Car Overheats When AC Is On: Causes And Solutions

Nothing could be more torturous than driving your car on a hot summer day but not being able to turn the AC on? Many car owners face a peculiar problem involving the car overheats when AC is on. Sometimes, it happens when the air conditioning is on even for a few minutes. A hot car is not only discomforting but also leads to serious damage to several other components.

Car Overheats When AC Is On: The Causes

The symptoms of the car overheating due to the air conditioner involve the heating up of the engine, dashboard, and the seats a few minutes after turning on the AC. The restoration to normal temperature is pretty quick to once you turn off the AC.

Car overheats for AC
It could be a serious problem in the summer. (Photo Source: wheels)

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You should check into these components if your car overheats when AC is on:

1. Compressor Overload

A malfunctioning AC compressor puts plenty of extra load on the engine. The air conditioning system draws a huge amount of power from the engine, putting such a big load on the compressor that it cannot handle. Also, the compressor makes the engine to handle a rotational load. When it is failing, it cannot do all the power handling, causing the engine overheating.

2. Incompetent Cooling System

The cooling system is another component to examine if your car overheats when AC is on. The cooling system works to keep the air conditioning’s condenser cool, which heats up after you turn the AC on. The overheating could be the result of clogged condenser fins, defective condenser fan, or a faulty water pump that does not properly circulate the coolant. The coolant system can also catch the corrosion occurring in the radiator tubes, resulting in preventing the proper coolant flow.

3. Faulty Fan

Sometimes, switching the AC on causes overheating when the car is stationary or moving at low speeds. It happens due to a clogged radiator passage the blocks the airflow. The problem ultimately causes the failure of the fan switch, making the car overheats when AC is on.

4. Defective Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor

Overheating due to the problem is rare but not absolutely impossible. A faulty sensor will show ‘hot’ reading whether or not you turn on the AC. In that case, you have to replace it or go to a mechanic to fix the issue.

car overheats when ac is on
The fixes are not expensive, though. (Photo Source: automotivemap)

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Car Overheats When AC Is On: The Solutions

Taking a few measures will help you to avoid this problem and keep the air conditioning system functional for a long time:

  • The gas used in the AC sometimes does not suit the type or model of the car. Have a mechanic check the compatibility and refill the gas if it does not match.
  • Clean the radiator on a regular basis. Install an air pressure gauge at one of the radiator ends to check the airflow.
  • Overheating could be the result of air getting trapped in the coolant system. Flush it to release the extra air and restore the normal condition.
  • Change the coolant mixture  in every two years.
  • Add water to the radiator if it is dry.