The wonderful thing about living in Orlando, FL, is it’s warm the entire year. This is why we have so many snowbirds in the winter. Because the weather is tropical, many people run their vehicles’ air conditioners all year long, too. Factory maintenance on your automobile’s AC will keep you comfortable every time you turn it on. If you notice any of the following, however, bring your car, truck, or utility vehicle into Auto Solutions for an AC compressor test because this part could be going bad.
You might hear some strange noises when you flip on your vehicle’s air conditioner and if you do, it’s probably the compressor. Once this part begins to fail, it might grind or whine when it’s activated. These sounds are the result of internal components, such as the bearings, going bad. Turn your AC off to see if the sound stops and then back on again to see if it resumes. If so, you’ve got an AC problem.
The whole point of turning on your vehicle’s AC is to get cold air to come through the vents. Still, if your AC system hasn’t been maintained, you might find yourself with hot air instead. Hot air is a sign of AC compressor failure. Hot air could also be a sign that your refrigerant is low. This sign usually warns you before the compressor dies completely. You’ll notice the air seems to be getting warmer over time.
Your vehicle’s air-conditioning compressor has internal bearings, as mentioned above, that prevent the refrigerant from leaking out of the compressor. The compressor’s job is to pressurize the refrigerant to help cool it down. This, of course, wears the bearings down over time because of the constant pressurized environment inside the compressor. Worn or damaged bearings will leak refrigerant.
Just like a manual transmission, the AC compressor has a clutch. This clutch connects to your vehicle’s engine to draw power from it. The compressor only uses the power when it needs it, but if the AC compressor clutch or its pulley gets stuck, the compressor will not work because it won’t be getting any power. The clutch itself cannot be replaced. If it seizes up, you have to replace the compressor.