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08 Honda Fit defrost

My Fit has the “feature” of turning on the A/C compressor when the vent direction knob is set to defrost. While I understand that this helps defrost faster, I’m losing mileage when it’s wet out and I need to defrost the windshield. Sometimes I just keep switching between normal face vent and defrost to balance not using the compressor with defrosting the windshield.

I looked online and some later Fits and Civics have an override which involves setting the knobs a certain way, holding the A/C button, turning it on, etc, but it doesn’t work on my model. Any other thoughts?

How big of a hit are you getting? Is it a big drop like 40 mpg to 15 mpg, or is it a little drop like 40 mpg to 39 mpg?

It’s probably 4 mpg. Also, there’s a noticeable power difference since I live where there are a fair amount of hills.
Too, there’s just some being PO’ed that they choose to do this for me and don’t give me the option to just run the blower on the windshield without the compressor.

It’s not just the windshield. If you, by some miracle, manage to disable the AC compressor in the “defrost” mode, your side windows and rear window will also start to collect moisture and become hard to see through.

This is unsafe.

Disabling a safety feature for a few mpg seems foolish to me.

BTW, I don’t believe the 4 mpg number. Have you got any reliable data to back it up?

The A/C compressor is supposed to come on when you run the defrost. The dry air it produces helps to remove the moisture that accumulated on the windows. This is normal operation on practically every vehicle, not a “feature”.

But if you’d prefer to try and disable a perfectly normal working system to save a few thimblefuls of gas, go for it.

The major problem with the AC is it used to manual activation with defrost and a common complaint was defrost did not work at all.

I think for safety it is a much better feature. People are a bit overzealous on MPG. But loss of power is just par for the course in any tiny motor.

I agree with the preceding posts.

What the OP calls a feature is indeed standard operating practice with every other make of vehicle with which I am familiar. And, as mcparadise stated, I also doubt that the use of the defroster is causing a 4 mpg drop in gas mileage. Maybe 1 mpg, or perhaps 2 mpg if the OP is continually driving in wet, rainy conditions–but unless you are living in a rainforest region, I doubt that the weather conditions mandate constant use of the defroster/defogger.

And, if you have never experienced the use of a defogger/defroster without the convenience of simultaneous use of the A/C compressor, you would be amazed at how INeffective the defogger/defroster is. Back in the 50s & 60s, driving in wet weather was a genuine safety problem due to the constant fogging and refogging of ALL of the windows in the car. Either the driver or a passenger would have to frequently wipe the inside of the windshield and the side windows with a rag in order to have even minimal visibility through the glass.

Everything has positive aspects as well as negative side effects. Seatbelts will wrinkle your clothing, but that is a decent trade-off for not being hurled through the windshield in the event of a collision. Modern defrosters have a slight impact on gas mileage, but IMHO, this is an acceptable trade-off for being able to see clearly during damp weather conditions.

Be glad that you have modern safety features on your car, such as a modern defroster/defogger.

Also, there’s a noticeable power difference since I live where there are a fair amount of hills.

To be honest, 109hp/105tq isn’t all that much to begin with. Coupled with the AC drawing some power from the engine, it’s gonna be more anemic than it already is.

So, I’ll ask this; which is more important, fuel mileage and power, or comfortable(well, as comfortable as those little things can be anyways, no leg room for me) driving?

My husband is annoyed by this “feature” on our 2010 Fit as well. We live in Anchorage, Alaska. Neither the 1988 Chevy Nova that we owned previously, nor the 1993 Honda Civic we own now, even have air conditioning. The defrosting was satisfactory as long as the air flow was taken from the outside (not recirculated air). There is little moisture in the air at 20 below zero. I fear my husband will wear out the knob, switching from defrost to heater, then back to defrost as the windshield fogs up because there is NO AIR FLOW over the windshield unless the air conditioning is on (with the defroster). It is definitely causing the engine to rev at idle, when the defroster is on. I haven’t purchased a new car in 22 years, so I am not used to all these decisions being taken away from me. How much gas is being wasted by this feature? I have no idea. I’ve searched for ways to disable it and haven’t found any way - is there (without screwing up my shiny new car)?