The air conditioning system in your car is designed to keep you cool and comfortable during the warmer months of the year. The AC compressor is a key component of the system, and it is responsible for circulating the refrigerant (coolant) throughout the system. If the compressor is not working properly, the AC system will not be able to do its job. So, can I drive my car with a bad AC compressor?
The answer is that it depends on the severity of the problem. For most cases, the short answer is, you should not! Though you can drive your car with a bad AC compressor for a short distance.
Doing this can cause further damage to the system, and it can put extra strain on the engine. It is preferable to have the compressor fixed or replaced as soon as possible if it is not functioning correctly.
Table of Contents
How Can I Tell if My Ac Compressor is Bad?
If your car’s air conditioner isn’t working, one of the first things you should check is the compressor. The compressor is the heart of the A/C system, and it pumps refrigerant through the system. If the compressor is not working, the A/C will not work.
There are a few ways to tell if your compressor is bad. One is to listen for a clicking noise when you turn on the A/C. If you hear this, it means the compressor is trying to turn on but can’t. This is usually caused by a bad clutch, and it means the compressor needs to be replaced.
Another way to tell if your compressor is bad is by feeling the air coming out of the vents. If the air is not cold, this means the compressor is not working and needs to be replaced.
Finally, you can check the compressor itself for signs of damage. If the compressor is leaking oil or making strange noises, it needs to be replaced.
So, If your compressor is bad, it needs to be replaced as soon as possible. A new compressor can be expensive, but it’s worth it to have a working air conditioner.
Related air conditioner: Subaru air conditioning intermittent.
Can I Drive My Car With a Bad AC Compressor?
Yes, you can technically drive your car with a bad AC compressor, but we don’t recommend it for a few reasons. The main reason is that it can be extremely uncomfortable – even dangerous – to drive in hot weather without a working AC system. The AC compressor is a key component of the system, and it circulates the coolant (refrigerant) throughout the system. If the compressor is not working properly, the AC system will not be able to do its job.
Related coolant: best coolant for Subaru.
How Long Can I Drive My Car With a Bad AC Compressor?
It is not advisable to drive your car with a bad AC compressor for an extended period of time. But you can drive it for a short distance by rolling down the windows to help circulate air. In addition, you should avoid using the AC system if it’s not working properly. Try driving with the windows down first to see if that helps. If not, then it’s best to take your car to a mechanic to have it checked out.
What Are the Consequences of Driving With a Bad AC Compressor?
The consequences of driving with a bad AC compressor can be uncomfortable and dangerous. It can be uncomfortable because the temperature inside the car will rise, and it will likely feel stuffy and muggy. In extreme cases, driving with a bad AC compressor can even be dangerous. Some Consequences of driving with a bad AC compressor are below:
- The compressor is responsible for circulating the refrigerant through the AC system. If it can’t do its job, the system won’t be able to cool the air.
- A faulty compressor can cause the AC system to leak refrigerant. Not only will this make the system less effective, but it can also damage other components.
- A failing compressor can overheat the AC system, leading to a loss of coolant and potential engine damage.
- If the compressor is not working properly, the AC system will put extra strain on the engine, which can lead to reduced fuel efficiency.
Driving with a bad AC compressor can have a number of consequences, all of which can be quite unpleasant. From making the cabin uncomfortably warm to damaging other components of the AC system, it’s best to get the problem fixed as soon as possible.
How Can I Prevent My AC Compressor From Going Bad?
There are a few things you can do to help prevent your AC compressor from going bad. Let’s see:
- Check the refrigerant level and add more if it’s low: The AC system needs refrigerant in order to work properly.
- Check the AC compressor belt: The AC compressor is driven by a belt, and if this belt is loose or damaged, it can cause the compressor to fail.
- Get regular AC system maintenance: Just like any other system in your car, the AC system needs to be maintained in order to work properly. This means getting it serviced on a regular basis.
- Drive carefully: Avoiding potholes and other objects on the road can help prevent damage to the AC compressor.
As you can see, there are a few risks that come with driving your car with a bad AC compressor. It can be uncomfortable and even dangerous. For these reasons, it’s best to take your car to a mechanic to have the AC system checked out if it’s not working properly. Trying to drive with a bad AC compressor is not worth the risk.
Originally from England, I’ve been repairing cars for over 16 years and am an automotive journalist. I’ve been working on cars for as long as I can remember, and it’s one of the best jobs I’ve ever had.
It is my intention to be your mechanic friend, that person who will assist you with any problem you may have with your vehicle and explain in detail how the problem can be fixed to you as soon as possible.
I produce and anchor a weekly auto news program. As well as providing insights into all things automotive, including expert analysis of the latest trends in the automotive industry, and ensuring you always know where to go for the latest automotive news, I also provide insight into all things automotive before the news breaks.
If I am not working, I am a riding motorcyclist and I do volunteer work with local charities whenever I have time. When I’m not riding my motorcycles or volunteering at local charities, you will find me at home in Portland, Oregon.