What is an AC Compressor and how does it work?

What is a car’s AC COMPRESSOR and how does it work?


Your vehicle’s AC compressor is one of the most important, if not the most vital component in it’s AC system. Its responsibility is to pressurize the AC system and keeping the refrigerant flowing so that it can properly function. The AC compressor works in a continuous off and on cycle, therefore it is subject to continuous wear and tear every time you turn on the AC. Just like any component on a motor vehicle, it will eventually fail at one point in time.

A failing AC compressor will at some point produce some warning signs that will alert you that it needs to be serviced. The AC compressor is responsible for distributing and pressurizing the coolant, so if a problem develops with the compressor, then the rest of the AC system will obviously be affected.

Signs Of A Faulty AC Compressor May Include :

1. Temperatures Inside Vehicle Higher Than Normal

One of the very first signs that your compressor is giving problem is that the AC is no longer blowing as coldly as it once did. A failing or damaged AC compressor will not be able to regulate the refrigerant flowing properly in the AC system. This basically results in a malfunctioning AC system.


2. Compressor Making Noise While Running

When you switch on the AC and there is a noise, then this could also probably be another symptom of a dying AC compressor. The AC compressor is driven by the engine’s belts and has several internal components and uses a sealed bearing to turn. If any of these internal components fail, then all sorts of noises will develop as a result. A worn out or leaking bearing will produce a high pitched grinding or squeaking sound, while a seized bearing will make a noticeable belt squeal or grinding noise. Because of how AC compressors are assembled and their complex nature, most times the best thing to do is just to replace the entire compressor.

The AC compressor is the back bone of your AC system. If you think that your AC compressor or another part of your vehicle’s AC system is getting faulty, you should have it checked by a professional technician. If they diagnose that it needs to be replaced, then they should be able to source one for you and install it for you.