Car encyclopedia

Air Conditioning Compressor

The air conditioning compressor pumps in refrigerant gas from the receiver/drier, compresses it, and sends it to the condenser.

Symptoms of Wear or Failure

  • Weak cool air from system (or no cold air at all)
  • Loud noises when using the AC

Related Repair Advice

  • The AC system should be operated at least once a month—even during the winter—to circulate the refrigerant and oil
  • Most modern vehicles operate the AC compressor in the defrost mode. Air circulating through the system is naturally dehumidified, which helps in the defrosting process
  • Moisture collects and is drained from the heater/AC case, often showing up as a puddle of clear fluid under the vehicle
  • An AC compressor may need to be replaced if it's found to be leaking oil and/or refrigerant
  • We recommend replacing the AC accumulator or drier when the AC compressor is replaced. The accumulator acts as a moisture and debris filter for the AC system—a new part will keep the repaired system clean.
  • Any restrictions in the AC system will need to be identified and repaired or a recurring problem with the AC compressor is likely

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