just the air inside the car got hot. No way did it get even the seat down to ambient temperature by flapping the door a few times.

My default is to open all the windows and drive along at speed - if it takes more than 3 minutes of that kind of airflow (which it does at least on a 30 degree day, even with the aircon on full blast to cool the vents and dashboard so the air actually comes out cold) then this won't at all work if the car has soaked in that heat for any time. The entire interior (seats, metal, plastic, sound deadening, cushioning, carpets and everything) will be at 40 degrees. There's no way that sort of heat inertia is shifted by 5-10 volume of door waving airflow.

I'm calling bullshit.
posted by Brockles at 5:23 PM on March 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've said it before, but I love that Japanese TV has built in TV friends. I want a couple different SAP options for all TV. Maybe stoners, wisecracking nerds who rapid fire Monty python quotes, Ron Swanson, and maybe super fans of whaterver series who can go on about backstory.

Is there a live streaming site that does this?
posted by Ad hominem at 5:37 PM on March 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: the new Hints from Heloise
posted by caddis at 5:37 PM on March 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Next up: how half a potato can get a broken light bulb out of a socket!
posted by infinitewindow at 5:46 PM on March 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Is there a live streaming site that does this?

I don't know about a streaming site, but there used to be a forum called DVD Tracks that was pretty much what you describe ... fan-created audio tracks to accompany various movies. It seems to be gone now, but I'm sure there have to be other places.
posted by Kadin2048 at 5:50 PM on March 18, 2012


Why God authorized remote starting.
posted by notreally at 6:02 PM on March 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


but I'm sure there have to be other places.

I found a couple. But really, Netflix should add this shit to instant by using the google+ hangout API (or some enterprising developer could do a mashup). I'm watching episode 17 of Friday night lights and I need someone to say "daaaaaaamnnnn" over and over because I'm getting tired of saying it.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:02 PM on March 18, 2012


I agree with everyone here who says that anyone who hadn't already thought of this cannot be saved and should be shot directly into the Sun's core.

That said, it doesn't work very well. The entire interior of the car is hot. Replacing the air only isn't going to cool the seats, steering wheel, floor, carseats, etc very much. If you immediately close the door (i.e. when you get in to drive away), it's going to be super hot in there very shortly afterwards as the relatively enormous heat reservoir reheats the air.

Here's a pro-tip: Park in the shade, making your own if you must. Also, buy a car that isn't black inside.
posted by DU at 6:20 PM on March 18, 2012


I almost never use my sunroof except for when it's really hot. I'll crank it wide open when the car's been sitting in the sun and a lot of heat will rise out of the sunroof with a door or two open for a minute. Not so much slamming that way.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:25 PM on March 18, 2012


I think the person who did the music for that video also wrote the score for the cutscenes and level-completion animations in all the Sonic the Hedgehog games.
posted by Saxon Kane at 6:28 PM on March 18, 2012


Why not just drive naked?

It works for me.


Either you don't park in the sun, or you have some kind of heat-sunk upholstery. If I put my bare ass on a sun-baked car seat once,I'd never do it again.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:30 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, buy a car that isn't black inside.

I won't own anything but white or silver cars, any more. We were looking at used cars on a sunny spring day a few years back, and there was a silver one parked right next to a red one of the same make & model. My wife stepped back to contemplate the choice of colors, and I walked over & put a hand on each hood, & said "Silver." She then did the same thing, and there was no more discussion of the red one at all.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:30 PM on March 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


If we bought the next level up from the model we bought of our car, it would have automatically detected the temperature inside the car was rising, and would open up the sunroof and turn on an exhaust fan to cool the interior.

We did not think that feature was worth another $12k.
posted by crunchland at 6:31 PM on March 18, 2012


We did not think that feature was worth another $12k.

I take it you don't live in Texas. They probably sell the shit out of that upgrade here.

Also, don't Priuses have a solar-powered interior fan for just this thing?
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:34 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is there a live streaming site that does this?

Niconico Douga is kind of like a Japanese Youtube, and they have this feature with live streams and regular videos. Viewer comments scroll across the screen as you watch the stream or video. You can turn the comments off, but I like it because it makes watching things online feel like a shared experience instead of a solitary activity. I don't feel the same way about those celeb reaction faces on tv, though...
posted by lali at 6:52 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


We were looking at used cars on a sunny spring day a few years back, and there was a silver one parked right next to a red one of the same make & model. My wife stepped back to contemplate the choice of colors, and I walked over & put a hand on each hood, & said "Silver."

This makes me feel better about my silver car, which was the only color available to me and caused much grumbling on my part because not only is a silver car not in any way sexy but finding one in the parking lot?!"Yes, it's the silver Hyundai." That narrows it down to 40% of the cars. The only way it could be worse is a silver Honda Civic - a car which I've also had and lost in many, many a parking lot.

So, what you're saying is that myself and my fellow silver car owners are simply smarter than all of the jerks with their fancy sexy colors. Yes. That's right.

(Incidentally, I had a black car once and BY THE HAMMER OF THOR NEVAR AGAIN.)
posted by sonika at 7:01 PM on March 18, 2012


it would have automatically detected the temperature inside the car was rising, and would open up the sunroof and turn on an exhaust fan to cool the interior.

An actually good design (i.e. that doesn't require moving parts and power and $12k) would just put a few (covered) vents in the top of the car.
posted by DU at 7:06 PM on March 18, 2012


I haven't any empirical evidence of my own to share with you, but having read about 20 articles on the topic, here are my conclusions:

1 A car with a darker exterior color will get hotter on the inside somewhat faster that a light colored vehicle standing out in the Phoenix summer sun. After a while, they both approximate the same temperature: hot.

2. A vehicle with a darker interior color may get hotter on the inside somewhat faster that a vehicle with a light color interior.

3. A vehicle with a leather interior that has been sitting in the Phoenix summer sun will burn your thighs (even through pants!) every time, no matter what color the leather seats are.

Cracking the windows probably does little to prevent temperatures from rising in the car, but many people do it. That, and leaving your vents open, at least provides a little more ventilation.

posted by atomicmedia at 7:11 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I agree with everyone here who says that anyone who hadn't already thought of this cannot be saved and should be shot directly into the Sun's core.

Is this sarcasm? I have to say I'm a bit surprised at some of the vitriol directed at people who hadn't thought of this on their own or at least heard of it. I hadn't heard of it and, while I have my flaws, I wouldn't have said that this is the one that pushed me over the edge into "completely unsalvageable as a human being" territory.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:13 PM on March 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Beaded seat covers will protect your ass from scorching leather seats.
posted by monospace at 7:21 PM on March 18, 2012


Beaded seat covers will protect your ass from scorching leather seats.

Plus they leave neat patterns in your back fat!
posted by Sys Rq at 7:30 PM on March 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Snopes
posted by Brocktoon at 7:34 PM on March 18, 2012


Autostart, Yo.

I start the Jeep up when it comes within range on the Gondola-ride down the mountain. Toss your ski-boots into the back, hop onto a toasty warm seat, windows all defrosted, CRANK the heat, and go.

I rarely have any kind of top (or indeed doors) on really hot summer days, but when traveling with a bunch of gear that needs to be secured, there's nothing like climbing into a nice frosty interior.

Best $150 I ever spent.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 7:48 PM on March 18, 2012


sonika: "This makes me feel better about my silver car, which was the only color available to me and caused much grumbling on my part because not only is a silver car not in any way sexy but finding one in the parking lot?!"Yes, it's the silver Hyundai." That narrows it down to 40% of the cars. The only way it could be worse is a silver Honda Civic - a car which I've also had and lost in many, many a parking lot."

Also known as LGCs: little grey cars. They are legion. I have one, too.
posted by deborah at 7:57 PM on March 18, 2012


Apropos of nothing, I just found this picture, and now I have completed my life.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:00 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I won't own anything but white or silver cars, any more.

This makes me feel better about my silver car

There is a reason that emergency vehicles are now mostly white, instead of the former black or red. Lighter coloured cars are more visible, and might be less likely to be involved in accidents, although other variables might be in play.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 8:06 PM on March 18, 2012


I do this everywhere I go, all the time. Protip: use this method to get stuff in the fridge extra cold extra quick.
posted by tumid dahlia at 8:11 PM on March 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


To everyone saying OMG it's so obvious!!! - it's the opening of the opposite window that's the clever (and not so obvious to me, anyway) part of the technique. I'll be using it for the first time this summer, if I remember.

I thought this was obvious and do this if a car is hot. But only because I've never had central air conditioning, living in a place where you do not need it most of the year but the summers can get pretty hot. You get adept at thinking of windows in terms of their effect on airflow. The door/window trick even works a little if you open a window in your room on a hot night and pump your door. It's not extremely effective but if you can get your little sister to pump the door while you put your face up against the window screen it's totally awesome.

Which reminds me, I need to figure out who makes a window box fan that has a couple remote thermometers. One indoors, one outside, so that the fan automatically turns on/off when it's cooler outdoors than indoors. They sell cheap as hell wireless temperature doodads, they sell cheap as hell box fans, I do not understand why this isn't what everyone has. As it is, if I want to keep my apartment as cool as possible in the summer, I need to stalk the thermometers until it's good to turn them on in the evening, check a weather forecast and set an alarm to wake up and turn it off before it warms up outside and go back to sleep. I live a tough life. I bet this is what it was like during the Depression.
posted by floam at 8:29 PM on March 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Doesn't everyone do this? I guess not...
posted by clvrmnky at 8:37 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I cover the steering wheel and seat with a blanket and then throw the blanket in the backseat when I get in the car. The blanket does a good job of absorbing most of the heat that would normally be stored in the steering wheel and seats so I can actually get in the car and start driving with the windows down without burning my hands and dying of heatstroke.

It's also nice in the winter having an extra layer on your lap.
posted by sopwath at 8:57 PM on March 18, 2012


I just like how we're commenting in English about a Japanese video that was rebroadcast in Chinese (on Taiwan) and posted on YouTube by someone who apparently speaks Portuguese.
posted by jiawen at 9:27 PM on March 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hah! When I stay at my Mom's house, this is how I vent her crappily-vented bathroom after a shower. It's all Don't Look Ma! with much rapid door flapping. Cools it right down.

As for a hot-ass car, every little bit helps. Especially the part about not having a black leather interior.
posted by wallabear at 9:34 PM on March 18, 2012


PS.
This works with small, sealed AC free houses, apartments, and trailers located in mind melting heats (a sturdy wide-framed front door works particularly well [close most windows, pretend car is house, copy this video, well, actually, it works better if you are grandiose in your swinging of the door, with large gestures, also "close/open it fast fast, slamslamslam the door... but then stop millimeters before it actually slams, you don't want to damage the door, or frame, if the house is sealed enough, air pressure inside will help act as airbag]).

PPS.
Always Utilize Cross Breezes.
posted by infinite intimation at 10:11 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Floam: THIS should get you close to the fan you want.
posted by MultiFaceted at 10:36 PM on March 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's all well and good but does it work on Fahrenheit?
posted by uri at 11:08 PM on March 18, 2012


I admit, given the link description, I expected something involving octopuses. I'm disappointed, Japan!
posted by ChrisR at 11:28 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've been doing this for as long as I can recall. Who didn't know about this?

Me too, since I was a kid. People always looked at me a bit strangely, though, so I guess it's not as self-evident as you might think.

People always looked at me a bit strangely when I made up new solutions to mild inconveniences, though, so there's that.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:54 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Always Utilize Cross Breezes

Always Be Closing.

Then Opening.

Then Closing.

posted by zippy at 12:12 AM on March 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


Next up: how half a potato can get a broken light bulb out of a socket!

Sarcasm or not, that pro-tip is going to come in handy as I do indeed have this very problem.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:58 AM on March 19, 2012


Does this work with convertibles?
posted by MuffinMan at 1:17 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Always Utilize Cross Breezes

Also works on getting smoke out of small kitchens after your burn all the pancakes and you have no fan at all.
posted by dabitch at 1:18 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


that pro-tip is going to come in handy as I do indeed have this very problem

Extra bonus pro-tip: turn light off before touching live parts exposed by breakage with damp potato.
posted by flabdablet at 2:08 AM on March 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


I was once working with someone in a hot part of the U.S. and we went out to lunch in her big fancy SUV under a hot noontime sun. The entire rear window could roll down with a control on the dash and so she rolled down all of the windows after we got in. With the rear window completely open, as we drove off all of the heated air was left behind in the parking space. It was pleasantly breezy like being in a convertible but without the sunburn.
posted by XMLicious at 2:13 AM on March 19, 2012


If only this worked with bicycles.

It does.

As long as by work you mean "kills cyclists"

(You can also get solar powered fans on ebay that sit on your window like old time Drive-In sound systems and circulate air the whole time your car is parked)
posted by srboisvert at 3:13 AM on March 19, 2012


Floam, if MiltiFaceted's link doesn't do it for you, look into the thermostats made to control attic fans.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:37 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hadn't heard of it

You don't have to have "heard of" the idea of letting the hot air out of a car by flapping the door back and forth. How does a person not just naturally try this?
posted by DU at 4:47 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


WTF, why didn't this ever occur to me???
posted by indubitable at 5:19 AM on March 19, 2012


I've never actually done this, but I do have Jeeves do it before he brings the Bentley around to the front door.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 5:42 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Autostart, Yo.

WHY didn't I have this last summer when loading a tiny baby into my car? Oh no, I just sat around waiting for the damn thing to air out like a jerk. GAAAAHHHH.

I'd get one this year, but the kid's a year old now. He can get his thighs stuck to his car seat like a man.
posted by sonika at 6:06 AM on March 19, 2012


MartinWisse: "Next up: how half a potato can get a broken light bulb out of a socket!

Sarcasm or not, that pro-tip is going to come in handy as I do indeed have this very problem.
"

Two other tips:

1. Raw potato.
2. Power to light off.

Trust me.
posted by Splunge at 6:36 AM on March 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Leave the light on and it won't be raw for long.
posted by Edison Carter at 6:48 AM on March 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


For some reason I was hoping that a quantity of dry ice would be tossed into the car, or some such dramatic flourish. But hey, this makes sense. Now if only I owned an automobile. Oh, but my apartment doesn't have A/C! So perhaps the hour I spend opening and slamming my front door this summer will lower my apartment temperature by a few degrees, barely offseting the massive sweat I work up opening and slamming my front door.
posted by obscurator at 6:53 AM on March 19, 2012


I've never actually done this, but I do have Jeeves do it before he brings the Bentley around to the front door.

I knew the brand was ruined when they stopped requiring a climate-controlled garage to sell you one.
posted by Dr Dracator at 7:33 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Scientists have known for years that mammals with small lung capacities will exhale air two degrees (on average) cooler than than the air they inhale -- if the the air they inhale is 71 degrees or warmer. So if you put a small mammal into a small confined, warm space, their lungs are going to process the air and slowly cool that space. This only works in rather small spaces.

That is why whenever I leave my car out in the sun, I always roll up the windows tight and leave a dog or two (depending on whether it is a sedan or an SUV to keep the vehicle cooler while I am not in it. This trick also works well with babies, as their lungs are the right size.
posted by flarbuse at 9:38 AM on March 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


I drive a black car, my old car was gold-colored, so I'm aware of the difference that car color makes in interior temperature. Also, during the warmer seasons, I will open the door and let my car air out some before getting in (largely when the air coming out of my car stops being 'off-the-grill' wavy).

However, in all my years dealing with nasty and often bipolar Virginia springs and summers, I have never once seen anyone put a window down and pump the hot air out anywhere ever.

Can I use my anecdata to be arrogant too?
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:59 AM on March 19, 2012


What's the reasoning behind opening the just opposite window vs. opening the whole opposite door?
posted by kcds at 10:31 AM on March 19, 2012


Maybe it's an attempt to take advantage of the hot-air-rises thing, thinking that the air at the floor is cooler, so you don't want to get rid of it as much as that near the roof.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:03 AM on March 19, 2012


kcds: What's the reasoning behind opening the just opposite window vs. opening the whole opposite door?

Mostly malarkey. Any path that goes through the vague center of the car will be efficient. Opening doors on both sides will work even better; the "window open a small amount" is a distraction from what you're really trying to do: move the hot air mass out.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:33 AM on March 19, 2012


Well - I'm not so sure, which is the reason I asked. It seemed to be very deliberate - open door, roll down window, close door. I'm wondering if there's something about creating a certain amount of impedance to air flow to make it move faster on the way in, to create turbulence or something. I even wondered if it was a crude kind of one-way valve so the car door movement creates a pumping action rather than just a waving-a-mass-of-air-around action.

Or, yeah, it could just be malarkey.
posted by kcds at 11:45 AM on March 19, 2012


I learned about this maybe a year or so ago. It's kind of a hassle if you don't have automatic windows, and you can always just drive around with the windows open for a little bit.

I've always thought cars should contain a bottle with air that would compress as you drive it. If the car gets hot out in the sun for a while, you could release the air and quickly cool the car.
posted by delmoi at 12:14 PM on March 19, 2012


I like to do that with nitrous oxide. But no driving ensues. Much flying though.
posted by Splunge at 1:10 PM on March 19, 2012


Of course, there's always just sacrificing fellow riders/random bypassers to Criozon, Master of the Northern Wastes to have His Polar Magnificence chill the vehicle for you.

Protip - Using the Criozon route also makes sure any beverages in the vehicle are deliciously cool also.
posted by Samizdata at 1:27 PM on March 19, 2012


flabdablet writes "turn light off before touching live parts exposed by breakage with damp potato."

Just turning off the switch isn't enough to guard against shock, you should shut the breaker off as well.
posted by Mitheral at 6:43 PM on March 19, 2012


Can I use my anecdata to be arrogant too? -- No one who has been here since 2004 should need to ask such questions.
posted by crunchland at 7:05 PM on March 19, 2012


This is probably the first time I've watched a how-to video on the web and it turned out to be something I'd independently figured out on my own.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:47 PM on March 19, 2012


A usual, when it comes to auto stuff, Brockles has it right, it seems to me. Airflow is exactly what you want. How you achieve it is up to you. Jeep owners have Bikini Tops not to keep the rain out, but to reduce skin-burn in summer.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 9:02 PM on March 19, 2012


Next up: how half a potato can get a broken light bulb out of a socket!

Note that this does not work with fluoro lights. For those you need to use mashed potato.
posted by Sutekh at 6:01 AM on March 20, 2012


I've always thought cars should contain a bottle with air that would compress as you drive it. If the car gets hot out in the sun for a while, you could release the air and quickly cool the car.

delmoi, for a brief second I thought this was kind of neat... until I realized that simply powering the AC off your car battery was essentially the same thing, sans the air storage.

Rube-Goldberg alternative, though.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:11 PM on March 20, 2012


...simply powering the AC off your car battery was essentially the same thing, sans the air storage.

You cannot power the air-conditioning from the battery. The AC compressor is driven by a belt on the engine. No engine, no compressor. No compressor, no cold air.

You can power the cabin-air fans to pull in outside air with the battery, but it won't do you a lot of good. The outside air drawn in that way has to pass through all the ductwork inside the dashboard, and that ductwork is at least as hot as the inside of the car. Probably hotter. So you've got to cool the ducts before the air coming out of them is any cooler than the car's interior. If the car is still in the sun and absorbing its energy, the ducts may never cool. The other problem is that running the fan motors is a significant drain on the battery. If you ran them long enough, you wouldn't be able to start the car.

I am kind of doubtful that releasing compressed air would do much to cool off the car. Certainly the compressed would be cooler when expanded than when compressed, but you'd need an awful lot of it to do much.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:39 PM on March 20, 2012


This bad boy cranks out 425 CFM. Even on a full size car that's a complete air change every 15-20 seconds.
posted by Mitheral at 3:00 PM on March 20, 2012


I've always thought cars should contain a bottle with air that would compress as you drive it.

A guy I knew INSISTED that you could have an air powered fan that would charge a hybrid battery and so give extra 'free' energy to propel the car along. This reminded me of that conversation a bit.

Not anywhere near as much wtf, but similar...
posted by Brockles at 3:17 PM on March 20, 2012


There are actually air-powered cars but they have nothing to do with perpetual motion.
posted by XMLicious at 6:04 PM on March 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Mostly malarkey. Any path that goes through the vague center of the car will be efficient. Opening doors on both sides will work even better"

-Sphincters, people. I'm definitely not an air-exchange scientist (and this is just a spur-thought [could be completely wrong, this discussion using the example of "computer cooling" makes me see I really have no factual/rational idea]), but my gut makes me think I'm not so sure that statement is true. It's a negative pressure thing, right? This seems like it would only be true if there is already steady and strong flowing air in the environment where you are. If the air is stagnant, it will not generate cross breeze easily. In still air, it seems to work better to have the "out" side smaller. The goal is air exchange, so if the whole door is open, it will maybe limply push some out, but if you have only a small "out", won't the air move around inside more, then push out of the window, a swirling/mixing of the inside air, which seems good (think of a balloon, with the "lips", you release it and it has this large amount of pressure, and it can even fly around, pushing air quite far, but that same amount of air, released in a "popping" event... pushes almost no air any great distance, popped balloons [all the pressure diffusely boomed out in one go] pop, it goes limp, and goes nowhere, they probably have similar energy potential, but one works well for using air pressure to generate directed air exchange, the other makes a bang, and totally diffuse air exchange]).

However, as in houses, a well timed synchronous opening/closing of doors on opposite sides might create a "sympathetic" breathing process, blow/suck physics, so the "two doors" approach might work best in that way (opening the opposite side draws out the air, which was compressed by the closing of the first door [so synchronous "open/close/open/close" could make this trick even better]) IANAHH, I am not a house 'hacker', I am not your house 'hacker'.

I've been thinking about this, and how to over-engineer this, since this is a useful technique, but several people have pointed out it is not an over-developed solution seeking a problem (also too simple since anyone can utilize it)... to that end, I present this video, which uses an absurd set of technology to simulate a very similar (air-exchanging) outcome (other proof of concept for this technique).

I just like how we're commenting in English about a Japanese video that was rebroadcast in Chinese (on Taiwan) and posted on YouTube by someone who apparently speaks Portuguese.

(Not related/derail [except that the west wing can sort of be relevant to anything], The west wing made me think of close to this: English, to portuguese, to Batak and back [Mr. Ziegler, why don't we just speak english]).

posted by infinite intimation at 11:57 PM on March 21, 2012


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