Car AC Delayed Start – What I Did In This Situation In 2024

Experiencing a delayed start with the car’s AC can be quite inconvenient, making both the driver and passengers uncomfortable, particularly in hot weather. I’ve faced situations where the AC took longer than usual to kick in or, in some cases, didn’t start at all.

Air conditioner delayed start? (Short Answer)

There may be a coolant leak inside the air conditioning unit, an open heat coolant valve, a broken air compressor, an electrical issue with the climate control system, a clogged air filter, or loose air flaps if your automobile air conditioner takes a long time to cool.

In this post, I’ll share insights into potential reasons for a delayed start in your car’s AC cooling, provide effective fixes, and discuss precautions to prevent such delays in your air conditioning system.

What Does Delay Mean On An Air Conditioner?

A built-in automatic delay fan switch instructs the air conditioner’s air handler to run for a few minutes after the compressor shuts off. This ensures that any remaining cool air in the ductwork is pushed into the rooms, allowing occupants to feel the cooling effects even after the cooling cycle concludes.

Why is My Car AC Delayed Start?

Experiencing a car ac delayed cooling has led me to explore possible reasons behind this issue.

1. Low Refrigerant Level:

Why does my ac have a delay? The cool air that is blown into the car’s cabin is made possible by the refrigerant. Low refrigerant levels might make it harder for the AC compressor to start, slowing down how quickly the air conditioner operates.

Low Refrigerant Level
source:bluedevil products

Also Read: Car AC Fan Speeds Up And Slows Down

2. Power Shortage In Thermostat:

Why My CarThermostat compressor delay? The AC thermostat checks the temperature inside the car and sends signals to the AC system to change how much cooling is de-tempered. If the AC thermostat is malfunctioning, it may not send the proper instructions to the AC system, making it take longer to operate.

The AC thermostat losing power is one of the most frequent causes. It may alter the efficiency and frequency of the air conditioner’s operation. When this occurs, the air conditioner can start more slowly or not at all.

3. Faulty AC Compressor:

Car ac compressor delay start? The job of the AC compressor is to squeeze the refrigerant and move it around the system. If the AC fan isn’t working right, it may take longer to start up. Ir could cause the AC system to work less quickly.

 Faulty AC Compressor

Also Read: Is It Ok To Leave Car Running With AC On

4. Faulty AC Relay:

The job of the AC switch is to give power to the AC compressor. If the AC relay is damaged, the AC compressor may not get enough power, which would cause the AC system to operate more slowly.

Electrical Issues

5. Clogged Air Filter:

The AC of my car takes a while before cooling but works well after it has begun to cool is due to a clogged Air filter. As a first step, clean your air conditioner’s filter or replace it. Otherwise, you must replace the cooling coil. Your cooling coil may leak. For this, you must meet with the mechanic.

How to Fix Car AC Delayed Start?

Addressing the delayed start of my car’s AC has been a task that involved personal exploration and seeking effective solutions. Here’s a personalized guide on how I tackled and fixed the issue:

1. Check Refrigerant (Freon) Level:

If it is low, the refrigerant should be filled back up to the suggested level. But you should check for leaks in the system that could have caused the refrigerant to drop. Low refrigerant levels were a common culprit in my case.

Check Refrigerant (Freon) Level

Also Read: Car AC Not Working At High Speed

2. Install C-Wire For Thermostat:

There are several things you can try to fix this problem. Installing a C-wire or an adapter is one of the most common things. These measures ensure that even when the system is just starting up, the thermostat always has adequate power to run the air conditioner.

It can help eliminate any problems with the air conditioner and ensure it works well.

Checking the thermostat’s lithium-ion battery is another possible option for people with newer thermostats like the Nest. These systems use more advanced technology most of the time but can still break down over time.

 Install C-Wire For Thermostat

You might need to replace the battery in your Nest or another high-tech thermostat if it is dead to ensure that your air conditioner operates properly and fast.

It is necessary to repair or replace the air conditioner’s thermostat if it is damaged.

3. Repair Or Replace the AC Compressor:

If the air conditioning compressor is broken, it must be fixed or changed. Before changing the compressor, it’s essential to have a professional figure out what’s wrong.

Also Read: Car AC Pulling Too Much Power

4. Inspect Electrical Components:

A delayed start can sometimes be traced back to faulty electrical components. Personally, I’ve learned to inspect and address any issues with fuses, relays, or wiring.

The AC Of My Car Takes A While Before Cooling But Works Well After It Has Begun To Cool:

A couple of things could cause this but I would put my money one of two things. One, the compressor and or compressor clutch is bad. The second, could be low cooling fluid in the system. If not one of those two then you need to have it checked out by a professional.

Why AC Compressor Starts Late?

It might happened due to your capacitor problem. If your capacitor gets too old then it takes long time to gain the necessary power load. If you are good in electronics then you can check yourself otherwise the best option to contact air conditioning services near you to fix this issue.

How To Avoid Car AC Delayed Start In the Future?

Avoiding a delayed start with the car’s AC involves adopting proactive measures and regular maintenance practices. Here’s a personalized guide based on my experiences:

1. Regular Maintenance:

Condenser cleaning, compressor inspections, and refrigerant level checks are all examples of routine maintenance that can help prevent a car from not starting.

Also Read: Car Misfires When AC Is On

2. Keep The AC System Running:

Keeping the AC regularly running, even during the winter, can help keep it from breaking down. It is because the refrigerant keeps the AC system’s parts from sticking. If the system isn’t used for long, the lube can dry out, making the parts stick together.

Keep The AC System Running
source:medlock gulf

3. Use The AC System Properly:

If you use the AC correctly, like not setting the temperature too low or running it at full blast all the time, you can help keep it from breaking down.

4. Park In The Shade:

Putting the car in the shade or using a cover can help keep the interior from getting too hot, which can strain the AC system and slow it down.

Park In The Shade
source:shadesystem NZ

Also Read: Why Does My Car AC Only Work In The Morning

5. Avoid Overusing The Battery:

Electrical problems can make the air conditioner take longer to work. Avoid overusing your car’s battery by leaving the lights or other accessories on for an extended period to prevent these issues.

 Avoid Overusing The Battery
source:safety kits plus

1. Why Does My AC Not Work Until I Start Driving?

Why is my car’s AC not cold when idle? The AC system in a car might not work until you start driving. It could be because the AC compressor is broken, there isn’t enough refrigerant or the AC fan motor is broken.

2. How Long Does It Take For AC To Start Blowing Cold Air?

Several factors, including the air conditioner’s age and condition, the ambient temperature, and the amount of cooling required, determine how long a car’s air conditioner can begin blowing chilly air. The average time for the air conditioner to blow chilly air is 5 to 8 minutes.

3. Why Does My AC Starts Blowing Warm After Driving For A While?

Hot air from a car’s air conditioner is often the result of a refrigerant leak. The liquid refrigerant circulates through the cooling system. It draws heat and humidity out of the car’s trunk as it expands and compresses.

4. Why Does My Car AC Take Long To Turn On?

If your car’s AC takes a while to produce cold air, it could be due to low refrigerant levels. Recharging the AC system with refrigerant is likely needed.

5. Why Does My AC Have A Delayed Start?

Typically, there is a 5-minute delay in the start of the AC compressor to prevent rapid cycling. This delay is not usually noticeable during regular operation unless someone is frequently adjusting the thermostat.

6. Why Doesn’t My AC Start Right Away In My Car?

Common reasons for a delayed start in car AC include a clogged filter, cooling fan issues, radiator problems, or the need for an air conditioning recharge (regas).

7. Why Does My Air Conditioner Take So Long To Start?

Modern air conditioners often incorporate a 5-minute delay for compressor start to prevent short cycling. This delay accommodates the high amp draw during the initial startup.

8. Why Is My AC Saying Cycle Delay?

If your AC unit indicates a cycle delay, it means both the thermostat and outdoor unit are preventing short-cycling, ensuring at least a 5-minute off period for pressure to stabilize and the compressor to cool down.

9. Why Does Thermostat Go In Delay Mode?

Thermostats may enter a delay mode, also known as maintenance band, to prevent frequent cycling and reduce system wear. This delay is usually a few minutes.

10. Should I Turn Off My AC If It’s Short Cycling?

Turning off your AC is not necessary unless the evaporator coils are frozen. In such cases, turning off the air conditioner allows the coils to thaw.


It might be frustrating and uncomfortable if the car’s air conditioning takes a while to start up while it’s hot outdoors. But drivers can avoid this problem and ensure their AC system works well and reliably by knowing what might be causing it, using the suggested solutions, and taking preventive steps.

Regular repair and correct use of the AC system can help avoid delays and lengthen the system’s life, making the driver and passengers more comfortable and relieved.


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