I recently took my car to the shop to have the oil changed, and the mechanic said I needed to replace the air compressor. The A/C still blows, and it blows cool air eventually, but it takes a long time for it to cool down after it has sat in the heat all day and it never blows very cold air. Does this sound like I need to replace the air compressor? Or is there an easy way for me to check it?
There is an easy way to do a type of check by using a low side pressure gauge from a local parts store. Many places sell the can of refrigerant with the hose and gauge that come with it or the hose separate. The reading on this gauge is very vague and doesn’t show all of the information necessary to diagnose a problem, but can give you a general reading. If the system charge is too low, this can cause the symptoms you’re describing. A low charge is almost always caused by a leak in the system. If the charge is normal, but does not change with compressor operation; this is a sign the compressor may not be functioning properly. If you would like to have this checked, a certified technician from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to diagnose the AC system and perform the needed repairs.