A/C Compressor and issues


What is an A/C Compressor and why is it important?

A car’s Air Conditioning (A/C) system is a complex setup. Unlike how people think it functions, how it really does what it does is a wonder in itself. Working near the engine makes the A/C system’s access to cold air a near impossible scenario. Still, you get to bask in the cold air it throws on hot days. Have you ever wondered how? If you have, today is your lucky day to get to know an important component of the A/C system in your car. If not, by the time you finish this article, you would be raring to know more.

To generate cold air out of hot air (an abundant item in the engine bay), an A/C system needs a lot of components. However, the most basic component it needs, which actually begins the process, is the compressor. As the name indicates, its purpose is to compress. But what does it compress, you may ask. It pressurizes (compression is a form of pressurization) the refrigerant, which, in turn, cools down the incoming air. It is also present to sense temperature changes which you control via various buttons inside your car’s cabin. It is powered by a belt and since the system is mechanical, which also explains why turning the A/C on also brings the fuel economy of your car down.

What are the symptoms of a failing compressor?

Since the A/C system is an intricate setup comprising of a lot of components, some parts are the kind that operate in sealed conditions. The compressor also operates in such conditions and if it malfunctions, you know it is bad. But here’s how you can know whether it is failing or not:

  1. Refrigerant leaks out
  2. Noise
  3. A/C behaves erratically or does not work at all.

Look out for these too

Unfortunately, you cannot do anything in this case. A/C system is something to be handled by trained professionals and not by just anyone else. If the refrigerant leaks out, first the leak would have to be discovered, closed and the system will then be recharged. If it is making noise, the reason will have to be diagnosed and then fixed. Erratic behavior/no action can be an issue of the malfunctioning A/C belt and if it is the case, you might get away with minor bills. If the compressor itself is the culprit, be ready to fork out some dough.


A/C system is an intricate setup and should not fiddled with by anyone except the ones who are trained to handle them. We at CarDekho know of such people and can get you in touch with them. All you have to do is log on to services.cardekho.com and avail of our services.