Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Temperature related car colors

While living in FL I have always been careful to choose a lighter car color when ordering a new car. Aside from this I have always felt that there is nothing better looking than a CLEAN Black car. Have there been any studies done concering the difference in temp inside a closed black car to a lighter color? Also I can never get my black walled tires to shine nearly as well as they do when I pick up a new car. Any suggestions on a tire spray that will help me achieve this shine. Thank you for your time.

White is best, Black is worst…Nobody other than yourself and maybe a few stray dogs care about shiny black tires…

If you are having trouble keeping the tires clean and shiny then you can forget the black car.

Black shows every spec of dirt and you will be forever washing your car. As others point out, white and silver reflect the most light, while flat black (a favorite with old pickup truck owners) absorbs the most and would be the hottest.

Black is popular in England, as it is supposed to show you have “class”. Most limousines and government cars are black.

I like classy colors such as Indigo Dark Blue, and Metallic dark burgundy.

I had a white car once, but in most of North America, every spec of rust ( and that’s unavoildable) shows up. I would avoid white.

If you air conditioning, who cares what color is the coolest; your engine will just work a little harder.

In addition to black paint being the hardest to keep clean and good-looking on an ongoing basis, black paint is the most susceptible to showing the effects of automatic car washes. Those brushes or cloths that whirl against the paint leave swirl marks on all colors, but they become painfully obvious with black paint.

The sun does a number on black and red paint jobs. I currently own what will be my last red car. As the son of a traffic engineer, I would never own a black car. I prefer a bright color that can easily be seen by others. My next car will probably be white or silver. As for tires, I use Armour all or one of its competitors, but being unconcerned about the shine of my tires, I don’t use it often, and I have been told it should never be used on motorcycle tires.

Khaki is the perfect color in the rural south for the same reason it became a common color for clothing. Khaki clothes and cars are the same color whether dirty or clean and although white cars are cooler they aren’t often white so why fight it.

We have a black car, bought new in '01. Up until last year it looked stunning when it was clean and waxed. I always hand washed and used a teflon based wax. When the wife washed it, she always used “touchless” car washes. In an effort to save myself some aggravation, I had it cleaned and polished at a local car wash chain. The paint has suffered much from that extended “polishing” , and all the top areas are forever damaged now. /sigh. Guess that’s what happens when you try and save yourself some time and/or trouble.

I also have a white SUV, and all summer long, there’s virtually no difference inside the cars with regards to temp.

When I bought the car in FL in the middle of summer, I didn’t believe the salesman when he said the paint color made very little difference. So…I went out and purchased 2 identical thermometers. Put one in a white car, one in a black car (same year/make/model), parked them next to each other, and monitored them periodically throughout the very warm day (it hit 98 that day, if I remember right). I hate to admit it, but he was right. There was only a couple degrees difference between the internal temps in the 2 cars.

morale of the story: Buy the color you want, and care for it. Treat it right, all the time. It’ll serve you well.

The moral of your story is boosting my morale.

I’ve heard the window tint has more impact on internal temperature than the color of the car body. The color of the interior probably has an impact, but you don’t want a bright colored dashboard. They reflect on the inside of the windshield on a bright day, making it hard to see.

Mythbusters did a test, found that black cars heated up a bit faster than white. Seemed like about 20% due to paint color, the rest due to sunlight through the windows, so Whitey’s right, heavier tints help keep the interior cooler. I had 3 black cars in a row, pain to keep clean but looked nice when they were…

Granted, they may heat up a tad faster, but the overall temp reached was no different.

I also did get the windows tinted, and I always use sunshades in the windshield; makes a tremendous difference. Black dashboards on both, with a flat finish. Any other color or any shiny surface merely reflects back into the window…and in your eyes.

It doesn’t matter if you roll the windows down immediately. It’s amazing how fast the interior cools off if all 4 windows are down. My Accord has a feature on the fob that allows you to roll all the windows down remotely. Just tough the door unlock a second time and hold it down; the windows all roll down. I’m sure other brands must have this feature now, too.

 Rod has it right about tan.  I had a tan VW, it was great in most all parts of the country.  Black has to be the worst for easy maintenance and if you are in somewhere like Florida, the locals will all be laughing at you.

I use silver tarps because of it’s reflective properties and prefer silver cars for the same reason. My boats and passengers are all thankful. Manufacturers of objects made in part of thermal plastics all require color a consideration in tarp usage. Cars are in this category. Tan and white are my alternate choices.

Black paint absorbs much more solar energy than clean white paint. Thus the exterior is going to get hotter. Not all that heat transfers to the inside of the car but some of it does making the interior hotter. If you get a chance touch a black car and a white car that are next to each other. You will be able to tell the black is hotter. I had a Mini Cooper and it was white with a black top. The difference in temperature on a sunny day was amazing.