Mindful of the recommendations to give the aircon a run even in the winter
I pushed the button today.
It got me wondering (as I was doing 70mph) - is it kinder to the system to
switch it on at tickover - or even before starting the car ? After all, it
is a clutch.
I suppose I am being a bit anal - but what is the view?
I would have thought that it would be easier on the engine and starting
system to leave it off until the engine is running. But it might be
delayed by the ECU or other controls anyway, I don't know.
Mine ran out of refrigerant years ago, so it doesn't matter.
I think it's normally an electromagnetic "clutch": the switch turns on an
electromagnet on the engine plate of the clutch which attracts the air-con
compressor plate, so there's probably no actual friction between pads and
plate as the drive is taken up. Still maybe marginally kinder to turn it on
before starting the engine.
Mine defaults to enabled all of the time anyway, a climate system. The
compressor clutch will be constantly engaging and disengaging - so it
is designed for that. In winter it dries the moisture from the air flow
too, so I just leave it to look after itself.
The old advice was to run it regularly anyway, to help keep the seals
lubricated, but I understand that is no longer the case.
I tend to use mine as and when it is necessary, and turn it off (for fuel
efficiency reasons) when it's not needed. I use it in winter to dry the air
that is demisting the screen, but I turn it off once it's done the job
because my car heater doesn't get hot enough to overcome the cooling of the
aircon, so the air that's trying to keep the car warm never gets hotter than
tepid with it on.
I hadn't realised that the clutch was constantly being cycled on a
thermostat when it's on: I assumed that the compressor was permanently on
when the button was pressed which is why the air gets so damn cold. Maybe
it's only cycled if you have climate control.
Well without aircon turned on, and with heater temp set to hot, the air
coming from the heater is very hot, so maybe the aircon has too much
chilling effect. With no heater (temp on cold), the aircon quickly produces
condensation on the outside of the screen where moisture from the air
Certainly not in either of the Skoda Octavia's I've had. Plus they
demist the passenger side first. The last few years I have always had to
sit waiting for the screen to clear, then at about 6.50 each morning as
I drove to the paper shop, I'd regularly see another Octavia coming in
the other direction with the driver frantically wiping the screen with a
According to the annual postings on a Skoda forum, others have fitted
absorbent dehumidifier packs and found they help.
Nope.Its like the thermostat on a boiler: Once the circulating fluid is
at the right temp it cuts out, even though that fluid is being pumped
around a heat echanger
My jag XKs all had (massive) permanent climate control and the WHUMP of
the pump cutting in at tickover practically stalled the engine - a V8
can tick over at pretty low revs.
You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a
kind word alone.
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