An air conditioner compressor is responsible for circulating the cooling refrigerant throughout the system. In particular, it is used to move the fluid from the condenser to the evaporator. Without the compressor, your car’s A/C unit will not work.
To avoid a car ride that’s uncomfortably hot, you need to know when your compressor is in need of repair. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at five signs that your A/C’s compressor isn’t working properly. If you notice any of these signs, be sure to visit your local car service shop as soon as you can. If you’re able to fix the problem early, you might be able to avoid lengthy and expensive repairs.
- Your car isn’t cooling down
One of the more obvious signs that your compressor isn’t working properly is the quality of air that comes out of your A/C. If you have a faulty air compressor, you’ll likely notice that it’s taking longer for your car to cool down. Your A/C unit might even stop blowing cool air altogether.
Of course, this could also be an issue with the condenser or the evaporator. Since there are a multitude of possibilities, It’s best to take your car to a local mechanic if you’re experiencing this issue. They’ll be able to inspect your A/C unit and let you know if it’s indeed your compressor that needs fixing. With this information, you’ll be able to avoid unnecessary (and expensive) repairs.
- Strange sounds
Like many other parts of your vehicle, the compressor is made up of various mechanical components. If one of these components begins to fail (likely through wear and tear) it will start to make unusual noises. With a faulty compressor, the most common noise you’ll hear is the sealed bearing making squealing and grinding sounds.
Unfortunately, since compressors are complex mechanical components with interconnected parts, it might not be a good idea to repair the bearings themselves. In fact, most mechanics will recommend that you get a new compressor entirely to avoid future problems.
So, if you hear strange sounds coming from your A/C unit, make sure to visit your local auto repair shop to get your compressor replaced.
Another thing that you can do is conduct a visual inspection of your compressor. You should look for damage such as moisture or refrigerant leaks.
Indeed, it is the refrigerant fluid that’s responsible for absorbing the heat out of the air that passes through your A/C unit. In other words, it’s what allows your A/C to blow cool air.
If refrigerant fluid is leaking, your A/C unit might not be able to provide enough cool air to your car. Additionally, refrigerant leaks can also lead to higher energy consumption and adverse health effects for the people within the vehicle.
If you notice any sort of leakage, whether it’s refrigerant or moisture, be sure to contact a mechanic to get it diagnosed and repaired.
- Unpleasant smells
If you smell something in your car other than your air freshener, there could be something wrong with your compressor. Oftentimes, a faulty compressor will create an unpleasant odor. The source of this odor can vary. It could be due to growing mould, leaks or excessive friction created by worn down parts.
It’s best to visit your local mechanic as soon as you smell something unpleasant. If you dismiss the issue and it happens to be caused by excessive friction or a leakage, the damage might get worse over time and your A/C unit might break down in the near future. Additionally, if the odor problem is due to mould, inhaling that air could pose respiratory problems for you and your passengers.
- Compressor clutch is stuck
The clutch is responsible for engaging and disengaging the compressor from the engine. In other words, it’s what spins the compressor when you need to use your A/C, and it’s what stops it from spinning when you need to turn it off. When the clutch malfunctions and gets stuck, it could keep your air conditioner in one of those states permanently.
So, if you find that you can’t turn on or turn off your A/C, check the clutch and see if it’s operational. While it is possible to repair the clutch on its own, most mechanics will likely advise you to replace the compressor entirely. Be sure to visit a reliable mechanic if you’re looking to replace your compressor.
During those hot Australia summers, you need your A/C unit up and running. To ensure that it doesn’t break down, you need to maintain all of its parts as much as possible. The compressor is simply one part of a more complex system. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your air conditioner, we recommended consulting a professional mechanic.