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Portable Air Conditioner for Car

I have a 2000 Honda Civic that is paid off and works great. It does not have air conditioning. Is there such a thing as a portable air conditioner for car? There is a very strong chance that I will be moving from the west to east coast and will be driving across country in summer heat.

Here you go!

I assume you’re looking for something like a small, suitcase style a/c unit to plug into the lighter socket? Well, it is a myth. 12 volts aren’t enough to run an a/c unit, and any a/c unit produces heat and needs to get rid of it. There are some evaporative coolers that blow air across ice in a cooler type contraption, but they’re not real practical for an automobile. Sorry, but there just isn’t anything available to do what you’re asking.

There exists no portable air conditioning unit for cars. Your car already has the ductwork and the fusebox AC capability, but you’d need to add as a minimum a compressor, a condensor (in many cars it’s a part of the radiator, in many it’s a seperate small radiator), and an evaporator, as well as the control panel. The expense would kill the idea.

I do have a suggestion, however. 4-40 AC. That’s where you open all 4 windows fully and go at least 40 mph. That’s what we all had until recent times. Supplement that with a cooler full of icewater or soda in chipped ice and you’ll do fine.

Drove 6 days across Canada in a car with no air conditioning, in summer heat 30-35 C. When it got too hot, we rolled down the windows at 110 km/h (about 70 mph), trust me, you get a good breeze at that pace…airs out the car really fast.

look at the picture in the post I just bumped up “my husband think he fixs are air car”

Except for a permanent add-on kit ( ), there’s not much you can do as a portable.

86 to 95 degrees for those of us who use Fahrenheit measurements :stuck_out_tongue:

There is no portable air conditioning device for your car. You either have an air conditioned car, or you don’t.

I suggest you enjoy the trip from one coast to another, and decide what you want, vehicle-wise, when you get there.

If the lack of AC doesn’t bother you now, why are you worried about it?

Back in the '60’s they made evaporative coolers that looked like a tank-type vacuum cleaner. You mounted it on the side window and rolled the window up so only the air discharge opening entered the car. The canister held a gallon or two of water and a rotating (powered by the slipstream) water soaked mat had the air directed through it. A mini swamp cooler for cars. Some people mounted two of them, one on each side. People claimed they worked, but I bet the cooling effect was mostly psychological…They were made out of plastic…

An effective automotive air conditioner requires TONS of cooling capacity.

I am too old fashioned I guess. My 90 year old neighbor never had AC and was subsistence living in her house yet it was cruel and unusual punishment for prisoners in jail to be without air conditioned cells. Think about our forefathers that crossed the country in Conestoga wagons with no air conditioning. I once had to cross death valley in a car with no ac, but to top that off had to have the heat on to prevent the engine from overheating. AC in a car was never an option growing up and I am alive, I get so tired of the if I don’t have AC we will die.

Yes, but those prison cells were not designed to be bearable and humane without air conditioning. When people lived without A/C, their houses were designed to stay relatively cool without it.

If you want to rebuild the prisons so the prisoners don’t die from heat stroke, then I am okay with not air conditioning the prison cells.

Our forefathers who withstood harsh conditions knew how to build structures that took advantage of natural cooling. If you just removed A/C from today’s sealed buildings, you would cook everyone inside.

Waterboy, what part of the country do you and your neighbor live in? I am betting it isn’t Florida or Texas, where they get triple digit temperatures on a daily basis in the summer.

Our forefathers who withstood harsh conditions knew how to build structures that took advantage of natural cooling. If you just removed A/C from today’s sealed buildings, you would cook everyone inside.

I’ll second that. One of my friends has a 120+ yr old farmhouse. It is one of the coolest (temperature wise) homes I have ever been in without any A/C. To minimize roof exposure, they built upward, not out. It also employs balloon frame construction which is cooler but not so good for fire containment. That house always has a nice, cool, convective breeze going through it. Anyway, I thought you made a good point…

I thought Civic AC units were modular, in that “factory air” could easily be installed by the dealership for ~$750 either before or after a sale. Some Honda dealerships may still have 6th generation (1996-2000) Civic AC units available, although they’re already into the 8th generation now.

But not portable ( removable when done using )as per the o.p. question.

I,too, noted the add-on kit in my previous post.

I just read on the Internet a woman prisoner was put in an outside cage, I think in Arizona, chainlink including the roof, and died within four hours of exposure to the sun, no shade. If we did that to a dog, we’d go to jail ourselves.

All cars for many years have been constructed with the ductwork and wiring harness capability (fusebox hookup) to accept AC. It’s easer to do that than to do two configurations. However, installation of the compressor, condensor, evaporator, control panel, compressor drive belt, and wiring harnesses from the fusebox to the control panel and to operate the compressor clutch would be cost prohibitive.

So, in summary, yes…AC can be readily installed in any car now. But not for $750.

In GM AC school the instructor stated the capacity of a Suburbans AC system is equivalant to that of a 3 bedroom house,kinda hard to power that off the cig. lighter.

The AC on a car works a lot harder than some people realize and it is amazing they last as long as they do.

My first Dealership mechanics job was in 1982 and I never saw anyone ever install a AC system at the Dealership. Some of the even older guys said that they used to install them.

I bet some of the Dealerships that sold Japanese models did do them later than 1982 but I never knew anyone who did.

I hope this will give you an unexpensive option:

“Cool Box” Personal Air Conditioner. It not only works as a fan but actually cools the air up to 30 degrees Fahrenheit!

I hope this works for you!

This is similar to the argument that I read a few years back, regarding the fact that new schools are air conditioned nowadays, at least in the more affluent parts of the country. A letter to the editor stated something along the lines of…“George Washington and Thomas Jefferson went to schools without air conditioning and they did pretty well for themselves, therefore modern schools do not need air conditioning”.

I sent my own letter to the editor, in response to that argument against air conditioning. My rejoinder was something along the lines of…“Yes, and both Washington and Jefferson also attended schools that had no indoor plumbing. Would you advocate that we build schools without indoor flush toilets?”.

The reality is that, as time passes, ingenious people invent things to make our lives easier and/or more comfortable and/or healthier. In the case of A/C, it could actually be argued that it allows people to be more productive during periods of intense heat.

Should we shun modern conveniences simply because our ancestors did not have them?
I think not.