Car Paint Colors & Temperatures

Wilbah

Adventurer
as one who has 750,000 miles on motorcycles every one with a helmet of mostly white but some black or dark gray. I found a difference but when it is really hot did not matter which color as your head put off enough heat on the inside to make them like an oven inside or more like a sauna . I was a Motor for 12 years so rode 10 hours a day in all temps.
Can I ask a stupid question? What does (in this context) being a "Motor" mean? I tried googling it but couldnt figure it out.

Interesting thread. I hadn't really given too much thought to this subject. We just dont have the temps that would cause me to choose s different color based on that. I dont like black (after having three blck vehicles) because they're so hard to keep clean....especially in winter.
 

jadmt

Well-known member
Can I ask a stupid question? What does (in this context) being a "Motor" mean? I tried googling it but couldnt figure it out.

Interesting thread. I hadn't really given too much thought to this subject. We just dont have the temps that would cause me to choose s different color based on that. I dont like black (after having three blck vehicles) because they're so hard to keep clean....especially in winter.
motorcycle cop.
 

Wilbah

Adventurer
motorcycle cop.
Okay thanks....that's what I had figured but the comment about a CHP then becoming a motor kind of threw me. I assumed (yep....there I go again ha) the CHP cop was a motorcycle cop and being a Motor signified something different. Thanks!
 

rayra

Expedition Leader
Here's some temps on my Sub that I shot on July 26 2018

This was about 2pm on a 90F+ day IIRC.
The first pic is the roof, passenger windshield area. The second is aimed at the shade under my solid roof deck. The third is the side glass on the rear passenger door.

 
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Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
Now seriously considering painting the thing a light tan color. I'd already owned a black 4wd pickup decades ago. I knew better. But after looking for a 4wd GMT800 for over a year which met my cosmetic and mechanical condition and price criteria it was black and I didn't care anymore. And a few months later regretted the color choice all over again.
Yeah, I can't believe you live in SoCal and drive a black Suburban.

Wasn't there somebody else in the Expo GMT-800 Suburban Mafia who painted a black suburban with white or tan colored MonstaLiner or something similar? I think he said it made it noticeably cooler inside.
 

JackW

Explorer
Back a few years ago when I was judging a state science fair one of the elementary school kids did an experiment with the cooperation of one of his parents friends who owned a local car dealership. They lined up seven identical cars in a row along the edge of the dealer parking lot. The only variable was the exterior color.

The kid set a big round outside thermometer on the front seat backrest of each car and monitered the cars through a hot south Georgia afternoon with the windows up. The cars ran from white to black with silver, red, blue, tan, and brown. If I remember correctly the white car was about 30 degrees cooler than the black car with the other cars at various temperatures in between. We gave that kid one of our awards for his presentation.

Old Land Rovers had a tropical roof, a sheet of aluminum spaced off the main roof about an inch with insulating spacers. It shaded the main roof and the air flow over and under the tropical panel cooled it and reduced the inside temperature of the truck by as much as fifteen degrees.
 

greg.potter

Adventurer
On the flip side ice melts faster on dark colors in the winter...
There has been a lot of work done on outdoor located electronic cabinets which you can find on the Internet. As noted in the observations above white reflects more solar energy than other colours. In desert climates it very common to incorporate a sun shade into the cabinet design as well.

As for providing heating in the winter ...... Well yes that it's true. A company with a bunch of gas wells in northern Alberta decided that they should paint their wellsite electronic controller cabinets black to help with heating during the winter. During the winter in the north (it commonly hits -40C a few times over the winter), there are few hours of sunlight so the heating from solar gain is negligible. In the summer however the daylight hours are long - so lots of heating. They cooked close to half of the controllers they installed that first year.

The common practice is to paint outdoor electronic cabinets white and if the electronics aren't rated for the anticipated minimum ambient temperatures then insulate them with foil face styrofoam insulation. The foil helps to prevent radiant heat loss in the winter and radiant heat gain in the summer. The styrofoam insulation helps to prevent conductive heat loss in the winter and conductive heat gain in the summer.
 

85_Ranger4x4

Well-known member
There has been a lot of work done on outdoor located electronic cabinets which you can find on the Internet. As noted in the observations above white reflects more solar energy than other colours. In desert climates it very common to incorporate a sun shade into the cabinet design as well.

As for providing heating in the winter ...... Well yes that it's true. A company with a bunch of gas wells in northern Alberta decided that they should paint their wellsite electronic controller cabinets black to help with heating during the winter. During the winter in the north (it commonly hits -40C a few times over the winter), there are few hours of sunlight so the heating from solar gain is negligible. In the summer however the daylight hours are long - so lots of heating. They cooked close to half of the controllers they installed that first year.

The common practice is to paint outdoor electronic cabinets white and if the electronics aren't rated for the anticipated minimum ambient temperatures then insulate them with foil face styrofoam insulation. The foil helps to prevent radiant heat loss in the winter and radiant heat gain in the summer. The styrofoam insulation helps to prevent conductive heat loss in the winter and conductive heat gain in the summer.
It really all depends on what you are doing.

We had something of an ice storm last night. My black F-150 was parked next to my wife’s light silver Edge. At noon hers was froze hard and the ‘150 was starting to drip. Even though we drove the edge to town for lunch it still has more ice on it than the ‘150 which has pretty much melted clear on its own just sitting there. The glass, hood and roof are all clear.

In the summer, I point it East when I park it so the parts I touch are not hot and crack the windows (with vent visors). Then it is about ambient in the cab when I leave work. It has worked well for the 15 years I have had the truck. Living on a gravel road honestly it bothers me more it always looks filthy more than it getting hot.

Now if I was to actually ever go to the desert that would be different.
 
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Grassland

Active member
This is what blows my mind with all the black and dark grey campers popping up.
No thanks!
The insulation and design (ie if stick framed) isn't there to counteract the extra gain from the sun.
Something like a Total Composite camper with minimal conduction and lots of R value would fare better, but I'd still rather have a white/silver/really light grey in any case.
 
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