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Old 09-29-2018, 12:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
elhigh
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: SE USA - East Tennessee
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Josie - '87 Toyota Pickup
90 day: 28.6 mpg (US)

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Turn the AC to a warmer temperature and it'll cycle the compressor off more. That'll help a bit.

The HCH1 uses an engine-driven compressor like regular cars, instead of an electrically-driven compressor like many other hybrids. You may be able to do a pulley swap to underdrive the AC some and reduce its drag on the engine. I've never looked into that though, and the pulley on the compressor is pretty distinctive, not to mention a bear to get at. It wouldn't be like swapping a V-belt pulley on a small block Chevy engine, I'm not sure if the right kind of parts are even available.

When my AC comes on it pulls a pretty noticeable amount of power, sufficiently cutting into what the engine provides that I turn the AC off when climbing some of the longer hills in my area. It makes the difference between shifting down one gear, or two.

Don't forget about setting it to Recirculate and turning the ECON button ON. ECON will allow the engine to turn off at lights, otherwise if you have the AC on the engine will keep running. At short lights a brief pause won't be too bad, but at longer ones it might be more than you can tolerate.

If your windows aren't already tinted to block as much IR as possible, now's the time to consider it.
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