The car AC compressor doesn’t turn on is an annoying problem. Here, you can find how to detect this problem and the best solution you can use to return the AC system works well like before
Guide to Detect and Solve Car AC Compressor Not Turning On Problem
Is your car ac compressor not turning on? This condition could lead to many critical problems with the car AC system. For that reason, we have a guide on how to deal with the problem. So, keep reading and find out more about everything you need to know about car AC compressor problems.
Car AC Compressor Explanation and What It Does
A car AC system consists of several parts. They are the compressor, evaporator, condenser, receiver-dryer, refrigerant, and expansion tube. The compressor is the core of the entire AC system cooling process. It creates a cycle that processes the air and cools it down, creating a comfortable environment inside a car.
The car AC compressor works as its name implies, it compresses and gives pressure to the refrigerant. Then, it sends the refrigerant to the condenser, which will lower the air temperature. It creates the cool air that comes out from the AC hole inside a car.
As you can see, if the car AC compressor doesn’t work, the AC system won’t get the refrigerant that works as the cooling element. Therefore, it is not surprising, if you face a problem with the air from AC, such as a car air conditioner blowing hot air.
Therefore, when you have a problem with the AC and take your car to the workshop, they will check the compressor first. If it doesn’t work, then this is the main culprit of the AC problem. Other than that, the leaking refrigerant or damaged condenser also could be the cause of a car air conditioner not blowing cold air.
The Symptoms of Car AC Compressor Problem
There are several signs you can notice for a car’s AC compressor that doesn’t work as it should be. By noticing these signs, you can fix the compressor as soon as possible before it causes the biggest problem. So, here are the symptoms of a problem that happens to the AC compressor, one of the essential parts of a car air conditioner.
∙ High Temperature of the Car Interior
A damaged or not-working AC compressor will make the AC system unable to create a cooling cycle involving refrigerant. That means the car AC system can’t produce cool air. Instead of cool air, the AC produces hot air because the air it sucks from the outside doesn’t get cooled down by refrigerant. Plus, it goes through the engine room, which has a high temperature.
You can feel the temperature inside your car gradually increase. Even though you have blasted on the AC, it is not getting cool. Instead, you feel it getting hotter.
This condition happens because of a broken compressor. However, the other two factors cause car AC to blow hot air instead of cold air. It could be a leaking refrigerant or a low level of refrigerant. You need to bring your car for repair or have a car air conditioner recharge.
∙ Noise from AC
The noise when you turn on the HVAC system of your car is normal. That is the sound of the system starting its process. However, when you switch the AC on and you hear a loud noise, different from normal noise that could be a sign of a damaged compressor.
A car compressor has several chambers with a sealed bearing that will turn around to provide pressure to the refrigerant. It should work smoothly to provide optimal performance. However, when one of the parts is broken or damaged, it will fall from its ideal size. Thus, when it turns on, it will hit the chamber wall and cause a loud noise.
You should replace the whole internal bearing to solve this problem. Do not keep it too long, otherwise, it will damage the whole compressor. Or, for safety and better value, we recommend changing the whole AC compressor. The new AC compressor will work well and last longer, which means you save more money on its maintenance.
∙ Car AC Smell Bad
Another symptom of a bad compressor is when a car air conditioner smells like chemicals. The smell comes from the forcefully compressed leaking refrigerant. When the compressor did that, it will spread the chemical smell on the entire AC system. It will affect the air that comes out from the AC.
It means that the problem is not only on your AC compressor that has too strong pressure. The leaking refrigerant also causes this problem, which requires more attention and repair. Some people deal with this problem by installing a car air freshener or deodorizer. Yes, that could cover the smell, but the chemical substance is still in the air and can cause a health problem.
Therefore, it is necessary to fix this problem as soon as possible for your driving safety. Fix the broken compressor and deal with the leaking refrigerant. Once you do that, the smell will go away and your car AC will work well without any problem.
∙ Car AC Produces Weak Cool Air
Your car AC still produces cool air. However, cool air volume and pressure are not as strong as they used to be. This also could be a sign of a bad car ac compressor, especially a problem with the compressor clutch.
The clutch keeps the compressor running and provides refrigerant pressure to flow it through to the AC system. It is the core of the entire AC system cycle. Therefore, when the clutch is broken, damaged, and not moving, it won’t produce the force that the AC system requires to create cool air. And, that weak cool air problem happens.
Ask for help from a mechanic to check your AC compressor. When they find its clutch has a problem, they will change it with the new one. Fortunately, you can ask for a new clutch part replacement only. That means you can save more money on your car air conditioner repair.
∙ Circuit Breaker Tripping
The circuit breaker tripping problem could also happen when the AC compressor doesn’t work properly. The cause of the tripping is overheating problems. Why does it happen?
The AC system will keep drawing power when the car ac compressor not turning on. It is necessary to produce more pressure than it needs to flow the refrigerant. Now, because after more power users and it can’t produce the cool air as it should, the AC system keeps drawing more power. That can cause the circuit to break.
The AC system will be turned off automatically. Thus, you can only use the car AC for a short time. Then, it doesn’t work anymore for a while until the power is stable.
Many people fix this problem by resetting the circuit breaker. You shouldn’t do that. That only makes it return to its previous condition and the problematic AC compressor is still there. It doesn’t fix anything.
When you use the car AC after you reset it, there is only one thing that could happen. It will trip again, which means you need to do the same on the AC system breaker. That shows that the breaker works well protecting your vehicle’s electric car air conditioner system from potential fire hazards. So, fix the AC compressor instead to stop this symptom from happening again.
∙ Suction Lines Problem
The broken AC compressor also can cause a blockage inside the suction lines. It could happen because it does provide enough power for moving the refrigerant. Thus, the accumulated refrigerant in one part will block the suction lines.
For this problem, you need to repair the AC compressor. The mechanic knows which part they must replace and fix to make the compressor work again. After that, you need to unblock the suction line. In most cases, you might not need to replace the section lines.
∙ Damaged Wire
You can only find this symptom when you regularly maintain and check every part of your car AC system. Therefore, we can say that this symptom can only be found by car owners with proper knowledge about car mechanics and such. If you only did standard maintenance, it will be hard to find the AC compressor damaged wire.
Of course, the damaged wire will affect the performance of the car compressor. So, at least one or two symptoms mentioned above will occur when you use the AC. So, without knowing the damaged wire, you can still detect that your car’s AC compressor has experienced some kind of problem. Visit the car workshop and let the mechanics have a thorough check to find the cause, and then fix it.
The Cost to Repair the Damaged Car AC Compressor
Depending on the condition, the cost of fixing your vehicle’s AC compressor is different. To replace the AC compressor, you must prepare at least $800 to $1,200. The actual price for a new AC compressor is around $650 to $1,000. You need to pay the labor fee for the mechanics for replacing and installing the new car AC compressor, which is starting from $150 to $200.
During the inspection, you might also find other problems, which come from the damaged AC compressor. For example, it can cause blockage and another critical situation with the car air conditioner condenser. That might cost you more, so prepare more budgets.
Of course, if you opt to replace the damaged part, such as the internal bearing part only, you might need a lesser budget than that. But, as we mentioned, replacing it with a new AC compressor is a better option. That will help you use the car AC system for much longer.
Replacing the AC compressor with the new one is the best solution to deal with this problem. However, there are times when you have limited budgets to spend on replacing the compressor. As we explained above, the price to replace the AC compressor is somehow high.
What kind of temporary solution can you use? The answer is a portable car air conditioner. You can buy the portable AC for your car while preparing the budget for replacing the compressor.
The price for one unit of portable car AC is not that high. You can get a good one for just $30. There are the much better and expensive ones, which are around $100. It can work like your original car AC system and might be even better because of its portability feature.
Because it is a temporary solution, choose a high-quality portable AC for the car. For that reason, you should consider several factors before getting this moveable AC, such as:
∙ AC power – a high-power portable car AC is the best choice if you use a big-sized car, such as an SUV or another family car type. But, if you use a small-sized vehicle, choose one with enough power.
∙ Functions – currently, you can find various products of portable AC with different features. The standard one is the product with a cooling function. But, if you need more, you also can find the product with more functions, like heating, dehumidifier, and many more.
∙ Size – even though this car Air Conditioner is a portable product, it comes in various sizes. Choose one that fits with the interior of your car. Compact size is a good choice, but if you have a big vehicle, like an RV, you can use a bigger portable AC as it has more space where you can use it.
∙ Maintenance – choose the portable car AC with the easiest maintenance process. You don’t want to replace the filter for car air conditioner too often. Find one that has the best durability and is easy to maintain. After all, you will use your original car AC once you fix the AC compressor.
Car AC problems lower the driving and journey experience levels. Therefore, all car owners must solve the AC problem as soon as possible. Of course, if the problem is related to the AC compressor, you know how to deal with it. We hope you never have to deal with an annoying problem, like a car ac compressor not turning on.