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Discussion Starter #1
The problem I have with my 2004 Prius is sun coming through the rear hatch window which points almost straight up! I live in the Phoenix Arizona area where as you know, it gets pretty warm! It has been getting into the 90 + temprature range the last two weeks and will only get hotter as we head into summer.
There is a lot of heat in the rear of the car because of the sun shining through that rear hatch window that faces up rather then back! Any ideas on how to help reduce the heat problem from the rear window?

Jerry Flowers
 

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Wish we had your weather problems back here in the Northeast!
How about using one of those sunshades that one often sees protecting the front windshield? I'm sure you could modify one (or two) to fit the rear window.

Hoping its 90' here soon!!
 

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Arizona Sunshine

I have had several hatchbacks. The best way to handle the sun coming through the hatchback window is to install louvers. You have probably seen some on sports cars, like old RX7s and Z-cars.

Check out Pep Boys, AutoZone, Checker, and the speed shops to see if anything they have can be adapted. Also, BAP is pretty good about aftermarket stuff.

The best louvers are black anodized aluminum, if you can find them -- they are the most durable. Be aware though, that the cheap ones rattle (a lot), which can be really annoying. A good set could set you back a couple of hundred dollars.
 

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Well, whatever you install to defeat the hot sun's rays, it may have to be removable or it may interfere with the automatic rear view mirror dimmer, if you have one. Just a thought. :shock:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Re: Arizona Sunshine

Phoenix said:
I have had several hatchbacks. The best way to handle the sun coming through the hatchback window is to install louvers. You have probably seen some on sports cars, like old RX7s and Z-cars.

Check out Pep Boys, AutoZone, Checker, and the speed shops to see if anything they have can be adapted. Also, BAP is pretty good about aftermarket stuff.

The best louvers are black anodized aluminum, if you can find them -- they are the most durable. Be aware though, that the cheap ones rattle (a lot), which can be really annoying. A good set could set you back a couple of hundred dollars.
Don't think I like the idea of louvers back there! Maybe some heavy window tint?
 

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I once lived in an apartment with an enormous south-facing picture window onto an asphalt parking lot. That place was a solar oven! I put aluminum foil over the entire window, shiny side out, and was as cool as a cucumber.

You'd need a way to slip it easily into place and then remove it easily for driving.
 

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Arizona Sunshine

Concerning the louvers, if you get ones designed for the Prius (if there are any), they will also allow room for the rear wiper to operate between the louvers and the glass. I had aluminum louvers on an RX7, and it cut all of the sun coming through the rear deck, allowed the rear wiper to work, and didn't impair your view at night (like window film does).

Also, some metallic window films may interfere with the rear window defogger. I never looked very close, but if they are screen painted on with metal paint, they can short out, or at the very least get hot enough to delaminate cheap window film.
 

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rear sun shade

I like the idea of a light weight rigid barrier the size of the upper widow, perhaps that foam posterboard, loosely hinged at the bottom and clipped to the top. It would lie on the window shade when not used. I look forward to the time I might need it. Snow 8" predicted for later today.
 

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Hi Jerry, as a fellow Phoenix area hybrid hatchback owner I can feel your pain on this one. I would suggest at the least getting a medium if not dark tint on the hatch window. Secondly I went to Home depot and got some of the foil reflective bubble insulation. A big roll of it is ~$40 so it's not cheap but worth it. You'll have to get creative, but make a piece the shape of the rear window and find a way to mount it back there. I'm currently working on a good way to get mine to stay put, thinking cardboard. Also make one for the front windshield too. You will be amazed at the temperature difference it makes. Also this keeps the sun and resultant heat off of the batteries.

If you wanted to take it a step further like I have (saddly Insight's have battery issues with Arizona's heat) Covercraft should make a custom fitted car cover for your Prius. Between the bubble sheets and the car cover I have been able to keep the interior temps only about 5 degrees above ambient, which is pretty good considering thats nearly a 50 degree temp drop when it's 110 out.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Red Insight said:
Hi Jerry, as a fellow Phoenix area hybrid hatchback owner I can feel your pain on this one. I would suggest at the least getting a medium if not dark tint on the hatch window. Secondly I went to Home depot and got some of the foil reflective bubble insulation. A big roll of it is ~$40 so it's not cheap but worth it. You'll have to get creative, but make a piece the shape of the rear window and find a way to mount it back there. I'm currently working on a good way to get mine to stay put, thinking cardboard. Also make one for the front windshield too. You will be amazed at the temperature difference it makes. Also this keeps the sun and resultant heat off of the batteries.

If you wanted to take it a step further like I have (saddly Insight's have battery issues with Arizona's heat) Covercraft should make a custom fitted car cover for your Prius. Between the bubble sheets and the car cover I have been able to keep the interior temps only about 5 degrees above ambient, which is pretty good considering thats nearly a 50 degree temp drop when it's 110 out.
Ricky, I will be getting the darkest tint I can on the hatch window and guess I will go with louvers if some one comes out with a decent looking one!
 

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Louvers on the outside would have to raise havoc with the coefficient of drag. No?
 

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Louvers

The louvers are on the back of the car - drag increase is negligible, but I haven't seen any louvers for the Prius.
 

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Hi, everyone. I live in Oklahoma, not as hot as AZ but definitely has its hot summer days. I drove a hatchback some time back and put a regulation size spare tire back there so I wouldn't have to mess with the do-nut tire. One hot day the spare tire exploded inside the car thanks to a hot afternoon and the greenhouse effect. Hadn't thought about that yet with the Prius.

I have covered parking for work-days, but I think I'll go find some of those folding cardboard things that you put in your windshield while parked, you know, the ones with sunglasses on one side and "send help' on the other? and get two, and put one in front and one in back on days I park it in the sun. Not sure what to do while driving, maybe just crank up the a/c?

Ellen
 

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One other little trick I just remembered. If the cars been sitting in the sun for a while make sure your windows are cracked. Go to the back of the car and open the hatch for about 10 seconds, you'll get a rush of hot air exiting the vehicle. Then the resulting closing of it will force some air out of the front windows as well. So far I've been doing well with the car cover, I only need the ac durring the middle of the day when it's hottest outside.
 
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