2013 Toyota RAV4 - AC issue

MY husband Bob, says I have to turn of the air in the car, so it is of when it starts. this makes no sense to me. I leave the air conditioner on and stop and start the car. Am I harming it? A dinner is a prize for your answer.

Your husband is not just wrong he is really wrong and living in the past . There is no harm in this practice at all. What harm does he imagine is occurring ?


You’ll probably notice that while you’re starting the car many systems, like the AC, don’t work. Circuitry is designed so it’s off when it needs to be off. Hubby is not correct, but you still can do as requested to maintain peace.

Seriously , you are telling this lady who is doing nothing wrong or harmful to the vehicle to do as her idiot husband says . A little Male Chauvinistic are we ?


Nah, not chauvinistic. Doing something that your spouse prefers is an option, whether it’s your preference or not, wife for the husband or husband for the wife. Personally, I do a couple things my wife prefers although I don’t see the benefit. Leaving the AC on or off during starting doesn’t hurt either way.

In your husband’s defense, in the 60’s people would do the same. It may go back to when cars had 6V batteries and needed all their power to crank an engine to life. It’s one of those father-to-son things.

Hubby’s theory I expect is the AC compressor puts add’l load on the engine, and therefore makes the starter motor and battery work harder than necessary during cranking. Such a thing could result in earlier than necessary engine repairs at some point. As pointed out above, with a modern engine design like yours, that’s unlikely as the AC compressor will - in theory at least – be disabled by the engine computer during cranking. If there’s any doubt, it’s very easy to test the theory. Just ask your mechanic to do the test – with the AC on – if the AC compressor is enabled during cranking or not. Might as well test if the headlights turn off during cranking too, if only out of curiosity. If the headlights are on during cranking that would also put add’l load on the engine via the alternator.

This would have been a great question for the show :slight_smile:

You win. Enjoy your dinner!

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Your husband might have been right in the 50s and early 60s! I remember a gadget for sale then that would “disconnect” the A/C when starting and depressing the gas pedal passing another vehicle.

As pointed out modern cars turn these loads off when starting the car and there is no need to “turn it off”.

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My AC is never in On position when I start the car, because I always turn it off about a minute before I turn the car Off, to take advantage of the already cooled air instead of letting it go to waste.
Cheapskate habit I suppose.

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