Will A Bad Ac Compressor Affect The Engine? Detail Guide

Will A Bad Ac Compressor Affect The Engine

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Are you dealing with a bad A compressor and don’t know the consequences and effects on the engine? 

If your answer is yes, you have to choose the right place. 

We are here with a detailed yet handy guide to provide you with the knowledge about a bad ac compressor, its effects on the engine, diagnostic parameters, signs, symptoms of a bad compressor, and many more. 

For instance, yes, a bad AC compressor negatively affects the vehicle’s engine. 

If the AC oppressor goes faulty, it negatively affects the whole air conditioning system.

To get into more detail, let’s get started.


For beginners, let’s discuss a simple background, your vehicle AC compressor plays a crucial role in maintaining a cool temperature. 

By any means, the ac compressor goes faulty, which will affect the engine.

Due to a faulty ac compressor, the compressor’s pulley bearing stalls and will cause the stockiness of the compressor, resulting in default in the vehicle’s engine.

ac compressor of vehicle

There might be various reasons why the AC compressors go faulty.

Let’s discuss each of them to diagnose. In this way, we will make your engine from being defaulted.

The compressor is responsible for the pressuring and distribution of the present refrigerant to the vehicle for providing a cooling effect. Therefore any part of the ac compressor that gets affected entire air conditioning or ac system is faulty, resulting in the engine defaults.

Sign and Symptoms of a Bad Ac Compressor 

Warning Signals

The first sign of a faulty ac compressor will be the generation of warning signals. The warning signals may include:

  • Frequent sliding of the circuit breaker
  • The systems experience shaking on starting
  • Puffing warm air

Noise Production 

The user will also experience unusual noise while driving the car that might indicate a faulty ac compressor. These noises are by a worn bearing that generates a squealing noise or grinding-like sounds. Another reason might be the seized bearing which produces some grinding noise. 

High-Temperature Levels 

A noticeable sign is higher than the standard temperature of the vehicle. When the compressor gets defective, it will stop providing cool air, making the temperature a bit increased rather than decreasing it. 

So, by this means the temperature will be high. The faulty AC starts emitting hot air instead of cold. You might experience this condition, but not all the time, the reason is a bad compressor. Sometimes high temperature maybe because of;

  • a leakage in the refrigerant
  • low refrigerant levels 

Moisture leakage 

If you experience a moisture leak, it indicates a faulty ac compressor. 

You can either repair or replace the faulty air compressor. It will provide you with the proper working of your vehicle’s cooling system and engine. 

Causes of Bad Ac Compressor 

Broken Serpentine Belt

There is a chance that the broken serpentine belt makes the ac compressor faulty. The breakage leads to default in other nearby parts and ultimately leads to failure of an AC compressor that finally affects the vehicle engine.

Worn Out Accessory Belt and Slips

It is one of the common causes of the AC Compressor’s failure resulting in underperformance of the module.

Broken Internal Parts 

with Leaking refrigerant

It may lead to the stoppage of cooler air from flowing in the car. 

The compressor may experience less cold air entering the vehicles due to less or leaking of refrigerant. 

Leaking may also fail the air compressor

Less amount of cold air is reaching the interior does not mean it is because of the AC compressor; the other system parts can also fail.

You can use an electronic device, including an AC refrigerant leak detector tool. It detects leaks in the vehicle air conditioning system. 

This tool is employed to test the leak. 

It can help the user and the mechanic detect small refrigerant traces that get leaked in the cause of the faulty compressor.

Some experts also apply other tests, including a prime dye test that shows up under ultraviolet light to help the tester diagnose any leakages.

Faulty Clutch

The user may find the clutch in front of the ac compressor. 

What’s the link between clutch and ac compressor? 

A faulty clutch can negatively affect the vehicle’s ac compressor. 

In normal circumstances, the clutch requires enough space for rotation to move within the system freely. 

The clutch’s hub must suffer minimal resistance within the system upon turning on, and it should move freely. 

If the rotation is not free, it will affect the ac compressor and ultimately lead to engine-related issues. 

Users can solve the issue by replacing the clutch and testing the ac compressor for its working.

Oil Leakage 

Another reason for a faulty air compressor may be an oil leakage. If you experience an oil leakage before poor air circulation, this might cause the default.

Shortage of oil in the vehicle may prevent the air compressor from efficiently operating the conditioning system of the car.

It may also cause premature natural friction leading to harm in the vehicle engine by producing wear and tear. The oil leakage may impose stress on the vehicle’s engine.

To overcome the oil leakage issue, inspect the module for any leakage and replace or repair it to resume the job of the ac compressor.

Rust and Dirt 

The less common reason may include rust, dirt, paint damage, or anything that causes the bad AC compressor to harm your vehicle’s engine. 

Due to rust, friction gets high in the ac compressor leading to an erratic rise in vehicles temperature. It occurs after turning on the ac compressor.


The temperature rise imposes a negative effect on the engine. To avoid such issues, clean the vehicle from time to time and remove the rusted or corrosive parts.

Poor Engagement of the Compressor 

If you experience poor cooling, the cause lies in the ac compressor. The ac compressor might go faulty due to poor engagement with the clutch.

To test, the user needs to turn on the air conditioning and fans on the highest setting.

Open the hood of the vehicle, and listen to the engagement of the clutch with the compressor. It will be an unusual noise-free engagement. 

In case of no proper engagement and the faulty air compressor is an ultimate reason. 

Now that you have confirmed the cause, replace it or repair it to make the system work. The user might also experience skipping and loud noises with a faulty module.


If you are not an expert in replacing then, call the professional to get the task done professionally. You can damage other prime parts while replacing them.

Faulty Ac Compressor Effects on Engine

Broken Compressors Bearing 

If the faulty compressor bearing is detected, it might result in the engines seizing if it sticks around for a long time.

Do you know heavily congested highways have no power steering, so there might be a chance that a broken compressor bearing may cause brake booster failure during a standstill?

High Power Due To Faulty Compressor

A faulty compressor may provide a high amount of power to the engine, and the car loses its power. 

For instance, the horsepower of both the compressor and engine are always equal. When the compressor gets defaulted and adds too much power to the engine, it can’t utilize the excess horsepower resulting in its power loss.

Stucked Compressor Leading To Seized Engine

If you experience a faulty ac compressor, it’s the best time to replace or repair it before it’s too late. If the car’s ac compressor fails, the vehicle’s engine can get seized because of the stucked ac compressor. 

The personnel operating the vehicle at increased speed with a faulty compressor can lead to the shutting of the car. 

You no longer can access power steering or brake boosters to stop the vehicle. 

new ac compressor of cars

Severe damage is possible if the problem opts for granted.

Carbon Accumulation 

Various parts of your vehicle are responsible for carbon emission, including the IAC valve, the throttle body, and the EGR valve. The carbon levels start to build up over time, damaging the vehicle’s engine system. 

It increases the load on the engine, resulting in significant pressure on the vehicle’s engine. 

The vehicle system wrongly interprets the commands when additional stress comes from the faulty AC compressor,

It increases the idle speed to a high level that can be troublesome. To avoid such problems, keep the carbon level at its least.

Proper checkup of the carbon sources and maintenance of your vehicle from time to time may reduce the chances of a bad air compressor.

Can You Drive the Vehicle with a Bad Ac Compressor?

The answer to this question is yes, but for limited circumstances. 

You can drive the car with a faulty ac compressor because it depends on your use. 

If you don’t need the cooler temperature, you can drive the car without it. 

If you are in midsummer and without an ac system, it will be difficult, so better to troubleshoot the problem before heading towards any other plan. 

The main work of the air compressor is optimizing the air conditioning system by circulating cool air in the car, which you may not need all the time. 

At one point, it’s okay to drive with a bad AC compressor but be alert with the engine default and high noise production. 

AC Compressor replacement cost

After knowing about the causes, effects, and consequences of a faulty ac compressor, you need to know the cost of replacing the faulty one.

Cost depends on the vehicle’s model, design, type, replacing area, personnel. 

The replacement cost ranges from $100- $200, while a new ac compressor costs about $650 to $1.000. $150-$200 has opted for labor hiring.

Ac Compressor Affect The Engine

All you need is to take care of the vehicle’s expensive parts. 

It’s necessary and will avoid such huge costs upon a faulty air compressor.


We hope all the necessary knowledge regarding the effects of a faulty ac compressor and its causes for troubleshooting, provided by this handy guide. 

Now it’s that your vehicle’s ac compressor plays a crucial role in maintaining a cool temperature. 

By any means the ac compressor goes faulty, it will affect the engine. 

Due to a faulty ac compressor, the compressor’s pulley bearing stalls and will cause the stockiness of the compressor, resulting in default in the vehicle’s engine. 

The engine may get sucked, seized, or even lose power leading to damage. 

You might experience signs and cause a faulty ac compressor. 

It includes broken serpentine belt, worn-out accessory belt, slips, broken internal parts, leakage, faulty clutch, oil leakage, rust and dirt, poor compressors engagement, stuck compressor, seized engine. 

To overcome the oil leakage issue, inspect the module and replace or repair it to resume the job of the ac compressor. If you are not an expert in replacing then, call the professional to get the task done professionally. You can damage other prime parts while replacing them.

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