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It can be annoying when your car’s ac only works when driving and not when it is parked, especially if the weather is unpleasant. It will surely disturb you if your air conditioner is not functioning correctly or blowing hot air. For many reasons, the condenser fan, compressor, or coolant level are only a few conditions.

The following article outlines some essential factors to consider and offers solutions if your ac only works when driving. Below are some frequently asked questions that can help you discover more about what deteriorates your car’s ac.

Possible root reasons for the issue include the following:

  • Defective condenser fans
  • Low refrigerant charge.
  • Defective compressor 
  • Clogged or dirty compressor.

Keep your car well-maintained to avoid this issue. Keep reading to learn more about the problems that could make a car’s air conditioning operate only when the vehicle is moving.

Why does my ac only work when I’m driving?

Vehicle condenser fans move heat from the refrigerant system to the outside air. The expansion valve is the first place the heat travels after leaving the condenser before entering the evaporator coil. If the condenser fan malfunctions, your air conditioner can only function when you start driving. After some time, if they aren’t cleaned, they might get clogged with contact and have too much dirt in them. Cleaning these components is an essential thing to keep them running. You should examine the condenser fan’s fuses and relays if the fan won’t turn. Check for short circuits and loose connections as well.

Why does my AC get warm at idle?

Condensers are in the vehicle’s rear, making them vulnerable to damage by road debris. Debris is unlikely to enter the air conditioning system because it is a closed-loop system. However, obstructions inside the system are still possible. A worn compressor whose internal components are malfunctioning causes this frequently.

It will disseminate this material throughout the system when internal compressor parts separate, leading to blockages in the condenser or compressor itself. And since the design will struggle to recycle the refrigerant, your AC will operate warmly.

How do I know if my AC condenser is clogged?

 The compressor is in charge of pressurized refrigerant circulation throughout the system, from the evaporator to the condenser coils. An obstructed or unclean compressor may make an AC only work when driving.

You may visually inspect the AC line, compressor, and condenser to see whether the compressor is dusty. Due to oil sedimentation, you are more likely to detect collected dust. Additionally, verify whether the AC filter is clogged. You may wash the condenser with a pressure washer through the bumper. Avoid placing the pressure washer directly over the condenser to avoid damaging it.

What does the average Air conditioner repair cost?

The cost of repairs varies by system. A compressor can cost several hundred dollars at the same time. Depending on the component that has to be repaired, the labor cost will change. Accordingly, the whole expense might range from $160 to $1000 or more, depending on the item that needs to be changed. The labor price and parts will vary depending on your car’s model, just as with any auto repair. According to the particular vehicle, a new AC compressor typically costs between $100 and $200, while labor charges might range from $300 to $800.

How can I increase my car’s AC pressure?

There are many points to keep in mind to increase your car’s ac pressure. Some of the main points are mentioned below: 

  • Many individuals like to turn on their air conditioning before driving. Though, doing so can be a waste of both energy and gasoline.
  • The less sunlight that reaches your car’s interior, the less energy the AC will need to expend to maintain a comfortable temperature. Limiting the quantity of heat accumulation may be done for a meager cost by installing window coverings.
  • Regularly using the car’s air conditioner might cause leaks that gradually reduce the amount of refrigerant in the system. To ensure that it is operating at its best and that there are no leaks in the design, consider having it examined every six to twelve months.
  • The AC condenser is often found directly before the automobile’s grill. It is a part that disperses extra heat into the airflow to re-cool the refrigerant in the air conditioner. However, dirt and debris can gather and obstruct the airflow, drastically reducing cooling effectiveness.
  • Try to keep your automobile parked in the shade as much as possible. Keeping it out of direct sunlight might result in a 30-degree temperature differential.
  • Any machine, regardless of its type, operates best when properly maintained. Make sure to get your automobile professionally examined and maintained regularly to keep the air conditioning system working as it should.


It may prevent several issues when an AC in a car is maintained correctly. You may save time and money by identifying potential problems that could only make an air conditioner work when the automobile is moving.

Your AC only works when driving for various reasons. Low refrigerant levels and the condenser fan are the simplest to troubleshoot. You must maintain them clean, not just of dirt but also of debris from them, just as condensers.

As long as you own the car, you should perform these tasks. Regular car maintenance helps reduce the issues that make driving unpleasant.


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