Signs Your AC Compressor is Failing

A man in a hot car tugs at his collar

There are few things more important to ensuring a comfortable summer drive than a functioning air conditioning system. Having to go without AC on those sweltering summer days can be unbearable. That’s why it’s so important to know the signs that your compressor may be starting to fail, so you can nip that issue in the bud.

What is a Compressor?

The compressor is an engine part that works to pressurize and circulate the air refrigerant before it’s sent to the condenser and converted into a gas state to cool you down. When it begins to fail, cold air will no longer reach you. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Here’s how you’ll know:

Higher Temperatures

This one should be obvious. If you put the air conditioning on at the highest level and the car doesn’t get any cooler, there’s definitely an issue. This is also the case if you notice warm air blowing out of the vents. If the compressor is broken, it will stop circulating the cold air refrigerant.


When your compressor is broken, your car may begin to leak air conditioning refrigerant. This will cause warm air to blow out of your vents and can cause damage to the engine, in addition leading to more energy consumption. A leak may also be the symptom of a failing condenser. Leaking is actually one of the more common causes of air conditioning failure.

Loud Noises

You may notice a small clicking noise when you turn your air conditioning on and off, which is normal. If you notice a louder sound coming from your compressor, that could be an issue with your AC clutch. This is the part of the compressor that drives the belt that connects it to the engine pulley. There is also a sealed bearing in the compressor, among other components. A failure of any of these parts will mean a great deal of noise.

When your car is showing any of these signs, it’s time to take it to a professional. If you live in the Henderson, NV area, Master Tech Automotive & Cycling Repair can be of service. We handle air conditioning as well as many other automotive issues.  Call 702-641-9389 today for more information.

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