Would this be bad for my Elise? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Would this be bad for my Elise?

There are times when I want to run the AC with the car not moving. Mostly when I have a quick lunch break (about 30 minutes or less), in hot weather, I have had no issues sitting in a park somewhere munching on a sandwich, AC running, car in P. I drive either an Acura MDX or Chevy Colorado to work. The temperature gauge never moves from the middle. A few years back, when our kids were young, I'd sit in the car with them asleep, for almost an hour while waiting for family members to be done shopping, no issues. I'm hesitant to do this in the Elise, seeing how the AC is already pretty weak to begin with, and it's a much older car,.....

Thanks,
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 11:49 AM
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I can't imagine anything wrong with using the A/C in the car while just sitting there. In this regard, I see it like any other car really. I've done it at most 30-45mins. Possibly it just may not get to the real cold temps as I usually notice the car needs to be moving to give it the extra umph. Although, our A/C isn't that great to begin with haha.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 11:54 AM
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If everything is working as designed, it won't hurt anything. It might not cool all that well, but it won't hurt anything. An idling Elise has a lot of excess cooling capacity, so the engine won't overheat, though the cooling fans might cycle between low and high (no harm done). The fans do an adequate job of moving air over the condenser, so that should work fine.

Cooling efficiency won't be as good as when driving because the volume of air going over the condenser is reduced compared to driving above 25 MPH and because the compressor is turning slowly. Again, this won't hurt anything. In the worst case scenario, the high pressure switch will stop the compressor for a while until enough air is pulled over the condenser.

The evaporator (inside coil) is exactly as prone to ice up when idling as at speed. If you don't have the drainage holes drilled in the floor pan, you might have condensate pooling issues (because the car is sitting in one position) but again, this would not be much worse than normal use. Opening the recirculation plates would help with efficiency.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the explanation. I'll drive it more now that I understand it shouldn't have any issues with cooling.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 03:50 PM
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If you need to use the A/C a lot, I highly recommend doing all the fixes, all well documented in the forum posts:

- updated sensor
- insulation and isolation from the radiator
- remove plates covering the recirc
- heater core bypass w/ electronic control (Tony Wa mod). This one is pretty involved but really worth it.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 08:24 AM
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I did not see it mentioned above, when the A/C is turned on, the radiator fans are automatically turned on to the low setting. Depending on hot hot it is outside, that should take care of all the cooling needs. If it is really hot, the engine temp may get hot enough to turn the fans on high (209 deg?)

But, like the others have said, if everything in the system is up to date on maintenance, there should be no problem.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 11:53 AM
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Over the last 10 years I have driven my Elise countless times from Seattle to our place at Lake Chelan in eastern WA. It's a popular destination spot with boating/camping/fishing/concerts/vineyards. So during major holidays that 3hr one way trip can turn out to be 4-5hrs of sitting in stop and go traffic thru the mountain passes in 90+ degree weather. I've ran my AC in this traffic w/o issue for several hours. The temps do get quite hot since I'm not really moving but once temps hit around 210 the fans kick into high gear and brings it back down to the 190's. If I can do that over several hours...you are perfectly fine to sit and finish your sandwich. Happy eating!

Funny...I too have an MDX (2014) that is the family hauler. I had been looking for a midsize pick-up to add to the arsenal and was cross shopping the Colorado's. Over the weekend, I landed on a 2019 fully loaded Lariat Ranger w/ fx4 package.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren Donovan View Post
There are times when I want to run the AC with the car not moving. Mostly when I have a quick lunch break (about 30 minutes or less), in hot weather, I have had no issues sitting in a park somewhere munching on a sandwich, AC running, car in P. I drive either an Acura MDX or Chevy Colorado to work. The temperature gauge never moves from the middle. A few years back, when our kids were young, I'd sit in the car with them asleep, for almost an hour while waiting for family members to be done shopping, no issues. I'm hesitant to do this in the Elise, seeing how the AC is already pretty weak to begin with, and it's a much older car,.....

Thanks,
Wait a minute... You'd sit in your car while it idled... for AN HOUR?? That's a lot of 0mpg carbon output!

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 07:55 AM
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I have seen my temperature gauge hit 224 once running the AC in traffic because of not enough air to cool it. But I am also in Vegas.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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Update: the AC works fine for the 30 minutes or so that I have for my lunch break.

I also noticed that not just at idle, but also while driving on the freeway, the air that comes out of the vents would alternate between cold and cool. I've tried to vary the RPM to see if it would make a difference, but results have been inconsistent.
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