Q: My car turns off when the air conditioning comes on - 2013 Nissan Altima

asked by on October 20, 2016

My car keeps cutting off. I got the starter, alternator and battery checked. They all were fine. I noticed it happens when the A/C is on. What could it be?
My car has an automatic transmission.

The A/C system depends on the drive or serpentine belts driven by the motor to work. If the A/C is putting extra load on the engine, the engine will suffer and can stall. You will want to start by watching the belt as the A/C turns on. This needs to be done carefully: if the belt breaks or comes off, it can hurt anyone standing too close.

If you do not see any obvious damage or issues, it’s time to dig a little further. With the car off, look at the A/C compressor and the pulley. If the A/C compressor is pulling too much power from the engine, it will likely need to be replaced. The pulley should also be inspected to make sure it is spinning freely as it should.

I recommend having a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, determine if the compressor needs to be replaced or if a replacement of the serpentine belt is necessary.

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

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

Can a Catalytic converter break up little pieces and ruin your engine

It is not possible for broken off pieces from a catalytic converter to get into your car's engine and damage it. However, if your vehicle's catalytic converter is damaged, including breakage or melting of the internal honeycomb substrate that contains...

how do you know if a car is vapor locked and how do you fix it?

It is very unlikely that a fuel injected engine is vapor locked (even at 108 degrees). From experience, an electrical component failed based upon heat and mileage of the vehicle. A code scanner will likely lead you to the issue....

I have a Dodge Dakota 4 x 4 2001 truck yet dies instantly after it's Crank. The check engine light was on for a month prior. Help

Since the check engine light is on already you would not know if the computer stored additional codes that will point to the problem you are having unless you have the system tested again. You need to have this done...

Related articles

How to Keep Your Car From Stalling
When When driving a car, we expect it to get us from point A to point B without any issues. It can become unnerving to drive if your car stalls randomly when coming to a stop, whether it is at...
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Ambient Temperature Sensor (Switch)
Common signs include a faulty AC auto mode, inconsistent cooling, and incorrect outdoor temperature readings.
Do All A/C Systems Use Refrigerant?
All air conditioning systems use refrigerant. Refrigerant dissipates heat in the air conditioning system to keep your car cool in hot weather.