Is Turning Off The Car A/C System Before The Car Necessary?

Some drivers have a number of questions about their car A/C system, one of which is whether or not the air conditioning should be turned off before the car itself is shut down. While a lot of mechanics have different opinions on the matter (likely due to their experiences working with different cars), the fact of the matter is that the A/C should be deactivated prior to shutting down some vehicles, and below are some reasons why.

The Changing Functionality Of A/C Systems

In addition to the air conditioning unit itself, it is also a good idea to shut down the fan and electrical systems before you deactivate the ignition. The reason for this is because although the majority of A/C components have remained unchanged as the years have passed, there are some components which have been altered considerably. The best examples are carburetors, evaporators and engines, since in the past these components lacked the efficiency they have today.

Those who have worked with classic cars know that their A/C compressor usually puts a heavy load on its engine whenever the system is operating. As a consequence, if you shut down the air conditioning prior to shutting down the vehicle, the A/C won’t come on when the vehicle starts back up. This greatly reduces the carburetor load, which makes a difference when it comes to emissions resulting from engine activation. This is also the reason why the engine should be allowed to warm up during winter before driving it.

Classic and vintage automobiles mostly used carbureted engines. These engines mixed air with gasoline and operate through vaporized fuel, and as such it was necessary for the vehicle to heat up prior to driving during cold temperatures. Those who failed to do so would eventually stall their engines and cause damage to it. However, over the last thirty years, carbureted engines have been phased out in favor of newer, more advanced engines.

Does The Same Apply To Contemporary Vehicles?

The newest vehicles have been updated in a manner that makes their engine components more efficient than older automobiles. This means that it is generally safe to keep the air conditioning running while the car is shut off. This is actually desirable during hot summers because it allows the car to cool more rapidly. Furthermore, many new vehicles come with a feature called remote start which means that specific settings will automatically be applied to the A/C, but in order to enjoy them the system but be turned on.

While new cars don’t have wait as long in idle to warm up during cold weather, it is still a good idea to let the car wait for at least thirty seconds before you start driving it, and during the first ten minutes of operating the vehicle, you should take it easy. The engine still has to become warm prior to operating at its full potential.