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18122 Rockside Road, Bedford, OH, 44146

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Dealership Info

Phone Numbers:Sales Hours:
  • Mon, Thu9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
  • Tue - Wed9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Fri9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Sat9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • SunClosed
Service Hours:
  • Mon - Fri7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Sat8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • SunClosed
Parts Hours:
  • Mon - Fri7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Sat8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • SunClosed

Does Car Air Conditioning Use Gas?

air conditioner button in car


There’s nothing quite as satisfying as blasting the air conditioning on a hot day! If you’re driving your new Mercedes-Benz around Beachwood on a sweltering summer day and thinking about running the AC, you might be wondering: does the car AC use gas? Are you draining your car’s fuel tank to stay cool and comfortable in the summer? 

The answer is yes—but there’s more to the story. Your car’s air conditioning system draws its energy from the alternator, which in turn draws power from the engine. However, there are some unique situations in which running your car’s AC actually saves fuel rather than spends it! The service team at Mercedes-Benz of Bedford has more information on how your car AC works, as well as some tips for improving fuel efficiency, in the guide below.

How Car AC Works 

Now that we’ve answered the question, “Does air conditioning in the car use gas?”, you might be wondering how exactly air conditioning works. While specific mechanics sometimes vary between make and model, the air conditioning system runs on the same principles for all cars. Air conditioners runs on a high-pressure gas called refrigerant, and these systems are comprised of the following parts:

  • Compressor: This compresses the refrigerant gas into a fluid, causing it to flow in a line through to the condenser.
  • Condenser: The condenser removes all the heat from the refrigerant fluid and pushes it into the expansion valve or orifice tube.
  • Expansion valve or orifice tube: These systems return the refrigerant to its original state of gas, and move it on the receiver/drier or accumulator.
  • Receiver/drier or accumulator: These remove any remaining moisture from the refrigerant and transfer it to the final part of the system, the evaporator.
  • Evaporator: The evaporator pulls heat from the air passing through its core and transfers it into the refrigerant, which results in cold air flowing beyond the evaporator and into the cabin as air conditioning. 

Can Using Car AC Be Fuel-Efficient? 

If you’re trying to save fuel while you’re driving on the highway, you might be tempted to open up the windows instead of running the AC. However, the EPA warns that this is a mistake! When you drive at highway speeds with your windows down, your car’s aerodynamic drag gets elevated by quite a lot, which causes the engine to work harder and ends up burning a lot of fuel. Running the AC instead will burn fuel at a much more reasonable rate, saving you fuel in the long run.

Improving Your Car’s Fuel Economy

If you’ve rolled up your windows and now you’re looking for other ways to save gas around Mayfield, you’ve come to the right place! Here are some key tips for improving your ride’s fuel efficiency:

  • Brake gradually 
  • Make sure your car’s tires are properly inflated and aligned 
  • Don’t idle for more than 30 seconds 
  • Pack light 
  • Use sun reflectors if you’re parking in a sunny spot 
  • Don’t use cheap engine oil 
  • Reduce your speed and drive in a higher gear 

Keep Your Car in Top Condition with Mercedes-Benz of Bedford

If you want to learn more about how your car’s AC works, or if you have any questions about the services we offer at Mercedes-Benz of Bedford, feel free to contact our office! You can also stop by our dealership near Cleveland to talk to a member of our team in person. And be sure to check out our service specials if you’re interested in saving on your next maintenance appointment!

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