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I have always turned off the A/C unit in winter time and just use the vent on heat to save gas and better power off line. This holds true to all the cars I've had but the Pilot is my first car with auto climate control. My question is, does the automatic climate control (when is on) switch between a/c and vent when the a/c is not needed? Or is it always on a/c? Also my friend says that in the newer cars the A/C compressor is being made much more efficient and you will see no added benefit,. ei better gas mileage or power. Is this true? Has any of you tested your gas mileage with a/c on and off?

Foot note,
You can turn of the a/c and leave it in auto and does well controlling the heat temperature.
 

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When I don't feel I need it I turn it off. I would think the system would continue to use it whenever it felt it could gain a benefit from it in cooling or heating. I am not positive but at the end of the summer I ran a week without the AC and did get some added mileage, only about 1mpg but every step counts.

(You'd have to get some other opinions or facts before taking this as full truth. )
 

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For several years most cars have disengaged the AC when accelerating hard. It is done both to help performance and gas milage.

I think most cars today don't suffer the big loss in MPG with the AC on lik ein the past. It takes energy so it has to use some fuel, but less than the drag added by having the windows open.
 
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