Car heat vs gas mileage

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AArdvark
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Car heat vs gas mileage

Post by AArdvark » Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:10 pm

A co worker of mine claims that keeping the heat off in his car increases his gas mileage. Personally I think he's a simpleton to do this in single digit temperatures. You have to defrost the windshield at some point, right? Winter road conditions, average speed, braking, these are what I think are really affecting his mileage but he swears that running the heater increases his gas consumption. I can't see the connection.


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Post by pinback » Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:23 pm

The heater works by redirecting air over the engine which is already hot. I call shenanigans.
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Post by Flack » Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:55 pm

I did some research. Here's what I found.

Running your heater doesn't affect your mileage. It's an electric fan that blows hot air from a heating core, which heats up because coolant flows through it.

Running your air conditioner does affect your mileage. Mythbusters did a test and at 45mph it made a 3mpg difference.

Now, here's the kicker -- running your DEFROSTER might affect your mileage. In some cars, apparently when running the defroster, the air conditioner also runs to take the humidity out of the air.

My guess is, like the good Vark said, that it's the additional stop and go that's affecting his mileage and not the heater.
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Post by pinback » Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:50 pm

Flack wrote:which heats up because coolant flows through it.
Uh oh, Flack's been huffing bath salts again.
Now, here's the kicker -- running your DEFROSTER might affect your mileage. In some cars, apparently when running the defroster, the air conditioner also runs to take the humidity out of the air.
I've never been in a car where this was not the case.
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Post by AArdvark » Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:59 am

So the guy IS an idiot. Well, half idiot anyway.. I wont tell him any of this because he wouldn't listen to reason.


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Post by Flack » Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:06 am

Agreed. Once people make up their minds about something like that there's usually little you can do to change it. And unfortunately with the internet, if you Google long enough you can find a page to back up any theory. So far this morning I have found several articles saying that you'll save gas by turning off your air conditioning and several that say that you won't. I'm pretty sure the whole "sugar in the gas tank" thing got debunked decades ago but you still hear stories from time to time from somebody who knew somebody who that happened to.
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Post by Flack » Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:07 am

Now, here's the kicker -- running your DEFROSTER might affect your mileage. In some cars, apparently when running the defroster, the air conditioner also runs to take the humidity out of the air.
I've never been in a car where this was not the case.
Well, then you never owned a 1986 Yugo.
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Post by pinback » Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:24 am

Flack wrote:I'm pretty sure the whole "sugar in the gas tank" thing got debunked decades ago but you still hear stories from time to time from somebody who knew somebody who that happened to.
However, in 1984, the "banana in the tailpipe" trick was proven unequivocally in the city of Beverly Hills, CA.
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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:52 pm

I would like to hear about other beliefs this co-worker has.

Also, did you get my email about the guitar? SIR?
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Post by AArdvark » Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:13 am

Sure did. Can't wait for the Van Halen covers to start blowing up Youtube.


The guy is otherwise a pretty smart dude, he's just got some wacky ideas about life, the universe and everything. Normally I avoid getting into non work related conversations with him because he goes off on these tangents into the unexplored territories of his brain.



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Post by lethargic » Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:13 pm

Does anybody know if using the heater will make oil stop leaking out of your car?

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Post by lethargic » Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:14 pm

Does anybody know if using the heater can cause somebody to steal the spare tire off the back of your Jeep?

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Post by Flack » Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:50 am

Your life is begging to be turned into a reality show. I would watch it 24/7.

Our big thing right now is catalytic converter thefts. We have a movie theater, Tinsletown, which is in the middle of a crime infested area (the address is 6001 Martin Luther King Blvd). Every single person I know who has ever gone to a movie there has a story of their car being broken into. If you're lucky, they'll just get your loose change or maybe a GPS. But now they are stealing people's catalytic converters there while people are inside watching movies. They have a security guard there that drives around in a golf cart but it appears something's not working right with that system. Also, if you go to a movie theater and their selling point is that they have a security guard that drives around in a golf cart, you might not want to go to that movie theater.

Anyhoo. Sorry about the spare tire. If you need a replacement I can go get one for you at Tinsletown.
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Post by pinback » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:25 am

Flack wrote:which is in the middle of a crime infested area (the address is 6001 Martin Luther King Blvd).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwSy6N6ScHU#t=82
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Post by lethargic » Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:40 pm

They already stole the catalytic converter a few years ago.

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Post by AArdvark » Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:34 pm

OK I'll post a couple three more things about the guy at work. Normally I wont disparage my co workers but how else can I bring teh funny? I'll call him Jim, cause it's easy to type and there's nobody at work named Jim.
Besides the car heater issue Jim has this belief that his electrical tools will not stand extreme cold. He's talking about his multi-meters and things. Jim is a maintenance mechanic at work. He brings his meters back and forth from home to work each day. Well, on the days he knows he's going to need them he brings them in. He claims that the shop gets too cold at night and will damage his equipment. He says that military grade electronic gear can take the cold but not his every-day industrial stuff. He told this to me the other day when he was working on one of the machines. I said "Ok, sure, Jim, yeah."

Jim has this decal on the inside of his toolbox that asks:"Where Will You Spend Eternity?"
You get the picture about Jim?

Another weird thing about Jim is his snow. I wish I was making this stuff up. Whenever it snows a lot around here Jim will shovel all the snow in his driveway into the back of his pickup truck and drive it to work and dump it in the company's back field. I've seen him before work in the mornings shoveling out the back of his truck. He explained to me that his house is so close to the road that he has literally no place to put the snow from his driveway so he loads it up into his truck at night and empties it when he comes to work.
Now it's snowed pretty good this winter so imagine how many truck loads of snow Jim has had to move. Twice. It staggers the mind. I should also add that Jim will not drive on the expressways. He says it's too fast, too dangerous. Now picture a pickup truck, heaped high with snow, tooling down the back country roads at forty miles an hour with a line of angry motorists following him blowing horns and flashing lights....


One other quick anecdote involves the OSHA Lock-Out Tag-Out program. In a nutshell, OSHA says that if you are going to do maintenance on any equipment you have to lock out any power sources so you or others can't accidentally turn the thing on. It's common sense and it saves lives. However last month I saw that Jim had locked out......the company drinking fountain.
That's taking the rules a little too far if you ask me. True, the drinking fountain was in the process of getting a replacement water fitting but locking it out was kind of...overkill. Nobody was going to hurt themselves trying to get a drink of water or anything. I think Jim is a little anal retentive.

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Post by AArdvark » Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:25 pm

I need to mention that whatever you think is wrong with a particular machine, you are wrong. If you say one part of the machine is not working correctly Jim will explain that; no, it's this other part that's the problem, you are mistaken. NO MATTER IF YOU ARE RIGHT OR NOT. He will always correct you (well, not you, but me! Grrrr...)


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Re: Car heat vs gas mileage

Post by Tdarcos » Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:37 pm

AArdvark wrote:A co worker of mine claims that keeping the heat off in his car increases his gas mileage.
Bullshit. If anything, it's either an increase or a zero effect. The engine burns gas to run the engine and the heat the engine generates has to be dumped. Usually it's dumped through the radiator, which is why, if it's overheating during the summer, one way to bring it down is to kill the A/C, open the windows and turn the heat on.

With the heat on and the windows closed you have less drag from the air flow, thus it should be a slight increase if the engine doesn't have to be cooled as much.
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