A/C or Windows Down: Which Gives Better MPG in the Summer?

During the summer months, one hotly debated topic is whether it’s more efficient to keep the windows down or use the air conditioning. While the A/C typically makes the engine work harder, having your windows down can decrease aerodynamic efficiency. So which is better between the two? The answer, quite simply, is that it depends.

A/C or windows down - Gossett Kia - Memphis, TN

According to Business Insider, there is no easy answer to the A/C vs. windows down debate. While experts can agree that neither is great for gas mileage, there are several factors to keep in mind when determining which of the two is best. This includes the make and model of your car, weather, and the speed you’re travelling. For instance, having the windows down has little effect on fuel economy if you’re going 15 mph. At highway speeds, however, it’s a different story.

Researchers for the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) have performed multiple studies to find the answer. A 2004 study looked at sedans and SUVs at speeds of 31 mph, 50 mph, and 68 mph in 86-degree weather. While it was close, having the windows down was consistently better at all speeds than running the air conditional.

For an SUV, the results are starker. Having the windows down rather than using the air conditioning will save you a considerable amount on fuel costs. The team at the Mythbusters television series also tested this problem and found similar results.

Ultimately, if the Memphis weather gets hot enough, the correct answer to the debate between A/C or windows down is likely to be whatever keeps you feeling coolest. If you want to look cool, you’ll want to get behind the wheel of a new Kia, and you can start your journey in that direction by stopping into Gossett Kia for a test drive.

Experience the Open Road: Summer Road Trip Destinations

road tripRoad trips are an American tradition, letting you experience the sights and thrills of the open road. We’ve put together a list of the top summer road trip destinations in the US, each of which offers a unique experience you won’t find elsewhere.

According to Money Crashers, one of the most iconic road trips follows Route 66 across America. This historic road cuts across 2,500 miles, ultimately ending in Los Angeles. Although you might have to travel a day from Memphis to reach some of the best stretches of this highway, it is well worth it.

Want to stay a little closer to home? Check out the Arkansas Highway 7 Scenic Byway. This 290-mile stretch covers pine forests, rolling hills, and parts of the Ozarks. Though it takes about two days to really explore the entire road, you can also spend time at hot springs or camping along the way.

For those who want to explore the region, take an hour drive north from Memphis to Holly Springs, MS. This short trip is great for seeing the hill country, and it is also packed full of historic landmarks and museums. Check out the Kate Freeman Clark Museum, Marshall Country Historical Museum, and the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Museum.

Whether you want to drive across the country or you simply want to explore your local area, road trips are great for virtually everyone. Just be sure to pack light, drive safe, and enjoy your ride!

Sharing the Road with Motorcycles: Tips for Safety

motorcycleNow that spring is in the air and warmer weather is on the way, motorcycles are bound to be on the road more than ever. That makes it important to understand the dangers of sharing the road with motorcycles, for both drivers and bikers.

According to eSurance, motorcycles generally conform to the same traffic safety laws as car. That means in most states, lane sharing, speeding, etc. are still illegal for bikers. They do, however, lack safety devices like seat belts and air bags, putting them more at risk. Always understand how vulnerable a motorcyclist is when you are sharing the road with them.

One general rule of thumb is to follow the “four second rule.” Because motorcycles are smaller than automobiles, car drivers tend to follow them more closely than they intend. By giving yourself extra distance you can ensure that everyone is still just as safe.

Look twice!  Our brains are often hardwired to overlook motorcycles on the road precisely because they are not cars. Always look twice when turning to prevent unintended collisions and dangerous situations.

Finally, remember it’s not a competition. One of the best tips for drivers is to be nice on the road. Most people behave irrationally when behind the wheel, a symptom of too much time behind the wheel. Relax and remember to be patient.