Car AC Compressor Problems

The compressor is the integral component of the car air conditioning system, allowing refrigerant movement throughout the system to cool the air.

Car AC compressor problems include uneven sounds, damaged compressor clutch, hindrance in refrigerant movement, and corrosion. Moreover, you can face issues due to the bad serpentine belt, dirty coils, and problems with the electric system. 

The failure of ac compressors causes the warm air to blow from the cabin filters. The refrigerant cannot pass through the coils and cool the air. It directly affects the performance of ac and leads to blowing warm air.

Car AC Compressor Problems Solutions
Uneven sounds Add oil for lubrication
Damaged compressor clutch Check refrigerant levels
Hindrance in refrigerant movement Take your car to the service center
Corrosion Cota the metal coils with paints
Refrigerant leaks Car wash
The issue with a serpentine belt Replace rubber belt
Dirty coils Use non acid cleaners

Uneven sounds

You can often hear the loud noise from your cars when you switch on the ac buttons. The uneven noises come from wear and tear of ac compressor components.

In addition, loose and damaged parts can also cause this issue. However, poor lubrication of components leads to grinding noise which is annoying for the driver and passenger.

The friction between the parts increases and sounds come from the rubbing of their surfaces. The contamination of lubricants can also increase friction between various components.

The water vapors from the air conditioning system mix with lubricant and affect their viscosity and performance. Moreover, the issue comes from a wrong and insufficient supply of lubricants.

It is necessary to lubricate the moving metal parts to increase their lifespan and working efficiency. You can reoil the compressors by detaching them and removing screws.

Remove the old oils and add new oil according to manual instructions and using a funnel.

Damaged compressor clutch

The compressor clutch is located between the engine and the AC system and is controlled by the ac switch. It engages and disengages the power supply from the engine for the working of air conditioning units.

The failure of the clutch occurs due to its frequent on and off function in response to ac switches. The malfunction of these components comes from decreased refrigerant levels.

It has to work hard to push this liquid in coils, and overheating can damage them. In addition, the small size or arrowed suction lines and dirty coils also put pressure on them.

You can resolve the problem by checking its levels. Moreover, it is also better to ensure the function of relays, switches, and fuses.

You have to replace the compressor clutch if the issue persists after checking the electrical components.

Hindrance in refrigerant movement

The refrigerant cannot move through the lines because of a clogged expansion valve and orifice tube.

As a result, the temperature of the car interior rises from its normal range, and it becomes difficult for you to drive in summer.

The ac cannot work correctly because of little or no supply of refrigerants through them. These are temperature and pressure-sensitive parts that can malfunction easily.

The bad or clogged expansion valves also lead to overheating of the compressor because of increased pressure. You can also feel the overheating issues because of breaking and cracks in suction lines.

You can fix it by taking your cars to the service centers for repair. Move towards the service centers as soon as possible when you feel overheating issues with a burning smell.


Corrosion is the primary concern in car ac compressors, which leads to their complete failure. In addition, the improper flushing of refrigerants increases the risk of corrosion in its parts.

The minerals start to build on their components and affect their normal functioning. The corrosion causes an insufficient supply of coolant and increases overheating in the system.

The lack of proper maintenance and servicing makes their parts rusty. Moreover, moisture is the enemy of the air conditioning components and destroys them completely.

The metal coils can react with environmental chemicals and refrigerants; you can see brown spots on their surfaces. You can resolve the issue of rusty coils by coating them with high-quality and rust-proof paints.

The application of paints keeps the metal layer unexposed and decreases oxidation reaction and brown layer formation.

Refrigerant leaks

Refrigerant moves through the ac compressors and absorbs heat from the air. The ac blows warm air when this liquid leaks from the cooling system.

The rubber seals and parts can get damaged over time due to exposure to heat and moisture. These heat and moisture produce cracks in rubber parts, and refrigerants can escape from these invisible cracks and holes.

Road salts and brine exposure in winter can corrode the HVAC system’s metallic components and produce cracks in them.

The metal components can also get damaged due to using the wrong type of refrigerants in the air conditioning system for cooling air.

The incorrectly and loosely fitted parts cause the liquid gas can also escape from the system.

Its leak is often difficult to inspect and detect because it can occur at any part. However, you can resolve the problem by knowing the reason behind the leakage.

Wash your cars after coming from outside in winter to remove the contaminants that cannot corrode the metal parts, including the AC system.

The issue with a serpentine belt

Serpentine belts are long rubber belts in vehicles, and their main role is to provide power. It takes power from the engine and supplies it to different systems, including air conditioning units.

The worn-out and broken serpentine belts cannot supply the power for spinning the compressors. As a result, it cannot drive the pulley and restricts its functioning.

These rubber belts crack over time, and the glazed layer gets damaged when exposed to heat. The damage in these components comes from high friction, constant working, and overheating.

You can reduce the risk of damage by adequately inspecting the serpentine belts regularly. The complete wear out of serpentine belts is damaging to vehicles.

You can only resolve the problem by replacing the serpentine belts and installing new ones.

Dirty coils

The coils are the parts of the condensers that allow refrigerant movement and are made of metal materials.

The dirty coils increase the pressure and temperature of the compressors, leading to overheating issues.

The dirty coils do not allow the outside movement of heat, and the system constantly works to cool the cabin. Consecutive working can increase the risk of wear and tear and put pressure on its components.

In addition, excessive functioning to keep the cabin cool also overheats the condensers, and these are more prone to failure.

The accumulation of dirt, debris, and minerals clogs the coils and narrows their passage to remove heat from the system.

You can fix it by cleaning and maintaining the car ac units. You can remove the mineral and dirt buildup from the coils using non-acid and alkaline-based cleaners.

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