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Why Does a Car AC Consume So Much Engine Power? Causes and Fixes in the USA

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Jan 11 2024

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In summer, it is nearly impossible to drive a car without AC. The car's cooling system is the essential element that maintains the car's temperature. Nothing can be more devastating for a person if his car's cooling system is not working in hot weather.

An overheated car is not only trouble for the car, but it can be dangerous for your health as well. Running a car without AC can cause great damage that leads to multiple disasters. If you're wondering why does a car AC consumes so much engine power, then in this blog, you'll get the detailed answer.

Causes of Car Ac Consumption of More Engine Power

The compressor is connected to the engine. When a person turns on the AC, the compressor will absorb the heat from the car to maintain the temperature. Compressors are a car AC component that needs the engine's power to work properly, but if your car AC is taking more power than usual, below are the common causes of power consumption.

Load on Compressor

Vehicle air conditioners put an extra burden on the engine. The extra load makes the engine work harder, which in turn consumes more fuel. Not only does it enhance fuel consumption, but the overall performance is then decreased. Thus, if your compressor is not working properly or needs replacement, then make sure to get it fixed from car ac repair services.

Heat Exchange

The goal of the compressor is to exchange the heat of the car. Because the refrigerant has to be cooled, the AC system needs to exchange heat with the outside environment. The process requires extra energy and adds to power consumption.

Why Does a Car AC Consume So Much Engine Power? Causes and Fixes in the USA

Load on Electric Fans

Today's cars usually use electric fans to cool the engine. When the AC is switched on, such fans generally need to run at higher speeds in order to maintain a constant engine temperature. However, frequently this runs up power consumption even further still. Thus, if you experience more consumption, get your electric fan checked. Any issue with electric fans may result in more power consumption.

Compressor Belt

The quality of a car's air conditioning system is largely determined by the condition of the belt that drives the compressor. But such belts can rot with use and lead to problems like slipping. Surface scratches or glazing on the belt can be described as wear.

Dirty and Clogged Condenser

With a clogged condenser, the AC compressor must work extra hard to drive heat out of the system and this leads to greater amps being drawn from reserves (power = watts) increases that result in more power consumption.

Increased Idling Use of AC

This is especially true for most drivers, who generally leave the engine idling with the air conditioning on when parked or stopped in traffic. This constant idling also increases fuel consumption and wear on the engine. It not only enhances fuel consumption but has terrible impacts on the engine of the car.

Tips to Fix Engine Power Consumption

If you are experiencing more power consumption while using AC, below are the best solutions to reduce it.

Maintain Your AC System

A clean air conditioning system that is well maintained ensures timely replacement of filters, topping up refrigerant levels as needed. Evidently making sure the electric compressor isn't going bad on you can help increase your car's efficiency over time. To get your regular maintenance, you can take the valuable services of Eric's Car Care, which assures their clients reliable services.

Why Does a Car AC Consume So Much Engine Power? Causes and Fixes in the USA

Avoid Excessive Idling

Instead of leaving your engine running when you've parked or are sitting in traffic, turn off the key. Use electricity from your car batteries to run the AC for a short time. This can reduce fuel consumption and put less pressure on the engine.

Park in the Shady Area

To reduce the heat buildup inside the car, park under shade whenever available. Moreover, you can use a windshield. This will make the AC system run more efficiently and keep the temperature of the car normal.

Use Ventilation When Possible

On cooler days, or if you don't need a lot of cooling, remember that the ventilation system can serve as a substitute for the AC. This eases the burden on the engine and saves energy. Hence, if you feel the temperature is normal, you can turn off the cooling system, which will help you get better fuel consumption.

Optimize Your Driving Habit

In order to lessen the load on both your air conditioning system and engine power, you will have to adjust your driving habits. Here are some specific tips to help you achieve this:

  • ▶ Be gentle with the gas pedal to prevent rapid acceleration. If you increase your speed gradually, there is less stress on the engine and the AC may work better.
  • ▶ When you have to slow down or stop, try coasting and braking gradually instead of slamming on the brake. It copes with this by reducing the need for sudden power changes and hence minimizes impact on the AC system.
  • ▶ Driving at a stable speed on the highway or during long stretches of driving means accelerating and decelerating less often. This consistency also makes it easier for the engine and AC to work.
  • ▶ Having too much weight in your car can put more load on the engine and increase fuel consumption. Get rid of all the unnecessary stuff in your car.

The Bottom Line

The cooling system of a car is an essential element of the car that regulates the temperature. If you experience that your car is consuming more power while turning on the AC, it is important for you to get your car checked. Because of wear and tear of the compressor, or issue in the electric fan may result in more consumption of power. Look for an AC repair service that can determine the fault and fix it before the car needs heavy replacement. To book your appointment, you can call us at 713-352-8058

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