Now that you know the whole truth of the matter, there are some other alternatives to improving airflow, and gas mileage, through some useful tips. Use the car’s fan on the highest setting to quickly cool the car down. The setting can always be adjusted for comfort later and using the fan has no direct effect on fuel consumption. Another helpful tip is park in a garage or shade when possible. Failing that, use windshield shades as a preventative measure to keep the car cooler. Also open the car windows and vents to fully open. This step will blow the hot air out of the car faster before cranking the air conditioning up full blast. Obviously this is a good step to helping the vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Finally, take advantage of the cooling system’s recycle inside air feature. That way the air already cooled in the car is reused as opposed to drawing hot air from the outside.
Overall, the speed that the car is traveling is the major component to the AC versus open windows debate. Knowing when the air conditioner is beneficial to gas mileage is extremely useful in making the most of your car’s fuel efficiency.