Auto Cool Test #2: Does It Work?
By: Lauren Keith
As promised, here is the full test on the Auto Cool. Last July, this item broke in half! So, I sent it back and the company gave me a new one. I also learned some very interesting information from the Customer Service rep. We'll now see if the Auto Cool can really cool your hot, parked car down, possibly even by 30 degrees! If it works, it could be one of the best inventions we've seen in awhile. The Auto Cool is a solar-powered fan that hangs on your car window, promising to suck out hot air inside.
Customer Service says the Auto Cool does not work on most SUV's or cars with tinted windows. Also, it's not recommended for cars with automatic windows. Again, these are all instructions you don't hear about in the infomercial. So, I head to Coad Toyota with a brand new Auto Cool in tow.
Just like in the commercial, we have two identical cars---with roll up windows, of course. Remember, the car window with the Auto Cool must face the sun. It can't power up without the direct light. The gadget also comes with rubber "weather stripping." You have to cut the stripping to fit the top of your window. When you place the Auto Cool in the window, there is a gap. So, this weather stripping blocks that, claiming to keep both the rain and potential thieves at bay.
As with the first test, once again the company does not send enough weather stripping. So, we have a small, gaping hole that will definitely let rain through. Even so, we're proceeding with our test.
Next, I place two exact thermometers in each car. Then, it's time to hold my breath. Last year at this point, when I rolled the window up and shut the car door, the Auto Cool snapped in half! But now, I've learned to close the door first, then place the Auto Cool on the window, and finally roll it up. Not exactly easy to do...but we're following the "new" instructions.
"Whew!" the new directions prove to be true. This time, the Auto Cool does not break. Now I leave the two cars to bake in the sun. Right now, the inside temp read 82 degrees in each.
I return four hours later and anxiously await the results. Again, the commercial says this gadget can cool a car down by some 30 degrees. I peer in the window of the car WITHOUT the Auto Cool. The temp is a hot 117 degrees. Now, the moment of truth. I peer into the car window with the Auto Cool, and..........
It's a stifling 115 degrees!
Only two degrees difference!!! Plus, can you really tell the difference between 115 and 117 degrees? Bottom line: temps like that make anyone start to sweat in minutes. Plus, the car with the Auto Cool even had a slight amount of air going through it because of the faulty weather stripping! That actually should have helped matters. It's pretty clear, you should save your 20 bucks and keep those car windows cracked instead. The Auto Cool is without a doubt, the worst product I've ever tested! I guess we'll continue sweltering in those hot, parked cars together.