Black & White cars

When my wife and I were driving around in Puerto Rico in early March we noticed that almost all of the cars (like our rental) were white or another light color.

I assume the heat is the reason for all of the white cars.

I learned at Sea World of all places, that while Polar Bears have WHITE fur as a natural protection to hide in their snowy backgrounds, they actually have BLACK skin - the black skin draws in heat from the sun - its how they stay warm. So, white car paint, with black seats, according to Polar Bears, will be hotter inside. Ronnie - get a light colored interior, you will be glad you did!

In addition, a light color cars paint finish may last longer then a dark color car in a hot climate. The hot surface temperature on a dark car can burn off the clear coat.

way back in time when I got busted for speeding and had to attend traffic school, I was told that the most tickets were issued to white cars. Who knows why? but the more glass you have that lets in sun light the hotter the interior of your car will be. That was one, just one mind you, of the failings of the Gremlin.

While I’m sure black cars are slightly hotter than white ones (assuming same interior colors), the major source of heat is sun coming in through the windows, not through the paint and all the layers in the roof. That’s why sun shades in the windows make such a difference with parked cars.

They get significantlly hotter. The black absorbs more of the sun’s energy and heats up, radiating some of the heat right through the roof and panels and helping heat the interior via the radiant heat. And the interior color matters too. The amount of the sun’s energy absorbed by black upholstery is greater than the amount absorbed by white upholstery.

The principle is simple. The colors we see are actually the energy frequencies in the visable light spectrun that were reflected rather than absorbed. Frequencies absorbed are stored as heat and radiated. Frequencies reflected are not.

Black is the absence of any energy in the visual spectrum being reflected, the total energy having been absorbed. White is the entire visable spectrum having been reflected rather than absorbed.

Note that white will also warm up, because there are also energy waves outside the visable spectrum that get absorbed. Some energy frequencies go right through the material, for example radio waves.