What Is The Average Lifespan Of A Car A/C Compressor?


In A/C systems, the compressor maintains pressure on the refrigerant. It consists of several components that work together to prevent the car from overheating. When it’s hot out, it’s refreshing to enjoy a breeze of cold air while you’re driving down the road. In the winter, the A/C compressor protects you from the freezing cold. But the question is, what is the average lifespan of a car A/C compressor? Learn more about this below!

What is the Life Expectancy of an A/C Compressor in a Car?

The lifespan of an air conditioner compressor depends on a number of factors, making it difficult to determine with any accuracy. An extremely crucial factor is the car’s age. It makes sense that your car’s compressor may have already been used a lot since it has worked for you for so long already. As your car gets older, the compressor has a much higher chance of malfunctioning.

Usually, A/C compressors last for the lifetime of the vehicle. On average, cars last 8-12 years or about 200,000 miles. Even electric vehicles last longer than that – up to 300,000 miles or 15 years. Accordingly, A/C compressors are designed to last eight to fifteen years, which is the average lifetime of a car.

However, maintaining a car well can extend its life even further. In today’s world, car manufacturing technology has advanced far beyond what it was a few years ago. Thus, vehicles are built with better, more durable parts. Additionally, electric versions have fewer mechanical parts, which means there is less wear and tear and friction.

Common Problems with Car A/C Compressors

Generally, your A/C compressor should last well over a decade with proper maintenance. However, here are some of the problems that might surface if you don’t keep it properly maintained.

  • Insufficient lubrication: Inefficiency and failure can occur if lubricant levels are low or there are leaks.
  • Contamination of the system: When the system is heated and pressured, contaminants such as air, dirt, acids, and moisture, can be introduced into the system, causing buildup and eventually damage.
  • Problems with electricity: Voltage or current imbalances can cause overheating and failure.
  • Refrigerant charge is low: Insufficient refrigerant flows can cause the compressor to work harder, resulting in a shorter compressor life.

When Should a Car’s A/C Compressor be Replaced?

A broken A/C compressor should be replaced as soon as possible. Due to the short lifespan of a car air conditioner compressor, it typically lasts between eight and twelve years. Replacement is recommended if the compressor breaks down before then. The preferred route is typically to replace the compressor, since repairing it can take a long time and be extremely expensive.

Repair or Replace Your Auto A/C Compressor at R & Y A/C Compressors

A/C compressors that are already failing in performance are a sign that they need to be replaced. Let the professionals at R & Y A/C Compressors help you determine if your compressor needs repaired or replaced!