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Car overheating and A/C not working at times.


Question: subaru shifterI notice that my car is low on coolant and at the same time my AC works at times. When i sit in traffic or sometime when i drive the gauge reaches almost to over heat and the A/C stops working, could that be because i am low of coolant?

Answer: The A/C and engine coolant systems are linked by the radiator and condensor which both sit in front of the engine and are cooled by a fan. If there is a problem with the fan, your engine will tend to overheat when in traffic (low speed) but temps should go down when at highway speeds. If the condensor does not receive adequate airflow the A/C system will not operate properly as well. Depending on your car, you may have a mechanical fan or electric. A mechanic should be able to diagnose.

As to the coolant issue, low coolant can cause overheating, but more than likely if you are reading the coolant level from the overflow tank, it’s due to the overheating (water expands as it’s heated) issue and excess water is being dumped when the engine overheats. Then when the engine cools off, the level drops in the overflow tank and it appears you are low on coolant. The above information is my “best guess” given the information you provided, and knowing you are having these two issues happening at the same time. With any engine overheat issue there are other basic things a mechanic will check like water pump seal leakage, radiator cap and restrictions in the radiator itself due to leaves and debris.

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Posted: 1st June 2015  |  Author: Kevin Schappell  |  Category: Cooling, Heat & AC

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