Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. How Long Does an AC Compressor Last?

How Long Does an AC Compressor Last?

AC compressor

As long as your car is running the way it should, you probably don’t even think about all the parts that are working under the hood. Your air conditioning (AC) compressor is one such part that is used every day, and you probably don’t even consider it until your air conditioning stops working. As you might guess from its name, the AC compressor compresses refrigerated air, and delivers it to the condenser, where it is converted into a cooling gas that chills the air in your vehicle’s passenger compartment. Then, it converts the cooled gas back to liquid, and returns it to the compressor unit.

As with many accessories in your car, it is difficult to say with any accuracy how long the AC compressor will last. It depends on the age of your car, and how often you use your AC. As your car ages, and as the AC compressor sustains a lot of use, parts will inevitably begin to malfunction. Then, you end up with little cool air (or even no cool air) in your passenger compartment. Usually, though, you can expect that you will get 8-10 years of use from your AC compressor, and for many drivers, that essentially means the life of the car.

So, what can cause an AC compressor to fail? There is a bit of a paradox here. Overuse can cause the AC compressor to fail, but by the same token, so can too little use. To keep your AC compressor running properly, you should use the AC for about ten minutes per month, even in winter.

Signs that your AC compressor is failing include:

  • Coolant leaks
  • Noise when your AC is switched on
  • Sporadic cooling

If you think that your AC compressor has seen better days, you should have it checked, and if necessary, replaced. A professional mechanic can replace your AC compressor so that you can enjoy effective climate control in your vehicle, regardless of its age.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

P2159 OBD-II Trouble Code: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2159 P2159 code definition Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance...
P0359 OBD-II Trouble Code: Ignition Coil I Primary/Secondary Circuit Malfunction
P0359 code definition The P0359 code indicates that a fault has been detected in one of the vehicle’s ignition coils, generally the number 9 coil. This code can also be associated...
P0477 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Pressure Control Valve Low
P0477 code means that the PCM has detected an abnormally low voltage reading often due to the exhaust back pressure control valve circuit.


Related questions

Q: How do you check the level of coolant in the radiator?

In most situations, you shouldn’t have to check the radiator itself. You should be able to inspect the level of coolant in the reservoir/reserve tank instead. However, if the there is no coolant in the reserve tank, you’ll need to...

Q: Who do you know what to replace the AC compressor or the clutch when it is squeals

Hello. I'm sorry to hear of this. If you are turning on the A/C and you are hearing excessive or unusual noise at the compressor, the drive belt is squealing, the belt jumps, or there is unexpected mechanical resistance impeding...

Q: Problem with the coolant temperature gauge.

Hi there. The temperature gauge is not grounding out to the vehicle chassis. Try putting an additional wire on the housing of the temperature gauge and grounding it to the chassis. If this has no effect, then the gauge is...