Hands on Steering Wheel Inside of a Car

What Causes A Car A/C Compressor To Lock Up?

The A/C compressor is vital for the functioning of a car’s air conditioning system. This pump is connected to that of the car’s engine and functions to pump refrigerant gas called Freon. This gas enters into a single side before it is compressed in the A/C compressor. The compressed air will then be transferred from the compressor to that of the condenser. Once the compressed gas has expanded it will result to the cool air in the car.

Irregular Maintenance of A/C Compressors

It is important to have the A/C compressors frequently maintained in your chosen service area. Getting this process done by a professional will definitely help stop the compressor from locking up or seizing up. It has to be noted that this needs to be done by an expert because there are several causes to A/C compressor lock up which is related to how the car has been maintained. Among some of these causes are low coolant levels, incorrect refrigerant type, use of low quality refrigerant, and improper lubrication.

Improper Lubrication

One of the reasons behind lockup problems in your car’s A/C compressor is improper lubrication. You have to take note that there are different types of oil depending on the needs of the car. A professional can help determine the type of oil needed for the car’s compressor and how much of which should be used for every maintenance visit.


Another reason pointed out is the low quality refrigerant or the incorrect refrigerant type placed on the compressor. Professionals know that there is a minimum level of refrigerant gas that needs to be maintained to prevent locking up of the compressor. Take note that too much refrigerant can result to the fact that it can enter into the compressor which will eventually lead to a lot of mechanical issues other than the compressor locking up. In like manner, when the refrigerant gas level is too low, overheating may take place. As you have seen, this can be very problematic in the long run. This can lead not just to locking up the compressor but also to affecting windings that will later result to electrical damage.

Let the expert take charge as he also knows the correct type of refrigerant gas that must be used in the compressor. You cannot just place any refrigerant in the compressor just for the sake of maintaining the required levels. This will just worsen the problem which will be much more of a concern because of the expenses that may come with it. Therefore, your regular visit to an expert will help prevent A/C compressor lockup.

Other Causes for Compressor Lockup

Apart from maintenance-related reasons for a car compressor to lock up, there are still other reasons that can lead to the problem. One such reason is when the compressor clutch fails. In this instance, there is not much of a problem because it can be fixed without the need to remove the car compressor. Internal mechanical failure is yet another reason to point out to. In this case, the A/C will need repair while the dryer or receiver needs to be replaced.