Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. Symptoms of a Bad or Failing AC Compressor Belt

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing AC Compressor Belt

compressor belt

The AC compressor belt is a very simple component that plays a very important part in the AC system. It simply connects the compressor to the engine, allowing the compressor to be turned with the engine’s power. Without the belt, the AC compressor cannot turn and will be unable to pressurize the AC system.

With time and use, the belt will begin to eventually wear and will need to be replaced, as the belt is made of rubber. A simple visual inspection searching for a few cues to the belt’s overall condition will go a long way in keeping the belt and the entire AC system functioning properly.

1. Random cracking in the ribs of the belt

When examining the condition of the AC belt, or any belt for that matter, it is important to check the condition of the ribs. The ribs (or rib if it is a V-belt) ride on the pulley’s surface and provide the grip so that the belt can turn the compressor. Over time, with exposure to the heat of the engine, the rubber from the belt may begin to dry out and develop cracks. Cracks will weaken the belt and leave it more susceptible to breaking.

2. Chunks of the belt missing

If when you examine the belt you notice any chunks or pieces missing from the belt, then the belt is probably severely worn and needs to be replaced. As the belt ages and wears, chunks or pieces may break off from the belt as a result of multiple cracks forming near each other. When pieces begin to break off that is a sure sign that the belt is weakened and needs to be replaced.

3. Abrasions on the back or sides of the belt

If when examining the belt you notice any abrasions along the tops or sides of the belt, such as tears or loose hanging threads from the belt, then this is a sign that the belt has received damage in some way. Tears or abrasions along the sides of the belt may indicate damage from not riding the grooves of the pulley properly, while tears along the top may hint that the belt may have made contact with a foreign object such as a rock or bolt.

If you suspect that your AC belt may need replacing, have it first inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic. They will be able to go over the symptoms and replace your AC belt if necessary.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Still not sure about your car's issue?
Diagnose your car
What kind of issue are you experiencing?
Brakes are squeaking
Car is not starting
Car is overheating
Car is shaking (vibrating)
Fluids are leaking
Heating and A/C
Smoke or steam is coming out of the car
Warning light is on
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

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...
P2422 OBD-II Trouble Code: Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2422 P2422 code definition Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP)...
P0291OBD-II Trouble Code: Cylinder 11 Injector Circuit Low
P0291 code definition When your vehicle’s PCM registers the P0291 code, it means that a voltage reading came from the fuel injector circuit – for cylinder number 11’s fuel injector –...

Related questions

Q: Headlight indicator light not displaying

The noise may be from the fan, or the AC compressor. The battery going dead would need to be checked for a draw, or short to the battery; the cables would also need to be checked. The headlight high beam...

Q: Problem of my Ford ranger tdci 3.0L

Check for spark while the engine is hot and not wanting to start. If the coil pack has any cracks, they can spread when the engine is warm and cause a short to ground. Consider hiring an experienced technician to...

Q: Vehicle makes rattling noise when idling

Based upon the information provided, an inspection of the drive belt and air conditioning system should be performed. The squealing noise indicates your drive belt is under strain. If the belt breaks, you will not be able to drive your...