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Hello, I live in el Centro, California, you know, very hot summers. I need to have my A/C always turned on and I have noticed that my fuel economy has dropped significantly using the A/C.

I was getting up to 40 mpg without the Air conditioner on, and now it has dropped to about 25-28 mpg, ( i try to be gentle with the acceleration, and i normally drive it in the city, almost no highway).

Has anyone been using your scion IA with the AC always on? It would be great if you could share your MPG. :)
 

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The color of your car could play a role in this. Black cars with small engines operating in extreme temperatures are subject to more operating pressure. Like wearing all black while under 120 degree weather. Not good mang.
 

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Well then.... Guys, its simple simple physics, NOT (an inefficient AC system ) as one member has suggested . A big part is: Its Load/HP ratio, look it up, not a difficult concept to understand, just a few paragraphs of reading. Jpdbasher's fuel economy loss is a combination of a lot of factors, Load/HP Ratio, Color, Temperature, Traffic, Speed, Weight of the Foot, topology, etc. Good luck blaming it on the vehicle, you won't get anywhere...... Not something any of us wants to see but it is reasonable.
 

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Is yours manual or stick-shift? Mine is stick, and the key is to not rev it more than 2000 rpm. I've noticed this too with my car and have been getting 32 mpg. But recently i went back to driving mostly highway and it went-up to ~39. I did discover a nail in my tire i had to take care of. Make sure your tires are properly inflated but not overinflated during the summer. I live in hot Arizona and it gets up to 117-120 degrees here in the summer. Brake Masters recharged my A/C two years ago when i got the car and it only blows cold when im driving 40mph or more.

Keep in mind that warm air is less dense and therefore has less oxygen for combustion and therefore lower gas mileage.

But my friend's Toyota and Honda blows cold nearly instantly after turning on the car and despite having black color paint.

Make sure your alignment is good, tires are rotated and balanced, back side of air filters are clean, that you change the oil every 4-5000 or minimum twice a year as it says in the manual or thrice a year for severe conditions. Any small bump will throw this car outta alignment, and make sure suspension is intack and has no blown struts.
 
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