Windows vs A/C

I’m think of those gully busters! The steam rising off the pavement after one of those things in August is a site to see!

Even stranger is to see one of those IN BRIGHT SUNSHINE! :astonished:

Yes, bright sunshine with strong shadows with rain like neighbor Noah is building a boat. Weirdest thing I’ve ever seen! Until you see live fish flopping in the middle of the street 3-5 miles from the Gulf. Raining live fish… Yes, it’s a thing. Florida, ya can’t make some of this stuff up!

My oldest friend from my undergraduate days likes to say that he is “Old School”, and as a result he rarely–if ever–uses A/C either at home or in the car. (Note: “Old School” is apparently a synonym for “incredibly cheap”. :wink:)

A few years ago, he arrived at my house after a 1 hour + drive on a very hot & humid summer day. When he pulled into my driveway, his face was so red that I thought it might explode. And, the back of his shirt and the back of his pants were completely soaked with perspiration.

I should point out that he did this drive with the windows down, so in addition to his soaked clothing and the red face, he wasn’t able to hear very well for a while, apparently as a result of the wind roar and buffeting effect.


I think I should post exactly what I had read:


Does Using Air Conditioning in Your Car Decrease Gas Mileage?

Q: On warm days, my daughter likes to use the air conditioning in her car. I drive with the windows open instead because using the AC decreases the gas mileage. She says open windows create so much drag that it negates any difference. What’s the real story?

A: With cars such as coupes and sedans, you’re much better off with the windows down when doing errands around town. On the highway, drag becomes a factor, so the mileage cost of air conditioning is reduced, but not eliminated. And larger vehicles such as minivans and SUVs already have a lot of drag, so open windows are even less of an issue. You’ll get better mileage with the AC off.

To be fair to both Tom and Ray, and to Marilyn vos Savant, I’m sure they each relied on industry experts - they didn’t figure out anything themselves, and they didn’t use Myth Busters.

By the way, I’ve caught at least a couple of math errors from Marilyn myself over the years. Her column is good and I mostly like the way she simplifies and sees things, but not always. It’s Tom and Ray I had a harder time figuring out how they could be so consistently knowledgable, and funny. I suspect they actually did not work in a garage that often and I think they may had been in media before they got a garage. Rather amazing.

I believe most here described their personal experiences accurately and that peoples “mileage may vary” on this topic. Myself, I never noticed that using the AC had a big impact on mileage. I also use sufficient toilet paper, unlike Sheryl Crow, who restricts herself to one sheet per trip.

Thay did have their own garage for sometime before the local Car Talk show that did become a major PBS show .

And why is your profile hidden ?

I always read the questions to Ray, and usually agree with his answers. I think he did miss it a bit on his answer to the question about matte paint jobs. He said they were made by just not polishing out the clear coat. I don’t think so, nobody’s polishing the clear coat finish on all the cars. It’s a different finish, just like flat vs glossy in house paint.

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I try to always start out with maximum privacy and loosen it as I desire rather than the other way. Just best practices.

I use fake IDs and disposable email addresses. If you email me it may be a year till I get back to you.

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I wonder if we will revisit this in 2032 …

Edward (OP)


I might still be around.

They had the garage even after the Car Talk show was a hit. I’ve seen it.