Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: A/c compressor wont stay on.

asked by on

Today i noticed that when my a/c compressor was kicking off and on and my engine died in the process. I noticed a week ago that my engine almost died. I got home today and opened my hood with the a/c on and the compressor wasnt running. I started my car a couple times with the a/c on and the comptessor would come on for a second and go back off and not come on again.

My car has 3300 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

There are pressure cut off switches in an a/c system. If the refrigerant charge is "low", the low pressure cut-off switch could make a/c compressor operation erratic or intermittent. In addition, there is the possibility of mechanical failure in the compressor and/or compressor clutch failure. As far as the relationship of this to engine stalling, normally even if the compressor operation is erratic (due, say, to inadequate refrigerant in the system) that would not cause the engine to stall. There is an "idle-up" system that raises engine speed when the a/c system is turned on and it is possible there is a fault there and it is also possible that a mechanical failure (such as resistance to turning) exists in the compressor such that when you turn the a/c on it loads the engine to the point where the engine stalls. Unless your engine is stalling in a circumstance when you do NOT operate the a/c system, I would suggest you request an inoperative a/c system diagnostic. However, if your engine is stalling even when you do not operate the a/c system, you should instead first request an engine stalling diagnostic. Either way, the responding certified mechanic will evaluate the situation and let you know in detail of the required repairs.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. A/c compressor wont stay on.

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Is it my motor mount

Hello. Unfortunately a bad engine mount will not cause this. Most of the time this is caused by a bad crankshaft position sensor or a failing fuel pump. Most of the time when it just cuts off like this it...

Q: What's wrong with my car?

Hi there, thanks for writing in. Without being there to inspect your Nissan Altima's engine on site, it's very hard to give you an exact diagnosis. However, the white smoke and smell of coolant leads me to believe that you...

Q: rubbing and pulsating sounds from Left Front Wheel when turning right.

You could have two issues. The first issue that is certain is you have a bad brake rotor or two. Any time you have pulsation when braking, the rotors will need to be machined or replaced. If it is...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...