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2013 KIA Sorento SX
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Discussion Starter #1
Every summer I drive from my home in L.A. to Las Vegas. Is it better to use the A/C in "auto" and not worry about the settings?

Or turn the A/C on and then turn it off when I go uphill?
 

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White 2012 SX AWD
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763 Posts
What model do you have? Engine?

I would say Auto, but it depends on what you're trying to do...save gas? Turning off AC will save gas, but if you're driving conservatively and you have a v6, probably will only make a small difference. May be worth keen AC on. Most definitely keep recirc on.

Where are you? What mountains?
 

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Cerato S Hatch Auto
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In general, airconditioner designers have a strange idea on what "Auto" means. Sometimes it means that your system will act as a climate control; i.e. automatically determine whether Heating or Cooling is required in response to the temperature setting. Some systems require manual selection of Cooling/Heating, often with a separate thermostat setting for each range, and in that case "Auto" simply means the usual thermostat logic.

I suggest that you set the controls to produce the required temperature and circulation, and if that involves a setting to "Auto" that is good. Even when the compressor is running, your A/C will only draw a few kW (similar to a decent-sized domestic unit). No point turning it off on hills unless your engine is really struggling or the radiator is blocked.
 

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2013 Sorento EX V6 AWD
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No point turning it off on hills unless your engine is really struggling or the radiator is blocked.
Agree 100%. I'm not sure what the point would be to do that. Save gas? That's not likely. Better performance? I suppose if you're wheezing along with the 4-banger on a steep hill, it would help a little. On the V6, I doubt you'd be able to tell if it was on or off. I just leave mine set to Auto 75F and forget about it. That served me just fine on those 100F+ days we had this summer.

Best,
 

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2012 AWD Sorento GDI EX
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55 Posts
Auto

We live in a temperate area and "auto" gives us too much AC. We went to "off", then turned on the fan (being sure the ac button was clicked on and off)

On one trip I had fairly predictable climbs up mountains followed by descents into valleys. I switched on the ac going down and turned it off when we were climbing. We were getting 27 mpg. I'm not sure how much the ac would have affected our mpg overall.
 

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Race Blue MY12 Skoda Octavia RS TDI Manual
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I always used to leave mine on auto, set at about 18-20.
Auto took care of everything, and I got amazing economy. :)

That being said, it would seem that nobody else on here with the diesel has been able to match my numbers >.<
 

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Cerato S Hatch Auto
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Agree 100%. I'm not sure what the point would be to do that. Save gas? That's not likely. Better performance? I suppose if you're wheezing along with the 4-banger on a steep hill, it would help a little. On the V6, I doubt you'd be able to tell if it was on or off. I just leave mine set to Auto 75F and forget about it. That served me just fine on those 100F+ days we had this summer.
In Summer, t's fiercely hot around town where I live and that sucks an extra 2 MPG compared to Winter, when the A/C is off or just circulating air.
 

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2013 Sorento EX V6 AWD
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In Summer, t's fiercely hot around town where I live and that sucks an extra 2 MPG compared to Winter, when the A/C is off or just circulating air.
OK. Just for grins...Let's assume you drive 12,000 miles per year. On my Sorento, I get about 28mpg on the highway (with the A/C on auto all the time). But let's assume that I get 28mpg without A/C. That works out to about 429 gallons of gas per year. Let's now assume that for 6 months of the year, I've got the A/C cranked and I only get 26mpg (less the 2mpg you mention above). OK, so now I use 444gals. Let's say gas costs a nice round $4/gal. Am I going to agonize over fiddling with the climate controls based on the terrain to save $60/year? No. Maybe other folks would, but it just doesn't seem worth the bother to me. Color me spoiled. :)

Perhaps the prices are sufficiently different down unda to make it worth one's while. I dunno, I always drive a Swift when I'm in Sydney so I haven't spent much time pondering gas prices. :)

Best,
 

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Cerato S Hatch Auto
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OK. Just for grins...Let's assume you drive 12,000 miles per year. On my Sorento, I get about 28mpg on the highway (with the A/C on auto all the time). But let's assume that I get 28mpg without A/C. That works out to about 429 gallons of gas per year. Let's now assume that for 6 months of the year, I've got the A/C cranked and I only get 26mpg (less the 2mpg you mention above). OK, so now I use 444gals. Let's say gas costs a nice round $4/gal. Am I going to agonize over fiddling with the climate controls based on the terrain to save $60/year? No. Maybe other folks would, but it just doesn't seem worth the bother to me. Color me spoiled. :)

Perhaps the prices are sufficiently different down unda to make it worth one's while. I dunno, I always drive a Swift when I'm in Sydney so I haven't spent much time pondering gas prices. :)
Exactly what I was getting at; even at $7 per Imp. gallon (our prices), no one in their right mind would fiddle with the A/C for economy reasons. For comparison, domestic A/C costs us about $300 extra during the summer months, and believe me, that's good value when the outside temperature is 37°C with 80% humidity.
 

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2013 KIA Sorento SX
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Discussion Starter #11
Okay.

If the button is set to AUTO, does that mean when cool air is coming out of the vents the a/c is on even though the a/c light isn't on?
 

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2012 Sorento EX V6
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Yes, A/C runs in auto mode without the light being on. If you don't want it to run, push the a/c button twice. You will not be in auto mode as far as a/c is concerned, but all other functions will be controlled automatically
 

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2013 KIA Sorento SX
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Discussion Starter #13
Yes, A/C runs in auto mode without the light being on. If you don't want it to run, push the a/c button twice. You will not be in auto mode as far as a/c is concerned, but all other functions will be controlled automatically
What if I push the OFF button? Will that work the same way too?
 
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