Does AC in summer time effect oil?

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2,480
guess running the a/c adds a strain to the engine (heavy accessory) which then translates into a hotter running engine and added strain on the cooling system...not to mention the electrical (fan)...not to mention the already HOT outside temps and already present strain on the cooling system....all of which adds up to added strain on the oil...increased operating temps, increased volatility, burn-off, oxidation, etc....
 
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3,317
Location
Bolivia
The effect should be minimal if the cooling system is working properly. When I lived in Florida we turned on the A/C January 1 and turned it off on December 30 or so. Last year I had the A/C on in my Grand Cherokee when the outside temperature was 128, 4 passengers and a lot of luggage for 700 km. Didn't see any change in the temp guage (although there was probably a degree or so).
 

Patman

Staff member
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21,988
Location
Oakville, Ontario
I don't think it hurts things too much at all. My UOAs are much better in the summer than in the winter, and I run my AC a lot in summer (pretty much more than 50% of the time, since in the mornings I usually don't need it, but coming home from work I run it) I always see commercials on TV for oil and they make it look like super hot summer temps and traffic jams will really harm the oil, but I don't believe this is true. I think if you're running a good quality oil then the heat won't hurt it at all. It's the extreme cold which kills an oil in my experiences. [ May 10, 2003, 08:11 PM: Message edited by: Patman ]
 
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100
Location
Keller, TX
I don't know I think rush hour traffic here in Dallas/Fort Worth area in August 110F+ or even worse Phoenix 120F+ would be pretty tough with the AC on or not. Of course you Canadians don't have to worry about that too much. [Big Grin]
 
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100
Location
Keller, TX
Well it will be interesting to see how a 5W-20 holds up in a good old fashioned Texas Summer. I plan on doing a UOA of the Pennzoil 5W-20 this Summer out of my 02 Accord.
 

Patman

Staff member
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21,988
Location
Oakville, Ontario
quote:
Originally posted by Paul: Khager, You'd be suprised, our Summers can get pretty hot. And our traffic jams are right up there with the best of 'em. [Big Grin] -Paul
Exactly! We got plenty of 90-95F days last year, plus I had a few times where my 25 mile trip home from work took me 70-80min. Traffic here can really really suck sometimes!
 

Al

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19,154
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
quote:
Originally posted by khager: Well it will be interesting to see how a 5W-20 holds up in a good old fashioned Texas Summer. I plan on doing a UOA of the Pennzoil 5W-20 this Summer out of my 02 Accord.
I will look forward to seeing this one. [Cheers!]
 
Messages
5,069
Location
Saratoga, NY
Back to the original question, I think the AC can affect wear, etc ... on smaller engines. Much like a powerful truck pulling a trailer, engaging the AC compressor puts a great deal of load/strain on many 4-cylinder cars ... especially those with a displacement of 2.0L or less. Sometimes you can feel the engagement shake the whole car ... especially at idle. --- Bror Jace
 
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373
Location
Port Colborne, ON
quote:
Originally posted by Bror Jace: Back to the original question, I think the AC can affect wear, etc ... on smaller engines. Much like a powerful truck pulling a trailer, engaging the AC compressor puts a great deal of load/strain on many 4-cylinder cars ... especially those with a displacement of 2.0L or less. Sometimes you can feel the engagement shake the whole car ... especially at idle. --- Bror Jace
ain't that the truth. on my 1.5L civic if you're driving with the a/c, and when you're doing 110 km/h and it engages, the speed will constantly fluctuate between 100 - 110 km/h. it's quite an annoying thing.
 
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1,908
Location
Fort Worth, TX
I'd say that once a car is warmed up (everything; all fluids, greases, tires, etc) then wear is fairly minimal to nonexistent at steady speeds. But stop-and-go, extended idle and the rest put a real strain on oil in high ambient temperatures. And, no, Canada doesn't get all that hot, not compared to the American Southwest. Try Dallas-Ft Worth where the overnight ambient low doesn't get below 90F for several months. Or below 100F before midnight. And add in the humidity produced by this region and it feels hotter than even Phoenix sometimes. Florida at least gets double the rain and ocean breezes to amieliorate conditions. Those conditions are murderous on cooling systems, and, as oil has to cool the bottom-end of the motor (40% of required engine cooling), todays cars -- and some SUVs -- have a real problem in coping after only a few years of operation due to weight/size and packaging considerations. Add to that the trouble the A/C condensor is having in transfering heat -- much of it past the radiator -- and one can see that engine oil maintenance is crucial. Synthetic oil has been mandatory, in my estimation, for the longest engine life in like-new condition. Although there are UOA's of dino with excellent numbers (and I may well change brand or viscosity of my current choice), synthetic is worth a little peace of mind, IMO. Yes, summer conditions in this part of the country make a difference per the original question.
 
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5,069
Location
Saratoga, NY
Greg, My Civic did the same. One trip, after I had the headgasket replaced and the timing was a touch off, I was driving back from West Point at ~85mph. Trying to maintain this speed in a car with a lot of weight in it AND run the air conditioner was a feat. I ended up running the AC only when going down hill. [Roll Eyes] After all, it was late September and it wasn't THAT hot out. [Wink] --- Bror Jace
 
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