How Much Power Does the AC Draw From the Engine?

Schedule Car surges when air conditioning is on Inspection
Service Area

$79.99 - $89.99

Price range for all vehicles
Average rating from 11 customers who received a Car surges when air conditioning is on Inspection.

Most cars these days come with air conditioning as a standard feature – gone are the days when it was an expensive extra (for most of us, anyway). The HVAC system is an important accessory, and helps you stay cool in the car when it gets hot outside. However, the AC is powered by your engine – the serpentine belt that runs your alternator, water pump, power steering pump and other accessories also turns the pulley for the AC compressor/clutch.

How the air conditioning system affects the engine

Because the system is powered by your engine, it pulls energy from it during operation, which can have an effect on engine performance. You’ve likely noticed your car’s engine RPMs increasing at idle when the compressor kicks on. It does this to offset the power drawn by the air conditioning system.

As to the question of how much power it draws, there’s no one answer, as it depends on the make and model, the engine, the condition of the engine and the air conditioning system and much more. It also depends on your acceleration and the year (most cars manufactured after 2000 have a relay that shuts off air conditioning at WOT (wide open throttle)) to ensure ample power for the engine under hard acceleration.

You’ll also find that the power drawn from the engine has a more noticeable impact with smaller engines. If you drive a subcompact with a small four-cylinder engine, your engine will be much more affected during AC operation than a big block V8 engine, even if the amount of power drawn by the air conditioner is identical between the two cars.


Next Step

Schedule Car surges when air conditioning is on Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Car surges when air conditioning is on Inspection. Yourmechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7 days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 10k cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

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

Recent Car surges when air conditioning is on Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Car surges when air conditioning is on Inspection Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

11

Rating Summary
10
1
0
0
0
10
1
0
0
0

Joel

20 years of experience
780 reviews
Joel
20 years of experience
Saturn SL1 - Car surges when air conditioning is on - Jacksonville, Florida
This is my second time using Your Mechanic with Joel as my technician. He was prompt and very professional and knowledgeable. I have gotten to the point, that Joel will always be first choice.

Casime

11 years of experience
56 reviews
Casime
11 years of experience
Honda Accord - Car surges when air conditioning is on Inspection - Willingboro, New Jersey
Excellent customer service and is very knowledgeable. I recommend his services to everyone.

Brian

22 years of experience
292 reviews
Brian
22 years of experience
Nissan Xterra - Car surges when air conditioning is on - Jacksonville, Florida
Brian was very helpful and had a very pleasant and professional demeanor. He made me very comfortable asking question and gave very clear ezplanations.

Jamahl

19 years of experience
830 reviews
Jamahl
19 years of experience
Dodge Caravan - Car surges when air conditioning is on - Orlando, Florida
Jamahl was Professional, courteous, and friendly

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