Auto Cool

Does it Work Wednesday
Auto Cool
By: Lauren Keith
I received about 100 e-mails from Heartland News viewers requesting I try the Auto Cool. It claims to cool your parked car down, even making it some 30 degrees cooler, simply by sucking out the hot air inside.  It's a solar-powered fan you simply place on your car window, after you've parked.  Did I say, "simply?"
First, you apply weather stripping to the car's window, that way thieves and even rain can't get in.  However, the company didn't send enough stripping to fully the cover the window of the car we're testing.  Plus, I found it very tricky to get the stripping to stay put.  It's time consuming.
We place the Auto Cool in its spot and get our thermometers ready. We've got two identical cars ready for this test. We'll see if the Auto Cool really can cool our car down 30 degrees.

So far, we can see it's working. The sun powers up the fan.  However, when I shut the door, it completely broke in half, surprising me and my photographer.  We're frustrated and shocked, but determined to get this thing working.  We use a screwdriver and try again.  This time I close the door gently, but no luck.  The Auto Cool falls apart right in my lap! And now, I want some answers.

I phoned Auto Cool customer service and recorded our conversation. 
"Each time we've rolled the window up and shut the door, it's snapped in half! I just don't know what's going on," I say to the customer service representative.
"Sometimes the automatic windows do that. It works better on older cars with regular windows," is the official reply.
However, the directions don't say that, nor does the TV commercial. I also learn something else from this phone conversation.
"It should not be used on tinted windows. The ads don't explain that too well. A lot of people are happy with it, but the people who aren't have SUV's and tinted windows," says the representative.
Plus, he tells me I should shut the door before placing the Auto Cool on.  Then, roll the windows up.  My question is - how am I supposed to get out of the car? You're not supposed to drive with this thing.  I guess I could put it in the window of the back seat and crawl over to roll the windows up, but that seems like a lot of hassle and certainly not want the product makers advertise.
"Does it really cool it thirty degrees cooler?" I ask the customer service rep.
"It can. It uses the cooler air from outside to cool it and circulate it around," he says.
What? That sounds like you're just putting more hot air in your car, kind of like the hot air made in these claims!  I've shipped the Auto Cool back, and I will retest a new one, according to the "newer" instructions I received over the phone.

If I could give this product a grade based on lack of instructions and frustration, well, you know I'd fail it!  However, it's not fair to do that just yet, so stay tuned.  Until then, I'm just as disappointed as you. I guess we'll continue sweltering in our cars together.