Disabling certain functions in the car would allow us to save fuel. Does the air conditioning system also play a role in this saving? Serious research by an expert from the German research firm Küs, Johannes Kautenburger, sheds light on the issue. “Depending on the car and the required performance, a car consumes about 10-15 percent more fuel per 65 miles when the air conditioning is on, “the expert tells the “Welt”.

Is driving with the window open a solution?

According to Kautenburger, turning off the air conditioning at high temperatures could impair concentration behind the wheel. “In addition, it is not necessarily more beneficial to drive with the side windows or sunroof open: They impede airflow, which costs more fuel, especially at high speeds.” Not using the air conditioner in winter can also have a negative impact on its service life. “This is because the seals and compressor only remain well lubricated if they are used regularly,” explains Kautenburger. “Regular use also prevents the spread of mold or bacteria indoors.” The safety aspect also comes into focus: air conditioning dries the air and helps prevent windows from fogging up. Basically, driving with the windows open can use more fuel than driving with the air conditioning on, but how you drive has the biggest impact on fuel consumption.

Other tips for reducing fuel consumption include

  • Keep tires inflated

Underinflated tires have higher rolling resistance on the road. This means your tires create more friction and rolling resistance with each mile you drive, increasing fuel consumption. If all your tires are underinflated by 10 psi (tire pressure measurement), this can reduce fuel efficiency by 10%.

  • Don’t go too fast or too slow

When you drive on a highway, your engine is working hard to overcome air resistance. You’ll use up to 15% more fuel at 100 mph and 25% more at 110 mph. This might encourage you to drive slowly, but if you drive less than 30 miles/h, your engine will shift to a lower gear and use more fuel. In summary, a constant speed of 30 to 55 miles/h on the highway is preferable for optimal fuel economy.

  • Stay stable when accelerating

Avoid spinning your throttle at a high number of revolutions per minute (RPM). This is better for fuel economy, as your engine will use less fuel when running slower and at lower RPMs.

  • Avoid aggressive braking

Heavy braking increases fuel consumption because you have to accelerate again later. This is especially true if you drive too close behind the vehicle in front. Not to mention that tailgating is dangerous and should be avoided.

  • Do not remain idle for long

If you are waiting for something or someone for more than three minutes, turn off your engine. You may not be moving, but as long as your engine is running, it is burning valuable fuel.