How to Tell If a Car Air Conditioning Compressor is Bad
Vehicle air conditioning is typically one of a car's most durable systems. Though it is often in use every day, a modern air conditioning system just keeps humming along providing cool air when you need it. And the heart of the air conditioning system, the AC compressor, is long-lived and hearty.
Photo: Christian Wardlaw
But when your air conditioning does fail, it can be a painful experience. Let's face it, we have become used to mechanically cooled air whenever we want it. The prospect of losing that, starting to perspire, and having to roll down the windows is almost too dire to contemplate. Because of that, you should always be on the lookout for signs that your car air conditioning compressor is bad.
The good news about that bad news is you almost always get clues that your air conditioning is about to fail. While sometimes A/C simply stops working, most often the failure comes little by little and is accompanied by signs that something is going south. The following hints will help you to recognize a problem.