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Why Does My Car Lose Power When the AC Is on? Explained

car-lose-power-with-the-ac-on

Most people know that when they turn on their car’s air conditioning, it can cause the engine to lose power. But what many people don’t know is why this happens.

But why does my car lose power when the AC is on? Here is why;

The most likely cause is that your engine is not getting enough air. When the AC is turned on, it strains the engine by drawing in extra air.

It can cause the engine to stall or lose power. Another possibility is that your AC compressor is failing. The compressor is responsible for circulating refrigerant through the AC system, and if it fails, it can cause the engine to lose power.

In this article, we will explore the reasons behind AC-related engine power loss and provide some tips for preventing it from happening.

How Does Car AC Work?

Most car ACs work in a very similar way. They take in hot air from the car, cool it down, and then circulate it back into the cabin.

The process of exchanging heat in the air is known as heat dissipation. The AC unit uses a refrigerant to cool the air.

car-air-conditioner

This refrigerant is first compressed and then cooled using a condenser. Once it reaches a low temperature, it expands through an evaporator.

As the refrigerant expands, it absorbs heat from the surrounding air. This cooled air is then circulated back into the cabin, creating a comfortable environment for passengers.

One of the essential parts of a car AC is the compressor. The compressor is responsible for compressing the refrigerant and circulating it through the system.

If the compressor fails, it can cause the entire AC system to fail.

How AC Affects Engine Power

Air conditioners have a significant impact on engine power. Engines generate a lot of heat, and the alternator that powers the AC system has to work harder to keep the engine cool.

Additionally, the compressor that runs the AC system puts an extra load on the engine. As a result, AC can reduce fuel economy by 20%.

In addition, if an engine is not adequately cooled, it can overheat and seize up.

How to know Your AC is at Fault?

The moment the AC is not blowing cold again or fails to cool the car down sufficiently is a sign that the ac is faulty. Also, the moment the engine goes off after the AC is on.

What Can I Do if My AC is at Fault?

If the AC is faulty, you can check a few things to see if the problem lies with your AC.

  • 1. Check the thermostat. Make sure it’s set to “cool” and lower the temperature than the current vehicle temperature. If everything looks good on the thermostat, move on to the next step.
  • 2. Make sure the air filter is clean. A clogged air filter can restrict airflow and cause your AC to work less efficiently. If the filter looks dirty, replace it with a new one.
  • 3. Look for signs of leaks. Refrigerant leaks can cause your AC to lose power. Look for oil stains or puddles under your car to check for leaks. Take your vehicle to a mechanic and have it checked out.
  • 4. Ensure that the AC vents are not blocked. Things like leaves, dirt, or even snow can build up and prevent air from flowing correctly.
  • 5. Inspect the compressor belt. If it is loose or damaged, it will need to be replaced.

If you’ve checked all of these things and your AC is still not working correctly, it’s time to take it to a mechanic and have them look at it.

They will be able to diagnose the problem and get your AC up and running again in no time.

driver-using-ac-air-condition-system

How to Prevent My AC from Getting Fault?

To keep the automobile air conditioner safe, follow the following guidelines.

Get the AC Serviced Regularly

One way to protect your AC from getting faulty is to get it serviced regularly. A professional will be able to clean the system and check for any potential problems.

Check for Leaks and Get them Fixed as Soon as Possible

Leaks are one of the most common causes of AC problems. If you notice any signs of a leak, make sure to get it fixed as soon as possible. Leaks can cause your AC to lose power and performance.

Inspect the Air Filter and Change it Regularly

One way to keep your AC running is to inspect the air filter and change it regularly.

A clogged air filter can restrict airflow and cause your AC to work less efficiently. If the filter looks dirty, replace it with a new one.

Keep the Vents Clear of Debris

Make sure to keep the vents clear of debris. Things like leaves, dirt, or even snow can build up and prevent air from flowing correctly.

Check the Compressor Belt

The compressor belt is an integral part of the AC system. If it is loose or damaged, it will need to be replaced.

Does Turning Off AC Boost Car Engine Power?

Yes, turning the car AC off will boost the car engine power. When the AC is on, it puts an extra load on the engine. Since the AC gets its power from the engine, this will mount more pressure on the machine.

But, the engine can turn off the AC if it needs full power. The machine will signal the AC, and it will turn off.

car-engine

Can I Start the Car when the AC is On?

It’s not good to turn the car on with the air conditioner on. However, if you must, switch the AC setting to “recirculate” mode to draw in air from inside the vehicle instead of outside.

It will prevent the engine from getting too much strain as it starts. Also, don’t rev up the engine too high when starting it with the AC on.

Conclusion

Conclusively, when the car’s AC is on, it puts an extra load on the engine. The compressor, powered by the machine, has to work harder to pump refrigerant through the system.

The extra load can cause the engine to bog down, especially when the car is already under strain, such as when climbing a hill. In some cases, the loss of power may be due to a problem with the AC system itself.

For example, if the compressor isn’t getting enough refrigerant, it won’t be able to do its job efficiently.

For more information on your automobile, you can contact us using this link https://hammerandcoop.com/contact/.

And for more interesting topics on the car, you visit our blog at https://hammerandcoop.com/category/blog/.

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