car overheating when ac is on

Car Overheating When AC Is On: 5 Reasons

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Jeffrey
August 10, 2022
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The summer heat can be brutal, and your car’s air conditioner is one of the best ways to stay cool while driving.

But what happens when a car overheating when ac is on, is it a sign that your AC needs to be replaced?

There are a few different reasons why this could happen, so it’s important to figure out the root cause before making any decisions.

1. Low refrigerant levels

One of the most common reasons for a car overheating when AC is on is low refrigerant levels.

If there’s not enough refrigerant in the system, it can’t effectively cool the air, leading to an overheated car.

2. Clogged air filters

Another common cause of overheating is clogged air filters.

If the filters are blocked, they can restrict the flow of air, causing the car to overheat.

3. Leaking coolant

A leak in the coolant system is another potential cause of overheating.

If there’s a leak, the coolant can escape and the system can’t effectively circulate it, leading to an overheated engine.

4. Faulty radiator

A faulty radiator can also cause overheating.

If the radiator isn’t working properly, it won’t be able to effectively dissipate heat, leading to an overheated car.

5. Blocked airflow

If anything is blocking the airflow to the radiator, it can cause overheating.

This could be something as simple as leaves or dirt, so be sure to check the radiator and surrounding area for any blockages.

If your car is overheating when AC is on, it’s important to figure out the root cause so you can fix it.

These are some of the most common causes, but there could be others.

Once you’ve identified the problem, you can take steps to fix it and you also take your car to a mechanic.

Solutions To Car Overheating When The AC Is Turned On

1. Compatible Refrigerants

You should always double-check the compatibility of your vehicle’s refrigerant with the AC system.

It’s not unusual to discover that your automobile does not use the same refrigerant as your air conditioner.

This can create difficulties with the AC in your car.

2. Inspect The Radiator

If the engine of your car is overheating, it might be due to a clogged radiator.

Check the fins of the radiator for any debris.

Also, check the coolant level and add more if necessary.

3. Replace The Antifreeze

If your car’s antifreeze is old, it might not be effective anymore.

Consider replacing the antifreeze to see if that helps with the overheating issue.

4. Flush The Trapped Air From The Radiator

If there is air trapped in the radiator, it can cause the engine to overheat.

To get rid of the trapped air, you will need to flush the radiator.

5. Check The Compressor Clutch

The compressor clutch can become worn out over time.

If the compressor clutch is not engaging properly, it can cause the engine to overheat.

You will need to replace the compressor clutch if it is defective.

6. Check The Pump Belt

If the pump belt is loose, it can cause the engine to overheat.

You will need to tighten or replace the pump belt if it is defective.

7. Check The Fluid Levels In The Radiator

If the fluid levels in the radiator are low, it can cause the engine to overheat.

You will need to add more fluid to the radiator if it is low.

8. Inspect The Thermostat

The thermostat can become stuck in a closed position.

If the thermostat is stuck, it can cause the engine to overheat.

You will need to replace the thermostat if it is defective.

9. Inspect The Cooling Fan

If the cooling fan is not working properly, it can cause the engine to overheat.

You will need to replace the cooling fan if it is defective.

10. Check For Leaks In The Cooling System

If there are leaks in the cooling system, it can cause the engine to overheat.

You will need to repair or replace the parts that are leaking.

These are some of the most common solutions to overheating when the AC is turned on.

If your car is still overheating after trying these solutions, you should take it to a mechanic to have it checked out.

Refrigerants

A refrigerant is a substance used in a car’s air-conditioning system to cool and circulate the air inside the vehicle.

The refrigerant is compressed and circulated through a system of coils and pipes in the car, and as it evaporates, it absorbs heat from the air inside the car, cooling it down.

When the refrigerant reaches the end of its cycle, it is then condensed back into a liquid form and returned to the compressor to start the cycle again.

Refrigerants are often referred to as Freon, although that is just one brand of many different types of refrigerants.

The most common type of Freon used in cars today is R-134a, which does not contribute to ozone depletion as older Freon types did.

While a car’s cooling system is designed to keep the engine from overheating, the air-conditioning system is what keeps the passenger compartment comfortable.

That’s why it’s important to make sure that your car’s air-conditioning system is operating properly and has enough refrigerant.

Otherwise, you could be in for a very hot summer ride.

Antifreeze

Antifreeze is a solution that helps to lower the freezing point of water and raise the boiling point.

This enables it to cool your car’s engine more effectively and prevents it from overheating.

Antifreeze also contains corrosion inhibitors that protect your engine from rust and other damage.

There are two main types of antifreeze: ethylene glycol and propylene glycol.

Ethylene glycol is the most common type, but it can be toxic if ingested.

Propylene glycol is less toxic, but it doesn’t work as well in extremely cold weather.

Most cars these days come with a factory-filled coolant that contains a mix of water and antifreeze.

You’ll need to add more antifreeze over time, as it can evaporate or leak out.

You should check your car’s coolant level every few months, and top it off if necessary.

If you notice that your car is overheating, or if the coolant level is low, don’t delay in getting it checked out by a mechanic.

Ignoring these problems can lead to major engine damage.

car overheating when ac is on

Radiator

A radiator is a car part that helps to keep the engine cool by transferring heat away from it.

The heat is transferred to the air passing through the radiator fins.

The radiator contains a mixture of water and antifreeze, which helps to keep the engine from overheating.

If the radiator gets too hot, it can cause the engine to overheat and possibly break down.

To prevent this from happening, it is important to check the level of coolant in the radiator regularly and to have it serviced as needed.

The radiator is an important part of the cooling system in a car and helps to keep the engine from overheating.

It is important to check the level of coolant in the radiator regularly and to have it serviced as needed to prevent the engine from overheating.

Compressor Clutch

A compressor clutch is a device that helps a car’s air conditioning system cool and circulates the air inside the vehicle.

The compressor clutch is responsible for controlling the flow of refrigerant in the system.

When the AC is turned on, the compressor clutch engages the compressor, which circulates the refrigerant through the system.

If the compressor clutch is not functioning properly, it can cause the engine to overheat.

The most common symptom of a problem with the compressor clutch is an overheated engine.

If you notice that your car’s engine is overheating, you should take it to a mechanic to have it checked out.

Ignoring this problem can lead to major engine damage.

Thermostat

A thermostat is a device that helps to regulate the temperature in a car’s engine.

The thermostat is located between the radiator and the engine, and it helps to control the flow of coolant through the radiator.

When the engine is cold, the thermostat is closed, which prevents coolant from flowing through the radiator.

As the engine warms up, the thermostat opens and allows coolant to flow through the radiator.

This helps to keep the engine from overheating.

If the thermostat is not functioning properly, it can cause the engine to overheat.

The most common symptom of a problem with the thermostat is an overheated engine.

If you notice that your car’s engine is overheating, you should take it to a mechanic to have it checked out.

Ignoring this problem can lead to major engine damage.

The Cooling Fan

A cooling fan is a crucial component in a car’s cooling system, as it helps to circulate air and keep the engine from overheating.

The cooling fan is usually located behind the radiator and is turned on and off by a thermostat.

When the engine is cold, the thermostat keeps the engine from overheating by stopping coolant from going through the radiator.

As the engine warms up, the thermostat opens and allows coolant to flow through the radiator.

This helps to keep the engine from overheating.

If the cooling fan is not functioning properly, it can cause the engine to overheat.

The most common symptom of a problem with the cooling fan is an overheated engine.

AC Compressor Overload Protector

The AC compressor overload protector is a device that helps to protect the compressor from overheating.

The AC compressor overload protector is located between the compressor and the engine, and it helps to control the flow of refrigerant in the system.

When the AC is turned on, the AC compressor overload protector engages the compressor, which circulates the refrigerant through the system.

If the AC compressor overload protector is not functioning properly, it can cause the engine to overheat.

The most common symptom of a problem with the AC compressor overload protector is an overheated engine.

If you notice that your car’s engine is overheating, you should take it to a mechanic to have it checked out.

Ignoring this problem can lead to major engine damage.

Water Pump

The water pump is responsible for circulating coolant through the radiator and engine.

The water pump is usually located near the front of the engine, and it is driven by a belt that is connected to the crankshaft.

As the engine runs, the water pump circulates coolant through the radiator and engine to keep them from overheating.

If the water pump is not functioning properly, it can cause the engine to overheat.

The most common symptom of a problem with the water pump is an overheated engine.

If you notice that your car’s engine is overheating, you should take it to a mechanic to have it checked out.

Ignoring this problem can lead to major engine damage.

Radiator Cap

The radiator cap is a device that helps to regulate the flow of coolant in the cooling system.

The radiator cap is located on top of the radiator, and it helps to control the pressure in the system.

When the engine is cold, the radiator cap prevents coolant from flowing through the radiator.

As the engine warms up, the radiator cap opens and allows coolant to flow through the radiator.

This helps to keep the engine from overheating.

If the radiator cap is not functioning properly, it can cause the engine to overheat.

The most common symptom of a problem with the radiator cap is an overheated engine.

Clean Your Radiator

1. First, check your radiator for any leaks. If you find any, use a sealant to repair them.

2. Next, remove the radiator cap and look inside. If the radiator is dirty, flush it out with water.

3. To clean the radiator fins, use a fin comb or a soft brush. Gently comb or brush the fins to remove any dirt or debris.

4. Once the radiator is clean, replace the radiator cap and fill the radiator with coolant. Check the level of coolant and add more if necessary.

5. Finally, start the engine and let it run for a few minutes. Check the temperature gauge to make sure the engine is running at the proper temperature. If everything looks good, you’re finished!

Change the Coolant Mixture Every 2 Years

To change the coolant mixture, First, drain the old coolant from the radiator.

Next, add a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze to the radiator.

Finally, start the engine and let it run for a few minutes.

Check the temperature gauge to make sure the engine is running at the proper temperature.

If everything looks good, you’re finished!

Checking and Replacing Cooling Fans

1. The cooling fans on your car help to keep the engine from overheating by circulating air through the radiator.

2. You should check your cooling fans regularly to make sure they are working properly.

3. If one of your cooling fans is not working, you will need to replace it.

4. To check the cooling fans, start the engine and let it idle for a few minutes.

5. Then, turn on the AC and turn the fan speed up to high.

6. The fans should turn on and begin circulating air through the radiator.

7. If the fans do not turn on, or if they do not seem to be working properly, you will need to replace them.

8. Replacing a cooling fan is a relatively simple task that can be done at home with a few tools. However, if you are not comfortable doing it yourself, you can always take it to a mechanic.

Add Water to the Radiator as Needed

If your car’s coolant level is low, you will need to add water to the radiator.

To do this, remove the radiator cap and add water until the radiator is full.

Then, replace the radiator cap and start the engine.

Let it idle for a few minutes to allow the water to circulate through the system.

Finally, check the temperature gauge to make sure the engine is running at the proper temperature.

If everything looks good, you’re finished!

In Case Your Car Overheats When You’re In Traffic, What Should You Do?

If your car overheats when you’re in traffic, the first thing you should do is turn off the AC.

Then, turn on the heater to full blast.

This will help to dissipate some of the heat from the engine.

Next, open the windows to allow for better airflow.

Finally, turn on the emergency flashers and pull over to the side of the road.

Once you’ve done all of these things, you can call a tow truck or a mechanic to come and help you.

Jeffrey

Jeffrey Bryce is an experienced motorcycle rider with years of experience caring for motorcycles. His natural fondness for motorcycles have made him come up with LetsGoForARide.com, which is dedicated to answering and teaching you how to care for your bike with the care it requires. LetsGoForARide is the one of his important lifework in reaching out to communities of motorcycle enthusiasts on how to take care of their bike and choosing the correct spare part.