Does Running the AC Use Coolant?

Your car coolant protects the car and ensures that your engine runs smoothly. But does running the AC use coolant as well? Find out in the article below

Running the AC in your car will require coolant to cool the air. Air conditioners in the car are closed systems; inside this closed system, the coolant will circulate and cool the air. 

If your vehicle’s air conditioner does not have coolant, it will not cool the car effectively. This article will thoroughly cover the effect of the coolant on an air conditioning system. 

What Is Coolant?

Coolant or refrigerant is a unique chemical fluid used in vehicles and other electrical appliances. The primary function of this cooling liquid is to prevent the engine and other parts in your car from overheating. 

If your vehicle does not have coolant in it, there are chances that some systems of your vehicle may cease to operate because of overheating. 

The coolant is an essential component for the proper functioning of the vehicle. The coolant traps or absorbs all the heat from the engine and inside the car and then moves it out of the car’s system

After removing the heat, it replaces this air with cooler air. This process regulates the temperature inside the vehicle. If the coolant level drops in your car, then your car might not function optimally.

Does Running the AC Use Coolant

Are Antifreeze And Coolant The Same?

Antifreeze and coolants can be the same thing. Coolants can also perform the functions of an antifreeze. You can also add water to the coolant to dilute its effects. Your vehicle needs to have a certain amount of coolant in the hot weather to prevent overheating. 

Does The Car’s AC Need Coolant? 

Yes, the car’s AC needs coolant or antifreeze to function correctly. Air conditioning coolant is required regardless of the weather, both during summer months and in winter.

The coolant will prevent the engine and its parts from overheating in the scorching heat. In winter, the coolant will act as an antifreeze that will prevent the engine from freezing in the cold.


Also read – Air Only Blows Through Defrost Vents: What You Should Do


Will Coolant Make My AC Colder?

No, coolant will not make your AC colder. The primary purpose of the liquid coolant is to prevent the other systems from freezing. If you wish to make your AC harder, you’ll need to top it up with Freon. Freon is a cooling agent that is mainly used in air conditioners. 

The coolant will lower the freezing point of the system in winter. This will help the AC system from not freezing in the cold. The coolant can also make your car engine warmer; this will happen if you use the coolant for the car blower. 

Does Running the AC Use Coolant? Can Low Engine Coolant Affect AC?

All air conditioners use a cooling agent by the name of freon. The AC in your car will depend on the coolant for its performance.

Cars usually have fans for condenser and radiator, in front of the car. An empty coolant reservoir tank will affect the performance of the AC. Your vehicle’s AC will stop blowing cooler air. Instead, it will just blow normal air. 

Does Running the AC Use Coolant

How Do You Get To Know If Your Air Conditioner Needs Coolant?

Some prominent signs will help you identify whether your vehicle’s AC requires coolant or not. 

  • When your car’s AC stops blowing cool air, then it is a sign that your AC has low coolant. You can get a coolant top-up by paying some money to the mechanic. A freon tank refill is not that expensive compared to other AC repair work. 
  • Your AC blower will not blow cold or hot air on its own. It requires the aid of some cooling or heating agent to blow the atmosphere at your required temperature. 
  • Another sign that explains your AC might be low on coolant is when your AC requires a lot of time to cool the surroundings. AC is supposed to cool its surroundings very quickly. But if there is less coolant in the AC, then the internal temperature will rise. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does air conditioning affect coolant? 

Yes, the air conditioning in your car will affect the coolant. The coolant is responsible for absorbing all the heat from inside your car and then taking it to the vehicle’s exterior. 

The use of coolant changes as the AC starts working. If you are feeling hotter, then the coolant consumption will increase, or else it will decrease. 

Can AC cause a coolant leak? 

Yes, your AC can be responsible for a refrigerant levels to go down in your vehicle. Initially, your AC should not leak because it’s new, but after some time, the coolant can leak at any instant due to general wear and tear. 

There are rubber seals throughout the entire AC system, which will prevent the coolant from leaking through the system. As AC systems are closed systems, a coolant loss will need to be fixed before the AC starts cooling again. 

Does Running the AC Use Coolant

Can the AC cause a vehicle to overheat? 

Yes, the AC can be a contributing factor that leads to the vehicle overheating. This can occur, especially when the AC is switched on. Overheating occurs because the AC compressor takes energy from the car’s engine. 

The engine must take extra load to compensate for this extra pressure and power demand as the machine works overtime, so the engine also heats more. 

What will happen if the coolant level is low? 

When the level of coolant in the AC is low, the engine will start to hear up. When the engine equipment reaches its temperature limit, it will shut down automatically. 

Then the engine automatically cuts off when it overheats to protect it from further damage. You will have to wait for the engine to cool down before using it again. 

Wrap Up

The coolant or the antifreeze is an essential component of a vehicle. It is responsible for performing more than one function. The coolant prevents overheating in the summers and also prevents the engine from freezing in the winters.

Your vehicle mechanic services will refill the coolant in your car when you go for regular car maintenance and servicing. They will also fix all the refrigerant leaks in the system so that there is no loss of coolant again. Refilling the air conditioning system with a coolant such as freon is also not that expensive.

Photo of author

Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

Leave a Comment