6 Steps To Diagnosing Car AC Compressor Failure

Compressor Failure

Since the early days of automobile invention, air conditioning compressors have made driving a pleasure. As technology has advanced, the production of cars has become easier. This results in vehicles being able to be sold at an affordable price. As a result of this advancement in the automotive industry, the A/C system was invented, making driving more enjoyable during the humid summer months.

But how do you know if your car’s A/C compressor has failed? Well, it is not as difficult as it may seem to diagnose the symptoms of a bad A/C compressor. The signs of a bad A/C compressor are simple and easy to identify. Here are 6 steps to diagnosing car A/C compressor failure. Fixing them as soon as possible will save you money in the long run.

Monitor Fluctuations in Temperature

There is a good chance that your A/C compressor is failing if you are getting warm air when the A/C system is engaged. Check to see if the A/C temperature fluctuates. If it does, it may be an indication of a faulty compressor.

Visually Inspect for Oil Leaks and Physical Damage

Your air conditioning compressor should be visually inspected for rust, physical damage, and oil leaks. Car A/C compressors that exhibit these signs might be faulty. A compressor with an oil leak will not perform optimally and may even fail prematurely. When the air conditioning system engages, the low oil level in the compressor will cause friction that will result in erratic temperatures.

Ensure that the Clutch is Free to Rotate

Make sure the A/C compressor clutch isn’t making a grinding noise or is difficult to turn. It should be easy to turn the clutch. Compressor units can be damaged by a faulty clutch.

Ensure the Belts are Firmly Fixed

You should ensure that your belts are properly tensioned and are not damaged or severely worn. The A/C compressor can suffer further damage if the belts are cracked or split. It is advisable to replace them if they are in these conditions.

Listen for Squealing and Skipping

Make sure your engine is running, your A/C is set to the coolest setting, and your fan is set to maximum. Ensure the compressor clutch engages by opening the hood and checking the compressor unit. When a compressor unit is defective, it may not engage, resulting in squealing and skipping.

Check for Refrigerant Leaks

There shouldn’t be any leaks in the A/C refrigerant in your vehicle, nor should the Freon level be low. You should track down and fix the leak if you have low Freon in your air conditioning system. A refrigerant detector can be used to identify where refrigerant leaks are.


Compressors work by pressurizing refrigerant before sending it to the condenser, which transforms it from a gaseous state to a liquid one. The air conditioning will not work optimally without the A/C compressor. If you are certain that your compressor has failed, it’s best to get it replaced and maintained by a professional.