The air compressor is the heart of any air conditioning system. To put it simply, the air compressor facilitates the flow of the coolant that in turn, is responsible for turning warm air into cold air.


Since air compressors almost continuously as long as the car AC is switched on, they are designed to be durable, especially in newer cars. However, just like any other part of your car, the air compressor has a finite lifespan and will eventually start showing the symptoms of failure.


With that said, since the air compressor is such a vital component of your car's air conditioning system, if its problems are not diagnosed and addressed timely, it can start affecting the rest of the parts of the air conditioning system.


For this reason, it is important for car owners to be able to identify the signs that indicate there is something wrong with the air compressor of your car’s AC system. 


Certain signs are of course, more obvious than others. In this article, we will be discussing the most common signs of damage or wear and tear to your car’s air compressor.


Let us begin:


Ineffective Cooling


This is one of the more obvious signs that there is something wrong with your car’s air compressor. Most probably, your air compressor is unable to efficiently ensure the flow of the coolant in the air conditioning system. As a result, your air conditioner is blowing warm air that it is sucking from the atmosphere.


While a dysfunctional air compressor is the most common cause of ineffective cooling from your car’s air conditioner, a number of other problems can cause this symptom. If you are facing this issue, it is recommended to seek the help of a professional mechanic.


Compressor Clutch Not Moving


Most modern cars come fitted with a car air compressor with clutch that is connected to the engine with a pulley. This clutch ensures that the compressor is only working when it is absolutely necessary.


If the clutch is seized, it will keep the air compressor running as long as the engine is running. On the other hand, if it breaks, the air compressor will not be able to draw power from the engine and as a result, may stop functioning altogether.


If you notice either of these problems with your car’s air compressor, you may need to replace the compressor’s clutch, or the whole air compressor, depending on the kind of damage it has sustained.


Loud Noises Originating From The Compressor


The air compressor inside your car is made up of several smaller moving components and bearings. If any of these fail or break, it can cause the compressor to make loud and/or squealing noises. If, for instance, a bearing is worn out, you may hear a belt squeal and if, on the other hand, a bearing breaks, you may hear a grinding noise.


The problem in such a case is usually very complex, particularly because the internal assembly of an air compressor is complex. Because of this, the viable solution here is to simply replace your air compressor.




The air compressor is a core component of your car’s air conditioning system. While those that live in areas where there is little to no usage of air conditioning in cars may be tempted to overlook the pending replacement of their car’s air compressor, doing so is not advisable. This is because being a core component, a worn out or broken air compressor can lead to other, even more expensive problems in the engine of your car.

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.