Car Overheats When The Ac Is On And At Idle [Symptoms and Solutions]

Overheating can cause severe damage to an engine and also lead to inconvenience on a warm day. This is a common occurrence for many vehicle owners with aging vehicles and it can continue to get worse as you neglect your car maintenance.

Determining the cause for the overheat and regular inspections of your cooling system will put you in a better spot for enjoying your AC while your vehicle is idle on a warm day.

Why Would A Vehicle Overheat With The Ac On At Idle?

There are a few reasons your vehicle may overheat when the AC is on at idle. One reason may be that the AC is putting an excessive load on the engine, causing it to work harder than normal and overheat.

Another possibility is that there is not enough airflow coming into the car to cool the engine off, leading to it overheating. Finally, a car may overheat if there is a problem with the cooling system itself, such as a leaky radiator or clogged hose.

How Can You Prevent Your Car From Overheating When The Ac Is On?

There are a few things you can do to help prevent your car from overheating when the AC is on. One is to make sure the AC is not putting too much of a load on the engine. If it is possible, try turning off some of the AC features, such as the fan or the compressor, to reduce the strain. You can also increase airflow into the car by opening windows and sunroofs.

Finally, make sure your cooling system is in good condition and is not leaking or clogged. Checking the coolant level and radiator hoses on a regular basis can help you catch any problems before they become too serious.

How Can You Fix A Car That Is Overheating Consistently With The Ac On?

If your car is regularly overheating, you might need to work with your mechanic to fix the problem. Diagnosing the problem is usually the first step and there are some top signs that you can look for when you are diagnosing a potential cooling issue.

The Top Signs Your Vehicle Is Overheating

1. Your temperature gauge

The temperature gauge can be a great indication of a potential cooling issue. If the needle is consistently in the red or high range, it means your engine is running too hot. The engine temperature should not exceed 110 degrees celsius.

As the temperature begins to rise past 75-80 degrees you may get a warning light regarding your overheating depending on the make and model of your vehicle. If you see a warning light, it is usually best to shut down your vehicle and let it cool off before continuing operation.

2. The smell of exhaust

If you are noticing a strong smell of exhaust, it could mean that your engine is not getting enough airflow to cool down. Exhaust in the cabin indicates that there is some type of blockage throughout your vehicle.

3. A ticking sound from the engine compartment

If you are noticing a ticking or clanking sound from the engine, it could be an indication that your engine is overheating. This sound is usually caused by a lack of coolant in the system and over time can cause severe damage to your engine.

4. Leaking fluids

If you are noticing any leaking fluids near the engine, it could be a sign that there is a problem with the cooling system. Check around your vehicle if you have been stopped and idling for some time. If you notice a number of fluids under your vehicle you could have a problem with your cooling system or you could be facing problems with your radiator.

One way to avoid the problems associated with a car overheating when the AC is on is by regularly checking the cooling system. Checking the coolant level, radiator hoses, and other fluid levels on a monthly basis can help you catch any potential problems before they become too serious. By taking care of your car and it’s cooling systems, you can extend the life of your vehicle and prevent issues like overheating.

5. Complete stall or shutdown on your engine

In some cases, the car’s computer may sense something wrong with the cooling system while the AC is on and will shut down the engine to prevent it from overheating.

This complete stall or shutdown on your engine can be very dangerous and should not be taken lightly. If this happens to you, pull over to a safe spot and try restarting your car. If it does not start, call for a tow truck and have your car taken to a mechanic.

Why Would A Vehicle Overheat With The Ac On At Idle?

1. Defective cooling fans

One of the most common reasons a car overheats with the AC on is because of a defective cooling fan. When the AC is running, it pulls more power from the engine and can cause the cooling fan to not work properly. This can lead to the engine overheating very quickly.

2. Bad water pump

Another common reason a car overheats with the AC on is because of a bad water pump. When the water pump fails, it can’t circulate coolant through the engine properly and will cause the engine to overheat.

3. Leaking radiator

A leaking radiator can also be a common reason why a car overheats with the AC on at idle. If the radiator is not able to properly cool the engine, it can cause the engine to overheat very quickly.

4. Engine coolant sensor

If the engine coolant sensor is not working properly, it can cause the car to overheat when the AC is on at idle. This is because the sensor helps to control the temperature of the engine and if it is not working correctly, the engine will run too hot.

How Often Should You Check Your Cooling System?

It is best to check your cooling system on a monthly basis to help prevent any major problems. Checking the coolant level, radiator hoses, and other fluid levels can help you catch any potential problems before they become too serious. By taking care of your car and it’s cooling systems, you can extend the life of your vehicle and prevent issues like overheating.

Getting your coolant system inspected each time you get an oil change can be a crucial task for keeping your vehicle from overheating. To prevent any rust or corrosion in the radiator, water pump, or even internal engine components, replace the coolant every 40.000 km or 2 years with a specified type and concentration; and never use tap water because it contains minerals that cause corrosion.

Contact us today if you have any other questions about your vehicle overheating or what you can do to prevent overheating with your vehicle.

Liam

Hi, I'm the initiator and writer of this blog. Cars were and will be my first love, and my favorite hobby, that's why I decided to start this blog and write about my discoveries and techniques to improve my cars or repair them.