Car air conditioning compressor: signs and causes of malfunctions

Car air conditioning compressor: signs and causes of malfunctions

The next symptoms may indicate compressor breakdowns:

  • Reduced cooling capacity;
  • Extraneous noise during its operation;
  • A squeak of the compressor drive belt when starting the AC;
  • The presence of oil leaks on the compressor;
  • It is refusing to start when the AC is turned on.

A sudden compressor breakdown is very rare. This usually only happens after long periods of inactivity. For example, in the winter, you did not turn on the air conditioner, and in the summer, you filled it with freon, turned it on, but the shaft does not rotate. The belt simply slips along the pulley. More often than not, the compressor warns of problems in advance. You just need to pay attention to the sounds that it makes. If you have heard something weird, do not delay the diagnostics. The sooner you decide to start repairing your car's air conditioning compressor, the cheaper it will be.

A breakdown of this part leads not only to the malfunction of the AC. With some malfunctions, other systems, vehicle units are also affected. Therefore, it would be better if you read our helpful article. Using the gained knowledge, you will learn about the main reasons for the failure of parts for air conditioning. You will also be able to conduct an independent diagnosis to study possible malfunctions.

Causes for failure of car air conditioning compressor

Causes for failure of car air conditioning compressor

There are the next main reasons why air conditioner compressors can fail:

  • wear of individual components, units, as a result of the long-term operation;
  • the volume of freon in the system does not correspond to the norm. It is too large or insufficient;
  • the radiator is very dirty, or the cooling fan is faulty. As a result, wear is accelerated;
  • violation of the circulation of freon in the system (a problem may arise due to a closed thermal expansion valve, deformation of conductive tubes, etc.).
  • not enough oil or oil of the wrong type;
  • too high pressure (overheating or excess freon);
  • dirt and water in the system;
  • broken bearings or internal play in parts.

It is worth noting that the pressure in the system can be increased due to poor heat transfer if dirt has accumulated between the radiator fins. Regular cleaning and flushing of the radiator can significantly extend the life of the compressor.

Possible causes of a malfunctioning electromagnetic clutch (pulley slippage):

  • The too small clearance between the pressure plate and pulley. The disc clings to the pulley when the air conditioner is off, causing wear on the friction surfaces).
  • Too large clearance. When the electromagnet is on, the disk is weakly pressed against the pulley. The result is the same surface wear.
  • Closing the windings of the electromagnet. If the fuse fails, the coil will burn out, emitting an unpleasant odor.
  • Break in the winding. In this case, the electromagnet does not work, and there is no current in the circuit.

Diagnostics of defect of air condition compressor for car

Diagnostics of defect of air condition compressor for car
  • The easiest way to diagnose a breakdown of the electromagnetic clutch is because it is located outside the housing. It is enough to turn on the air conditioner and see if the plate is pressed against the rotating pulley. In this case, the shaft of the car air conditioning compressor should also begin to rotate. If such parts for air conditioning like discs are burnt, this can also be easily seen.
  • Problems with the compressor windings are diagnosed using an ohmmeter zero or infinitely high resistance indicates a short circuit or an open circuit, respectively.
  • To identify a failure in the mechanical part, measure the pressure at the outlet of the compressor block. If the pressure is not high enough, it may be due to worn pistons or valves. To be more precise, you need to remove the compressor and completely disassemble it.
  • As for the leaking oil from parts for air conditioning means that the oil seals on the compressor have lost their tightness and must be replaced.

It is worth paying attention that noise can indicate not only a failure of the compressor but also problems with its drive. So, if the sound is heard even when the air conditioner is turned off (but with the engine running), this is most likely the pulley-bearing noise it constantly rotates, so it is subject to rapid wear. If the sound occurs only when the air condition system is turned on, then it is worth paying attention to the compressor.

If the compressor does not start at all, then you should pay attention to the clutch, compressor relay, and the corresponding fuse. The easiest way to identify a blown fuse is that it can simply be replaced with a new one. But if this did not lead to the expected result, then it is necessary to check the electromagnetic clutch.

Warning! Before proceeding with the repair, it is necessary to determine the true cause of the malfunction. For example, an electromagnetic clutch could burn out due to a seized piston. But the real cause of failure is poor quality oil, bearing wear, or dirt in the evaporator tubes. If the root cause is not eliminated, then the repair will not work in a month or two, the problem will repeat.

Today, it is difficult to imagine a car without an air conditioner, this device that provides comfort in the cabin has become quite commonplace. Its main task is to cool the air on hot days. And it also protects from dust and burning, removes unpleasant odors, lowers the humidity of the air. Therefore, it is worth paying attention to the compressor, one of the main parts of air conditioning. It provides the compression of freon and its circulation through the evaporator tubes. Keeping it up and running with PartSouq is a breeze. Here you can find parts for air conditioning at the most affordable prices. Use our tips to avoid the breakdown of the air condition compressor for your car and respond to it in time.

Car air conditioning compressor: signs and causes of malfunctions FAQ

Car air conditioning compressor: signs and causes of malfunctions FAQ
  • What does a bad AC compressor sound like?

When you have problems with the AC compressor, it is common to hear a high-pitched squealing or grinding sound.

  • Can AC run without a compressor?

An air conditioning compressor for a car has the ability to run without a compressor, but it will begin to receive serious damage, which, as a result, will lead to more serious repair problems and, possibly, to a complete failure of the system.

  • Can a car AC compressor be repaired?

There are situations where a car air conditioning compressor can be repaired. But in most situations, the most effective repair will be to replace the important parts for air conditioning.

  • How much does it cost to replace an air conditioner compressor in a car?

By choosing supported sites like PartSouq, you can save a lot on compressor repairs and other parts for air conditioning.

  • How to replace a car AC compressor?

The procedure for replacing an air conditioner compressor includes a number of mandatory operations, without which it is impossible to achieve high-quality, stable operation of the climate system. For this:

  1. refrigerant and oil are drained from the system;
  2. dismantle the faulty compressor;
  3. dismantle the receiver;
  4. install connecting hoses instead of dismantled devices;
  5. connect the flushing equipment and thoroughly flush the system with a special solvent;
  6. install a new compressor;
  7. install a new receiver and replace the O-rings;
  8. evacuate the system to remove air from it completely;
  9. fill the air conditioner with fresh working fluids.