Symptoms of a Bad or Failing AC Compressor

Schedule Car AC Compressor Replacement
Service Area

$656.68 - $2,728.91

Price range for all vehicles
Average rating from 409 customers who received a AC Compressor Replacement.

The AC compressor is one of the most important, if not the most important, components of a vehicle’s air conditioning system. It is responsible for pressurizing the AC system and keeping the refrigerant flowing so it can function properly. Because it functions in a continuous cycle on and off, it is subject to wear every time the AC is turned on. Just like any other component on a vehicle, it will eventually fail and need to be replaced.

The compressor is responsible for pressurizing and distributing the refrigerant, so if there is any problem with the compressor, the rest of the air conditioning system will be affected. Usually, when a compressor begins to fail, it will produce any of these 4 warning signs that alert the driver of the problem.

1. Cabin Temperatures Higher than Normal

One of the first signs that a compressor may be having trouble is the AC no longer blowing as cold as it once did. A damaged or failing compressor will not be able to properly regulate the refrigerant flow in the AC system, and as a result, the AC will not function properly. It may even still work, but the temperature of the air it blows out will fluctuate.

2. Loud Noises When the Compressor is Running

Loud noises when the AC is switched on is another potential symptom of a failing AC compressor. Much like other accessories driven by the engine’s belts, the AC compressor has several interior components and uses a sealed bearing to turn. If any of the interior components break, or the compressor’s internal bearings fail or seize, then all sorts of noises can be produced as a result. A leaking or worn out bearing will produce a high pitched squealing or grinding sound, while a seizing or seized bearing will produce a grinding noise or a noticeable belt squeal. Due to the complexity and nature of how compressors are assembled, it is usually easiest to replace the entire compressor instead of attempting a repair.

2. Visual Inspection Shows Damage to the Compressor or Belts

Premature wear or damage to the compressor and compressor belts will also cause the AC compressor to fail. Rust, physical damage, oil leaks, or paint damage can cause the ac compressor to stop functioning correctly. The lack of oil will cause the system to wear out faster and increase friction between the parts, leading to erratic temperatures when the AC is turned on in the car. Cracked or splitting belts will also contribute to compressor damage and will need replacement along with the compressor.

4. Compressor Clutch is Not Moving

Another sign of a problematic compressor is the clutch not moving. The clutch on the compressor is what allows the pulley to engage and disengage from engine power, so the compressor is only turning when it needs to. The clutch can seize — which permanently keeps the compressor activated — or it can break, which means the compressor will not be able to receive engine power. Sometimes the clutch itself can be replaced, but usually replacing the entire compressor turns out to be the most efficient repair.

The AC compressor is the heart of the AC system. If you suspect your AC compressor or another component of your vehicle’s AC system is having issues, consider having the system diagnosed by a professional technician. If necessary, they will also be able to replace the AC compressor for you.


Next Step

Schedule Car AC Compressor Replacement

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Car AC Compressor Replacement. Yourmechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7 days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 10k cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

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

Recent Car AC Compressor Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Car AC Compressor Replacement Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

409

Rating Summary
379
18
3
0
9
379
18
3
0
9

Brian

21 years of experience
238 reviews
Brian
21 years of experience
Infiniti M35 - AC Compressor - Jacksonville, Florida
I was overwhelmingly impressed by the work done by Brian. He is a professional. His expertise was demonstrated at the very start by the way he approached the job to be done. Whether I was being fooled or being prepped to be bamboozled by the shop that did the diagnostic of the problem, Brian's work and effectiveness put them to shame, I hate to say. Had I left my car at that shop, I would have been taken to the cleaners (x3) if I include renting a car for 10 days while they work on it. Sad. I am very happy to have found this website (yourMechanic.com) and feel very comfortable to use their services in the near future.
Mercury Montego - AC Compressor - Jacksonville, Florida
Brian was here on time and did the work in the time required for the ac compressor replacement. He was courteous and explained the process to me thoroughly. I'm very happy with the result and would love to have Brian as my mechanic again.

Horus

9 years of experience
88 reviews
Horus
9 years of experience
Ford F-250 Super Duty - AC Compressor - New Braunfels, Texas
He did an awesome job. Worked hard all day and even fixed something else he noticed was going on. Highly recommend.
Ford Fusion - AC Compressor - San Antonio, Texas
Horus was in communication with the time of arrival. He arrived and immediately began his diagnostic procedures. He was very friendly and efficient. Answered all the questions I had and gave me an understandable explanation of what was causing the problem with the air conditioner and the solution to repair . Gave me a quote and set today to replace the compressor. Arrived and immediately began working and completed the job in the quoted time frame. Rechecked his work. Would definitely book Horus again.

Peter

41 years of experience
1231 reviews
Peter
41 years of experience
Ford Taurus - AC Compressor - Phoenix, Arizona
peter arrived on time and was very polite. Asked several questions about what my problem was and got right to work.
Ford Five Hundred - AC Compressor - New River, Arizona
Peter is an amazing mechanic, prompt, knowledgable and friendly. We will definitely be booking him in the future when our vehicles need maintenance. 10/10

Terry

28 years of experience
223 reviews
Terry
28 years of experience
Ford Ranger - Car AC Compressor Replacement - Glendale, Arizona
Terry arrived on time, very friendly, knowledgeable and he fixed my ac in a timely manner. I will book Terry again for future repairs.
Ford Ranger - AC Compressor - Tempe, Arizona
terry turned a bad situation into a very pleasant one. talking to the people on the phone was a nightmare, and I hope no one ever has to experience what I did. but terry on the other hand, was a pleasure to have been assigned to repair my vehicle. he is a true professional. he knows his trade well. if I were to need auto services in the future, and if I used My Mechanic, I would only allow terry to work on my truck.

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