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Keeping the Metro cool in the summer

05-04-2011, 10:58 AM
I find my Metro gets extremely hot in the summer especially if left out in the midday sun. I've had things left inside melt or fall apart. I think the construction is poor in terms of keeping heat out. Without ac it is almost unusable in the height of summer.

The ac had a leak which required topping up every year or so, so I finally gave in and pulled the system apart and installed new seals, a new dryer and also took the compressor out and installed a new shaft seal. I've now got nice cold air but it's only good while it is on. As soon as it is parked and ac turned off the temps start climbing quickly. This means it takes longer for the ac to cool and to get comfortable as well as the ac constantly fighting the incoming heat.

I own another car which is very different I assume due to better construction/insulation. I was wondering if anyone on here has tried addressing this issue. Tinting the windows was one option I thought of thought although I'm not sure if it works or legal in our state.

Anyone on here tried things to keep the car cooler?

Metro Mighty Mouse
05-05-2011, 03:49 AM
I haven't made any mods to address the heating issue (I used to live in Fort Worth TX so I understand what you're talking about) but I did buy a solar powered exhaust fan that went in the side window (you rolled up the window and the fan and filler panel fit over the top of the window and into the channel at the top) that worked reasonably well. The real solution is Dynamat, or a similar product. The cheapest version I have heard of is a roofing material for seams in metal roofs, it's sold in rolls about a foot or so wide and is adhesive on one side. You would want to pull the headliner and cover the entire underside of the roof with the product of your choice as well as inside of the doors, quarter panels and inside the hatch. If you want to go all out you can pull the seats and carpet and cover the floor with it as well. It should make a huge difference in the amount heat the metro absorbs during the day.

05-05-2011, 04:51 AM
I have 20% tinted windows, a silver windshield shade, and VentVisors so I can always leave the front two windows open half an inch. These help, but not very much. Parking in the shade helps much more.

I've always thought that bypassing the heater core for the summer would be a huge improvement, having a box full of 200 water right behind the radio is a horrible idea. The best solution would be to install a valve which could be easily switched from "bypass" to "flow through the heater core".

05-05-2011, 11:03 AM
Great info - thanks MMM and Woodie. That Dynamat sounds like it would work the best. I assume my other vehicle probably has something like that installed at manufacture. The other suggestions are good but can be a pain or not always guaranteed - for example getting a spot in the shade (not always possible) or the silver shade for the front windshield. I actually have one of those but after a few times of getting it on and off I gave up.

Bypassing the heater core is an interesting idea. But here in San Diego even in the summer it can get quite cold at night and can require heat whereas you can need ac during the day. So unless the bypass can be controlled electronically from within the cabin it's a pain to be opening the hood and turning it on and off on a daily basis. Interesting idea though!

05-07-2011, 09:21 PM
I think the self adhesive roll product is a great idea too. I have used it in 3 or 4 foot wide rolls. Company called mammoet makes some. It may require a primer coat to the metal to ensure it stays.

I had put fibreglass insulation in the sides of the car by taking the molding out in the rear of the car. I didn't try that on the doors though cause I didn't want to cause an issue with rolling down the windows.

Make sure that your thermostat you have opens at the lowest temperature possible. The rad can help cool the car some this way.

The most useful mod I can think of would be rear windows that open. That missing option on the MK 3 bugs me.

If you're really desperate, you could store (presumably in the back seat) a thermal mass. Jugs of water, or containers of sand. This comes with obvious drawbacks, but guaranteed those items would absorb that heat and dissipate at night. Which means you'd want to leave the windows open a crack.

Good Luck,

05-08-2011, 02:18 PM
I was thinking that it would also be a good thing put to insulation on the engine hood - it should keep the engine bay cooler which would help with heat dissipation from the condenser of the ac. With the engine running and the sun's heat coming through the temp in the engine bay is probably much higher than ambient although it is probably more of an issue when stopped.

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