Does an Air Compressor Drain a Car Battery?

You heard that air compressors drain a car battery but aren’t sure whether to believe it. So, you hurriedly typed “does air compressors drain car battery” in the Google search bar for accurate answers. Then, you landed on this page.

Luckily, you are in the right place at the right time because this article covers everything you should know about air compressors and car batteries.

We’ll discuss how fast the AC system drains a car battery, how to prevent air compressors from draining your car battery, and when to turn on your car’s AC.

So, let’s start by explaining what an air compressor is all about and its function for better understanding.


What is Air Compressor in Cars

Air compressor is an integral part of the car that compresses the refrigerant’s temperature, ensuring that the AC system functions effectively.

Your AC won’t function without an air compressor that will initiate the air conditioning process.

How do air compressors work

The air compressor will start functioning as soon as you push the A/C button on your car’s dashboard.

It will compress and increase the temperature and pressure of the refrigerant before sending it to the condenser fan for heat loss.

The refrigerant will then go through the dryer after losing the absorbed heat for purification.

The dryer will eliminate all the harmful contaminants before passing the refrigerant to the expansion valve.

The refrigerant will lose its pressure in the expansion valve before moving to the evaporator and blower.

Lastly, the car will produce moisture-free and low-pressure air through the car’s AC vent or hoses.

The AC system will repeat the processes so everyone in the car will enjoy relaxing and conducive air throughout the journey.

Does an air compressor drain a car battery?

If your car battery is not weak and also if your car’s air compressor doesn’t run for an extended period of time, you won’t have any issues with your car battery.

To get the best out of your car’s battery, it is important you ensures that your air compressor is only in use while your car is running.

More also, you can decide to make use of a portable air compressor that won’t rely much on your car’s battery but rather from other sources.

To be on the safer side and to better understand the effect of my air compressor on my car’s battery, i ensure that i check my car’s battery voltage level before and also after using the compressor.

At least this will put me in a better position to actually tell if the air compressor is actually drainning the battery excessively.

How To Know If My Car Air Compressor Is Bad

There are several issues that might present it self or that might surfaces to show that actually something is wrong with your car’s Air compressor

  • When your car’s AC is not blowing cold air –
  • When you notice strange noise that is coming from the compressor
  • – when The compressor clutch is not engaging as it should.
  • -when you noticed that The AC system is leaking
  • -The pressure readings on the AC gauges are abnormal

Hire a tested-and-trusted engineer or mechanic to troubleshoot your ac compressor if you’ve been experiencing any of the signs above or if you suspect that your AC Compressor is bad.

Since this is their field, they can quickly diagnose the issue and fixed it or replace it altogether if they feel it is needed to be replace altogether.

  • Air leakags
  • The AC vents produce hot air.
  • The AC won’t start or won’t stop.
  • There’s oil in the airlines.
  • It produces strange noise after turning on the AC.
  • ECU (Engine Control Unit) failure.

How fast does compressor drain a car battery?

How fast a compressor drains a car battery all depends on several factors. Honestly this has to do with the size and also the capacity of your car’s battery,

another factor that also determines how fast a compressor will drain a car battery is the power and also the efficiency of the compressor and lastly we have to take into consideration the duration the compressor was in use.

Generally, it is well known that when a compressor is constantly being use for an extended period of time there is every chances that your car battery will drain faster than usual .

How do you prevent or minimise the impact? What you should do is to ensure that your engine is running anytime or whenever you want to put the compressor to use. This will help save the battery’s energy and prevent constant draining of battery.

In the event that your car’s battery get drained, you don’t have to panic. Just get the battery recharge, that’s all.

Is it OK to Run Car compressor While Parked?

You shouldn’t run your car’s compressor while the car is parked and the engine is not running. It is generally not recommended because by doing so, you will end up putting a lot of strain on the compressor and therefore you run risk of damaging the compressor.

Additionally, apart from putting strain on your compressor, you could end up drainning your battery in a short time than expected.

The idea thing to do, is to run the compressor only when your car is running or in motion

How long can I run compressor on battery?

The amount of time that a car compressor can run on battery power depends first, on the capacity and also on the size of the battery. More also the power consumption of the compressor will also determine how long you can run a compressor on your car battery and lastly the state of charge of your car’s battery.

In a nutshell, the capacity, size of the battery, how charged your battery is and power consumptions of the compressor will all determine how long you can run your run a compressor on a battery.

Also note that a compressor with a higher power consumption rating will in no doubt drain a car’s battery the more when compared with a compressor that just has a lower rating.

Lastly we should not forget that the state of charge of the car’s battery also matters because a partially charged battery will not be able to run your compressor longer than one that is fully charged.

A typical car compressor will run smoothly on a fully charged battery let’s say 15 to 30 minutes.

How do I find out what’s draining my car battery?

Here are few ways that are helpful in finding what is actually draining your car battery:

When your car is off and the engine is not running, you can use a multimeter to quickly check the battery’s voltage and also you can repeat this process again, but this time the car engine should be running. Then if you by any means notice that the battery drops only when the car is in motion then the culprit is likely the alternator or another component of your car.

Do you have any electronic device that is left on? This could be your radio, headlight etc all this can drain your battery slowly mostly when the engine is not running.

Have you tried checking the condition of the cable connection and the battery terminal? They should be clean anf tight.

Check the condition of the battery, ensure that there is no leakage, swelling or any noticeable physical defect or damage because the presence of this, tells that the battery is bad.

Also check for faulty components, alarm system or any parasitic drains.

Remember that, things that can drain your car battery include the following:

  • Your headlights are always on
  • Loosed or corroded battery connections
  • Unfavorable temperatures. Extreme hot or cold outside temperatures can drain the old battery.
  • Faulty Alternator. It means your battery isn’t charging when driving.
  • Too many short trips will affect the battery’s lifespan.
  • Old battery

Luckily, all the points above are preventable. Always off the headlights, and don’t take the car to a location you can easily cover with legs.

Contact an auto care service provider if you observe a corroded connection or faulty alternator.

When To Turn On Car AC

  • Turn on the AC after starting the engine.
  • Turn Off the engine, after you switch off the AC.
  • Don’t turn on the AC immediately after you enter a car you parked under the sun. Instead, let off the hot air via the windows and doors before starting the car.


Having gone through this article, you know that an air compressor doesn’t drain a car battery unless it’s faulty or the engine is off.

We also told you it’s not advisable to run car AC while parked, although it won’t drain the battery as long as the engine is on.

Meanwhile, service your car regularly to avoid unnecessary damage to the battery and other sensitive parts.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *