Symptoms of Bad AC Compressor in Car Diagnose: How to Change

Everyone knows the importance of an air conditioning system in a car. AC compressor is an integral part of this conditioning system as it keeps circulating the air refrigerant by maintaining pressure so the air conditioner can perform efficiently. The compressor keeps closing and opening (switching on and off) while the Ac runs, so it wears down with time, and you might have to replace it.

Before failing, the compressor will show you some signs that it's time to replace it. As its role is to maintain pressure to circulate the refrigerant, its malfunctioning will affect the entire conditioning system. This article will tell you symptoms of the compressor going bad and how to diagnose and replace it.

Symptoms of a Bad AC Compressor in a Car:

You don't have to be an expert to identify a lousy compressor; in fact, it's straightforward to recognize the signs when a compressor needs replacement. Paying attention to these signs and replacing the compressor before the damage accumulates can reduce the repair cost.

High Cabin Temperature

This is a no-brainer. When your car's Ac compressor is not working, the ac vent will not send cold air inside the cabin. You will feel an increase in the temperature inside your car because the refrigerant is not circulating and ac is sending hot air. This can happen due to 3 reasons: ac compressor going bad, low refrigerant level and refrigerant leak.

Loud Noise Coming from AC Compressor

When the compressor turns On and Off, it will create a slight clicking sound due to the ac clutch. But if you hear a loud noise when ac turns on, it means there is a problem with the ac clutch. There are many other components inside the compressor, like a sealed bearing. If any of these components are damaged, the compressor will not work. Identify carefully if the compressor is defective or ac clutch is the culprit.

Refrigerant Leak

The refrigerant cools the air ac then sends it out by the air vent. A refrigerant leakage causes not only health concerns but also more energy consumption.

Tripping Circuit Breaker

If the condensing unit keeps tripping the circuit breaker, the ac compressor is defective because it draws more power, causing the circuit to overheat and shut down.

How to diagnose Car AC Compressor

  1. See if there are temperature fluctuations in your car.
  2. Look for oil leakage or physical damage.
  3. Check the ac clutch.
  4. Listen closely for any abnormal sounds.
  5. See if you find any refrigerant leaks.

How Do You Change an AC Compressor?

These are the tools you will need.

  • Screwdrivers
  • Pliers
  • Thread lock
  • Ratchet and sockets
  • Compressor oil
  • Refrigerant
  • Cup bolts

General Process

The first step is to take out the compressor unit from the engine. Remove the battery first as a safety. The removing process will be different for different models.

Do not discard the old compressor right off the bat, but first try to diagnose it and if it cannot be repaired, go for the replacement.

Install the new compressor unit in the engine carefully according to the owner's manual. Also, check the guide that came with the new compressor for guidance. Also, make sure to replace the O rings so that there are no refrigerant leaks.