Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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

How Long Does a Fuel Filler Neck Last?
Getting gas from the pump to your gas tank is the only way to keep a car going. The fuel filler neck is a metal tube that is welded to the...
How Long Does a Vacuum Brake Booster Check Valve Last?
The braking system on your car requires a lot of pressure. The vacuum booster is one of the main sources of this pressure. This booster will take the pressure that...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...


Related questions

Q: Hold button flashing, no a/c,and temp gauge not functioning

Hello. This can be caused by a few different things. Most of the time it is caused by low refrigerant in the system, but I have seen a lot of these switches fail as well as the pressure switches in...

Q: Car has fuel compression and spark but it won't start.

Hi there. From the description you have provided, it would appear you have replaced everything related to the vehicle's engine running. Obviously, replacing components without a diagnoses is not working. It could be, a faulty ignition switch allowing the engine...

Q: What Are Common Signs That Your Drive Belt Is Loose?

A loose drive belt will often be noisy, squeaking a bit, or emitting a high-pitched squeal. The most obvious sign of a loose drive belt, though, is in its appearance and tension. A loose belt, simply stated, looks and feels...