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Old 07-16-2010, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Houston
612 posts, read 1,156,216 times
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Default Is it harmful to a car to run AC when parked?

I have to sit outside for several hours tomorrow. I am not going to be near an air-conditioned place, other than my car. Can I just sit in my car for a bit and run my engine and AC while I am parked to cool down, or could that harm the engine or AC in any way? I realize that I will be using gasoline. But I am more worried about heatstroke, which I have had before. Thanks.
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Old 07-16-2010, 05:39 PM
 
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I wouldn't worry about it. If was harmful I'd have ruined a number of cars in my time.
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Old 07-16-2010, 05:51 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, CA
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Why should it be harmful to your car? I don't believe it' any more harmful than running your car under any other normal circumstance.
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Old 07-16-2010, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Just be sure to keep an eye on your temp gauge. As long as it stays in the "normal" range your car should be fine.
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Old 07-16-2010, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Houston
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Thank you, thank you, thank you.
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Old 07-16-2010, 06:37 PM
 
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the only thing i would advise if that you be vigilant to possible overheating, running the engine at idle means low airflow through the radiator, and if your cooling system is compromised, the engine may overheat. if that happens, run the engine at a high idle until the temperature comes down again. otherwise you shouldnt have any problems, i do it all the time in the summer.
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Old 07-16-2010, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
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Typically if you are runing the A/C with the cab fan on high, (3 or 4 on typical scales) you will be running relatively high condenser pressures, which is not desirable, but won't necessarily do any specific damage.

Try to keep the car in the shade, do keep an eye on the temp gauge.

It would be better to go for a drive, do you have to remain present at this A/C less location?
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Old 07-16-2010, 07:03 PM
 
Location: South Jersey
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with a newer car with a modern cooling system you can run the ac for days at an idle. No harm at all
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Old 07-16-2010, 07:03 PM
 
Location: Northeast Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
Just be sure to keep an eye on your temp gauge. As long as it stays in the "normal" range your car should be fine.
I agree. If ones car has a weak/poor engine cooling system, a car can overheat in hot conditions if not moving and only idling for a period of time, especially if the A/C is on... if your cooling system is up to par, you should be fine, but leave the window(s) cracked down a little... not good to set in a parked car for a long period with the engine on without a little ventilation.

Also, like Mitchell said, keep a check on your engine temperature gauge (if so equipped).
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Old 07-16-2010, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Houston
612 posts, read 1,156,216 times
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My car is a 1999 Honda Accord EX. I guess I will find out if the cooling system is up to par. And yes, I do have to sit there outside for a while. I'll keep my eye on the temperature gauge. I won't be doing it much anyway--only if I get overheated. I begin at 7:00 a.m. so the problem won't hit me probably till much later. Thanks again. I am so grateful that I have access to city-data. I don't know how I managed before .
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