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Anyone know about cars?

So I've used the AC in my new car a few times and it's been great. The car is six years old but just bought it recently. I was just driving a few minutes ago with AC on and all of a sudden my steering gets REALLY tight, and I feel the car lagging, so I pulled over. All the gauge lights were on. I shut the AC, give it a few minutes off with car off too, and when I restarted the car, no gauge light came on. I started driving and it was not lagging and steering fine. I left AC off at that point. Would the tight steering and lagging may be be caused by a strained AC? I'm going to test drive the car now locally but was wondering if anyone had an idea here
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need to ask a mechanic for help
carolinehugz · 46-50, F
[@1073121,Leggs] my car is 20 years old this week. Luckily my dad is handy with the spanners so keeps the old thing going which is a godsend.
Leggs · 46-50, F
[@849829,carolinehugz] It is nice to not have a car payment.
Plus with something older, if something DOES happen, it is not like a huge loss. I mean if a 20 year old car finally gives out, whatever but it would suck to have a newer car and something craps out.

I have two cars, one is 26 years old and is rickety over rough roads but runs A1. The A/C is so cold it feels like you just took the ice bucket challenge.
carolinehugz · 46-50, F
[@1073121,Leggs] my good old dad found the car and said I should buy it because it's old no one will want it but it's lowish milage and as I don't do a lot anyway will mean it's a bargain. So far so good😉
He did something to the AC last year with a refill can.
Leggs · 46-50, F
My guess is the A/C compressor is screwed up. If it locked up somehow, that could cause the other symptoms you describe. I won't bore you with the technical explanation.

Just curious, what is the year, make, model?
DropTopDig · M
There's a belt that goes around ALL the accessories, it's called a serpentine belt. See if it broke, Don't drive it if it is broken, you'll have no power steering, the car will overheat, & your a/c won't work.
Heartlander · 70-79, M
Possible but probably not. Sounds like the engine may have quit on you. Did you accidentally touch the ignition switch/button? Is it a hybrid, electric or pure gas?
Heartlander · 70-79, M
[@562099,Coralmist] The code reading may help guide you in the right direction. Until you know, be careful about putting yourself and the car in a situation where a full stall would be dangerous. Whether the AC triggered the issue is just a guess, but until you know, follow the most cautious path. Interpreting the codes from a code reader can be tricky, so you may wish to let one of the auto parts stores do that.
Coralmist · 36-40, F
[@66493,Heartlander] Thanks Heart. Yeah it was strange. I'm driving about 40 minutes from my house tomorrow, so I THINK it should be ok. My mom's like, Don't chance it, but I test drove it after the whole thing, for twenty minutes tonight and it ran perfectly. It's all just main roads, like 35/40mph or so .so I think it should be ok ?
Heartlander · 70-79, M
[@562099,Coralmist] We've been extra lucky with the past 3 autos ... absolute jewells. The last two were hybrids. Besides the lemon with the sudden acceleration syndrome which affected quite a few models and manufacturers, we also had a problematic minivan which probably helps explains why GM went bankrupt.

Be extra careful until you find some certainty, and even afterwards. I have no advice about repair shops and dealers, and would rely on friends' recommendations rather than newspaper ads.
MarkS · 46-50, M
Radiator
AC compressor may have seized. A serpentine belt connects the coolant pump, alternator, AC compressor, and power steering all in one. If all is fine with the AC off then its most likely a seized AC compressor.
Coralmist · 36-40, F
[@604557,stratosranger] Ty Strat!🌸
You are more than welcome. Hope your repair is an inexpensive one. [@562099,Coralmist]
Coralmist · 36-40, F
[@604557,stratosranger] I do too!!
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eyeno · M
Could be a lot of things but,
Not AC but will create load on motor, maybe try checking Crank position sensor or cam position sensor.

When was the last time you had a tune-up?
Coralmist · 36-40, F
[@1150425,eyeno] Just bought it in January. It's six years old
eyeno · M
[@562099,Coralmist] It's time...
Dolimyte · 36-40, M
The engine drives all the accessories, alternator, powersteering, AC etc. If your AC compressor is impeded for whatever reason, the drag on the belt could effect all the connected systems like you described. I suggest leaving the AC off if it happens again.
Coralmist · 36-40, F
[@1999,Dolimyte] ok thanks .. think I can use car tomorrow? I test drove it with no AV on and it drove fine, no lag
Dolimyte · 36-40, M
[@562099,Coralmist] maybe 🤷‍♂️
MethDozer · M
Unlikely related but it's slightly possible your belt is too loose or theres a bad bearing in your AC or power steering pump and the system can't compensate for the parasitic power power loss. Most likely it is just conincidental.

Check your power steering fluid first.
Coralmist · 36-40, F
[@521796,MethDozer] Ty🙂🌻
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jeancolby · 31-35, F
Check the belt, with engine running, see if the compressor is binding, could be and would stop the power steering pump from working.
twiigss · 41-45, MVIP
Just read a forum where this guy had same issue as you. He turned on his vehicle on his lunch with AC to cool down, and the car started overheating. Turns out serpentine belt needed replaced. I would start small, and move up from there. I'm not a car expert, so just giving my advice and what I think should be done, from seeing my dad work on cars, and the advice he gives and advice my mechanic gives.

From what I've heard and read, and such, you always want to start with the small things, because it could just be something so small, you wouldn't want to spend say $150.00 on a part that you replace that fixes nothing vs. spending $15.00 on a part that could fix the problem.

I personally haven't had that problem you are having, but I would start with the serpentine belt and go from there.
Coralmist · 36-40, F
[@1201479,twiigss] Thx ☀️
Notanymore · 36-40, M
[@1201479,twiigss] very good call. The ac compressor most likely is on the serpentine belt. And it could definitely be stretched or slightly slick. An easy fix anyway
fun4us2b · 61-69, M
It's probably the serpentine belt failing - maybe slipping or too loose...any gas station mechanic can quickly eyeball that for you...if it's not, then could be AC compressor is causing problem....

Good Luck!
Coralmist · 36-40, F
[@64578,fun4us2b] Ty🌸
Zaphod42 · 46-50, M
My best guess is either the AC compressor is going bad or the tensioner for the belt is seizing. It could still be a bunch of other things though and might not be anything with the AC at all.
Coralmist · 36-40, F
[@527654,Zaphod42] Ty! Yeah it's running fine now with no AC on..but retested WITH AC on , only for three minutes though, and it didn't lag or have lights come on dash. Really odd
Zaphod42 · 46-50, M
[@562099,Coralmist] Very! I had that issue with a car a long time ago…it turned out to be the tensioner for the AC belt, but that car had 3 separate belts, one of which was just for the AC. With AC off it ran fine, but turn it on and the car acted like it was barely able to run. (‘95 Ford Taurus)
Notanymore · 36-40, M
Twiligs answer is the first thing I'd check.....it's a quick and simple fix and you can check your tensioner and idler pulleys while you're at it
Coralmist · 36-40, F
[@519030,Notanymore] Thanks 🙂
RedBaron · M
There are mechanics for that sort of thing.
TexChik · F
The steering doesnt have anything to do with the AC but it sounds like you have a bad computer module. Take it in and have them run a diagnostic. The car will tell them what is wrong
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Coralmist · 36-40, F
[@609293,RogueLoner] So maybe just something went haywire for two minutes? It's weird because it was fine after. But I did turn AC off.
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Coralmist · 36-40, F
[@609293,RogueLoner] I hope all is ok, thanks. It seems to be🙂
wildbill83 · 36-40, M
without knowing more, first guess would be seized ac compressor; causing strain/slippage on belt, and not turning power steering pump pulley
Coralmist · 36-40, F
[@597698,wildbill83] Thx Wild. Thing is, when I tested it again with AC on, to see if that's what caused the lag of energy/gas, no lights came on dash and there was no lag. However I only tested it for three minutes near my house in case it did just stall. Wouldn't it have done the lag immediately again when putting AC on?
wildbill83 · 36-40, M
[@562099,Coralmist] could be any number of accessories causing drag on belt. belts can usually slip on pulleys fairly easy when cool, once they start generating friction and get hot they can start jumping/slipping on the main crankshaft pulley

though in most cases, squealing can be heard from belt slippage.

also a possibly that something just got caught in fan or belt (bird, cats, debris, etc.)
Coralmist · 36-40, F
[@597698,wildbill83] Ty Wild🌸
toddr13 · 41-45, M
Are the electrical systems functioning normally? Are the dashboard lights consistent, with no flickering, windows operating at the same speed, etc.? If they are erratic or dim then bright, windows much slower or variable when going up or down, with the air conditioner running, then it could be an issue with the alternator. Sometimes the blower fan will be erratic, too, when an alternator may be failing, but be sure to take the air conditioning off auto and set a specific speed (high) to see if there's variance.

The serpentine belt is also a suspect because that is tied into the alternator, as others have mentioned, which could be a bad belt, tensioner, or incorrect tension on the belt. You may notice a whine with a belt that is going bad or incorrectly adjusted. You may also notice cracks on the belt if it's old, as they can generally last about 50-60k miles in normal mixed city/suburban driving. Some manufacturers have replacement intervals, but others just recommend inspecting the belt for wear.

If it were solely an air conditioning issue, you might have a flickering air conditioner light, indicating a problem with that system, that may not have the effect of lag on the vehicle, as if you suddenly downshifted or had an engine brake that was activated. If I remember correctly, this is a Corolla, and Toyota air conditioning lights will flash if the problem is within that system.

Another simple thing to check is your battery. Is the battery free from corrosion on the terminals and are the cables sufficiently tightened? Corrosion or loose cables can cause phantom electrical issues, especially under the heavy load of an air conditioner.
toddr13 · 41-45, M
[@562099,Coralmist] The only thing to look out for with persistent mustiness is mold/mildew/debris on the moist evaporator. You can easily clean that with a spray cleaner periodically to keep that from becoming an issue.
Coralmist · 36-40, F
[@1073121,Leggs] It'll be the summers new candle scent..*Fresh feet out in the open* 😛🤣
Leggs · 46-50, F
[@562099,Coralmist] You know, [@14020,FeetAreFantastic] wouldn't mind.
Leggs · 46-50, F
If it was an isolated incident, I would not freak out just yet. Maybe the belt got wet and slipped a little which made a bunch of stuff freak out temproarily. Used to happen all the time on my 95 Toyota.

A car that is only six years old should not be having any sort of weird problems. Unless someone beat the hell out of it (not likely) or completely neglected basic maintenance.

I doubt you drive it real hard anyways so it isn't anything you did wrong.

Usually things like tensioners or A/C compressors going bad happens closer to 200,000 miles and/or 15 or more years old.
Coralmist · 36-40, F
[@1073121,Leggs] Ty. I just hope tomorrow it runs as well as it did after the ordeal. I'm traveling forty minutes away, but it all seems ok tonight, so I guess I'll bring it to shop if it ever did it again. Ty again 🌻
For sure the air conditioning compressor is putting a severe enough load on the engine that anything else on that belt (power steering pump) is affected. The compressor has a electric clutch, so when the ac is off there is no load on the engine or power steering. I would suspect the compressor.. it's possible it might be low on refrigerant, these have an oil in them to lubricate the compressor.
Coralmist · 36-40, F
[@325375,Majorlatency] Thanks Major🌺
Leggs · 46-50, F
[@325375,Majorlatency] Typically when the system is low on R134, it will cycle on and off abnormally fast, it is not real likely to lock up.

I am guessing she may have hit a puddle and water hit the belt causing it to slip.

As I said, I just do not see the compressor going bad this soon.

[@66493,Heartlander] GM has had so many problems it is pitiful.
I do know that Coral's car is not a GM.
[@562099,Coralmist] Hopefully not too expensive..

 
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