Why do car AC compressors fail?
When it comes to your car’s air conditioning, the compressor is one of the most important components. It's responsible for compressing and circulating the refrigerant in the AC system, which allows for cool air to be blown into the cabin. However, like any mechanical part, car AC compressors can fail over time. Let’s explore why car AC compressors fail, common signs of a failing compressor, the importance of having it tested and replaced by a certified technician, and what other AC components should be changed when replacing the compressor.
There are several reasons why car AC compressors may fail, including:
- Lack of maintenance: Like any other mechanical part, AC compressors require regular maintenance to keep them in good working condition. Neglecting maintenance can lead to dirty and clogged components, which can cause the compressor to fail.
- Refrigerant leaks: If there is a refrigerant leak in the AC system, the compressor may fail due to a lack of lubrication. Refrigerant acts as a lubricant for the compressor, so if there isn't enough refrigerant, the compressor may seize or fail.
- Electrical issues: Electrical problems such as a blown fuse, faulty relay, or a broken wire can cause the compressor to stop working.
- Overuse: Running the AC system too often or for too long can put a strain on the compressor, which can cause it to fail.
- Age: Like any other mechanical part, AC compressors have a limited lifespan. Over time, the compressor may wear out and fail.
Common signs of a failing car AC compressor
If you suspect that your car's AC compressor may be failing, look out for these common signs:
- Loud noises: If the compressor is making loud or unusual noises such as grinding, squealing, or banging, it may be a sign that it's failing.
- Warm air: If the AC system is blowing warm air instead of cool air, it could be due to a failing compressor.
- AC system not working: If the AC system isn't working at all, it's likely due to a compressor failure or another issue with the system.
- AC system cycling on and off: If the AC system is cycling on and off frequently, it could be a sign that the compressor is failing.
- Refrigerant leaks: If there is a refrigerant leak in the system, the compressor may fail due to a lack of lubrication.
Why it's important to have your car's AC compressor tested and replaced by a certified technician.
- Safety: Working with refrigerant can be dangerous if not handled properly. Certified technicians have the proper training and equipment to handle refrigerant safely.
- Proper diagnosis: A certified technician will be able to properly diagnose the issue with your AC system and determine if the compressor needs to be replaced or if it's another issue.
- Quality parts: Certified technicians will use high-quality parts when replacing the compressor, ensuring that your AC system will work properly.
- Warranty: If the compressor is replaced by a certified technician, it will usually come with a warranty. This means that if anything goes wrong with the compressor, it will be covered by the warranty.
What other AC components should be changed when replacing the compressor?
When replacing the AC compressor, there are a few other components that should be changed as well. These include:
- Receiver/drier: The receiver/drier is responsible for removing moisture and contaminants from the refrigerant. If the compressor has failed, there is a chance that contaminants have been introduced into the system. Changing the receiver/drier will ensure that the new compressor isn't damaged by these contaminants.
- Expansion valve: The expansion valve controls the flow of refrigerant through the system. If the compressor has failed, there is a chance that debris has accumulated in the expansion valve, which can restrict the flow of refrigerant. Changing the expansion valve ensures that the new compressor can function properly.
- O-rings and seals: When replacing the compressor, it's important to also replace the O-rings and seals in the system. These components can become worn over time, which can cause leaks and other issues.
- Condenser: The condenser is responsible for releasing heat from the refrigerant. If the compressor has failed, there is a chance that the condenser has become clogged with debris. Changing the condenser ensures that the new compressor can function properly and that the AC system can cool effectively.
The car AC compressor is an important component of the AC system that can fail due to a lack of maintenance, refrigerant leaks, electrical issues, overuse, or age. Signs of a failing compressor include loud noises, warm air, the AC system not working, cycling on and off, and refrigerant leaks. It's important to have the compressor tested and replaced by a certified technician for safety, proper diagnosis, quality parts, and warranty. When replacing the compressor, it's also important to change the receiver/drier, expansion valve, O-rings and seals, and condenser to ensure that the AC system can function properly and cool effectively. By understanding the importance of the car AC compressor and maintaining it properly, drivers can ensure that their AC system works efficiently and effectively, especially in warm weather climates.
If your experiencing any of AC concerns covered in this article make sure to schedule service today with Green’s Garage and ensure that your AC system is working as intended. Give us a call today at 305-575-2389.