AC off Due to High Engine Temp (Causes & Solutions)

Are you driving and suddenly notice the AC off due to high engine temp sign on your dashboard? you might be wondering what this means, if you should continue to drive, and how you can fix any underlying issue

If this is you, then you are in the right place.

In this article, we will answer all the questions you might have about the AC off due to high engine temp light, what it means, and what you should do if you see it on your vehicle’s dashboard.

Let’s get started!

This feature is one of your engine safety measures programmed into your vehicle’s engine control unit(ECU). The ECU will shut down the air conditioning system when it detects that the engine temperature is either too high or can’t be detected.

In a vehicle with an a/c compressor, both the engine and the wheels drive the compressor, so if the engine shuts off, the compressor also shuts down.

Suppose there’s an incorrect reading telling the ECU that engine temperature is too high or anything goes wrong that would cause that reading.

In that case, it’ll automatically shut off AC to help fix whatever problem has occurred. Which again helps prevent damage caused by turning on your AC while your car isn’t moving.

If something prevents the radiator cap from sealing properly or not sealing at all, the engine will not have enough coolant to circulate to the radiator to enable proper cooling.

If the cooling fan isn’t operating as it should be, this may result because there is a faulty air temperature sensor, which results in programming that deactivates the air conditioning.

The air fan comes on when the air conditioner comes on. First of all, it needs to provide clean airflow through the condenser that cools your car’s interior down.

Second, it should maintain proper temperatures inside the engine compartment and keep malfunctioning parts from overheating.

If the fan does not come on for some reason, the engine temperature will also rise. Continuing to drive with a hot engine can result in serious damage to the engine.

Also Read: Temperature Gauge Rising but Car Not Overheating (Causes & Solution)

What to Do When Your Car Says AC off Due to High Engine Temp

AC off Due to High Engine Temperature

Before anything else, inspect your vehicle’s temperature gauge to avoid any potential damage to your engine.

If you notice that at any point while driving, a light that reads ECO or AC comes on next to the speedometer, something may be wrong with your vehicle’s engine.

Immediately start slowing down and pull over when it’s safe to do so.

If the warning light comes on as you are driving, chances are one of your engine’s fans has stopped working.

Sometimes, when the car’s engine starts overheating while idle, your engine’s idle speed will immediately increase in order to keep the temperature at a minimum. This is called “overcooling.”

If the AC in your car reads AC off due to high engine temp, you may want to check the radiator and cooling fans. Also, look at the hoses.

Contact a mechanic when any of these components is bad or is on its way to total wear and tear.

If your car isn’t running right, taking it in to be repaired is the best option if you notice a leak in the cooling system.

One of the most important things to ensure your air conditioning units are running at optimal levels is to make sure all vents are clear.

Air vents should be able to function properly, and if they’re not, there may be problems like overcooling or severe wear.

Also, ensure nothing is blocking the airflow, such as a dirty air filter or blocked radiator.

Finally, get a certified mechanic to further inspect your engine if you’ve checked out the part listed above and your car still says AC off due to high engine temp.

Also Read: Car Overheating When Idle? (Here Is What to Do)

Suppose you see this indicator while driving, pull over to the side of the road, and check for any coolant leaks from your vehicle. Afterward, take your vehicle to a certified mechanic for proper inspection and repairs.

AC off Due to High Engine Temp Safe to Drive

AC off Due to High Engine Temp Quick Fix

Here are some things you can do to quickly fix AC off due to high engine temp

  1. Make sure there are no coolant leaks
  2. Change the Radiator cap
  3. Change the coolant temperature sensor
  4. Disconnect the battery for a few minutes, then reconnect it

Here is a video for more tips on how to quickly fix C off due to high engine temp

Frequently Asked Questions – AC off Due to High Engine Temp

Can You Drive With the Engine Hot AC Off?

You should not drive your car when it says AC off due to high engine temperature. In some cases, the cause is a leaky cooling system or low coolant levels. Furthermore, The vehicle will need more diagnostics, and I don’t advise you to drive your car as it may lead to more damage.

What Does AC off Due to High Engine Temp Mean?

AC off due to high engine temperature means that your vehicle’s ECU has detected that the car is overheating. So to reduce the load to avoid adding more heat, the A/C is turned off.

How Can I Cool Down My Engine Fast?

Your car’s fans and water pumps run more efficiently when you rev your car’s engine and put the car in neutral or in the park. This allows air and water to pass through the radiator faster. By increasing circulation, the engine will cool down.

What Does It Mean When Your Car Says AC off for Engine Protection?

Engines can activate this feature when the power control module detects that the engine is not warming up quickly enough. There may also be a P0128 OBD trouble code stored on the engine. The cause of this malfunction may be an improperly functioning thermostat. When this part fails, the engine will not be able to reach operating temperatures.

What Happens if You Keep Driving an Overheated Car?

If an overheated vehicle is driven longer than necessary, the cylinder heads may warp, causing your power to decrease, irregular firing, and excess oil burning. Nevertheless, it’s not only the cylinder head that will melt; other engine parts such as the sensors, belts, and wiring could also be affected.

What Does It Mean AC Off?

When you see AC off, it means that the PCM (engine computer) detects too much heat or an inoperative electric cooling fan. So to reduce the load to avoid adding more heat, the A/C is turned off.

Scott Greene is a seasoned automotive technician for over 5 years and has been deep into advanced automotive diagnostics for a couple of years. He Loves writing about Automotive Diagnostics and Repair, Trouble codes, Buyer guides for various car parts and accessories, and lots more. 

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