Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Does Running My AC in the Summer Keep My Engine Cooler?

summer AC

When you engage your air conditioning in your car, it is usually summertime and hot outside. Air conditioning serves to remove heat from the inside of your vehicle by circulating a refrigerant through the evaporator core in your dashboard, and blowing the cooled air into the cabin with the blower motor. Many people believe that air conditioning also cools your engine when it is engaged but the opposite is true.

How air conditioning affects your engine

Air conditioning actually creates more engine heat in the engine compartment as there is more strain on the engine to operate the AC compressor. The engine’s serpentine belt drives the AC compressor, which requires more energy from the engine. You may actually notice a slight decrease in performance and fuel economy when the air conditioning is engaged.

When the AC is running, you’ll likely hear the engine fan running louder. Either the fan operates at a higher speed to combat the extra engine heat generated, or there may be a secondary air conditioning fan that runs to provide extra cooling. It is triggered by the cooling fan module or resistor to operate when the air conditioning is turned on.

If you notice the engine temperature climbing higher than normal when the air conditioning is turned on, it can be a sign of a problem with the cooling fan or the AC cooling fan. Have your car checked out if you experience higher than normal engine temperatures.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P0684 OBD-II Trouble Code: Glow Plug Control Module to PCM Communication Circuit Range/Performance
P0684 code means there is a failing connection within the Glow Plug Control Module often due too corroded wires and solenoid failures.


Related questions

Q: Turns over won't start. 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle

Hello. It is possible that there is a wiring issue, or that the carburetor is actually leaking fuel into the engine which flooded it. I usually pull the spark plugs first to see if they are covered in fuel. If...

Q: My 1999 BMW blower comes on whenever I put keys in the switch and turn the motor on.

Hi there, thanks for writing in. If this comes on right when the car is turned on, then most of the time it is caused by a bad blower resistor module. This module fails internally and causes this to occur....

Q: Heater fan seems to surge

Hello. Your vehicle does use a vacuum operated heater control valve to allow hot coolant into the vehicle's heater core so that warm air can be generated. If you hear an opening and closing sound then it may be possible...