Nearly 40 years ago, I was told that it was a bad idea to turn on the air conditioning when driving at highway speeds. I was advised that the AC should be turned on only when the car was idling or moving very slowly. I guess the idea was that starting the AC when the engine was operating at high RPMs would jolt it and put a lot of sudden strain on the belt-driven AC parts. I have always followed that old advice, and I get funny looks when I slow to 20 mph to turn on the AC. Is it a bad idea to start the AC when not idling or moving slowly? Was it ever a bad idea? Am I the victim of a 40-year-old joke? — David
As I write this, I am still fuming. This past week, the temperature has been in the high 80s to low 90s. I hate the heat and get super grumpy. So, I get into my wife’s VW, which, of course, has been baking in the sun all day, and she’s waiting for the engine to warm up before she turns on the AC so the AC will be colder! After what felt like a four-mile drive in hell, she finally turned on the AC, but she would only set the fan speed to No. 1, so there was barely any air blowing. I asked if we could put the fan on the highest setting to, you know, get some cold air into this hot box. She said no, and kept it on the lowest possible setting. I wanted to scream! Her reasoning was that since the air is recycled, the AC works better, and the air is therefore colder, if the fan is not turned on full blast. Huh? Is she right? Why on earth are there other fan speed settings, then? I’m thinking so one can actually feel the cold air. Has all this heat fried my thinking capabilities?