Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How to Buy a Good Quality A/C Compressor

ac compressor gq

Drivers have been enjoying the benefits of cool air comfort inside their vehicles since the late 1930s, when the Packard Motor Car Company introduced the former luxury feature as an option in consumer vehicles. Today, we view going without A/C in the car as an unbearable burden, and one that we want to rectify as quickly as possible.

The A/C compressor works by compressing refrigerant to be distributed throughout the air conditioning system. When your car’s A/C isn’t functioning properly it’s almost always one of two issues – low refrigerant (usually due to a leak) or a bad compressor. If you’ve checked the refrigerant level and it’s sufficient, the problem is almost surely the compressor.

A/C compressors may experience external failure or internal failure. External failure happens as a result of a malfunctioning clutch or pulley, or a refrigerant leak. This is the easier type of problem to fix. Internal failure can be detected by the presence of metal bits or flakes around the compressor. This type of damage can spread throughout the entire cooling system. In the event of internal failure it’s usually cheaper to replace the whole compressor.

How to make sure you’re getting a good quality A/C compressor:

  • Stick with new. While this part can be rebuilt, quality is very difficult to determine and can be spotty depending on the rebuilder.

  • Decide on aftermarket or OEM (original equipment manufacturer). Aftermarket parts can be high quality but they tend to bring down the vehicle’s value. With OEM you’re paying more but you know you’re getting a part that fits.

  • If you do opt for aftermarket, ask to see the part receipt and inspect the part. Make sure there aren’t any worn or rusty areas and that the part matches the receipt.

Replacing the A/C compressor itself is not a difficult job, however all of the seals must be placed with extreme accuracy, allowing no dust or particles into the gaps. This is typically a job better done by a seasoned expert.

YourMechanic supplies top-quality A/C compressors to our certified mobile technicians. We can also install an A/C compressor that you've purchased. Click here to get a quote and more information on A/C compressor replacement..

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

How to Find the Keyless Code on a Ford Explorer or Mercury Mountaineer
Many Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers were manufactured with an option known as the Ford keyless entry keypad. Some models refer to it as SecuriCode as well. It...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...


Related questions

Q: I was told my ac compressor is on its last legs, and was quoted $900 for a new one. My question is whether I can get a different

Hello. If the compressor seizes the belt will break and the engine may overheat. Look at this forum link for belt routing. The problem is this compressor cannot be bypassed unless you can find a compressor eliminator pulley. If you...

Q: AC will not recharge

I would ask for help from one of the mechanics at YourMechanic. They can come to your location and diagnose why your a/c is not working. Most likely, it is a leak of some sort due to the age of...

Q: Belt broke and pulley loose

Hello. If the A/C compressor pulley is loose, it could cause the belt to brake. A check of all the drive belt pulleys would need to be done in order to ensure that none of the other pulleys have caused...