Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

AC compressor failure most common causes

AC compressor failure most common causes

Auto AC compressors can last the life of the vehicle if the AC system is maintained well. However, if you ignore warning signs or perform DIY AC repairs without understanding the full implications, you can actually cause premature AC compressor failure.

#1 Cause of AC compressor failure  — Lack of lubrication.

Auto AC systems leak refrigerant and when the refrigerant leaks, so does the lubricant. If you use a DIY AC recharge kit to refill the system without first evacuating and adding more oil, you’ll be running the AC compressor with low lubrication. That’ll cause accelerated wear and failure.

#2 Cause of AC compressor failure — black death caused by acids

When an auto AC system leaks refrigerant, it also accumulates outside air and moisture. Moisture and refrigerant don’t get along well. The water mixes with the refrigerant oil and it forms sludge and acid. The sludge and acid wear away the compressor seals causing aluminum particles to flow throughout the system. When the compressor finally quits, the entire system is coated with a black slime, referred to as black death.

black death

#3 Cause of AC compressor failure — overcharging

Overcharging causes the AC compressor to work much harder than normal, causing internal failure

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Posted on by Rick Muscoplat



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