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Does Car AC Use Gas?

When you’re sitting in stop-and-go Kansas City traffic on a hot summer day, you may briefly wonder, does car AC use gas? Yes. Your car’s air conditioning system pulls energy from the alternator, which is powered by the engine – the engine, of course, runs on fuel. So if you’re running low on gas it’s best to be prudent about your AC use, but there are some instances where using the AC can actually be more efficient than not using it! Get all the facts you need to know in the guide below, courtesy of the Hendrick Chevrolet Shawnee Mission service center team.

How Does Car AC Work?

Air conditioning systems are largely the same across auto manufacturers and their various models. The AC system runs on refrigerant, a high-pressure gas. No matter your make and model, the components that make up your car’s AC system will include:

  • Compressor — aptly named, the compressor compresses the refrigerant from a gaseous state to a fluid state, allowing it to flow through a line to the condenser
  • Condenser — once at the condenser, heat is pulled away from the refrigerant. Then, the refrigerant is sent to the expansion valve or orifice tube
  • Expansion valve or orifice tube — once here, the refrigerant is returned to its original gaseous state and moved to the receiver/drier or accumulator
  • Receiver/drier or accumulator — here, moisture is pulled from the refrigerant before transferring it to the evaporator
  • Evaporator — finally, the evaporator pulls heat from the air that passes through its core and transfers it into the refrigerant. The cold air flows beyond the evaporator and keeps you cool as you cruise through Shawnee Mission.

How Can Running Car AC Be Fuel-Efficient?

When you’re traveling from Merriam to Overland Park at highway speeds, you might think that rolling your windows down to keep cool is more efficient than running the AC, knowing that the AC system uses gas. According to the EPA, however, using your car’s AC system can actually be the more fuel-efficient choice when you’re driving at highway speeds. Open windows create aerodynamic drag at these speeds, which requires your engine to work harder, thus using more fuel.

Tips for Being a Fuel-Efficient Driver

Rolling the windows up at highway speeds is just one of many ways you can be a more fuel-efficient driver. Here are some additional tips to help you spend less time and money at the pump:

  • Brake gradually
  • Always keep your tires properly aligned and filled at the right PSI
  • Don’t allow your car to idle for more than 30 seconds
  • Keep your cargo area as light as possible
  • Minimize the need to blast your AC when you return to the car by using a sun reflector
  • Always buy the proper grade of engine oil
  • Mind your speed, and drive in a higher gear

For More Auto Tips You Can Trust, Turn to Hendrick Chevrolet Shawnee Mission!

Searching for additional auto tips? Suspect that your car’s AC system in need of maintenance? Contact us to start a conversation or schedule an appointment at our Merriam service center! For all of your automotive needs, Hendrick Chevrolet Shawnee Mission is here with the advice you can rely on and the specials to help you save. Check out our guide to alternators to explore more of our top service tips!

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Hendrick Vehicle Disclaimer:

$699.00 Dealer Administrative Charge not included in advertised price.

 

Advertised prices EXCLUDE options added by the dealer and displayed on the vehicle’s window sticker addendum. Please contact dealer for additional details.

 

All prices exclude all taxes, tag, title, registration fees and government fees. Out of state buyers are responsible for all taxes and government fees and title/registration fees in the state where the vehicle will be registered. All prices include all manufacturer to dealer incentives, which the dealer retains unless otherwise specifically provided. Dealer not responsible for errors and omissions; all offers subject to change without notice; please confirm listings with dealer.

 

All vehicles may not be physically located at this dealership but may be available for delivery through this location. Transportation charges may apply. Please contact the dealership for more specific information. All vehicles are subject to prior sale.


Must purchase a new, in-stock Chevrolet Silverado 1500 from Hendrick Chevrolet Shawnee Mission between June 24th through July 4th to qualify. Inbound, ordered, pre-ordered and previously sold vehicles do not qualify. All Silverado 1500 ZR2 models do not qualify. Offer cannot be combined with any other incentives or dealer discounts. Gas card will be provided on location or by mail within 30 days of appraisal. Offer cannot be exchanged for cash. One gift card per vehicle purchase. Please see team for details.

 

Additional Disclaimers:

 

*APR and cash allowance vary by model. Length of contract limited. Must finance with GM Financial. Some customers may not qualify. Not available with lease and some other offers. Take new retail delivery by 7/5/22.

*APR and cash allowance vary by model. Length of contract limited. Must finance with GM Financial. Some customers may not qualify. Not available with lease and some other offers. Take new retail delivery by 7/5/22.

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Main 913-305-3320 Sales 913-305-3320 Fleet 913-305-3324 Collision Center 913-305-3320
8300 Shawnee Mission Parkway 8300 Shawnee Mission Parkway
Merriam, KS 66202
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Main 913-305-3320 Sales 913-305-3320 Fleet 913-305-3324 Collision Center 913-305-3320
8300 Shawnee Mission Parkway 8300 Shawnee Mission Parkway
Merriam, KS 66202
Glovebox
Hendrick Chevrolet Shawnee Mission 39.0157, -94.6792.