Does Car AC Use Gas?

Air Conditioning Button
The air conditioning system is certainly a nice feature on those hot summer days around Cadillac, but does air conditioning in the car use gas? The alternator draws its power from the engine and also powers your air conditioning unit. Fuel is necessary for the engine to operate, and the engine is the main source of energy for your vehicle. Although AC in the car does use gas it doesn’t necessarily mean that AC is entirely inefficient when you use it. Learn how using air conditioning can be beneficial and not so beneficial with the service team at Serra Toyota of Traverse City.



How Does Your Car’s AC Work?

Does AC burn car gas? To better understand how your vehicle’s AC system works in conjunction with your vehicle’s fuel economy, it’s important to understand how your car’s AC actually works. The functions can vary slightly depending on what part of the car you drive, but in a nutshell, AC runs on a high-pressure gas called refrigerant. Here are the additional components that your vehicle’s AC uses to function:

  • Compressor: This compresses the refrigerant into a fluid that then flows down to the condenser.
  • Condenser: This component takes heat from the refrigerant and moves the heat to the expansion valve or orifice tube.
  • Expansion Valve or Orifice Tube: This component changes the refrigerant back to its original gas state and then transfers that gas to the receiver/drier or accumulator.
  • Receiver/Drier or Accumulator: This will remove any moisture from the refrigerant and send the moisture to the evaporator.
  • Evaporator: This will take the heat out of the air that moves through the core, send it to the refrigerant, and cold air will flow past the evaporator.

For more service and parts tips, visit our website, or reach out to anyone on our team at Serra Toyota of Traverse City.

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When Can Using AC Be Good for Fuel Economy?

While car AC does use gas, there are times when using your AC can be fuel-efficient on the Manistee roads. For example, when driving at a speed of 60 MPH and over, turning on your AC can be better than rolling down the windows. This is because having your windows open while driving creates more drag, which causes your engine to work harder and therefore use more fuel. So, feel free to use your AC while driving down the highway on a hot summer day.

Additional Fuel-Efficiency Tips & Tricks

So, does AC in the car use gas? Your air conditioning system requires gasoline fuel to function, but as mentioned above, there are times when using your AC can be fuel-efficient. If you’re driving in the winter or don’t want to use your AC all the time, here are some other ways that you can be fuel-efficient when driving around Glen Arbor:

  • Don’t overload your car.
  • Use sun reflectors if you’re parked in the sun.
  • Brake gradually.
  • Keep the tires properly inflated and aligned.
  • Avoid idling for over 30 seconds.
  • Buy the recommended oil for your car.
  • Reduce your speed, and drive in a higher gear.

Not only does air conditioning in the car use gas, but there are also ways that using your air conditioning can help you preserve fuel. For more helpful tips like how to clean leather seats and anything else related to car-care, reach out to us at Serra Toyota of Traverse City.

Keep Your Car in Good Shape in Traverse City

Does AC burn car gas? While it uses fuel to function, we wouldn’t necessarily classify your AC as a “gas burner”. That being said, contact us to learn more ways that you can be fuel-efficient and save more on every drive.


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