How tough is this for my Prius ? AC ?

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by Chris Wolfgram, Jul 11, 2020.

  1. Chris Wolfgram

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    So yesterday in Sacramento it was a little over 100 F. Easy peasy in the shade with a cold drink and a 2 mph breeze.... Gotta' love our 8-12% humidity :) Our Summers are actually fun :)

    Unfortunately, I was confined to an open parking lot (airport waiting lot for ride share), where the blacktop was probably hitting 170 F ! Okay, with my climate control set to 73 F, I felt super comfortable... with my very nice sounding aftermarket stereo playing (with a 600 wt amp, of course not beating on it... but still drawing a lot more juice than the stock stereo I'm sure) ... and my second phone to surf the Internet, it was all good.... for me.

    But how about for my car ? I did notice that my ICE was cycling on quite a bit more than usual. Certainly twice as often as it does in the Winter with the heater and the stereo cranked up...

    How tough is this kind of treatment on my car ???
     
  2. krmcg

    krmcg Lowered Blizzard Pearl Beauty

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    Why would it be tough for the engine to idle occasionally? Seems like pretty easy work for the car to me.
     
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  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    no worries. other than potentially shorter battery lives in warm climes, it will be fine.
     
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  4. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    You're using more fuel than usual to keep up with extra cooling.

    And that's it.

    Heck, the battery loves breathing air conditioned air while you cart it around. That's easier to take than being parked in the heat.
     
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  5. Chris Wolfgram

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    Nice. Thanks guys. I just know that if I set at idle and crank my AC in my truck, for hours on end, it will eventually shut off the AC (the compressor ?) and start blowing super hot air.
    That has only happened once but that was recently. I thought I fried something with my AC... The compressor or whatever. But after a quick call to my mechanic friend, he told me it would likely come back on and work fine after it cooled off. He was right.

    So this never happens in a Prius ?
     
  6. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    A Prius will interrupt A/C if the gas engine is approaching overheat.

    Nearly all auto air conditioners have their condensers way out front, first in line to dump heat into the incoming air. The radiator gets sloppy seconds- air that has already been heated by the air conditioner. If the air conditioning is shut down, the radiator gets a shot of colder air so the engine can be kept cooler.

    Pretty much any car or light truck new enough to come with factory air and fuel injection includes a thing that kills the air to save the engine.

    You might check on the fan/radiator performance of your truck...
     
  7. -Yousef-

    -Yousef- Junior Member

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    I wouldn't worry about it as it's almost always over that temperature here during the day time in summer .

    To attempt to make the battery happy I keep the AC blowing in rear vents under the seats and make sure the driver only button is disabled as with it ON it won't send any air to those vents.

    I also make sure the cabin air filter is clean and change it regularly due the frequent dust we get here .
     
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  8. Chris Wolfgram

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    Well, that day was kind of a worst case scenario, as the truck was at idle for a long time, but also in gear, which puts even more drag on things, and still it probably took 2-3 hours for that to happen. Also, my mechanic pointed out that my air filter was pretty filthy. Got a washable K&N the next week. Breathing way better now.
     
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  9. Chris Wolfgram

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    Actually for rideshare, I almost always bypass the driver only AC... And even if I'm not trying to really make it a lot colder, I always use a lot of fan...
     
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  10. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    That's only 37°C - I've had a little hotter than that here, and with humidity more like 70-80%. PRIUS handles it fine - as do most new cars. Out west, I had LandCruisers in 43°C, but lower humidity, they just took it in their stride - I wasn't there when it got hotter, but the locals said it was fine - just took longer and longer to cool them down.

    Always tried to find shade to park in if possible - not always though.
     
  11. Chris Wolfgram

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    Right on. This is good to know.
    But about humidity.... I don't think humidity makes much, if any difference for mechanical or electrical components. I believe the reason high humidity makes such a big difference with human comfort, is that our method of cooling, is through the evaporation of sweat. We cannot evaporate sweat very well, when the air is saturated.
     
  12. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    No, cars don't care about humidity. Nor does your greenhouse garden.

    But people do - when I was out west where it was dry and hot, 30-32 degrees was relatively comfortable, even 37 wasn't too bad particularly in the shade. But go back home with 80-90%, even 25 degrees was hot. So - we work our A/Cs harder chasing a lower temperature in the humid sub-tropics.

    I well remember the last day of my 6 months out west, I had to mow and trim the lawns of my rental house - and it was 38 degrees at 4:00pm. I wasn't looking forward to it, but went and did it - not raising a drop of sweat. 2 days later, I was at my home on the East Coast, 80% humidity, 28 degrees - and I was a lather of perspiration just getting the mower out and started (pull start and it was being obstinate).
     
  13. pianewman

    pianewman Member

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    This discussion hasn't included the icing effects of humidity on the evaporative coils.
    Sacramento...no problem.

    Fort Worth: Wife and daughter were idling (25-30 minutes) in the Prius, 96f, 45-50%h. They phoned me, alarmed, because the vents were blowing warm air. Once they got out on the road again, cooling resumed.
     
    #13 pianewman, Jul 13, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2020
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