What are the Common Causes of AC Compressor Failure in Cars?

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Air conditioning has become a near necessity in our modern, sweltering days. Yet despite their indispensable role in automotive comfort, many car owners don’t understand how their AC compressor works or even what it does.

AC compressor failure is one of the most frequently ignored causes of car problems, but even when properly maintained, the life expectancy of these components is usually only three to five years before major repairs or replacements are necessary. You can go to TMM auto service Markham if you think your car’s AC is not functioning properly.

To help put this important subject into perspective, here’s a look at some of the common causes of AC compressor failure in cars.

  • Dirty condenser

The first and most common cause of AC compressor failure lies in the condenser. This is the large metal or plastic case that sits atop your AC compressor and cools the air as it passes through your car’s interior. If your condenser is dirty, it will not be able to transfer heat from the air inside the car to water, which will cause overheating. Over time, a dirty AC condenser can also contaminate the coolant, causing it to foul your car’s electrical system.

  • Low refrigerant level

A common cause of AC compressor failure is a low refrigerant level. Refrigerant, or R-12, is the substance that acts as the heat transfer medium in your air conditioning system. In general terms, refrigerant acts as a solvent to absorb heat. It’s stored in a canister inside your condenser and then mixed with water before entering your car’s AC system. If it’s leaking, you’ll lose refrigerant and won’t be able to transfer heat.

  • Clogged evaporator coil

A clogged evaporator coil is another fairly common cause of AC compressor failure, and cleaning it is essential for restoring your system to full operation. This is the part of your car’s AC that sits outside of your car’s engine. Water circulates through this coil to remove heat from the air and deposit it into a refrigerant solution. Over time, it may become clogged with contaminants, which can prevent proper circulation throughout the AC system.

  • Faulty pressure sensors

Pressure sensors are designed to measure the amount of refrigerant in your AC system. When they fail, they will no longer send an accurate reading to the AC control panel, which can cause the compressor to kick off without notice. This will greatly exceed normal operating limits, which may cause damage to the compressor’s bearings and other components.

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