A Series Of Explanations For A Faulty AC Compressor

February 3rd, 2022 by

Sweet Home Alabama is warming up to spring as we speak, and before you know it, you will be needing the car’s AC soon. It’s perfectly fine if your heater was working well in the cold months, but that’s hardly any guarantee that your air conditioning won’t be at fault.

The most obvious reason for bad air-con is a dog-eared compressor, and then the rest of the failures follow.

So, how can you tell your car might need a compressor sprucing-up? Eastern Shore Hyundai, serving Bay Minette, AL, your friendly car dealing neighbor, will tell you what sign means which problem!

The AC is on But no Cooling.

This is a case of low refrigerant levels and can pertain to many underlying problems with the air-con unit. The compressor comprises many connected bearings encased in a housing that pressurizes, liquefies, and pumps the refrigerant to the heat exchanges. Since we’re taking extreme temperatures & pressures, leaks can develop in the connecting lines, the compressor itself can be corroded enough to leak both lubricant & refrigerant.

A seasoned mechanic will add a tracer dye to the refrigerant to find the leak in the system via a black light. Just don’t try to light a match near the air-con unit to find the leak in your DIY endeavor!

The AC Vents Aren’t Venting.

This is difficult to discern because a faulty compressor is only a part of the massive array of cascade failures. True, the compressor is overheating, is breached, the bearings are wearing out too fast that the part makes a rattling sound under the hood. But there are other reasons too!

The overheating compressor draws far too much power from the battery, resulting in an electrical trip. If the ventilation system is tripped, there won’t be any air coming into the cabin.

The overheating compressor can also trip the blower motor that vents the cooled air into the cabin, or it could just be a faulty motor on its own. That might mean your compressor is okay.

If the clutch on the compressor is stuck from lack of maintenance & age, the part will not engage the AC system to cool the cabin. That combined with potentially blocked air intake vents (those under the windshield) and a tripped cooling, blowing, or ventilating unit could undoubtedly mean an ambitious repair of the whole AC unit.

The Air is Cool, But You Wanted Cooler

This comes down to a faulty compressor and the components that power it. The clutch engages the compressor to draw power from the powertrain via a belt. Sometimes, the belt can slip, or the clutch wears out, cutting the required power needed by the compressor to work.

Other times, the clutch gets stuck, meaning the compressor is not working on condensing the refrigerant to send it off to the exchanger & cooling coils.

The compressor could also be damaged from overheating issues, affecting the electricals nearby. If your AC is acting up with a lot rattling from the engine bay, it’s time for a thorough HVAC service.

At Eastern Shore Hyundai, serving Bay Minette, AL, last we checked, the weather is a swell 60F on average with light showers and humidity. If it isn’t the compressor, it could be the rain-induced electrical short.

To stay on the safe side, roll in for a service at the best auto center in town. We have parts, we have specials, and we’re humble enough to back you up on payments!

Let’s put that naughty compressor back in line, shall we?