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Does Car AC Use Gas?

air conditioner button in car


Does car air conditioning use gas? The air conditioning system in your MINI Cooper draws electrical energy from the alternator, which is powered by your gas-driven engine. So, if you’re asking, “Does car AC use gas,” the answer is yes. That being said, using the AC can be more efficient than not using it in some situations. The service team at MINI of Warwick is here to help you learn more about how your car’s air conditioning system works and the role it plays in gas mileage

How Car AC Works 

Air conditioning works basically the same way no matter what kind of vehicle you drive. All AC systems run on a high-pressure gas called refrigerant and include the following components: 

  • Compressor — compresses the refrigerant into a fluid, so that it can flow through the feed line to the condenser. 
  • Condenser — removes the heat from the refrigerant and pushes it along to the expansion valve. 
  • Expansion valve or orifice tube — returns the refrigerant to its original gaseous state and moves it to the receiver/drier or accumulator. 
  • Receiver/drier or accumulator — removes moisture from the refrigerant and transfers it to the evaporator. 
  • Evaporator — pulls heat from the air passing through its core and transfers it into the refrigerant, resulting in cold air flowing beyond the evaporator. 

Can Using Car AC Be Fuel-Efficient? 

Does air conditioning in the car use gas? Yes, but recent studies have shown that using your car’s AC can be more efficient while driving at highway speeds than leaving the windows open. Why? Because open windows create an aerodynamic drag, which causes the engine to work harder and burn more fuel. This is good news if you rely on your car’s air conditioning during the hot summer weather we get in the Providence, RI area. 

Other Ways to Improve Fuel Economy

Along with keeping the windows rolled up when you’re out on the highway, there are a number of other ways to improve fuel economy on the roads in and around Cranston, RI. Here are a few suggestions: 

Rely on the Auto Service Professionals at MINI of Warwick! 

In addition to ensuring that your MINI Cooper AC system is in top condition, the certified technicians in the MINI of Warwick Service Center can provide expert brake repair, transmission service, and all routine maintenance. We keep our prices very competitive with other Newport, RI-area auto shops, and with our service specials and coupons, you can save even more. Schedule service with us and put our team of professionals to work for you today! Meanwhile, check out our service tips and tricks for more automotive advice.

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MINI of Warwick 41.698937, -71.497406.