How much does an AC compressor replacement cost?

One of the most important parts of the car’s air conditioning system is the AC compressor. This component is essential to circulate the refrigerant throughout the system. Additionally, the low-pressure refrigerant is compressed, which causes the pressure to rise suitably. The air coming from the vents wouldn’t be cold without the compressor for the air conditioning. However, knowing the AC compressor replacement cost is very important. This is because if the compressor in your car fails, you already know how much it will cost to fix it.

How much does an AC compressor replacement cost?

Today, you’ll get to know the AC compressor replacement cost. However, before we get to discussing that, let’s take a look at some symptoms of a failing AC compressor, the location of the compressor, whether driving a car with a bad compressor is good, and how long a compressor lasts.

Read more: Understanding the AC compressor

Let’s get to it.

Symptoms of a bad and failing AC compressor

AC systems blow moderate or hot air

The most typical sign of a defective and failing AC compressor is that you do not notice a difference in temperature or that the temperature rises when the AC cooling setting is set to maximum.

If your car shows your air conditioning is on but you don’t notice a difference in temperature, the compressor may be broken. A little light on the A/C button normally serves as an indicator for this. An excellent technique to determine if the issue is with your compressor is to look at the power feed to your A/C compressor.

The 2-pin connector is often found on the compressor’s exterior. While the car is running and the air conditioning is on, you should have a live feed going to the pump. If your compressor has the right feeds but isn’t working, it could be the A/C compressor that is malfunctioning.

The compressor clutch is not moving

Most AC compressor pulleys consist of just two parts. The axle entering the compressor will never rotate while the engine turns the inner pulley. Additionally, this pulley has an outside clutch that activates in response to the AC compressor turning on.

If this clutch has failed, it won’t engage and turn the compressor axle. The compressor might also experience this if there is no electrical supply, so it needs to be carefully diagnosed. However, this is more of a sign of a faulty AC compressor clutch than a bad AC compressor. However, if the AC compressor clutch is damaged, you generally need to repair the compressor.

Read more: AC compressor clutch not engaging (causes and how to fix it) 

Unusual noise from the AC compressor

The internals of the pump have to work extremely hard to keep up with demand when the compressor clutch is engaged. After the bearings and other metallic components inside the compressor start to wear and become noisy, you’ll often start to hear a grinding noise coming from the engine.

To determine whether your compressor is the source of the noise, try turning your air conditioner on and off while listening for any changes in the grinding sound. If the noise disappears after the pump is turned off, it may be that the internal components of your compressor need to be replaced due to wear and tear.

Refrigerant Leak

Your car’s air conditioning system has sensors that count the amount of refrigerant in the pipes. In order to prevent harm from the refrigerant running out, the lower pressure switch in your automobile will identify a leak on one of these pipes and shut off the compressor.

Finding a refrigerant leak on a car can frequently be tough due to the components being hard to reach. However, the compressor body itself is a good place to start if you’re looking for a leak.

An excessive buildup of heat and pressure inside the compressor’s body may occur if the compressor has started overcompressing the refrigerant as a result of an internal issue. This can cause the seals to burst. causing the refrigerant in your air conditioner to leak, stopping it from functioning.

Read more: Understanding Refrigeration

Excessive wear on the auxiliary drive belt

If you have to replace your auxiliary drive belt and notice that your new one is wearing out too quickly or making a screeching noise, it may be a good idea to check the pulley on your air conditioner.

Your compressor’s pulley may age excessively and rotate at irregular angles as a result of the pulley’s bearings. The rubber auxiliary drive belt is frequently snatched and grabbed during this motion, hastening the belt’s early wear. Or the excessive movement can cause the rubber belt to rub up against the out-of-place pulley, producing a loud screech.

Smell of burning rubber

If you turn on the air conditioning and smell burning rubber coming from the engine compartment, the AC compressor may be seized and the serpentine belt may not move on the compressor pulley. But if you’ve been keeping an eye on it for a while, your car most likely has another issue. The serpentine belt will quickly snap off as a result of this.

Location of the AC compressor

The AC compressor is usually found on the auxiliary drive belt with other belt-driven accessories. It will be powered by an electrical plug and have two refrigerant pipes attached to the body of the device. You may look underneath your car to see the compressor because it is mainly found near the bottom of the engine, underneath the alternator and power steering pump.

Read more: How much does it cost to recharge the car AC system?

Join our Newsletter

Is driving your car with a bad compressor good?

Yes, in most cases. Even though it will be hot, your car will still run and be safe to drive. If the clutch or pulley is damaged, you shouldn’t drive a car with a bad AC compressor because this could break or redirect the serpentine belt, leaving you stranded. If you suspect a bad clutch bearing or pulley, locate the compressor while the engine is running and look at the front pulley or clutch where the belt passes. There should be cause for concern if you hear any grinding or other noises coming from this location.

With caution due to the fact that the engine is hot, stop the engine and, if possible, inspect the front of the pulley for any side-to-side motion, slop, or play. The clutch is probably damaged if you hear noise or see any play or slop in this pulley. Drive safely until a replacement or AC diagnosis is made if the clutch pulley is still in good condition.

Read more: 4 signs that your car air conditioner needs freon

How long does a compressor last?

You are not expected to replace an AC compressor on a regular basis, as it is not a maintenance component. The compressor needs to be replaced only when it fails. Generally speaking, a compressor lasts 10–12 years and 150–200K miles, though they can last the entire life of the vehicle.

AC compressor replacement cost

A new AC compressor can be expensive to purchase because it is a very complex component. The average cost to replace an AC compressor ranges from $400 to $1200, depending on the car model and labor costs. While labor can cost anywhere between $200 and $500, an AC compressor can cost between $200 and $700.

However, after the compressor is changed, the AC system must be filled again, which costs between $100 and $200. Before recharging the AC system, a leak test must be performed. The labor required will be expensive, and this could take some time.

Read more: How Much Does It Cost To Fix The AC In A Car? 


How much does it cost to replace an AC compressor in a car?

AC compressor replacement cost is roughly $1,100. Depending on where you live, labor and part prices can differ significantly. The parts can cost between $650 and $840, while the labor can cost anywhere between $160 and $200 on average.

Is it worth changing the AC compressor in my car?

Ultimately, driving with a damaged compressor is never a wise idea. This could lead to costly repairs that could have been avoided. It’s advisable to get your compressor replaced as soon as you notice problems rather than having to replace your entire A/C unit due to a faulty compressor.

Can a car’s AC compressor be repaired?

AC compressors may occasionally be repaired. However, it is frequently preferable to get a new compressor and replace the broken one. It will almost always lead to a better, longer-lasting repair, and it is also the most time-efficient way to solve the issue.

What causes AC compressor failure in a car?

Clogs in one of its components, such as valves, filters, or condensers, which result in a loss of pressure and cause the AC compressor to fail due to overheating from a lack of airflow across the vents inside your car’s interior.

How long do car AC compressors last?

The lifespan of a car’s compressor is usually 12 to 15 years, depending on how well the car is maintained. Having said that, it’s crucial to frequently service and inspect your vehicle in order to avoid an early failure. Some signs that something is failing include leaks.

What are the signs of a bad AC compressor in a car?

  • The AC isn’t as cold as it ought to be.
  • There are noises coming from the engine bay.
  • The compressor clutch refuses to engage.
  • There is damage to the AC compressor.

Read more: Understanding the AC compressor clutch

How do I know if my car’s AC compressor is bad?

  • Odd Noises. When you turn on the air conditioner in your car, you might hear some odd noises; if so, the compressor is most likely the source of the noise.
  • Fluid leaks
  • Stuck clutch.

What kills an AC compressor?

Refrigerant loss is the main cause of a compressor’s early death. An air conditioner’s refrigerant level is specifically calibrated to function with the compressor. The imbalance will eventually cause the compressor to overheat if the air conditioner leaks refrigerant.

Why is replacing the car’s AC compressor so expensive?

An expensive AC compressor is to be expected if your AC unit is huge. This is so that the refrigerant may be circulated throughout the entire system, which requires this component. Replacement parts will always cost more because the huge unit requires more parts to operate.

Why is it so expensive to replace an AC compressor?

There are two reasons why replacing a compressor is expensive. The component itself is expensive. The task takes a long time (four or more hours).

What happens if I don’t fix my AC compressor?

The system could overheat if all the refrigerant spills out. Reduced airflow from vents, heated air coming from vents, and a unit that is operating almost nonstop are more subtle signs of an AC compressor failure.

That is all for this article, where we discussed the AC compressor replacement cost. We also took a look at some symptoms of a failing AC compressor, the location of the compressor, whether driving a car with a bad compressor was good, and how long a compressor lasts.

I hope you learn a lot from the reading. If you do, kindly share it with others. Thanks for reading; see you around!