Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: The air conditioner doesn't work only when idle, works great when moving.

asked by on

Above described it

My car has 130000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello. The most common cause for this is a low refrigerant charge. There could be a problem with a sensor or even a wiring issue, but it is most common for there to be a minor leak in the system and it causes the pressure to be a little low. When you are driving, and the RPMs are a little higher, this causes more pressure in the system and it begins to work normally again until the RPM’s fall back down. There are sensors in the system that monitor the system pressure and will shut the A/C off to avoid system damage. A certified technician from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to inspect the A/C system if you need further help.

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. The air conditioner doesn't work only when idle, works great when moving.

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: Car idles but will not drive (dies when revving engine)

Without additional details as to more specific symptoms, this may require further inspection and diagnosing. However, issues while revving may be a sign of a failing throttle position sensor. The throttle position sensor (TPS) is a sensor used to monitor...

Q: A/C doesnt stop working.

It is possible there is a short in the heat - a/c controls themselves. It may be shorted to the ON position or possibly the relay. Locate the a/c relay and if any other relays are similar, try swapping them...

Q: My car will not start - Chrysler Town & Country

Hello. When the engine will not turn over, the issue is typically the starter. The clicking sound you are hearing is also another sign that the starter has failed. This is the sound of the starter motor attempting to insert...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
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...
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...