Is it necessary to shut off AC before turning off your vehicle? | CarMandee Blogs | CarMandee

Is it necessary to shut off AC before turning off your vehicle?

Ishaq Nabi
by Ishaq Nabi


3 min read


Have you ever heard your dad say “Don’t forget to turn the AC off before you turn off my vehicle’s engine, son?” You must have heard many other people say the same thing. On the contrary, some people believe that turning your vehicle off with the air conditioning on has no effect on the vehicle’s engine health.

shuting off car AC

An air conditioner (AC) is a very important feature of a vehicle. If not used properly, it can impose a negative impact not only on the vehicle but also on your health. However, it is confirmed that shutting off the air conditioner before turning off your vehicle’s engine does not protect the engine. But one should try to turn off the AC if you are concerned about your health.

If you are not used to turning off the air conditioner before switching off your vehicle, you may experience mold growth in the vehicle’s interior. In countries with hot summers like Pakistan, the air conditioning system in modern vehicles is indispensable.

Though most of the population uses air conditioners in these countries, most people do not know how to properly use the AC. They are unaware of the fact that if the air conditioner is not used in a  proper way, it can affect car maintenance poorly. It can affect the longevity of the vehicle and the user’s health as well.

Let’s have a look at the components of an air conditioner. It contains a compressor, a condenser, a desiccant, a throttle, a vaporizer, and the most important coolant gas. The cassette wire connects the compressor to the vehicle’s engine. This means the compressor would only work when the engine is running.

Now, most drivers think that if you turn off the vehicle with the air conditioning on, the next time you start the vehicle the AC would put more weight on the engine. The ignition would require more power and fuel than it would need with the air conditioner off. So, if you want to preserve your vehicle’s expensive engine, keep that air conditioner off and turn it on once the engine starts running.

The reason mentioned above is quite fair. But is it actually a fact? Is a vehicle's engine really affected by not turning off the AC before switching off the vehicle? Should you really worry about turning the air conditioner off before you switch off the engine?

Well according to the information, there is no special need to turn the air conditioner off before switching the engine off. In the modern vehicles that we all use, the Electric control unit known as ECU is present. This ECU automatically switches off every other vehicle support system. It focuses all the fuel and power on the engine.

shut off AC

You must have noticed at some point in your life that when the engine of your vehicle starts, the devices including lights and radio, etc turn off for a second automatically. The same happens with the air conditioner. It turns off automatically when the engine is started. So, it really does not matter whether you leave the air conditioning on or off while switching off your vehicle.

It is completely up to you whether you want to turn off the air conditioner or enjoy the cool air till the last second you spend in your vehicle. Your vehicle would not be affected in both ways. But remember one thing, your health may be affected. It is always advised to not jump from a cold environment to a hot one right away to prevent a heat shock.

So, keeping that point in mind, you should try to turn the air conditioner off for a few minutes so that your body adapts to the hot environment before you step out of your vehicle. But if you’re parking in an air-conditioned garage, why would you mind turning the AC off?

Besides this, there is another advantage to turning the air conditioner off before stopping the vehicle. The low temperature can cause the AC doors to dry Because when the air conditioner is working, the AC doors gather moisture and promotes mold growth. If you turn the air conditioner a few minutes before stepping out of the vehicle, you may prevent the unpleasant odor.

The Bottom Line

In the end, do whatever you like. Whether you keep the AC on or off is totally your choice. It won’t harm your precious car.

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