Car Shuts Off When A/C Is Turned On: Causes & Fixes

Check engine light illuminated

There are a few different causes why your car shuts off when A/C is turned on. It could be due to the engine not getting enough power, a weak battery, or dirty spark plugs. We identify some of the common causes and fixes for this issue.

Engine Idling

One reason your car may shut off when you turn on the A/C is engine idling. Idling occurs when the engine is running but the vehicle is not in motion. Many people believe that idling is necessary to keep the engine cool, but this is not the case. In fact, idling can actually damage the engine and lead to a decrease in fuel economy. There are a few simple ways to avoid engine idling. First, try to turn off the engine while waiting in line or at a stoplight. Second, avoid using the A/C while the car is idling. If you must use the A/C, turn it on for a few minutes before turning off the engine.

Seized Compressor

The compressor is a vital part of the A/C system, and when it seizes, it can cause the entire system to shut down. There are a few reasons why a compressor may seize, such as a lack of lubrication or refrigerant levels that are too low. However, the most common reason is overheating. If the compressor overheats, it can seize up and cause the A/C system to shut down. There are a few ways you can prevent this from happening, such as making sure the A/C system is properly serviced and keeping an eye on the refrigerant levels.

A Faulty Electronic Throttle Body

The throttle body is responsible for controlling the amount of air that enters the engine. When it malfunctions, it can cause the engine to stall or shut down. There are a few ways you can fix this problem. One is to clean the throttle body with a throttle body cleaning kit. This will remove any build-up that may be causing the problem. Another option is to replace the electronic throttle body with a new one. This is a more permanent solution, but it may be more expensive.

A Worn Belt

When the belt is worn, it can slip, which prevents the compressor from running properly. As a result, the A/C will stop working and your car will eventually shut off. There are a few ways to fix this problem. First, you can try tightening the belt. This might give it enough friction to stay in place and allow the compressor to run properly. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to replace the belt. You can do this yourself if you’re mechanically inclined, or you can take it to a shop and have them do it for you.

Idle Air Control Valve Fault

An idle air control valve fault is often the reason why a car shuts off when the A/C is turned on. The valve regulates the amount of air that bypasses the throttle when the engine is idling. If too much air bypasses the throttle, the engine will stall. There are a few ways you can fix a faulty idle air control valve. One method is to clean it with a carburetor cleaner. Another method is to replace it with a new one. Finally, you can adjust the idle speed screw on the throttle body. This will adjust the amount of air that bypasses the throttle and help keep the engine from stalling.