Why does my car accelerate slower with the AC on?

May 25th, 2021 by

Close up view of a technician measuring psi in a Volkswagen vehicle

Why Does My Car Acceleration Slower with the AC On?

Cooling Off with Track-Inspired Speed: Can You Get Both?

So, you’re looking to enjoy swift acceleration, but wondering if your Volkswagen model’s AC system is slowing you down? Not to worry, as today, we have the answer for you, as well as a few tips for balancing out your nimble cruises with cold air comfort during the hot and humid summer months. Also, keep your air conditioning system running strong by scheduling service at Spitzer Volkswagen in Amherst to help your AC emit arctic-like breezes when you begin to feel too warm.

Will Your AC System Slow Your Volkswagen?

Starting with the age-old question: YES, running your air conditioning will slow down your Volkswagen vehicle’s acceleration. You will especially feel the difference in sporty models like the Golf GTI when you let loose on the open road or attempt to unleash your ride’s full potential on the track. The reason for this issue is that your air conditioning system is directly tied to your motor—so as you cool off you’re effectively applying some of your horsepower when you set your climate controls to cold air. However, in most cases, this is only 5-6 horsepower. If you are cruising at a city pace you might not notice the difference, but when you slam the accelerator you’re almost guaranteed to feel the loss in strength.

Also, your ride slows down because your AC causes your RPM to drop, which hurts your acceleration (you want higher revs when you attempt to speed up). You can even test this one out yourself if you have a manual transmission or a manual mode in your specific model.

Is There Anything I Can Do to Restore My Speed?

Your best option for practically topping off your acceleration while still using your vehicle for daily use is to improve your Volkswagen AC system so that you can cool off and won’t need cold air when you’re ready to hit the track or blast-off in safe conditions on the open road. At the Spitzer Volkswagen service center, our team of certified technicians is always happy to look at your air conditioning system and components to help you make any necessary fixes. Keep in mind that we always use genuine OEM parts when possible to help your replacements and fixes remain as reliable as possible—the way Volkswagen intended.

Need AC Work? Let Spitzer Volkswagen Help

When you need work on your air conditioning, don’t delay your repairs or risk further slowing your acceleration—instead, schedule Volkswagen maintenance at Spitzer Volkswagen in Amherst and let our certified service technicians handle the rest. While you’re here, we’re dedicated to your auto repairs needs, so feel free to contact us with any questions about your air conditioning systems, like how to improve your fan speed or if your model year of vehicle needs anything special, and we’ll work our hardest to help.

Posted in Service