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Author Topic: No A/C = better MPG Back to Topics
RobertT1977
Rookie Author
Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Jul 21, 2011 10:08:31 AM

My A/C in my cars has been out of comission for a little over a year and in that time I have seen the best fuel economy in my car in the 11 years I have owned it. Of course wearing a suit and driving a car with no A/C when it is 96 degrees outside is not very enjoyable, but at least I am seeing some minor savings at the pump.
REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
WilhamClouse
Champion Author Calgary

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Message Posted: Feb 8, 2015 11:12:14 PM

Maybe, but my comfort is more important than a little fuel economy.
lilmx5guy
Veteran Author Scranton

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Message Posted: Feb 8, 2015 12:56:36 PM

A/C has become standard equipment in even most base model cars because people don't want to do without it. The MPG penalty for using it in a modern car is negligible, and the added effectiveness of defogging with it on can be considered safety related. Riding around with the windows down instead can actually reduce your MPG on the highway more than A/C anyway.
cv
Champion Author Raleigh

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Message Posted: Feb 7, 2015 6:18:08 AM

AC is a small price to pay for comfort.
Mininana
All-Star Author New York

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Message Posted: Feb 6, 2015 11:09:03 AM

to ray 44512... my sentiments exactly
Mininana
All-Star Author New York

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Message Posted: Feb 6, 2015 11:08:08 AM

my experience is that using the ac with the windows tightly shot affects mileage very little, if at all, and I was prepared to find otherwse
hyeglenn
Champion Author Fresno

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Message Posted: Feb 6, 2015 9:36:03 AM

AC is always on in my car.
WilhamClouse
Champion Author Calgary

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Message Posted: Jan 27, 2015 7:44:27 PM

I am willing to pay a little extra for my driving comfort
LibertyGuardian
All-Star Author Arizona

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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2015 1:18:53 PM

Never been that hard up...my condolences.
twt
Champion Author Virginia Beach

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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2015 6:38:09 AM

I still prefer to use the ac.
hoopitup2000
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2015 6:29:49 AM

Most people don't realize they are using the A/C every time they select defrost or defog. Pretty sure most if naot all cars have done this automatically for years.
ray44512
Veteran Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Jan 24, 2015 4:38:09 PM

Turning the A/C on in a mid 70s car was like hitting the brakes, the load was that great. Modern cars don't suffer from this. I don't see any difference in mpg.
GLM4205
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Jan 24, 2015 3:11:18 PM

I use it when needed.
poetdog73
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Jan 23, 2015 8:40:50 AM

convertible?
hoopitup2000
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jan 23, 2015 6:35:13 AM

In the winter, most don't have a choice. The compressor is automatically activated on many cars when any defrost mode is selected.
pinbuster2005
Champion Author New Hampshire

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Message Posted: Dec 27, 2013 3:34:39 AM

With today's automobiles that isn't really the case. In fact in the summer at highway speeds you'll get better fuel economy with the A/C on and the windows up then you will with the A/C off and the windows down.
the1roadhog
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Dec 26, 2013 9:26:36 AM

Who cares? Got to have the AC
OilerFan
Champion Author Tulsa

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Message Posted: Dec 26, 2013 7:59:23 AM

When the weather is uncomfortably hot, I'll pay the extra.
hoopitup2000
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Dec 26, 2013 6:56:53 AM

About a 1 MPG hit with my car.
BartandLisa
Champion Author Newfoundland

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Message Posted: Dec 25, 2013 12:55:50 PM

Slight difference these days
ny10
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Dec 6, 2013 10:16:47 AM

True, No A/C = better MPG
ricebike
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Sep 19, 2013 12:35:14 PM

i use it when needed

hyeglenn
Champion Author Fresno

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Message Posted: Sep 19, 2013 9:05:09 AM

Not really.
Jdanek630
Champion Author Massachusetts

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Message Posted: Sep 18, 2013 7:29:46 PM

I've owned my Civic Hybrid since Jan 2010, and I've never used the A/C - not even once. This despite living in MA with some sweltering hot and humid summer days.
DHIGAJ
All-Star Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Sep 18, 2013 6:24:11 PM

yes
pinbuster2005
Champion Author New Hampshire

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Message Posted: Sep 12, 2013 2:17:37 AM

In older automobiles that was the case. In today's automobiles not as much especially at highways speeds. If you have your windows open at highway speeds your going to create more drag and make your engine work harder thus use more fuel than having the windows closed and the A/C on. City driving might be a little different but I'm not sure since 95% of my driving is done on roads that are speed limit 55mph or better.
Boyrr
Champion Author Allentown

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Message Posted: Sep 11, 2013 6:45:26 AM

No A/C = 1 hot and sweaty driver
justinemt14
Champion Author Philadelphia

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Message Posted: Sep 11, 2013 4:27:32 AM

Agreed.
ecuwiumiu
Rookie Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Sep 10, 2013 12:30:46 AM

I guess it will be different.
Camry05
All-Star Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Sep 10, 2013 12:19:48 AM

Smaller engines will show more difference when run without use of the AC, as compared to larger engines. When you turn on the AC in a 1.5L I4, you will feel the momentary power loss a lot more than on a 4.6L V8, if at all you feel it.
dgsteven
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Sep 9, 2013 3:31:54 AM

yes, there is difference
Titanic1985
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Sep 3, 2013 9:33:11 AM

Not utilizing air-conditioning in a vehicle doesn't really make sense. First, there is the initial cost of over $1,000 for this option whether you use it or not. If you choose not to use it, the seals and o-rings used throughout the system will dry out and leak freon which, if it utilizes R22, can far outweigh gas savings. Even R134a failures are costly as the system must be tested, purged and refilled if their is a failure. Enjoy what you've purchased. As a car ages that additional expense when it was new sharply declines at resale time, especially if it doesn't function.
pt1KY
Champion Author Lexington

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Message Posted: Sep 3, 2013 8:59:33 AM

Huge difference in my PT Cruiser without air in town!
Glasman
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Sep 2, 2013 9:48:29 AM

less than 1 mpg difference with my ride- who want to be uncomfortable ?
riverrising
Champion Author Missouri

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Message Posted: Sep 2, 2013 9:05:32 AM

I use it,compressor on anyway, way belt rides. minium level.
my ride my way

[Edited by: riverrising at 9/2/2013 9:06:41 AM EST]
StArrow68
Champion Author Oakland

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Message Posted: Sep 2, 2013 3:32:43 AM

So what? Comfort has a cost, in this case a very minor one.
justinemt14
Champion Author Philadelphia

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Message Posted: Sep 2, 2013 3:17:56 AM

Agreed.
Boyrr
Champion Author Allentown

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Message Posted: Jul 10, 2013 9:14:36 AM

No A/C = Hot, sweaty driver, saves almost no fuel
cv
Champion Author Raleigh

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Message Posted: Jul 10, 2013 5:58:17 AM

I try to save by other means, A/C is needed in my area.
superman1AZ
Rookie Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Jul 7, 2013 7:11:42 PM

No a/c, puts less load on engine due to compressor lag, but if you open the windows to circulate air, that creates drag. This can cause lower mileage depending on the aerodynamics of the vehicle. Trucks are especially susceptible to destabilized air flow and drag due to their design. Best to run the a/c for comfort and overall performance. Just don't "punch it" with a/c on as the motor already has its extra load to deal with.
PatAZ
Champion Author Tucson

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Message Posted: Jul 7, 2013 3:20:39 PM

I'm much too concerned with family comfort to worry about using the a/c or not.

[Edited by: PatAZ at 7/7/2013 3:20:54 PM EST]
GrumpyCat
Champion Author Alabama

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Message Posted: Jul 7, 2013 3:03:57 PM

A/C is not a luxury, it is life support.
Boyrr
Champion Author Allentown

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Message Posted: Jul 7, 2013 11:39:30 AM

On new cars I don't see any savings with the a/c off and windows open. Cose the widows, turn the a/ c on and enjoy the drive
MTK143
Veteran Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Jul 7, 2013 9:25:07 AM

yep
dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Jul 7, 2013 9:22:47 AM

When the hum-o-dity goes above 75% on comes my A/C system, I can handle 80+ F degrees on a normal basis, my vehicles all estimated don't use much over a 4-7% drop in mileage with the A/C on and that is with driver's window often down when I drive solo.

At highway speeds I often set blower speed on low after cabin temps stabilize and humidity is reduced inside. This allows the energy load on engine to become less for fuel savings with A/C on. If the A/C compressor had a vacuum operated clutch instead of electromagnetic the % drain of the ac system would be less.

Modern compressors don't pull as much hp. load as the older units plus the electric fan coolant motors relax at highway speed if everything else is operating is kosher. myop...........
Banjoe
Champion Author Winnipeg

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Message Posted: Jul 6, 2013 8:40:12 AM

Same reality in your home and office. Shut them all off and save money.

Comfort, on the other hand, may be work a few bucks to you. Your money; your decision.
eyegotgas2
Champion Author British Columbia

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Message Posted: Jul 6, 2013 7:18:42 AM

Haven't gotten around to testing the theory. Going to have to try though.
StArrow68
Champion Author Oakland

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Message Posted: Jul 6, 2013 6:07:00 AM

According to latest stuff I read, the difference in cost is minimal. That agrees with what experience in the Vette.
mnrick041
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jul 6, 2013 5:55:01 AM

I am willing to pay for the comfort. Getting in a hot car on a summer day is not a pleasant experience, sort of like climbing into a oven and I am not going to drive without AC just to save a dollar or two each week.
Mikeyl
Champion Author Cleveland

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Message Posted: Jul 5, 2013 6:36:06 PM

Here's the guide I've alway been told to go by (from a mechanic):

Under 50, use the windows. Above 50, use the A/C. The drag created by the windows being open is worse than the A/C usage.
lyanMI
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Jul 5, 2013 11:28:11 AM

I can't drive without AC
PaylessKY
Champion Author Kentucky

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Message Posted: Jul 5, 2013 9:16:01 AM

I don't like paying more to fill my vehicle than needed, but comfort is better than the little extra in savings.
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