Small Cars with Good A/C

happsAugust 29, 2006

Do small cars generally have less powerful and therefore less cold air conditioning systems. I have a 1992 Honda Accord and a 1988 Buick LeSabre both of which run on R-12 and have no problems with the air conditioning systems but the Buick's air conditioning after 18 years is ice cold and gets cold superfast on a 110 degree day, whereas the Honda air conditioning doesn't get that cold on a hot day, irregardless of whether it's been in the shade or sun. I've noticed it's also a big drag on the engine too of the Honda. Do domestic brands generally have cooler air conditioning systems than foreign brands? What are some small cars that have cold air conditioning systems yet get good gas mileage and aren't a drain on power. I know that seems impossible, but my 1992 Honda Accord 42,000 miles freshly tuned up, new timing belt and new transmission only gets about the same gas mileage as a similar year Pontiac 6000/Olds Ciera with a V6

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thecarguy

The AC in the Accord may need to be recharged. As for the drag on the engine, all AC compressors rob the engine of a couple horses or so... but you generally don't feel the loss in a larger, more powerful engine like you do in a 4-cylinder. The drag on today's more powerful 4-cylinder engines, however, is less noticable. I have heard from more than one source that Japanese air conditioning systems are a bit differently engineered than those of domestic brands... so this may have something to do with it. I never had any trouble with the AC in my 96 Accord, it cooled off in a timely manner and always kept me cold. In 270k miles, I never had to service or repair the system. I did feel the drag on the engine every time the compressor cycled, even when cruising along on the highway at 70 mph.

Now, comparing the AC in my 06 Accord to the recently purchased 2000 Buick Park Avenue, the air in the Accord is noticeably cooler.

Regarding your gas mileage, I averaged mid 20s in the city and mid 30s on the highway in the 96 Accord, which was mechanically similar to your 92 (96 had a few more horses) Which was acceptable in it's class, at the time.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 10:42PM
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