Does Car AC Use Gas?

Does car AC use gas? Yes, your air conditioning system in your Ford uses gas to operate if you have a gas-powered car. The alternator is powered by the engine which generates the AC. For proper operation, your vehicle will need to be on and have fuel for the engine. Learn how car AC works with our service team at Webb Ford then explore our new vehicle specials.

How Does Car AC Work?

You know the answer to “Does car AC use gas?” Let’s explore how car AC works. Whether you drive an Explorer or Bronco around Schererville, your AC system works the same. The AC runs on high-pressure gas called refrigerant along with a few more components to operate:

  • Compressor — compresses the refrigerant into a fluid, allowing flow down a line to the condenser.
  • Condenser — eliminates the heat from the refrigerant and moves it to the expansion valve or orifice tube.
  • Expansion valve or orifice tube — changes the refrigerant back to its gaseous state, then transfers the gas to the receiver/drier or accumulator.
  • Receiver/drier or accumulator — removes moisture from the refrigerant and sends it to the evaporator.
  • Evaporator — takes the heat out of the air passing through its core, then sends it into the refrigerant, which results in cold air flowing beyond the evaporator.

Can Using Car AC Be Fuel-Efficient?

If you’re cruising through Munster at highway speeds, then using your AC system is much more efficient than opening windows. This is because an open window creates drag which forces the engine to work harder and ultimately use more fuel. If the weather is hot and you’re on a Griffith highway, crank your AC system and reduce aerodynamic drag.

Tips to Improve Fuel Efficiency

Not only can you use AC on the highway, here are a few other ways to improve your fuel efficiency throughout your daily commute:
  • Brake gradually
  • Keep the tires properly inflated and aligned
  • Avoid idling for over 30 seconds
  • Don’t overload your car
  • Use sun reflectors if you’re parked in the sun
  • Buy the recommended oil for your car
  • Reduce your speed and drive in a higher gear

Discover More Service Tips at Webb Ford!

Still wondering how car AC works? Do not hesitate to contact us! We’ll walk you through the system and our current service specials.

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