Your A/C compressor is the heart of your air conditioning system. When your A/C compressor fails, you might notice a lack of cold air from the vents, clicking sounds from under the hood, or total failure of the A/C system. Shop Advance Auto Parts for air conditioning compressors from top brands like ToughOne, Carquest, Driveworks, DENSO, Delphi, ACDelco and Factory Air.
The A/C compressor is responsible for converting gaseous refrigerant into a liquid state, so that it can be evaporated again and provide cooling to your car's interior. Powered by a drive belt from the crankshaft, the compressor is essentially the heart of your A/C system. Without a compressor, the A/C won't work. Signs of failure include poor A/C performance or a clicking noise from under the hood as the compressor clutch cycles the compressor on and off.
What causes an A/C compressor to malfunction? If your A/C compressor ever breaks down, chances are it is because of one of these five reasons: Dirty Coils Dirt and grime build up on the condenser coils over time. If too much accumulates, the compressor could fail. Poor Refrigerant Levels Your compressor needs just the right amount. Too much or too little could cause issues. Blocked Lines The compressor can't pump refrigerant if the lines are blocked and that will cause the system to overheat. Electrical Problems Electrical issues, such as faulty wiring and shortages, are usually a death sentence for your compressor and require replacement. Inadequate Lubricant The moving parts in your compressor need to be well-oiled like anything else in your vehicle. How can we prevent these breakdowns from happening? No one wants to be that car we see on the side of the road with the hood propped open. Ask your mechanic to check the A/C system during routine oil changes and maintenance. And don't be intimidated at the thought of replacing your own A/C compressor. A professional will need to remove and replace the refrigerant, but anyone with basic mechanical skills can tackle the rest of the steps with good instructions. Buy A/C compressors online or visit your local Advance Auto Parts store and have one of our knowledgable Team Members help you. Types of A/C Compressors There are three types of A/C compressors. They all have different working parts but accomplish the same task. Luckily you won't need to know exactly which of these is in your vehicle. By simply entering your year, make, model, and engine information into our website, we'll be able to tell you exactly which parts fit your car. Look in your owner's manual for information you're unsure of. Rotary Compressors This uses a cylinder system to compress and move refrigerant. As pressure builds on one side of the rotary, the cooled gas moves out the other. This is not too different from how a rotary engine works (like ones used in certain Mazda cars). Scroll Compressors This uses two discs to compress and move refrigerant. One disc stays still while the other rotates to create pressure inside the compressor. Variable Displacement Compressors Also called a reciprocating compressor, this uses pistons to compress and move refrigerant just like your car's engine uses pistons to compress and ignite fuel.