Air-conditioner compressor replacement
The A/C compressor pressurises the system to push the refrigerant throughout. Through normal wear and tear, and possibly due to an unexpected defect, the A/C compressor may stop functioning or seize.
In many situations, the A/C compressor lasts the whole life of the vehicle without requiring replacement, although failure is more likely after 150,000km.
On average, you can expect A/C compressor replacement to cost $800 to $1,200 or more, depending on the make and model you drive. Highway Auto's Rockhampton customers will have first choice of new or reconditioned compressors at a very reasonable price.
Symptoms Your A/C Compressor Needs Replacing
- Clunking noise when clutch engages instead of light click
- Warm air blowing through dash vents with AC system turned on
- Broken serpentine belt from seized AC compressor clutch
- External leak detected by technician’s diagnosis
- Windows fog up in humid weather
- Oil leaks around the compressor
What is an A/C Compressor?
At the basic level, an A/C compressor is a mechanical pump. It pressurises and circulates the refrigerant in your car’s A/C system.
In turn, the rest of your A/C system enables that refrigerant to cool the air that enters your car, and it all starts with the compressor.
An electrically-activated clutch on the compressor engages when the system detects lowering pressure. Inside the A/C compressor, two pistons attached to a wobble plate pump the low-pressure refrigerant entering the compressor into the high-pressure side.
This cycle continues as long as the A/C system is activated or the defogger is turned on.
A small amount of oil is required to lubricate the moving components.
The clutch mechanism utilises a bearing that can fail as well. If one of the seals or internal parts in the AC compressor develops a flaw, the compressor won’t function as it should or not at all, and will need to be replaced.