A/C in cold weather?

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Gordon Zola, Nov 15, 2005.

  1. Gordon Zola

    Gordon Zola Guest

    I've heard that car A/C doesn't work below a certain temperature
    because if it's freezing out, the coils might freeze up. Yet the guy
    at the dealer says, run the A/C to clear interior fog on the windows,
    and doesn't make any exception for freezing weather. Could someone
    explain what actually happens?

    If the A/C doesn't kick in when it is freezing out, how come the A/C
    light still lights up?
    Gordon Zola, Nov 15, 2005
  2. Gordon Zola

    Bucky Guest

    Don't know much about A/C's, but I'm pretty sure that the operating
    temperature is not at 0 deg C. The coils aren't filled with water,
    they're some type of liquid similar to freon. According to a website I
    found, the freezing point of freon-12 is -158C. Maybe some other
    fluids/lubricants would cause the A/C to seize before the coils would.

    Bucky, Nov 15, 2005
  3. Gordon Zola

    Brian Smith Guest

    A/C works just fine in cold weather.
    The light comes on because the A/C is turned on.
    Brian Smith, Nov 15, 2005
  4. That and the fact the reason they say to run the A/C to clear the windows is
    that it acts like a dehumidifier and helps remove moisture from the air.
    Ross Cranford, Nov 15, 2005
  5. Gordon Zola

    Woody Guest

    You are listening to people living in the past. While it use to be true that
    the A/C wouldn't come on at low temperatures it is not true today.
    Woody, Nov 15, 2005

  6. -----------------------

    The best dehumidifier in winter is to turn OFF the recirculate, and pump
    bone-dry air into your car, displacing the moisture from your wet floor
    mats. Works best in areas where winter is DRY.

    Your Owner's Manual says you should use the AC occasionally in the
    winter to keep it lubed. It will only cut in above a certain under-hood

    'Curly Q. Links', Nov 15, 2005
  7. Gordon Zola

    Gordon Zola Guest

    Yeah. So in the summer time, the evaporator runs at around 32F/0C, the
    water vapor in the air condenses on the evaporator coils, forms
    liquid, and drips out of the car.

    But in the winter when it is say 0F/-18C, the water vapor turns to
    frost on the evaporator coils. It can't drip out because it is solid
    ice. The evaporator ices up. At least this will be true when the car
    is first started if the A/C is on.

    Ten or 15 minutes later when the interior warms up, the situation may
    be different, but by then you won't need the A/C to dry the air,
    because the dry air from the outside plus the heat is doing that.

    Just trying to understand what is happening....
    Gordon Zola, Nov 15, 2005
  8. Gordon Zola

    Randy Guest

    The AC will turn on at any temperature but won't cool if the ambient
    temp is below around 5 C. At such low temperatures, the evaporator
    would cool below 0 C and the water condensing on it would form ice.

    Under cold conditions, the AC is useless for dehumidifying the air and
    preventing fog on the windows.

    While the main purpose of AC is to cool the vehicle in the summer, it
    can be used in the winter to help warm it up. That's because the AC
    puts a load on the engine, which then warms up faster, and that gives
    quicker heat out of the heater. Of course this uses up more gas, so
    turn off the AC when the interior is warm enough.

    Randy, Nov 17, 2005
  9. Gordon Zola

    Brian Smith Guest

    It's not used to cool the air in the passenger compartment it is used to
    remove the moisture in the air. It does that just fine in my vehicle here in
    Nova Scotia through Winter.
    Apparently not true with my experiences.
    Driving the vehicle puts more load on the engine that the A/C ever would or
    Brian Smith, Nov 17, 2005
  10. Gordon Zola

    Randy Guest

    Such is the power of faith.
    Yes, very true.

    Randy, Nov 17, 2005
  11. Gordon Zola

    Brian Smith Guest

    What in the world are you trying to say? That actual experiences don't mean
    anything to you?
    Brian Smith, Nov 17, 2005
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