Getting the “AC off due to high engine temperature” come up on your chevy cruze dashboard can be a scary and unpleasant surprise.
After working on a handful of Chevrolet vehicles over the years, I’ve learned that this message can be caused by a variety of things(All relatively easy to fix).
This article aims to shed light on this issue and offer practical solutions to address it. Let’s get to it.
What Does “AC Off Due to High Engine Temp” Mean on a Chevy Cruze?
Simply put, if you receive this message on your Chevy Cruze dashboard, it indicates that the car’s computer has identified an issue with the engine temperature being too high or the cooling system.
As a precaution against overheating, the air conditioning is switched off.
What Causes Chevy Cruze “AC Off Due to High Engine Temp” Warning?
Based on my mechanical experience, this can be caused by a number of things, but after fixing plenty of Cruze’s with the same issue, I have narrowed the list to four possible causes.
let’s start with the most common cause to the least:
1. Coolant Leak:
The most common cause of the “ac off due to high engine temp” fault is coolant loss due to a leak.
The coolant system is made up of many different components, including the radiator, hoses, water pump, and thermostat.
If any one of these is damaged or broken, it can lead to a coolant leak which causes overheating and air conditioning shutoff.
Common areas where the coolant normally leaks on a Cruze include:
- The Water Pump
- Thermostat Housing
- Cracked Coolant Reservoir
- Water Outlet
- Coolant Hoses
How to fix it:
The first thing you need to do after the warning comes on your Cruze dashboard is to check the coolant level.
If it’s low, top up the water and then turn off the car for a few minutes to let it cool down. Then check for leaks.
If there are no leaks, then the coolant level should stay the same after you top it top it up, and then drive around for a while.
If the coolant level drops again, then you need to find where it leaks and fix it.
2. Bad Thermostat
The second common cause of the “ac off due to high temp” is a bad thermostat that is stuck open.
The Thermostat on your Chevy Cruze is responsible for controlling the temperature of your engine.
It does this by regulating how much coolant flows through it when hot and cold.
When you turn on the heat or air conditioning in your car, the Thermostat opens up allowing more coolant to flow through from the radiator to your engine.
If the Thermostat gets damaged it can cause your Cruze engine to overheat as a result the message will appear on the dash.
How to Fix it:
If your Cruze coolant level is fine with no signs of leaks, then it is likely that your thermostat is stuck open.
This can be fixed by replacing the Thermostat with a new one.
Fortunately, it’s not a hard task to do and can be done by yourself for $30-50 for parts online or at a shop for around $100.
3. Failed Temperature Sensor
If you have no coolant leaks and confirmed that the Thermostat is working as it should and still getting the fault message
Then it is possible that one of your temperature sensors has failed.
The coolant temp sensor function is to monitor the temperature of the coolant and send a signal back to the ECU to determine the engine temperature.
The Chevrolet Cruze has two temp sensors, and if one fails, it will automatically read high engine temp and trigger the fault message.
How to Fix it:
Replacing the coolant temperature sensors with a new one is the best way to fix this issue.
The temperature sensors are located in two different locations on a Cruze, one is near the radiator, and the other is in the water outlet on the transmission side of the engine.
4. Damaged Radiator:
The fourth and Final common cause of “AC Off Due to High Engine Temp Chevy Cruze” on a Chevy Cruze is a damaged radiator.
Radiators can crack over time due to various reasons including overheating, driving over large bumps and potholes, and being struck by a large object.
When this happens, the coolant leaks out of the radiator and causes the temperature gauge to rise quickly.
How to Fix it:
If the first three causes of the AC Off Due to the High Engine Temp Chevy Cruze on a Chevy Cruze are ruled out, then the problem is likely with your radiator.
Depending on the crack size, if the crack is small, you can use a radiator Stop-leak to help seal the leak. If the crack is large, then you will need to replace your radiator.