Truck Tips

Truck Tips: Summertime Fuel Efficiency


truck windows and ac
Do you roll down your windows or turn on your air conditioning?

When temperatures start to climb higher, the great debate between windows or air conditioning is reignited. Some people think that it’s better to keep your air conditioning on, while others are certain that it’s best to cool their truck by keeping the windows rolled down. Which option will lead to more fuel efficient Truck adventures? What causes the change in fuel efficiency? These truck tips will keep you and your truck running comfortably and efficiently all summer long.

The Facts

When you roll your windows down, air can’t flow easily around your truck. Instead, it gets sucked in the windows and through your vehicle. This creates aerodynamic drag. As your car is slowed down, it forces your engine to work harder, and expend more fuel. On the flip side, when you use your air conditioner, it doesn’t create drag, but it does have to use an air compressor to cool the air. This process expends energy and forces your vehicle to work harder just the same.

When Should I Roll Down the Windows?

Both your windows and your air conditioner are going to be a bit of a drain on your gas tank, but this is necessary to keep you comfortable on your commute. When you’re driving at speeds below 40 miles per hour, opt for rolled down windows instead of turning on your air conditioner. Because the amount of drag increases as your speed increases, at high speeds, the effect is magnified to an extremely inefficient level. At lower speeds, the drag isn’t enough to create as big of an impact as your air conditioner would, but the breeze will keep you plenty cool.

When Should I Switch on the AC?

At low speeds, your vehicle is operating on a lower amount of power. This means that in order to employ accessories like air conditioning, it would need to boost the power. When you are driving at speeds in excess of 55 miles per hour, your truck is already running on high power, giving it plenty of power for accessories. More importantly, at such speeds, the drag caused by windows can create a serious impact on fuel usage. At higher speeds, stick with air conditioning for more efficient cooling.

Trick Trucks

If you want more truck tips like these or information on our services, please contact Trick Trucks today by calling 1-866-60 TRICK or click here! We have been working with trucks and their drivers since 1974, and we have all of the answers and accessories you need. We also invite you to explore our other Exterior Truck Accessories while you’re here.