A/C on OK winter or summer? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2011, 06:16 AM Thread Starter
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A/C on OK winter or summer?

Hi

This is probably not much of an issue, but in case anybody else has looked into it.

Is it OK to just leave the A/C on no matter what season we are in? It seems it just turns on (the light) as soon as I engage the AUTO climate. I'm assuming the car is designed this way and there's no harm in just letting it stay on whenever it activates by itself?

Thanks

Mike
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2011, 07:02 AM
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With the AC on, it sucks power from the engine, in order to run it. So you are probably not getting the best mileage if you leave it on all year.

However, its recommended that the AC runs at least once or twice every 3 months, so it doesnt 'sit' for an extended period of time. But this is purely optional and most people dont do it and their AC is fine.

So other than losing a bit of gas and being a bit colder in the winter, I dont see any actual harm....
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2011, 07:26 AM
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A/c on means you get dehumidification which is pretty good for defrosting/demisting.

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Last edited by lkchris; 03-29-2011 at 08:34 AM.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2011, 07:43 AM
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I run the A/C year round. In winter when the car heats up too much I will turn the A/C on for a little bit to get cooled down.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2011, 09:08 AM
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Yes, the A/C can be, and really should be used year round. For obvious reasons when it's hot. During the winter time or when it is cold and rainy, using the A/C acts as a dehumidifier (like lkchris mentioned), keeping the glass on the inside from fogging up, which is an obvious safety benefit.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2011, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dextr3k View Post
However, its recommended that the AC runs at least once or twice every 3 months, so it doesnt 'sit' for an extended period of time.
This applies for older cars. Compressors today run all the time, even when switched off. These are variable volume devices that run all the time but are tuned to almost zero output when not needed (or turned off). The old style issue with seals leaking does not apply any more.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2011, 04:11 PM
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Tradition and experience are columns of the mind, nevertheless, even if our products are caught in a time capsule, it is important to keep up and incorporate whenever new technical advances get proven or implemented.

AC is an advance over the heat systems in the same manner that a heat pump solves the year around climate control of a building, over separate AC and furnace systems. Humidity control is as important in warm weather, as it is in cold weather. Also, air circulation is better controlled and circulated by a single system that adapts better to multi-zone control. Otherwise might be like retro-traveling to traditional heat plus the four windows down and 55 mph AC of the energy crunch days.

A car would show appreciation for preventive maintenance by never leaving his owner stranded.

Defensive Driving is never having to say you're sorry: a true love story between man and machine.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2011, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel Benz View Post
This applies for older cars. Compressors today run all the time, even when switched off. These are variable volume devices that run all the time but are tuned to almost zero output when not needed (or turned off). The old style issue with seals leaking does not apply any more.
WHAT YOU CALL OLD ????????
Our 12 years old W210 has compressor clutch. I trust the MB program in adjusting the temperatures up to my setting and never push the AC (EC in my case) button off. As mentioned -each time you activate defrost -the AC comes on even at freezing temperatures. Than I noticed that computer exercise the machinery even we don't know it. I confirmed my aux, electric fan coming on a minute after cold morning start for few seconds. I assume AC compressor has similar program, very likely working together with the fan.
The AC sucking the power and fuel is a myth. We do drive with AC constantly on for about 8 months every years, yet it is winter time when I notice lower mpg and I do calculate it at each fill up. Open window, or sunroof sucks well more power at high speeds than AC, while in winter colder start cost extra fuel as well as rain resistance lowers mpg.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2011, 07:00 PM
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Its a minimal effect on the gas mileage. Here is a good article about running with the AC on vs windows down.

Air Conditioning: Does It Really Burn Gas?

Anyways. OP, I think everyone agrees that it wont do any physical harm to your car with it on all year.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2011, 03:41 AM Thread Starter
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Very helpful thank you to all!!
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