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Does the Color of Car Really Makes it Hotter?

There are two kinds of people in this world; those who don’t care what the color of their car is and those who are fussy about it. Car enthusiasts belong to the latter list and conduct proper research on available car shades before buying them. The colors of cars are important also because they affect the way you will feel while sitting in them.

The Science behind Heat and the Colors of Car

A car’s color affects its temperature and internal environment. If a vehicle is colored dark, it tends to get hotter as the outer temperature increases. For instance, a black or dark blue car gets very hot on the inside if it is exposed to sunlight consistently. Compared to that, a car painted silver or white stays cool no matter how long it is exposed to the sun.

The science behind the heat affecting the cars of different colors differently is that light colors tend to reflect sunlight easily. Compared to them, the outer surface cannot reflect the sunlight when a vehicle is of a darker shade. Eventually, it absorbs more light, augmenting the car’s temperature. This phenomenon is also known as thermodynamics. This is why the more it stays outdoors, the more it gets warm.

Apart from this, a car exposed to the sharp sunlight for a long period will get heated more than the one that’s gotten less time dealing with it. Alongside this, the internal situation and build of the car also affect its temperature greatly. The color and material of its upholstery decide how comfortable the passengers sitting in it would be!

Does This Thermodynamic Principle Hold True for Exterior Car Color?

The principle of thermodynamics is true for the car exterior color and decides the internal heat according to the outer shade. One reason why this happens is the heat-conducting capacity of the metal. As all the cars are made of metal, this material can absorb heat efficiently.

Another way you can interpret the thermodynamics affecting the car’s temperature according to the shade of its outer structure is the heat distribution. Darker shades can distribute heat across the space much more efficiently than lighter ones. Hence, any car with its external metal painted in a dark hue will likely spread warmth throughout the metal compared to the others.

How Do Color and Material Affect the Interior?

Thermodynamics works similarly for the car’s interior as well. This means that if the car’s dashboard or the seating material is dark in color, they will easily absorb the heat entering the vehicle. Hence, the temperature of the interior will increase exponentially.

Alongside this, the material used at various places inside the car is also greatly responsible for its temperature. For instance, you may find leather seats exquisite and luxurious. However, they get hotter quite fast as leather can absorb heat quickly. It also distributes the temperature across the surface efficiently, making the seats hot fast. Hence, if you want to sit in a cool car for long hours, ditch the leather and opt for good-quality cotton.

So, it’s not the car’s exterior color deciding its inner temperature but the internal material as well.

What If I don’t have a White and Black Vehicle?

If you don’t have a white or black vehicle, it’s completely fine. There are numerous other options available, which you can avail yourself of easily. However, if you are concerned about comfort rather than style, you should opt for a light-colored car.

Having a lighter shaded car will make long-distance travel easier for you. Even if it’s scorching heat and you have to go somewhere far, your car wouldn’t catch the heat. Hence, it would make things comfortable for you and the passenger sitting in the same car.

Dark Colors for Cars are Hotter than Light.

The dark colors of cars are hotter than the light ones. As explained earlier, the theory of thermodynamics comes into play. A light-colored car has an outer surface that doesn’t catch the heat easily. This way, the external sheet doesn’t lead to spreading the temperature everywhere, keeping the car cool.

No matter whether it’s the outside or the inside, the color chosen to adorn the car should be light. If you want to avoid getting roasted while sitting in a vehicle that has been parked in the sun for a long time, you should switch a dark-colored car with the light one. While buying car interior accessories, choose those that come in soothing colors.

Reflection and Absorption of Different Colors of Cars.

Different cars absorb and reflect heat in various manners. It depends on the color of the outer metal they are made of. For instance, the black color absorbs heat faster than the white one.


Dark shades tend to absorb lights of all kinds of wavelengths. However, they don’t reflect any of them. The black color, the darkest of them all, tends to absorb lights of all wavelengths.

As more heat comes inside the car through this dark shade and lesser goes out, dark-colored cars become quite hot when exposed to the sunlight for long hours.


Reflection is the action of sending the heat or light back without letting it enter the surface. Light colors can reflect heat quite easily, and don’t let it penetrate the surface. All dull colors have a weak and narrow absorption spectrum but can reflect the light easily. Hence, no matter the light coming from the outside is of which wavelength, it doesn’t get its way into it.

Final Thoughts

Dark-colored cars tend to get gotten when exposed to sunlight. The vehicle’s outer surface is made of metal, which absorbs heat efficiently if its hue is dark and slower if it is light in color. However, if you still want a dark-colored car, you should use remedies like sun shades, avoiding over-exposure of the vehicle to the sunlight, and parking under shadows or trees. Proper car care will keep it safe from damage in the long run!