Pat Shingleton for Thursday, May 23, 2013

Open vehicle windows will cool the occupants through evaporation; closed windows reduce automobile drag and possibly reduce fuel consumption. In 1933, conditioned air was introduced for luxury cars and limousines; Packard was the first manufacturer to install it in its 1940 models. Twelve years later, air conditioning was a standard feature in the Chrysler Imperial. Since then, virtually all vehicles have air conditioning and around here it is certainly welcome. Experts suggest opening the windows before turning the AC on. Research indicates the car dashboard, seats and even air fresheners emit a cancer-causing carcinogen called benzene and a vehicle in direct sunlight at 60 degrees increases benzene levels by 40 times over acceptable levels. These directives also are identified in your vehicle owner’s manual. Fastcast: Drying.