Why does Air Conditioning Use more Gas?

On the hottest days off summer, cranking up the air conditioning in your vehicle can be the best way to get relief from the heat in your car. Fall is around the corner, but the heat is lingering in Corpus Christi.

If you’ve noticed your gas mileage dipping lower during the summer months, that’s not a coincidence… running the air conditioning means you’ll use more gas in your car!

The air conditioning in your vehicle is powered by the gas engine. That’s why you can’t run the air conditioning when your car is off.

When you turn on the A/C, the engine has to divert some power in order to keep the car cool. The engine will use more fuel and gasoline in order to keep up performance.

Want to stay cool and reduce your footprint? Try these tricks:

  1. Roll down the windows. When you’re driving at low speeds around town, getting some fresh air by rolling the windows down will use less gas than the air conditioning.
  2. Use the fan only. If you still need air flow in your vehicle, you can run the fan without turning on the A/C.
  3. Turn off the A/C early. When you are a few minutes away from your destination, switch off the air conditioning. The remaining cool air can get you to your destination comfortably.
  4. Have the A/C inspected. Qualified technicians will examine the entire system to check for leaking refrigerant or inefficiencies that are costing you gas and money.

Turning on the air conditioning means you will use your fuel faster and reduce gas mileage. It may not be much, but even a small drop in fuel efficiency can add up at the pump.

Make sure your car will keep you comfortable in the heat. Stop by Dub’s Garage for an auto air conditioning inspection to make sure the A/C isn’t costing you more at the pump. Our certified technicians can also give you more tips for improving fuel efficiency and saving at the pump.

Request an appointment online or call our Corpus Christi auto repair shop at 361.444.1355.


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