Can I Drive With A Locked Up A/C Compressor?

The air conditioning compressor is a vital part of your car’s cooling system. Without it, you can’t cool down in the summer heat. But what happens if your A/C breaks? Can you still drive with it? A locked-up A/C compressor can be a serious pain in the neck. You might be unable to travel, and you definitely won’t get any cold air blowing through your vents. But is it possible to drive with a locked-up A/C compressor? Let’s find out!

What Is An A/C Compressor?

An A/C compressor is a mechanical device that compresses the gas. It uses the expansion and contraction of gas to perform work.

The compressor is used in refrigeration systems to pump automotive air conditioning, home heating systems, and water pumps for cooling towers at power plants. In air conditioning systems, it compresses the refrigerant from an evaporator into a smaller space where it becomes cold (about -30 degrees F). This cold refrigerant then cools down the inside of your car through evaporators found in your car’s interior.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Locked Up A/C Compressor?

A locked-up A/C compressor can cause:

  • No air conditioning. If your car’s A/C isn’t working, a locked-up compressor is the most likely culprit.
  • Noise from the engine bay. If you hear a rattling or grinding sound coming from under your hood, it could be that your AC compressor has been damaged and needs replacement as soon as possible.
  • Loss of power while driving — especially when climbing hills or accelerating at high speeds — which may lead to loss of control over steering and braking capabilities if not addressed immediately after diagnosis by auto repair professionals.

Can I Drive With A Locked Up A/C Compressor?

The short answer is no. Your A/C compressor is driven by a serpentine belt and pulley, allowing you to access the air conditioning system without having to open up the hood and remove any panels.

Driving with a locked-up A/C compressor can cause damage to your engine due to overheating or misaligned belts that can lead to other engine parts failing more quickly than they should. The reason for this is that when an A/C system does not work properly, there will be higher temperatures inside the car than normal; if left unchecked for long enough periods of time (less than 20 minutes), these high temperatures can cause serious damage to other components within your vehicle’s internal combustion engine system–including valves or piston rings that may become warped over time due to excess heat from not being cooled down properly by airflow coming from either one side or both sides of its cylinder head(s).

Long Answer Yes, But Not For Long.

Your best bet is to get it replaced as soon as possible. If you’re in no hurry, you can drive with a locked-up air conditioning compressor for a little while, but there are plenty of reasons why it could be better. You could damage other components in the system, and if that happens, your car might not be able to cool off anymore! And if that happens during summertime—or any other time when temperatures are high—you’ll end up overheating. To make sure that this doesn’t happen to you, we recommend getting a professional technician from one of us to diagnose and repair any issues with your AC compressor ASAP.


The next time you drive your vehicle and notice the cooling is not working, pay attention to it. You need to get it checked out as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more damage will be done to other components of your vehicle’s air conditioning system and potentially other engine components. If there is no way for you to get your vehicle towed or driven to a service center right away, then consider getting some cold packs so that they can help keep things cool until help arrives.