Signs Of AC Compressor Failure

January 10, 2023


Ac Compressor Oil Service

AC compressor. One of the most essential parts of your car air conditioning system. Without it, cooling gases (ie air) could not be produced at the switch of a button and then carried right onto your sweaty brow. Without the common A/C compressor, who knows where we’d be now, but for sure, we’d be hot. But how can you tell when you’re having A/C compressor issues, and when is it time to get professional A/C compressor repair? And how Does the Compressor Work?


Car compressors work by pressurizing A/C refrigerant and passing it through a high/low-pressure system into the Condenser. The Condenser phase changes the refrigerant gas to a liquid state, which can then be evaporated again. These different phase changes are passed through the system, exchanging hot and cool air to cool your car’s interior. To keep this system running, the compressor typically transfers power from the engine’s crankshaft via a compressor belt. This transfer of power/energy reduces fuel economy, however. By disabling the A/C system, the A/C compressor clutch releases and spins freely, reducing friction against the crankshaft and improving fuel economy.

If you’re looking for more complex technical information about how compressors work (all compressors, car, and otherwise), check out this general info page on Wikipedia.


If you pay attention, it can be obvious when your compressor is broken, or something is wrong with the cooling system. Check for these common issues for signs that your AC compressor is broken (or might be):

  • Cooling isn’t working at all or not working well
  • Loud noises, especially when the cooling system is working harder
  • Using the A/C trips your vehicle’s circuit breaker (likely due to overworking the A/C system)
  • The compressor clutch sticks or does not move at all
  • Moisture leaks into the engine compartment or possibly even into the cabin

Many jobs on A/C systems require specialized tools like refrigerant reclamation systems and extensive time and training. Still, compressor belt replacement is a fairly reasonable job if you need to do it (presuming you have the tools, of course). Due to there being so many different makes and models of cars and trucks, we can’t give you specific advice on A/C compressor drive belt replacement, but if you’re curious about how the process works in general.


Chico auto ac repair

If you’re hearing weird noises, get lousy air circulation, smell strange smells, or somehow spidey-sense, you need A/C compressor repair service; please call us, and we’ll be more than happy to help get your system relaxed again.

Thanks for reading, and tune in next week for more. Or, if you’ve ever wondered which A/C compressor oil is the right one for your vehicle, check out this article to see what A/C oil is right for you!  Think Tedious Repairs for all of your Automotive Repair In Chico, Needs!




Buddy Rausch

Buddy Rausch

Buddy started his auto career journey at Butte College and started his own auto repair company in 2007. Since then he has worked on countless cars, diagnosing, repairing, and replacing worn, faulty, and broken parts.

After a few years, he moved to a bigger shop to accommodate his growth and to better serve the Chico, CA community. It’s a family-owned & operated business.

Outside of work Buddy enjoys spending time with his family and playing softball is one of his many passions.

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