If you've ever parked your Ford F-150 under the sun for hours, then you know how hot the truck's interior can get. Studies have shown that car sunshades can reduce this heat build-up significantly. So if you're trying to figure out the sunshade size that you need for your F-150, we've done the research for your convenience.
Universal-fit windshield sunshades measuring approximately 59" x 30" can provide good windshield coverage for 2009 to 2020 F-150 models. However, you may need a slightly larger one for the 2021 and newer models.
For the best windshield and window coverage, you may want to get custom-fit sunshades specifically designed for your F-150 year model. Alternatively, you can make your own sunshades using reflective insulation materials.
Would you like to know more about the different types and benefits of sunshades for your truck? Do read on because we've got a few tips and tricks for you to keep your vehicle cooler during the summer, and warmer during the winter.
What Size Of Sunshade Fits An F150?
Many vehicle sunshades come in different sizes for use in various vehicle segments ranging from sub-compact hatchbacks to full-size trucks and SUVs. Some sunshades cover only the front windshield, while some sunshade sets cover both windshields as well as the windows.
The F-150 has been around since 1975 as part of the sixth generation of Ford's F-series trucks. Because the F-150 has evolved in design and size significantly through the decades, we will only consider the sunshades that will fit the 12th, 13th, and 14th generations (2009 to present).
What Does A Windshield Sunshade Do?
The most commonly-available sunshade for the F-150 and most vehicles is the windshield sunshade. As the name implies, windshield sunshades protect the front cabin area from direct sunlight, including the dashboard, steering wheel, and even the front seats.
Check out the video below on how windshield sunshades work through a real-world experiment using two Ford F-150 trucks parked under the sun.
Windshield sunshades may come in a one-piece or two-piece design. Either way, the best size for a windshield sunshade is one that can cover almost the entire windshield of the vehicle.
Ford F-150 models from 2009 to 2020, you can get good windshield coverage with universal "one-size-fits-most" sunshades measuring approximately 59 inches wide and 30 inches tall. However, this may be just an inch too small around the edges for 2021 and newer models.
For the best windshield coverage, some aftermarket manufacturers custom-fit their sunshades to specific vehicle models, including the Ford F-150.
Are Car Window Shades Necessary?
If you leave your vehicle parked in an open area for several hours, then you have to know that a windshield sunshade won't be enough. As the sun makes its way across the sky, your car will receive sunlight from different angles throughout the course of the day.
For people who use open parking lots regularly, window and rear windscreen sunshades will be very helpful. Together with the windshield sunshade, the side and rear shades will help minimize the heat inside the vehicle cabin all day.
Some companies specialize in making customized, full-vehicle sunshade sets for specific models. Check out this video about a complete sunshade kit for the F-150.
These complete vehicle sunshade sets can be quite pricey, but you know that they'll give you a better fit for all of your F-150's windows and windshields compared to universal sunshades.
Although there are some universal-size reflective window sunshades on the market, finding a good fit for any specific vehicle is not easy. Because of this underserved demand, some car owners just customize their own window and rear windshield shades.
Check out this video on how to save some money and make your own window shades using reflective insulation material and some tape.
Should I Use A Sunshade In My Car?
Studies have shown that a closed car's cabin temperature can exceed the ambient temperature by 70 degrees Fahrenheit if the car is parked out on a hot, sunny day. This means that if it's 95 degrees Fahrenheit outside, parts of your cabin can be as hot as 165 degrees Fahrenheit inside.
That's really hot. In fact, it's enough to cook an egg, literally.
Moreover, intense direct sunlight can damage your dashboard and your steering wheel over time. Aside from cracking the interior plastics and leather, direct heat may also damage your valuables if you accidentally leave them inside the car.
Some car sunshades can reduce cabin temperatures by up to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Although this may still be uncomfortable during summer days, the temperature difference will be very beneficial for you and your car.
- The air conditioning system will be able to cool down your cabin faster
- You'll be able to touch and move your steering wheel immediately
- Your seats won't be painful to sit on
- The car's interior panels and trims will last longer
What Kind Of Car Sunshade Works Best?
Car sunshades can be classified into two groups, namely reflective and non-reflective.
Depending on the opacity of the material, both types of sunshades can prevent sunlight from directly making contact with the cabin's interior components. These include the dashboard, steering wheel, seats, and many others.
Based on studies, however, reflective sunshades work better at keeping cabin temperatures low. Why is this so?
More than half of the sunlight that we receive is in the form of infrared (IR) light. Additionally, around 45 percent is visible light, and the remaining 3 percent or so comes as ultraviolet (UV) light. IR light is heat source, while excessive UV rays can damage both organic and inorganic surfaces.
Both reflective and non-reflective sunshades can block most, if not all, UV rays. A non-reflective sunshade, however, absorbs most of the IR light and therefore heats up itself. This additional heat energy then radiates into the cabin.
In turn, since a reflective sunshade bounces sunlight away from the car, it also bounces some of the heat-inducing IR light. With less IR light, less energy heats up the sunshade and cabin interior.
How Do I Keep My Car From Getting Too Hot?
Aside from using sunshades, how else can you keep your cabin from getting oven-hot during the summer? Here are a few tips:
- Find a shaded parking spot whenever possible.
- Leave at least two windows slightly open to get better airflow inside the car
- Install windshield and window films
- Try installing a remote start feature in your vehicle
How To Remote Start A Ford F-150
Remote start technology is a relatively recent and highly beneficial feature in modern vehicles. Certain trims of the 2022 Ford F-150 come standard with this feature.
The remote start feature makes the cabin comfortable in preparation for the entry of the driver and its passengers. Through the automatic climate control system, you can make your car's interior cooler or warmer, depending on the current ambient temperature.
On remote start-equipped F-150s, the climate control system will work to reach an interior temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit, or 22 degrees Celcius.
- During warm weather, the air conditioning system will cool the cabin interior.
- When the ambient temperature is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the cabin heater, window defrosters, heated steering wheel, and heated seats (if equipped) will activate.
To start an F-150 remotely, you may use your key fob or your phone through the FordPass app. Before doing the remote start sequence, however, you need to ensure the following conditions:
- The vehicle is outside or in a well-ventilated area
- Ignition is off
- Alarm system is not triggered
- Remote start feature is enabled in your vehicle settings
- Engine hood and all doors are closed
- Transmission is in "Park"
- Car battery is healthy
- Engine service reminder light is off
How Do I Remote Start My F-150 Key Fob?
- On your key fob, press and release the "lock" button once
- Within three seconds of releasing the "lock" button, press and release the remote start button twice (2x).
If you do the sequence correctly, the exterior turning lights will flash twice, and the engine will start accordingly. However, if the sequence is incorrect, the horn will sound once to indicate the failed attempt. You will need to restart from step 1.
How Do I Use Ford App To Start My Car?
FordPass is a free app that you can download to your phone from the Apple App Store or Google Play. To start your F-150 using your phone, follow the steps below:
- On your smartphone, click on the FordPass app
- Go to the FordPass Home menu
- Press and hold the "Engine Start" button
Your app will display a message to confirm whether your F-150 has started successfully or not.
Should I Use A Windshield Shade In The Winter?
As discussed earlier, non-reflective sunshades absorb IR light and radiate the resulting heat into the cabin. Furthermore, the retained heat can also help prevent the windshield from frosting or freezing.
Luckily, some sunshades have both reflective and non-reflective sides. During the summer, you can let the reflective side face outwards to reflect the sunlight. During the winter, you can flip the sunshade over and use the non-reflective side to absorb all the infrared light from outside.
Most Ford F-150 models from 2009 until 2022 can use universal-fit windshield sunshades that are 59 inches wide and 30 inches tall. However, you may also buy or even make your own complete, customized set for all the F-150's windshields and windows.
Thank you very much for reading. We hope we were able to help you choose the best sunshade for your Ford F-150.
For more interesting reads about the F-150 and other automotive topics, you may also check out these great articles below.