VERIFY: Is Driving With Windows Down More Fuel-Efficient Than AC?

Verify: Car AC vs. Windows Down Pt. 2

VERIFY QUESTION

It's an old driving debate that comes up every summer -- is it more fuel-efficient to roll down your car windows or turn on your AC?

VERIFY SOURCE

To verify this story, we talked to David Dew -- the general manager of Honest-1 Auto Care in Greensboro. He's a go-to resource for our car care questions. 

VERIFY PROCESS

Essentially, it depends on where and how fast you're driving.

Dew explains if you're driving in the city, especially in stop-and-go traffic, roll down your windows. If you're driving on the highway, turn on your AC. The reason why has to do with the drag created by speed. The drag created by open windows at high speeds, like on a highway, significantly lowers your fuel economy. But, the drag created by open windows at slower speeds is less harmful than the load the AC compressor puts on your engine.

VERIFY CONCLUSION

So, we've verified if you're driving on the highway, use your AC. But, if you're sitting in traffic or driving in the city, roll down your windows.

 

Help VERIFY

Help our journalists VERIFY the news. Do you know someone else we should interview for this story? Did we miss anything in our reporting? Is there another story you'd like us to VERIFY? Click here.

Copyright 2017 WFMY


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