As we continue to witness severe heat wave across India, car drivers have taken up the mantle to come up with ways to keep their cars cool. A trend that now seems to be catching up is applying cow dung coat on vehicles. Yes, you heard it right. After Sejal Shah of Ahmedabad pulled this stunt a few days ago, now we have reports that Dr. Navnath Dudhal from Pune has followed suit. As we all know, Sejal's Toyota Corolla Altis went viral on internet after she coated it with cow dung. According to a leading regional newspaper, Dr Navnath Dudhal said that he used cow dung on his Mahindra XUV500 to keep it cool. He even claimed that it helps in preventing pollution as the air conditioner is not used much.
The coating on the car has been done in a very dexterous manner. As you can see in the image, the SUV has been completely covered with cow dung except lights and glass area. According to Dr Navnath Dudhal, the car has been given 3 coats of cow dung. He said:
Three coats of cow dung have been applied over the car and it stays on the car for a month. Sun radiations do not harm the car’s roof directly. Therefore, the temperature inside the car is 5-7 degree Celsius less than the outside temperature. The cow dung is removed by water and rubbing it with a cotton cloth. Cow dung stains do not stick to the car’s body and neither the car paint is affected. For some time, the smell of cow dung is felt inside the car, but after a while, no smell remains inside the car.
Before you start laughing at the gimmick, let us tell you that Dr Navnath Dudhal is a senior doctor at Tata Cancer Hospital in Mumbai. Claiming that he regularly studies the benefits of cow urine for cancer patients, he said that this is what served as a source of inspiration. Let us clarify here that so far there has been no proven study to show that cow dung helps in keeping a car cool.
When asked in this regard, Sachin Punekar, founder of an organization working for conserving biodiversity, said,
There is no such research on whether car coated by cow dung repels heat. One needs to assess it properly and then go further with the method. I do not understand the idea of coating car with cow dung, because once the metal is exposed to sunlight, it will heat up. But if this is method really works, then the scientist and researcher should work on it. We can adopt new technology by doing so.
As far as Indians are concerned, we have been using cow dungs for various purposes since ages -- ranging from fuel to building material. In villages in North India, mud houses are covered with cow dung to keep it cool in the summer. We think its high time that paint companies conduct some tests and introduce a new cow-dung paint to keep the cars cool.
Jokes aside, we feel that this is just a new gimmick and is not going to help any car owner fight off the sweltering heat. What causes increase in temperature inside a car is the large glass area that traps sunlight/heat which enters inside. What could be a possibility is that adding cow dung adds an extra layer of insulation to the car surface that affects its temperature. However, nothing could be said for sure as of now. What we do know is that layering our car with cow dung is something we’ll never do.