How long can my car idle with the AC on?

I usually sit in my car with the air conditioner on and the car in idle while I wait for my kids to get out of school. How long can my car idle with the AC on before it does damage?

Great question. As long as the engine is running and you aren’t running low on fuel, you can keep your car idling with the AC on for as long as you’d like.
However, you will want to avoid doing this with the engine off, as this will use up almost all of your battery power in a short time, leaving you in need of a jumpstart. Running the AC with the engine off will also not produce cool air, since the compressor uses engine power to function.
As long as the engine is running, the alternator keeps the battery charged and you don’t run the risk of losing power.
If you do drain your battery accidentally, make sure you have a roadside assistance program. Jerry offers a roadside assistance membership for as low as $4.16 a month. Call our agents to see if you qualify for our low rates!
Enjoy your cool air!
Matthew Macgugan
Answered on Nov 03, 2021

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