Car AC Takes A While To Turn On – How To Fix 100% In 2024

Experiencing delays with my car’s air conditioner turning on has been quite inconvenient. It’s frustrating for both myself and passengers, especially during hot weather.

If your car air conditioner takes a long to cool, there could be a coolant leak inside your AC unit, an open heat coolant valve, a faulty air compressor, an electric problem with your climate control system, a clogged air filter, or loose air flaps. Your Car AC needs a service.

In this post, I’ll share my experience with the issue of my car’s AC taking a long time to turn on and explore potential causes and solutions I’ve found through research and personal troubleshooting.

Why Does My AC Take So Long To Get Cold In My Car?

A weak A/C compressor can struggle to build up pressure efficiently, especially if it requires high RPM to reach normal pressures. Additionally, if the recirculation door isn’t functioning properly, hot outside air can dilute the effectiveness of the A/C, leading to a longer time for the system to cool.

Reasons Why Is My Car’s Air Conditioner Taking So Long To Cool?

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 ac takes a while to turn on in car.

Here are some possible reasons based on my personal experience why your car’s air conditioner may be taking a long time to cool:

1. Faulty Compressor:

A faulty fan is one of the most frequent causes of a slow start-up of your car’s air conditioning. It is the compressor’s job to squeeze the refrigerant gas and move it around the AC system.

Faulty Compressor

So, if the compressor isn’t working right, car ac compressor takes long time to start. It can cause the air conditioner to turn on later.

Also Read: Car Sputters When AC Is On

2. Low Refrigerant Or Freon Levels:

Car Ac Turns On After A Few Minutes? Low refrigerant or freon could also make your car’s AC take longer. A gas known as “refrigerant” cools the air inside the air conditioning system. The air conditioner may take longer to create cool air without refrigerant.

3. Electrical Issues:

If there are electrical issues, the air conditioner in your automobile may also take a while to start up. The air conditioner needs the power to function. If there is a problem with the power system, it could take longer for the air conditioner to start.

Electrical Issues

4. Dirty Or Clogged Filters:

If the filters are filthy or blocked, the air conditioner in your automobile may also car ac takes a while to get cold. The screens prevent debris from getting into the air conditioning unit.

The airflow entering the AC system might be slowed down if the filters are clogged or unclean, which can prolong the time it takes for the AC to come on.

Also Read: Why Does My Car Jump When I Have The AC On

5. Failed Blower Motor:

The fan motor moves air through the air conditioner and into the car’s cabin. If the fan motor is broken, the ac in car takes long to start. The machine can’t move air through it and into the cabin.

Failed Blower Motor

6. Thermostat Malfunction:

The thermostat is in charge of maintaining the ideal temperature within the vehicle. If the thermostat isn’t working properly, the air conditioner can take longer. It’s conceivable that the thermostat, which regulates the AC, is unable to gauge the temperature inside the vehicle.

7. Broken AC Clutch:

Car ac takes forever to get cold? The AC clutch makes and breaks the connection between the compressor and the engine. If the AC clutch is broken, the air conditioner may take longer to turn on. So, the fan might not turn on correctly and move the refrigerant gas around the system.

 Broken AC Clutch
source:mechanic base

Also Read: Car AC Not Working At High Speed

8. Coolant Leak:

A water leak coming from the car’s air conditioning unit could be one reason the AC takes a while to turn on. As it moves through the air conditioning system, the refrigerant used cools the air. A leak in the refrigerant pipes may cause the refrigerant level to drop, delaying the air conditioning system’s startup.

How to Fix The Problem Of Your Car AC Taking A While To Turn On?

When faced with the issue of my car AC taking a while to turn on, I took several steps to address the problem.

1. Check Refrigerant Levels:

If the air conditioning in your automobile is slow to start, check the refrigerant levels first. Low refrigerant can make the air conditioner take longer to turn on. You can use a refrigerant gauge or take your car to a mechanic to check the refrigerant amounts.

Check Refrigerant Levels

Also Read: White Smoke From Car AC Vent

2. Replace Filters:

Filters that are dirty or stuck can also make the air conditioner take longer to turn on. You can change the filters yourself or take your car to a mechanic.

3. Replace the Blower Motor:

To solve car ac takes too long to cool, If the motor for the blower has broken down, it must be changed. Do it yourself or have a professional work on your automobile to fix the blower motor.

 Replace Blower Motor

4. Check the Electrical System:

Electrical problems can also make the air conditioner take longer to turn on. You can check the electricity by looking for damage or loose links in the fuses and wiring. If you discover any issues, you may fix them yourself or have a specialist fix your automobile.

Also Read: AC Blows Warm At Highway Speeds

5. Repair Or Replace The AC Clutch:

If the AC clutch is broken, you must fix it or get a new one. You can take your car to a professional to repair or replace the air conditioning clutch.

Repair Or Replace The AC Clutch
source:mechanic base

6. Replace Thermostat:

If the thermometer isn’t working right, it must be changed. You can adjust the thermostat yourself or take your car to a mechanic.

7. Check Coolant Leak:

Take your automobile to a repair to get it inspected if you suspect that the air conditioning unit is dripping water. The specialist will be able to identify the leak’s origin and the most effective technique to fix it.

Check Coolant Leak
source:oard automative

Car AC Compressor Takes Time To Start:

Indeed, various issues can cause a car’s AC to malfunction, ranging from low refrigerant levels to fuse problems or compressor issues. Consulting with an AC specialist is advisable for accurate diagnosis and repair.

1. Why Does My Car AC Not Turn On Right Away?

If your car’s AC takes a while to turn on, it could be due to reasons like low refrigerant levels, electrical faults, or obstructions in the refrigerant circulation.

2. Why Does It Take So Long For My AC To Work In My Car?

When your vehicle’s AC takes longer to cool, it could be because of a weak compressor or a malfunctioning recirculation door, both affecting its efficiency.

3. Why Does My Air Conditioner Take So Long To Turn On?

Modern air conditioners typically have a 5-minute time delay for the compressor to start, preventing short cycling. This delay allows the compressor to avoid high amp draw at startup, ensuring smooth operation.

4. Why Is My AC Slow To Get Cold?

To speed up the cooling process, consider replacing dirty air filters, cleaning dirty condenser coils, and ensuring air vents are open and unobstructed.

5. How Long Should It Take For The AC Compressor To Kick On?

Typically, the AC compressor should kick on within a 5-minute delay to prevent short cycling and ensure efficient operation.

6. How Can I Tell If My Car’s AC Is Low On Refrigerant?

One typical symptom is when the air conditioner stops cooling as effectively as it once did. It may also hiss. You can also check the refrigerant amounts with a refrigerant pressure gauge.

7. How Can I Determine If The AC Compressor Is Faulty?

When the AC is turned on, a loud clicking or ticking sound is often a sign of a broken compressor. A mechanic can also test the compressor to see if it works properly.

8. How Long Does It Take For AC To Turn On In A Car?

The entire process should ideally be completed within 4 to 5 minutes. It’s important to note that although the vents may be blowing cold air, the car’s interior may retain the absorbed heat.

9. Why Does My Car AC Take 10 Minutes To Turn On?

The car’s ECU has preset parameters that it checks before allowing the compressor to run. This includes factors like engine temperature, outdoor temperature, engine RPM, and more. Once these conditions are met, the compressor is activated.

10. How Much Does It Cost To Recharge A Car AC?

Professional AC recharge costs typically range from $150 to $300 on average, depending on the make and model of your vehicle.


In conclusion, I’ve encountered firsthand the frustration of dealing with a slow-starting car air conditioner. Through thorough research and personal experience, I’ve identified various potential culprits, including a damaged compressor, low refrigerant levels, and electrical issues.

To address these issues, I’ve learned to check and possibly repair or replace components like the AC clutch, thermostat, and fan motor. Regular maintenance tasks such as inspecting the electrical system, monitoring refrigerant levels, and replacing filters have become essential practices in ensuring my car’s AC operates efficiently.


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