Will Rolling Down Windows Save Fuel or Not? - Fuelly Forums
Go Back   Fuelly Forums > News and Articles > Automotive News, Articles and Products
Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-21-2005, 12:49 PM   #1
Driving on E
Matt Timion's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,110
Country: United States
Will Rolling Down Windows Save Fuel or Not?

<p><strong>Author:</strong>Arthur, Dani M.</p><p><strong>Publication:</strong>www.bankrate.com</p><p><strong>Date:</strong>08/10/2005</p><p> Red Sox vs. Yankees. Seat up vs. seat down. Microsoft vs. Apple. To the list of issues people feel irrationally passionate about, add one more: Whether it's more economical to drive with windows down or with the air conditioning on. </p>
<p>Gas prices have topped $2 a gallon across the nation, and motorists want to know the truth about which will make their tank of gas last longer. </p>
<p> Bankrate recently published a <a href="http://www.bankrate.com/thirdage/news/auto/fuel-efficient/4.asp">story </a> about 10 money-saving driving tips. No. 9 was innocent enough. We thought. </p>
<p>It said, "Go easy on the air conditioning. Roll down your car's windows and let in the summer breeze. Using the gas-hogging air conditioning as sparingly as possible will give your car's fuel economy a real boost. Air conditioning can drag down your car's fuel economy by 10 percent to 20 percent. " It was like we insulted people's mothers. </p>
<p> Bankrate's e-mailbag filled with letters from people adamantly disagreeing. </p>
<p> It's a proven fact, they all asserted, that driving with your air conditioning on is more fuel efficient. </p>
<p>The reason, our readers explained, sometimes patiently, is that when you drive with the windows down, it creates greater drag on the vehicle. The vehicle uses more power to combat the increased drag, hogging even more fuel than if you simply drove with the windows up and the air conditioning on. </p>
<p><strong>Drum Roll, Please! </strong><br>
Several experts were interviewed to find out just who is correct. The results are unanimous: </p>
<p>Driving with your windows down and the air conditioning off consumes less gas than having the windows up and the air conditioner running. This is absolutely true -- that is, when you're cruising around town. </p>
<p>"When you're driving across town, in stop-and-go traffic," says Frank Hampshire, director of market research with the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association, or AASA, "it's more fuel efficient to drive with the air conditioning off, windows down." </p>
<p> Consumer Reports' auto-test department reports that the air conditioner reduces your car's fuel efficiency by up to 10 percent. So to achieve maximum fuel efficiency, motorists should avoid using the air conditioner at speeds below 40 mph and travel with their windows down, explains Gabe Shenhar, senior auto test engineer at Consumer Report's auto-test department. </p>
<p> "But as your speed increases to 45 mph, or highway speeds," says Jason Toews, cofounder of GasBuddy.com, "wind drag becomes an issue. Driving with the windows down increases the drag on your vehicle, resulting in decreased fuel economy by up to 10 percent. Drive at speeds over 55 mph with windows down, and you'll decrease fuel economy by up to 20 percent or greater." </p>
<p> Shenhar and Hampshire agree: It's all in your speed. </p>
<p><strong>Tips to Cool Your Vehicle Down </strong><br>
There are a few ways to cool your vehicle down faster -- and cheaper -- during the hot, summer months: </p>
<li> Park in the garage or in the shade or use windshield shades. Your car will be cooler when you first get in. <br>
<li> Open your windows and vents to blow the hot air out faster before turning your air conditioner on full blast. <br>
<li> Fan speed does not affect fuel economy. Turn the fan on the highest setting to cool the vehicle down faster, then adjust for comfort. <br>
<li> Select your vehicle's recycle-inside-air feature. It recirculates the cooling inside air, rather than pulling in the hot outside air. </li>
<p>Different cars react differently, and so the point at which you should roll up the windows and kick on the air will be different for each car. A <a href="http://www.sae.org/events/aars/presentations/2004-hill.pdf">2004 study </a> by the Society of Automotive Engineers found, for example, that the aerodynamic drag for sport utility vehicles was particularly high, especially the ones they drove on a test track at speeds above 100 mph. Automotive engineers have all the fun. </p>
<p>Or maybe not. During the test, one engineer shot around the track with the air cranked up. A second had the windows down. An unlucky third test driver was assigned to what turned out to be the most-fuel efficient way to travel: Driving with the windows up and the air conditioner switched off. </p>

Matt Timion is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Incorrect Milage Calcuatlion PatM Fuelly Web Support and Community News 4 07-17-2009 07:21 PM
total fuel cost for fill-up instead of price per gallon EmptyH Fuelly Web Support and Community News 1 08-26-2008 11:14 AM
All Licensed Drivers terrapin Fuelly Web Support and Community News 0 08-07-2008 09:49 AM
195* Tstat SVOboy Experiments, Modifications and DIY 12 04-17-2007 07:27 AM
"active" aero grille slats on 06 civic concept MetroMPG General Fuel Topics 21 01-03-2006 12:02 PM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:48 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.