Driving Car

A/C Compressor Is Locked Up

The compressor of an automotive A/C system is a pump that connects to the engine of a car. It is designed to pump refrigerant gas (a.k.a Freon). The refrigerant gas will be drawn in from one side, and then be compressed in the air conditioning compressor. In its compressed form, the Freon will be transported to the condenser. As it moves through the A/C system, it continues to expand and compress. This causes it to get very cold. Finally, it reaches the area of the car’s dashboard and is rapidly blown out with a fan. That’s how automotive air conditioning comes about.

Now, you are not going to get the A/C you need if the compressor is locked up. Let’s find out what causes A/C compressors to lock up:

Irregular Maintenance Schedule

Car A/C compressors require frequent maintenance. Without professional maintenance, your car’s conditioning compressor can seize or lock up. Some of the causes for car air conditioning compressor locking up include incorrect or low quality refrigerant being used, low coolant levels, and improper lubrication. You need to get your car checked out before any issue worsens.

Lack of Oil

Based on their individual needs, A/C compressors need specific types of oil. You may wish to consult a professional A/C technician to determine the right type of oil to use for your car, and ensure that it is oiled at appropriate intervals. Depending on the driving condition, the service interval for compressor lubricant replacement is between 20,000 km to 30,000 km.

Modern car A/C systems utilize Poly-Alckylene-Glycol (PAG). This is a synthetic, compressor oil & refrigerant. The latter is also known as R134a and it mixes with the PAG oil. The mixture flows through the entire system and lubricates the compressor in the process. Oftentimes, car manufacturers will specify the amount of R134a and PAG oil a vehicle’s A/C system requires.

The amount of PAG oil used for A/C systems normally lies in the range of 70ml to 200ml. This is different from engine oil usage, as the latter is a larger amount (approximately four liters). That’s why, achieving the right PAG oil quantity is paramount to obtaining a cold temperature. If your vehicle engine requires 6L of oil, it would adversely affect the protection and performance of the engine if you add in an extra 3L or drain out 3L of oil. In other words, too little or too much of PAG oil affects the performance of the compressor and its service lifespan.

Inadequate Levels of Refrigerant Gas

Apart from just getting the right amount of oil, it is also imperative that you maintain the recommended levels of refrigerant gas for your car’s A/C compressors. This is to prevent unnecessary damages from occurring. If you want to keep the car’s air conditioning compressor from getting locked up, you need to ensure that the type of refrigerant gas is approved by professionals as well.