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Keep your car pumping cool air with a new AC compressor from AutoZone. We carry reliable parts from brands like Denso, Four Seasons, and UAC. Buy online and get free next day delivery or pick up your parts in an AutoZone near you today.

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You might not notice how crucial the air conditioning compressor is until it’s gone. And you’ll notice it fast. That’s because the AC compressor is responsible for pumping coolant throughout your system and starting the process of cooling your car. Without it, your AC system won’t work. The compressor has two ports, a suction inlet and a discharge outlet. Refrigerant enters through the inlet and is compressed under extremely high pressure before exiting the outlet and being routed to the condenser and the system at large. The travel of refrigerant through your vehicle is called the refrigeration cycle, and it is starts and begins at the compressor.

Bad AC compressor symptoms include a hot cabin, a non-moving clutch, and loud squealing or grinding when the compressor is on. Any of these symptoms can indicate a compressor that has stopped working, although in some cases you may just need to add AC compressor oil (we have that too).

Powered by a drive belt that connects to the engine’s crankshaft, the AC compressor is responsible for pumping refrigerant through the refrigeration cycle. The belt is connected to the compressor clutch pulley. While the clutch pulley turns whenever the engine is on, the compressor only activates when AC (and in some cases defrost) is in use. That’s because the clutch pulley is connected to a field coil which can be magnetized with electric current. Magnetism attracts the hub and shaft to the pulley, allowing the clutch to turn the compressor.

It might seem counterintuitive, but the compressor actually heats up refrigerant before cooling it down. Increased pressure causes the refrigerant to get very hot. Because the refrigerant is pressurized, it is able to expand, allowing the compressor to effectively pump the refrigerant into a high-pressure line that runs to the condenser. This quick release begins the cooling of the gas, which continues in the condenser fan where air that flows across the lines helps cool it even more. The gas continues through the refrigeration cycle, eventually reaching the evaporator, where refrigerant vaporizes to absorb heat from the cabin air, leaving you with cool air. At this point the refrigerant can travel up the low-pressure line back to the compressor, where the cycle begins again. This cycle runs continuously when AC is on to cool your vehicle’s cabin air. If your AC compressor is not running, the refrigeration cycle will not happen, and your refrigerant will be unable to reach the parts of the system responsible for cooling your vehicle.

Get your AC working again with a new compressor. When you have AC trouble, AutoZone is your one stop shop. We carry a host of expert-built parts that have been validated for OE fit, form, and function—and they’re built to last as long as or longer than parts that your car rolled out of the dealership with. We make finding the right part easy too. Just enter your vehicle’s year, make, model, and engine up above, and we’ll find you car’s AC compressor. If you drive a Honda Civic, just input your vehicle’s info up above and we’ll show you some options for a Honda Civic AC compressor. It works the same way for any other vehicle. We even sell AC compressor kits that include electrical connectors, gaskets, O-rings, and washers for easy installation.

Don’t get stuck with a hot cabin when your AC compressor fails. Stop by your local AutoZone or buy the parts you need online today.

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