When driving your vehicle, you probably don’t give much thought to the myriad parts that are keeping it running. That is, until an unexpected problem occurs and your car isn’t functioning as it should. Your AC compressor gets a lot of use and works to provide cool air on hot days, so when something goes wrong, you are going to notice.
Reasons for a Malfunctioning Compressor
Compressor problems are actually quite common. What most people don’t realize, however, is that this component is under more stress than any other part of the AC system. So without regular maintenance, you’ll almost definitely have some issues.
Usually, the cause of an AC problem is obvious; if it isn’t, you can begin to identify it by checking the compressor for anything that seems amiss. A few of the most common clues that there might be something wrong include the following:
- Odd Noises – A faulty compressor can cause odd noise to come from the appliance.
- Reduced Cooling – You’ll begin to feel a difference in the temperature. Over time, you’ll notice that the cool temperatures that you are setting the AC to are a bit warmer than they should be. Or perhaps the air will start out cool, and then warm up the longer you have the unit on.
- Electrical Issues – Electrical problems are also very likely to cause a failure. Because this is an internal problem, you should seek a professional to evaluate the component.
Deciding to Repair or Replace Your Unit
If your compressor is still under warranty, you can have it repaired or replaced for nothing; if not, you will have to purchase another one. Before you head to the first auto shop you see, however, remember that you have two options. The original manufacturer’s part can be purchased through the dealership and is identical to the part it replaces. Or you can visit a used auto parts store online where you can find a quality compressor for your vehicle at a much lower cost.
How to Prevent Future Issues
After you’ve replaced the compressor, you may be wondering what you can do to prevent future issues. One of the best things that you can do is run the system regularly, as this keeps it working properly and stretches its longevity. Run it for a few minutes each month – even during the winter – to keep it in good working condition.