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Air Conditioning Compressor For The Car – Watch Out For Loud Noises and Leaking Fluid! 

Air Conditioning Compressor For The Car

The air conditioning compressor for the car is the air conditioning system’s power unit that adds refrigerant under high pressures before it goes into the condenser. In the condenser, it changes from gas to liquid. On most cars, the AC compressors are driven by an engine belt. By keeping an eye on the engine belt’s durability and performance, you can prevent your air conditioning compressor from worsening over time. 

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Let’s see the function of the air conditionig compressor for the car, symptoms of a faulty compressor, and the replacement price for this crucial part! 

What is your car’s air conditioning compressor?

Your air conditioning compressor for the car is a key part of the air conditioning system. If you find the air conditioning compressor for the car is malfunctioning, this can negatively affect the engine. The compressor is the air conditioning system’s power unit that puts the refrigerant under the correct amount of pressure before it flows into the condenser mechanism. 


A fully functioning compressor is required in order for the air conditioning system to provide the best performance in the car and blow out cold air. In most modern cars on the market, the air conditioning compressor is driven by a belt that is an engine-accessory belt. 


If the belt has broken down, becomes damaged, slips while using, and breaks, the air conditioner compressor for the car will not operate at full strength. If the compressor is not working correctly, you need to find out what is wrong with the car’s air conditioning compressor. 


Compressors can also leak refrigerant onto the floor, resulting in a lack of cold air going into the interior of the car and keeping the driver and passengers at a comfortable temperature. A lack of cold air can also lead to a failure of internal parts, causing you to question the air conditioning compressor’s durability for the car. 

Faulty Air Conditioner Compressor For the Car Symptoms

  • Making Loud Noises

 When the air conditioning is turned on in your vehicle, and loud noises come from the system, this is a clear sign or symptom that your air conditioner compressor is failing. Like other parts of your vehicle driven and controlled by the engine belt, the air conditioner compressor has various interior components and is a complicated mechanism. 


The air conditioning compressor for the car is a sealed bearing to turn, running properly. If any of these internal parts wear down over time, or the air conditioner compressor’s internal bearings fail, noises will be produced. A leaking or damaged bearing will produce a loud, high-pitched, squealing, or grinding sound, while a seizing or damaged bearing can produce a low grinding noise.


Due to the mechanism and the tough internal components of the air conditioner compressors, it is usually the best solution to replace the entire air conditioner compressor by going to a mechanic. By replacing the air conditioner compressor, you can prevent questioning your air conditioner compressor’s durability for the car. 

  • High Cabin Temperature

One of the main signs the air conditioner compressor could be having trouble in the car is the air conditioning is no longer blowing as cold air. The hot air can usually be felt when the cabin temperature is higher than normal. A damaged or failing air conditioner compressor will not properly determine and regulate the refrigerant’s flow and transmission in the air conditioning system. 

  • Compressor Clutch Not Working Properly

Another sign of a problematic compressor is that the clutch is not able to move. The clutch on the air conditioner compressor is the mechanism that allows the pulley to engage and disengage from the power of the engine so that the air conditioner compressor is only rotating and turning when the system needs it to be. 


A faulty air conditioner compressor for the car means that the clutch can seize, which keeps the air conditioner compressor activated. In addition, the clutch can break, meaning the air conditioner compressor does not receive enough power coming directly from the engine. 

  • Leaking Fluid

The last sign that your air conditioner compressor for the car affects the engine is that there is leaking fluid from your vehicle. The air conditioner compressor has its own internal bearings, which are supposed to prevent any fluid from leaking while it is pressurizing the refrigerant in the engine.

What if the air conditioner compressor for the car is leaking fluid?

If you find that you have signs of a faulty air conditioner system, this can be a clear sign that freon is leaking from your car. Noticing signs of a faulty AC system, like the air conditioning not getting hot enough, a foul smell, unusual sounds, or liquid under the floorboard, you can help keep the freon replacement and flush cost as low as possible. 

What is freon?

Freon is a chlorofluorocarbon gas that is liquid when first confined and kept inside the car, but then immediately turns into gas when exposed to room temperature. 


Just like many other games, also known as CFC gases, freon has been used as a coolant in both refrigerators and AC systems in cars. Freon ever existed as a gas until 1930 and then was invented, replacing many coolants that were harming your vehicle.

Why do I need freon?

Your car’s air conditioning is a specific kind of closed system that depends on refrigerant to cool off the vehicle’s cabin area on warmer days. The refrigerant evaporates, keeping you comfortable while sitting in the interior of your car. When the temperatures begin to rise inside the vehicle, the fluid condenses again to recirculate through the system. 

When should I replace my freon?

It is crucial to replace your freon coolant in the air conditioning system at regular intervals to heat and cool efficiently while also increasing your air conditioning system’s longevity.


Any AC system that was created and manufactured after 2003 probably runs on a safer gas instead of freon, known as Puron. Freon air conditioners are quickly losing popularity on the market today, although it doesn’t mean you can't use your vehicle air conditioning as it is. There are various freon replacement service stations that let you figure out the right kind of freon for your air conditioner compressor for the car. 

Symptoms of Needing New Freon for Your Air Conditioner Compressor

  • Air From The Air Conditioner Is Not Cold Enough

First, the initial sign of freon concerns is that your air might not be as cold as it should be. If you notice that your air conditioner is working, but the air coming out of the vents is not blowing at the correct temperature, this could be the first clue you have the wrong freon for your car.

  • Freon costs around $150 for a Freon refill, while the average range is between $100 and $350 for topping off your car’s refrigerant. 
  • Foul Smell From A/C

Second, another sign that your air conditioner needs service is a bad smell coming from the vents. If you notice a smell like mildew coming from the air conditioning, this could indicate that you might have mold in the system. 

  • Adding professional mold removal costs around $600 to $2,000 when purchasing the correct kind of freon for your car. Removing the mold takes extensive labor time, special equipment, and certain types of chemicals. 
  • Unusual Sounds

Third, if you hear unusual banging or rattling sounds in the air conditioning system, this can be a clear symptom that the air conditioner needs service. The condenser or the fan belt could be worn out or damaged or signify that debris or sludge is clogging the air conditioner fan. 

  • Inspecting and cleaning the furnace of your AC costs between $100 and $300, while the high-end range can go upwards of $500 if you include cleaning the entire AC unit. 
  • Liquid Pooled Under The Car Floorboard

Lastly, if you notice puddles or stains from the water on your car's floorboard under the dash, this is a very noticeable sign that your air conditioner is leaking. By figuring out the correct freon for your car, you can determine if the car has a clogged drain hose. 

  •  If the drain line becomes clogged in your AC system, water can back up and overflow into the cabin of your car. Flushing the line or repairing the AC hose can cost anywhere from $75 to $250 in most vehicles

Freon For Your Air Conditioner Compressor Cost

There are some sample costs for adding freon for your car at local places and chain stores, giving you an example of how much you'll spend for adding freon to your vehicle. These costs can be used as a rough estimate for how much you might spend in your vehicle to add freon to fix the car’s air conditioner compressor. 

  • At your local mechanic, you can expect to pay between $167 and $275 in total to add freon for your car. 
  • Midas, you can expect to pay around $171 to $261 to add freon for your car for a chain store. 
  • At a similar shop, Mr. Tire, drivers will typically spend between $175 and $230 for a freon flush. 
  • The last chain store we have on our comparison list is NAPA, costing between $172 and $275 for the 12-month warranty, parts, and labor. 
  • If you feel like you can add Freon for your car without bringing your vehicle to a shop, you can save on labor prices by doing the procedure yourself. At Walmart, buying just the freon will cost between $40 and $150, while Amazon parts will cost between $35 and $180 on average. 

Air Conditioner Compressor Replacement Cost

To prevent a bad ac compressor from negatively affecting your engine, you will have to do an ac compressor replacement after it goes bad or is showing signs of wear and tear.

Average Price

The component itself usually ranges from between $650 and $950, or even more in some cases. The labor costs will usually range between $150 and $200, meaning that the overall price will usually come in about $800 and $1,150 on average. 

Sample AC Compressor Costs


Regarding some of the more popular cars on the market, some average prices can give you a hint as to how much the car ac compressor replacement will cost your vehicle. 

  • For the 2014 Ford Taurus, the total estimate is coming in just below $900, which is over $500 less than the 2016 Tahoe. The parts cost comes in at $582, and the labor cost comes in at just over $310, with the average dealer price equalling just around $1,000. This car is one of the least expensive options when looking at the car prices’ air conditioner compressor. 
  • The 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe estimate comes in at around $1404, with the cost of the parts is $860 and the labor cost coming in at around $543. The average dealer price for the 2016 Tahoe comes in at just below $1600.
  • In addition, the 2010 Mazda CX-7 comes in at an estimate of around $1242, with the part cost being below $700 and the labor cost coming in at $543, with the average dealer price being around $1429 for the total cost. 
  • Furthermore, the 2006 Mercedes Benz SL600 comes in at just around $1600, being one of the most expensive in terms of the bad ac compressor replacement cost when compared to other vehicles on the market. The parts cost is around $900, while the total labor cost is just below $700, with the average dealer price coming in at $1827. 

The Bottom Line

By recognizing the importance of your air conditioner compressor for the car, you can prevent any of these warning signs from worsening after minimal use. Recognizing loud noises, compressor clutch malfunctions, high cabin temperatures, and leaking fluid, you can prevent these signs from turning into hefty repair and replacement prices.  

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