The AC compressor of your vehicle is responsible for pumping refrigerant throughout the AC system and increasing the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant gas to keep your car cool. In older vehicles, the AC compressor is connected to the engine’s crankshaft by the drive belt. The compressor won’t run until its clutch is engaged by turning the AC on from the cabin controls. In newer model vehicles, a computer is used to translate the requests from the AC cabin controls and the computer will activate the clutch. Additionally, most modern vehicles run on an electric AC compressor as opposed to the traditional engine and drive belt system.
Signs of a bad AC Compressor
- Air from AC is warm – If you are getting warm air instead of cool air from your AC when it’s turned on, this may be due to a failing clutch.
- Rattling noise – A failing compressor may make a rattling noise when the AC is turned on and in older vehicle models might break the drive belt.
- Refrigerant leak – Refrigerant leaks from the compressor are impossible to spot without dyes and specialized equipment. The refrigerant is colorless, odorless, and does not leave fluid behind. Have a car care professional examine and identify any potential leaks.
- Check engine light on – A failing AC compressor can in some cases cause the check engine light to illuminate.
AC Compressor maintenance
When it comes to repairs on the AC compressor, your car care professional will first thoroughly inspect the entire AC system to diagnose the exact problem and confirm that the issue stems from a faulty compressor. Afterwards, it will be replaced by using special equipment.
Replacing an AC compressor can be quite costly – so why not save money by booking your AC compressor service through CarAdvise? CarAdvise makes car care simple and guarantees that you’ll pay less than the retail shop price on all car maintenance.