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How to Stay Cool While Saving Fuel


Delphi offers useful tips to help drivers enhance fuel economy during A/C use

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — What is more fuel efficient — driving with the windows down or using the air conditioning? The answer might surprise most people.

“It is more fuel efficient to drive with the air conditioning on than with the A/C off and the windows rolled down,” said James Bertrand, president Delphi Thermal Systems, Delphi Corp. “That’s because a car uses less fuel to run an air conditioning system than it will use due to the aerodynamic drag on a vehicle when its windows are open.”

The use of any automotive air conditioning system increases the load on a vehicle’s engine which in turn consumes fuel. The National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL) estimates that traditional air conditioning systems account for approximately 5 percent of a vehicle’s fuel usage each year in the U.S. and 3 percent in Europe and Japan. With a long history of developing thermal technology, Delphi continues to develop energy-efficient air conditioning systems that can cut those numbers in half. But for today’s drivers, just properly using the air conditioning controls will help reduce fuel consumption.

Here are some tips to using a vehicle’s air conditioning system more efficiently:

* When entering a vehicle that has been sitting in the sun, fully open the windows temporarily to purge the hot air out of the vehicle. Then close the windows and let the air conditioning cool the passenger compartment.
* Press the recirculation button to enable the recirculation of the passenger air back through the air conditioner. This button may be labeled as “MAX.” Use of the recirculation feature will significantly reduce the energy used by the air conditioning system.
* For a manual system, it is most efficient to keep the temperature control in the full cold position and use the blower fan setting to adjust the amount of cooling. The temperature control should be used to adjust the air only after the blower is at the lowest setting.
* If the A/C is not as cold as it used to be, an air conditioning specialist can evaluate and repair the system. If there is a leak in the system, it should be repaired and recharged with refrigerant. It is also normal for the A/C system to lose small amounts of refrigerant by permeation through hoses over years of use. This may require a recharge of refrigerant.
* A vehicle’s HVAC system may have an air filter that has caught debris and is reducing airflow. If this is the case, the filter needs to be changed. On newer vehicles, this air filter could be located behind the glove box or below the windshield wipers. It can be changed by the vehicle’s owner or by service personnel. A service interval should be in the vehicle’s owner’s manual.

Besides optimizing a vehicle’s air conditioning system, drivers can also park in a shady spot, use a reflective sun shade or leave the window partially open during sunny days.

“These simple steps allow the car air and seats to be cooler which helps the air conditioning provide cooling comfort faster and save fuel at the same time,” said Bertrand.

With a long history of producing automotive thermal systems, Delphi has developed energy-efficient technologies that are smaller, lighter and help reduce the impact on the environment. Beyond automotive products, Delphi provides heating and cooling components to the residential and commercial markets.

For more information about Delphi Corp., visit

This press release as well as other statements made by Delphi may contain forward-looking statements that reflect, when made, the Company’s current views with respect to current events and financial performance. Such forward-looking statements are and will be, as the case may be, subject to many risks, uncertainties and factors relating to the Company’s operations and business environment which may cause the actual results of the Company to be materially different from any future results, express or implied, by such forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify these statements by forward-looking words such as “may,” “might,” “will,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential” or “continue,” the negative of these terms and other comparable terminology. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following: the ability of the Company to continue as a going concern; the ability of the Company to operate pursuant to the terms of the liquidity support agreements with GM, its debtor-in-possession financing facility and the related accommodation agreement, and to obtain an extension of term or other amendments as necessary to maintain access to such liquidity support agreements and facility; the Company’s ability to obtain Court approval with respect to motions in the Chapter 11 cases prosecuted by it from time to time, and to consummate the Modified Plan or any subsequently filed plan of reorganization and to consummate such plan or other consensual resolution of Delphi’s Chapter 11 cases; risks associated with third parties seeking and obtaining Court approval to terminate or shorten the exclusivity period for the Company to propose and confirm one or more plans of reorganization, for the appointment of a Chapter 11 trustee or to convert the cases to Chapter 7 cases; the ability of the Company to obtain and maintain normal terms with vendors and service providers; the Company’s ability to maintain contracts that are critical to its operations; the potential adverse impact of the Chapter 11 cases on the Company’s liquidity or results of operations; the ability of the Company to fund and execute its business plan as described in the Modified Plan as filed with the bankruptcy court and to do so in a timely manner; the ability of the Company to attract, motivate and/or retain key executives and associates; the ability of the Company to avoid or continue to operate during a strike, or partial work stoppage or slow down by any of its unionized employees or those of its principal customers and the ability of the Company to attract and retain customers. Additional factors that could affect future results are identified in the Annual, including the risk factors in Part I. Item 1A. Risk Factors contained therein and in Part II. Item 1A. Risk Factors in the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2009. Delphi disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events and/or otherwise. Similarly, these and other factors, including the terms of any reorganization plan ultimately confirmed, can affect the value of the Company’s various prepetition liabilities, common stock and/or other equity securities. Under the Modified Plan confirmed by the Court on July 30, 2009, holders of Delphi’s common stock will receive no value.


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