Automotive Forums .com - the leading automotive community online! Automotive Forums .com - the leading automotive community online!
Automotive Forums .com - the leading automotive community online! 
-
Latest | 0 Rplys
Go Back   Automotive Forums .com Car Chat > Engineering/Technical
Engineering/Technical Ask technical questions about cars. Do you know how a car engine works?
Reply Show Printable Version Show Printable Version | Email this Page Email this Page | Subscription Subscribe to this Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 02-06-2006, 06:16 PM   #1
ice745
AF -Advisor
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Brick, New Jersey
Posts: 246
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Gas Mileage myths or facts?

I've heard that both A/C and Overdrive bring down gas mileage.

Personally, I think Overdrive would help gas mileage, because (as far as I know, I may be wrong) it just allows the transmission to go into 4th gear. A 4th gear would help decrease RPM, and therefore help gas mileage? Am I wrong? I really don't know that much about what Overdrive does if not just allowing the use of the 4th gear.

The other thing is with the A/C I don't understand how it affects gas milage. The compressor is belt driven, and its not like the compressor itself consumes gas. Since the belt is always going to spin whether the A/C is on or not, I don't see how it can affect gas mileage. I understand the pully will only spin if the A/C or Defroster is on, but does the amount of force needed to rotate a pully really affect gas mileage? Or is there something else I'm missing.

I may be wrong in both cases, but with what I know it doesn't seem to make sense, maybe I'm naive and missing something. If anyone can confirm if they are myths or facts, please give reasons along with it.

Thank you
Russ
__________________
Smoking is bad... especially blue smoke!

Fill the oil and check the gas, please.
ice745 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2006, 06:22 PM   #2
ice745
AF -Advisor
Thread starter
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Brick, New Jersey
Posts: 246
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: Gas Mileage myths or facts?

Apparently with the A/C its because of the electricity it pulls that affects the mileage. If you have a strong alternator, and a high performance battery, like Optima Yellowtop; will the A/C (along with other electic accessories) still have as much of an affect on gas.
__________________
Smoking is bad... especially blue smoke!

Fill the oil and check the gas, please.
ice745 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2006, 06:24 PM   #3
G-man422
AF Fanatic
 
G-man422's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Mansfield, Ohio
Posts: 5,145
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Send a message via AIM to G-man422
Re: Gas Mileage myths or facts?

^ i have often pondered these questions asswell, but i dont know the answer to either one.
G-man422 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2006, 06:31 PM   #4
amanichen
AF Regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: XCity
Posts: 347
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: Gas Mileage myths or facts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ice745
I've heard that both A/C and Overdrive bring down gas mileage.

Personally, I think Overdrive would help gas mileage, because (as far as I know, I may be wrong) it just allows the transmission to go into 4th gear. A 4th gear would help decrease RPM, and therefore help gas mileage? Am I wrong? I really don't know that much about what Overdrive does if not just allowing the use of the 4th gear.
Many modern cars (especially with automatic transmissions) are geared so that fuel efficiency at highway speeds becomes a priority. For instance, the first three gears on an automatic transmission might be closely spaced for acceleration at midrange speeds. The car is then programmed to tend to shift into 4th gear right around the normal speed limit (60-65 mph for most cars in the USA.) The 4th gear size is designed so that the RPMs are as low as possible, while the keeping the engine spinning fast enough to power the car along at 60mph.

For manual transmissions, this is of course different, because you can select your own shift points. However, the same gear-ratio concept still applies: at cruising speed, the gearing is selected to minimize engine RPM. Some cars with manual transmissions can have gearing which allows them to hit their top speed in 4th or 5th gear, where 5th or 6th gear is used for economy cruising.

Quote:
The other thing is with the A/C I don't understand how it affects gas milage. The compressor is belt driven, and its not like the compressor itself consumes gas. Since the belt is always going to spin whether the A/C is on or not, I don't see how it can affect gas mileage. I understand the pully will only spin if the A/C or Defroster is on, but does the amount of force needed to rotate a pully really affect gas mileage? Or is there something else I'm missing.
Anything in your car that uses power must get power from the engine. If you want to maintain a certain speed in your car after turning on your A/C system and 1000 Bagigawatt sound system, your engine must produce more power. Producing more power means more gas must go to the engine, hence, for every mile traveled, you're using more gas.

As for the actual impact of using A/C: in some cases, the gas mileage hit from A/C is smaller than rolling down the windows.
amanichen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2006, 09:25 PM   #5
curtis73
Professional Ninja Killer
 
curtis73's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Penn Hills, Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,561
Thanks: 0
Thanked 9 Times in 9 Posts
Re: Gas Mileage myths or facts?

On the average, A/C for larger cars takes as much as 15 hp to run. That means you have to put that much more "foot" into it to maintain speed or to accelerate with the same force you're used to.

Overdrive does drop RPM, but lower RPMs aren't necessarily always better. Different engines have different peak cruise efficiency points. An overdrive on an already high-geared vehicle will cause the engine to lug down requiring more foot to maintain speed. For the most part, the manufacturers do a relatively decent job of finding a good cruise RPM, but sometimes they go a touch on the conservative side (RPMs too low)
__________________
Dragging people kicking and screaming into the enlightenment.
curtis73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2006, 02:49 PM   #6
cody_e
AF Regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 345
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via AIM to cody_e Send a message via MSN to cody_e Send a message via Yahoo to cody_e
Re: Gas Mileage myths or facts?

A myth that I think is the cruise control myth. Supposedly if you are on the highway they say to use crusie control to maintain your speed. I might be able to see this on a flat surface but anywhere with hills I could see this being way mroe ineffecient. I mean haven't you ever turned the cruse off for a minute so you could turn and then for the hell of it press resume after the turn? You buy like a gallon of gas getting back up to speed.
cody_e is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2006, 05:42 PM   #7
kcg795
AF Regular
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Skamokawa, Washington
Posts: 259
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: Gas Mileage myths or facts?

I don't really see a difference in my mileage with the cruise control on or off. With the cruise off, I can often get a head start for a hill and be able to make the hill before the transmission will drop out of overdrive. If I can keep it in overdrive as much as possible, in theory, I save gas.
kcg795 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2006, 02:38 AM   #8
ice745
AF -Advisor
Thread starter
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Brick, New Jersey
Posts: 246
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: Gas Mileage myths or facts?

Cruise control helps because it maintains speed. Where as a lazy foot would reach speed, let off the gas completely, and then accel again when the speed drops. It takes a lot less force to maintain speed then to accel. Cruise Control can be bad sometimes because it lacks the intelligence to slow down for bends and speed up before hills. It is also boring because it lacks the thrill-seeking to accel quickly for little bumps for that brief sensation of weightlessness. It also lacks responsibility to pay for speeding tickets! >:O

Cruise Control can waste gas if you "resume" it after slowing down. You should get your speed back up manually, then "resume" it. Cruise Control is just meant to maintain speeds, not neccessarily accelerate to them.
__________________
Smoking is bad... especially blue smoke!

Fill the oil and check the gas, please.
ice745 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2006, 11:30 AM   #9
BNaylor
AF Moderator
 
BNaylor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: El Paso, Texas
Posts: 18,017
Thanks: 30
Thanked 51 Times in 39 Posts
Re: Gas Mileage myths or facts?

Personally, I don't think it is a myth concerning the benefits of overdrive or even using the cruise control. Of course, it depends on the driving conditions and terrain. On a trip/highway my gas mileage improves 5 - 6 mpg. However, in city it is a different story. I'd rather be taching 2000 rpms cruising at 75 mph than 3,000 rpms. Torque convertor clutch (TCC) lockup helps out too. On use of A/C I get only a 1 mpg gallon difference in gas mileage with the AC off.



100% free webcam site! | Awesome chicks and it is absolutely free! | Watch free live sex cam - easy as 1-2-3
__________________

'08 Pontiac Grand Prix GXP (Dark Slate Metallic) - LS4 5.3L V8
'02 Oldsmobile Alero GL2 - LA1 3400 V6
'99 Buick Regal LS - L36 Series II 3800 V6
'03 Honda CR250R MX - 2 Stroke 250cc
'97 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP - L67 Series II 3800 V6 Supercharged (Sold)
Timeslip 08/12/06

AF Community Guidelines
BNaylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2006, 09:55 PM   #10
MagicRat
Nothing scares me anymore
 
MagicRat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: City of Light
Posts: 10,700
Thanks: 12
Thanked 79 Times in 74 Posts
Re: Gas Mileage myths or facts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ice745
The other thing is with the A/C I don't understand how it affects gas milage. The compressor is belt driven, and its not like the compressor itself consumes gas. Since the belt is always going to spin whether the A/C is on or not, I don't see how it can affect gas mileage. I understand the pully will only spin if the A/C or Defroster is on, but does the amount of force needed to rotate a pully really affect gas mileage? Or is there something else I'm missing.
The difference here is the draw the AC system uses.

When you do not run the AC, the compressor pully spins around, but the compressor itself does not turn. It is mechanically disconnected from the pully.

When you turn the AC on , the compressor engages and rotates. This rotation draws power from the engine, so the engine must burn more fuel to move the car AND spin the compressor.

Using the AC on the highway is not always a bad thing. Often cars get better mileage using the AC and having the windows closed, than no AC and having windows open.
In this case, the extra aerodynamic drag of open windows is more than the drag of the compressor.
MagicRat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2006, 10:49 PM   #11
curtis73
Professional Ninja Killer
 
curtis73's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Penn Hills, Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,561
Thanks: 0
Thanked 9 Times in 9 Posts
Re: Gas Mileage myths or facts?

Or you could be like me and run the AC with the windows down
__________________
Dragging people kicking and screaming into the enlightenment.
curtis73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2006, 11:02 PM   #12
cody_e
AF Regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 345
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via AIM to cody_e Send a message via MSN to cody_e Send a message via Yahoo to cody_e
Re: Gas Mileage myths or facts?

Well the AC is broken in my car so I don't have to make a decision
cody_e is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2006, 09:48 PM   #13
SaabJohan
AF Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Borlänge
Posts: 1,098
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: Gas Mileage myths or facts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by curtis73
On the average, A/C for larger cars takes as much as 15 hp to run. That means you have to put that much more "foot" into it to maintain speed or to accelerate with the same force you're used to.

Overdrive does drop RPM, but lower RPMs aren't necessarily always better. Different engines have different peak cruise efficiency points. An overdrive on an already high-geared vehicle will cause the engine to lug down requiring more foot to maintain speed. For the most part, the manufacturers do a relatively decent job of finding a good cruise RPM, but sometimes they go a touch on the conservative side (RPMs too low)
15 hp is a bit much, but up to 10 hp is possible. Mean power consumption is however much lower, perhaps a hp or two. With modern cars you also won't need to give more gas to compensate for this loss, that is done automaticly with the modern electronic throttles. The loss is however still present.
Older cars usually used to disconnect the AC compressor during high load (like acceleration), today this is usually solved by letting the engine produce a few more horsepowers instead.

A gasoline engine is more efficient at high loads (with the throttle more open), so a reduction in engine speed and an increase in produced torque (higher load) almost always result in a decreased fuel consumption. Even if it results in engine vibrations. The highest efficiency are usually found at about 70% of WOT, slightly less with a turbocharged engine. Load has a much larger effect on engine efficiency and specific fuel consumption than engine speed.
SaabJohan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2006, 08:34 AM   #14
mazdatech177
AF Regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: raleigh, North Carolina
Posts: 282
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: Gas Mileage myths or facts?

jesus... just when you thought a post was dead and no more meaningless words could be spoken
mazdatech177 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2006, 03:02 PM   #15
cody_e
AF Regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 345
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via AIM to cody_e Send a message via MSN to cody_e Send a message via Yahoo to cody_e
Re: Gas Mileage myths or facts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaabJohan
Older cars usually used to disconnect the AC compressor during high load (like acceleration), today this is usually solved by letting the engine produce a few more horsepowers instead.
Newer vehicles (at least 1998) stil do that. They let the comrpessor spin every 15 seconds or so to keep the bearings from going out in the compressor itself.
cody_e is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply

POST REPLY TO THIS THREAD


Bookmarks
Go Back   Automotive Forums .com Car Chat > Engineering/Technical

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

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



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:14 AM.

Community Participation Guidelines | How to use your User Control Panel

Powered by: vBulletin | Copyright Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
 
 
no new posts