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NATIONAL (NBC) - If you dread facing the hot seat every time you get into your car - the Auto Cool claims to provide some relief. Is it really a cool gadget - or is it just blowing a lot of hot air?
WIS News 10 parked three light-colored vehicles out in the heat of the day. Judi Gatson put the Auto Cool in the first car, a basic shade in the second, and the third vehicle just had to take the heat. Yes, it's a very unscientific test, but it was just to give an idea of what the Auto Cool can do.
It's a solar-powered ventilation system that claims to keep your car cooler no matter how long it's left in the sun. To install, you just hook the Auto Cool on the middle of the glass, run weather stripping down each side to get a snug fit and raise the window.
There was some difficulty in making the Auto Cool blow. The box says the window must receive direct sunlight to work, but despite that, it didn't seem to start immediately in WIS News 10 testing.
After the problem with the Auto Cool, WIS News 10's Judi Gatson did some research online and found a website where people posted lots of complaints. One person wrote, "The only way to get the fan to come on at all, is to aim it directly at the sun. No car window has that angle!!!"
Another person wrote, "After a few days, I noticed that it was sagging away from the window a little ... the plastic was melting!"
Judi Gatson had to turn the Auto Cool to hit just the right angle at the sun, and the fan started going.
At 2:30pm, the car with the Auto Cool was 142 degrees, and the shaded car was 129 degrees. At 3:30, the car with the Auto Cool was 145 degrees, and the shaded car was 138 degrees.
One viewer e-mailed to say he loves the Auto Cool. Don says, "It would normally take my car 35 minutes to cool down. With the Auto Cool fan, it takes about 3 to 6 minutes."