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AC Compressor Replacement Cost: Your Ultimate Guide

AC Compressor Replacement Cost: Your Ultimate Guide

Has the air conditioning system in your car stopped working as effectively as it used to? This can make it almost impossible to survive even a short trip in your car when the temperatures go up in the summertime. There are a variety of things that could be wrong with your car’s AC system when it stops working. But more often than not, it’s the AC compressor that gives people fits. You may have to pay the AC compressor replacement cost to get your AC system up and running again like normal. Check out more information about AC compressors and the AC compressor replacement below.

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE

What Is a Car’s AC Compressor?

The AC compressor in your car is the portion of your car’s air conditioning system that’s responsible for pressurizing the refrigerant in your system prior to it passing into your system’s condenser. By putting the refrigerant under a lot of pressure, it helps to turn it from a gas to a liquid so that it can be used to keep your car cool. Without a fully-functioning AC compressor in your car, your AC system isn’t going to work the way that it should.


The AC compressor is far from the only part in your car’s AC system that will work hard to keep you cool. Your car’s AC system also contains the aforementioned condenser as well as a receiver, a thermal expansion valve, an evaporator, and more. But the AC compressor in your car is widely regarded as the most important aspect of your entire AC system, and it needs to be in good working order for your car to produce cool air on a very hot day.

Why Is an AC Compressor So Important in a Car?

Based on everything that we just said about your car’s AC compressor, you should be convinced of just how important it is. But just in case you aren’t, consider this: If your car’s AC compressor isn’t working as intended, there is a good chance that all of the air that your AC system produces is going to be on the warmer side. Even though it’ll sound like your AC system is kicking, you’re going to get hit with nothing but hot air thanks to a faulty AC compressor.


With this in mind, you should understand just how essential it is to have a good AC compressor in your car. At the first sign of trouble, you should take your car down to your local mechanic to have them look at your compressor to tell you if it’s the issue. If it is, you’re going to need to think about paying the AC compressor to have it fixed sooner than later.

How Long Does the AC Compressor in a Car Last?

Just like almost all of the other components and parts located on the inside of your car, your AC compressor isn’t going to last you forever. You might not use it throughout the entire year, but even still, it’s likely going to wear down on you and force you to seek AC compressor replacement eventually. It’s why you should know what the AC compressor replacement cost is going to be the next time you have problems with your AC compressor.


The AC compressors that are installed nowadays are a lot more durable than the AC compressors that used to be found in cars because of technological advancements that have been made. But they’re still only going to last you about 12 to 15 years in most cases prior to needing to be replaced. And they could very well break down on you sooner than that if you live in a place that calls for you to use your car’s AC system almost all year long. You should keep a close eye out for issues with your AC compressor so that you don’t get stuck driving around in a car without a reliable AC system.

What Are the Symptoms of a Bad AC Compressor?

Now that you know how important a car’s AC compressor is and have some idea as far as how long it’ll last you, you should educate yourself on the symptoms of a bad AC compressor. It’s going to be difficult for you to spot potential problems with an AC compressor if you don’t know what you’re supposed to be looking out for.


The first and most obvious symptom associated with a bad AC compressor is a lack of cool air coming through your car’s AC system. This will often indicate that your AC compressor isn’t working right. But that’s not the only symptom that might suggest trouble. Here are some others:

  • There are a lot of strange sounds coming from the general direction of your AC system
  • You can hear that your AC compressor isn’t turning on when you try to start your AC system
  • The circuit breaker for your AC system trips every time you try to turn it on
  • You see something leaking out of the bottom of your car when you have your AC system running (note: this might be normal in some cases, but it could also be a red flag if you suspect problems with your AC compressor)

Have you experienced any of these things when using your car’s AC system? Rather than ignoring them, you should familiarize yourself with the AC compressor replacement cost and schedule service for your car right away.

Can You Drive Your Car With a Bad AC Compressor?

There are a lot of car issues that you shouldn’t let linger any longer than you have to. If, for example, you hear weird sounds coming from your car’s engine, that’s not something that you should ignore for any longer than you absolutely have to. You should not drive around with a noisy engine that clearly needs some kind of service.


You can, however, ride around with a bad AC compressor if that’s what you want to do. Once your AC compressor has gone bad on you, you’re not really going to do anymore damage to it. There are some people who experience a broken AC compressor in their cars and never get around to fixing them.


But there’s one important thing that you should keep in mind if you have a bad AC compressor: You’re not going to be able to use your AC system to its full potential. In fact, you might not be able to use the AC system at all once the AC compressor goes out on you completely. And when that happens, it’s going to get to be very, very, very hot on the interior of your car.


There are some ways that you can learn to live without AC in a car. You can do things like:

  • Get into the habit of driving around with all your windows down
  • Try to drive more at night rather than driving during the day
  • Keep ice-cold water in your car at all times and chug it by the gallon

But let’s be serious. If you live in a place that gets uncomfortably hot in the summer, you’re going to end up sweating your butt off without a working AC compressor. The AC compressor replacement cost will prove to be well worth it.

Is It Possible to Repair a Car’s AC Compressor?

If you have what appears to be a bad AC compressor in your car, you might try to get around replacing it altogether by seeing if it can be repaired. In some instances, it will be possible for a mechanic to make repairs to your AC compressor so that you don’t need to worry about paying the AC compressor replacement cost.


But generally speaking, most mechanics will usually recommend that car owners replace their AC compressors entirely as opposed to trying to repair them. They suggest that they do this because, oftentimes, bad AC compressors have bad seals in them that cannot be fixed no matter how hard a mechanic tries. This means that attempting to fix a bad AC compressor could be a gigantic waste of time and money.

When Should You Replace the AC Compressor in a Car?

As we just alluded to, repairing a car’s AC compressor is almost never a great idea. While there are some basic repairs that a mechanic might be able to do to fix an AC compressor that’s not working, it’s not usually ideal. You should choose to pay the AC compressor replacement cost instead.


There are certain times when taking this approach should be the only approach you even consider taking. Here are some cases in which you should 100 percent go with AC compressor replacement over repair:

  • When your AC compressor is original to your car and over a decade old
  • When your AC compressor has bad seals in it that are causing it to leak (again, this is something that cannot be fixed)
  • When your AC compressor needs repairs that would be almost as costly as replacing your whole AC compressor

Trying to repair your AC compressor might be tempting after you find out what the AC compressor replacement cost is going to be. But you shouldn’t let the cost stop you from making the smart decision.

How Much Does AC Compressor Replacement Cost?

By now, you should be convinced that replacing a bad AC compressor is pretty much the only way to go when dealing with one. It doesn’t make much sense to try and continue to drive around in a car with a bad AC compressor or to try and repair a bad AC compressor. But you should be aware of the fact that it’s going to cost you a pretty penny to put a new AC compressor in your car.


How much are we talking? It depends on what type of car you have and what kind of AC compressor it has in it. But you’re looking at paying somewhere between $700 and $1,000 on average, if not more. And a lot of that cost goes towards the price of the actual AC compressor itself and not the labor costs. It’s what makes it so hard for car owners to get a good deal on a new AC compressor, even if they shop around for a mechanic to install one for them.

Is the AC Compressor Replacement Cost Worth It?

The AC compressor replacement cost is going to be on the more expensive side for most people. It might scare some of them away from wanting to replace their bad AC compressor. But at the end of the day, not replacing a bad AC compressor is almost always a bad idea. You’re going to get stuck driving around in a hot car all the time, and it’s going to make you hate getting behind the wheel.


Additionally, not paying the AC compressor replacement cost could cause your car’s value to take a nosedive. Very few people are going to want to buy your car if they know that it doesn’t have AC in it. You might be able to get away with not having a working AC compressor if you live in a place that’s cold most of the time. But otherwise, the AC compressor replacement cost will be worth it in the end.

Can You Sell a Car If It Has a Bad AC Compressor?

We just touched on how selling a car with a bad AC compressor is going to be very tricky to do for most people. Who in their right mind would want to buy a car with an AC system that doesn’t work? It’s enough to make you want to run right out and pay the AC compressor replacement cost.


But if you really just can’t afford to do it or if you have an old car that isn’t even worth as much as it would cost to replace an AC compressor, you do have the option to sell it. The junk car buyers from Cash Cars Buyer would be thrilled to make you an offer for your car, bad AC compressor and all. You might be surprised to see what you can sell it for. Contact us today to obtain an offer for a car with a bad AC compressor in it.