How To Free A Locked Up Car Ac Compressor [Details Guide]

The Air conditioning system creates a comfortable temperature and humidity inside the passenger compartment. So the driver and the passenger feel more relaxed.  Air conditioning operation relies on the compressor, the condenser, the expansion valve, and the evaporator.

The compressor is like the heart of the ac system. It creates airflow of refrigerant through the air conditioning system. That’s why proper maintenance is necessary to keep the compressor healthy and workable. But without maintenance, it might break down or get locked up.

That’s why if you do not know How to Free a Locked Up Car Ac Compressor, read the whole article from start to end to get an insight on the procedure. 

What’s Inside An Ac Compressor

If you take a closer look at an Ac compressor, you’ll see –

  • A pulley on the outside that free spins with the engine
  • The compressor also has an armature on the inside that turns the pump on the inside
  • An electromagnetic clutch that closes the tiny little gap between the armature and the pulley
  • When they are engaged they will engage the ac compressor so that it can cool the system
  • Over the top, there is a grounding wire with another set of wires that will go into the compressor
  • An inlet port
  • An outlet port
  • A clutch material on the inside that engages with the pulley
  • A snap ring attached with a free-spinning pulley
  • A wiring harness that powers the electromagnet
  • Few hexes 9-millimeter bolts
  • Bunch of plates in the reed valve assembly
  • Five pistons that rotate with the armature
  • A ring and a gasket
  • Inside the heart of the ac compressor, there are 5 cylinders, etc.

Reasons Of Car Ac Getting Locked Up

The Main Reasons For The Locked-up Compressor Are- 

  • The first and most common reason for a locked up ac compressor is, not lubricating your compressor parts properly
  • If you do not use the right kind of oil for your compressor 
  • If your cooling system does not work properly
  • If there is a problem with your condenser fan, which makes the compressor hot
  • If you unknowingly overcharge your ac 
  • If your ac system is contaminated
  • If your car’s evaporation core is dirty and not maintained properly
  • Poor condenser, etc. 

How To Free A Locked Up Car Ac Compressor

It’s a good idea to change your car’s ac condenser if your air conditioning compressor locks up. Because when you’ll knock out the condenser it’s very common to find little metal pieces. So if you use the old condenser it would have clogged the whole system up and ruined the new compressor you just fixed. 

How to Free a Locked Up Car Ac Compressor

Now to fix your locked up car ac compressor you can follow the steps below-

  • First, when you’ll try to pull the locked compressor you’ll see it won’t come out that easily
  • Some prefer to bolt on a new compressor and try to fix the problem but that’s not a good idea
  • Because in most cars when they lockup they’ll throw metal and the metal is pumped into the condenser 
  • The condensers have very small holes that easily plug up  
  • If your condenser is on the front just take the cover off and you’ll see the condenser
  • As the compressor is locked up first you need to change the compressor and then the condenser so the air does not get into the dryer
  • To get the compressor out you need to get it from the bottom
  • When the compressor gets locked the refrigerant might leak out so unbolt the compressor and unbolt the lines that are attached with refrigerant and take them off
  • Then get your new compressor and plug it back in
  • Then you just bolt the compressor and the ac lines back on
  • Pull out the two bolts that hold the radiator and condenser and also unbolt the lines that go to the condenser and pull it out
  • Slid the new condenser in and bolt everything up and also hook up a vacuum pump to the gauges to get all the air out of the system
  • That way you’ll be evacuating the curd out of the system and you’re putting everything else back together
  • Once everything is done you fill it up with refrigerant  
  • Now you’ll get to enjoy a nice cold air

You might also like:

Final Verdict

So now you know How to Free a Locked Up Car Ac Compressor and fix your car properly. We hope this guideline will be helpful for you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can You Unseize A Car Ac Compressor?

If your car’s air conditioning (AC) compressor has seized, you may be wondering if it’s possible to unseize it. The answer is yes, but it’s not always easy. Depending on the severity of the seizure, you may be able to free up the compressor with some basic troubleshooting. However, if the seizure is severe, you may need to replace the compressor.

If your AC compressor is seized, you may notice that the AC isn’t blowing as cold as it should be. In some cases, the AC may not blow at all. If you suspect that your compressor is seized, check the engine for any signs of oil leaks. If you see oil leaks, it’s likely that the compressor has seized.

To troubleshoot a seized AC compressor, start by checking the compressor’s belt. If the belt is loose, tighten it. If the belt is damaged or broken, replace it. Next, check the compressor’s clutch. If the clutch is not engaging, try to engage it manually. If the clutch still won’t engage, the compressor may need to be replaced.

If your compressor is seized and you can’t get it to work, you may need to replace it. When replacing the compressor, be sure to also replace the receiver/dryer and the expansion valve. These parts should be replaced because they may be contaminated with debris from the failed compressor.

What Causes Ac Compressor To Lock Up?

The compressor in your air conditioner is responsible for circulating the refrigerant that absorbs heat from your home and transfers it outdoors. If your compressor locks up, it can cause your air conditioner to malfunction and may require repairs.

There are several reasons why your compressor may lock up, including:

  1. Lack of lubrication: The compressor needs to be lubricated in order to function properly. If it doesn’t have enough lubrication, it can overheat and lock up.
  2. Overheating: If the compressor overheats, it can seize up and lock.
  3. Low refrigerant levels: The compressor circulates the refrigerant. If there isn’t enough refrigerant, the compressor can’t do its job and may lock up.
  4. Foreign objects: If there is something blocking the compressor, it can cause it to lock up.

If your compressor locks up, it can be a serious problem. You may need to have it repaired or replaced.

What Happens When The Car Ac Compressor Is Locked Up?

A car’s AC compressor is responsible for circulating refrigerant through the system. If the compressor locks up, it can cause the entire system to fail.

There are a few things that can cause a compressor to lock up. One is a lack of lubrication. The compressor needs oil to lubricate the moving parts. If there is not enough oil, the compressor can overheat and seize.

Another cause of a locked-up compressor is a restriction in the system. This can be caused by a clogged filter or a leak in the system. When there is a restriction, the compressor has to work harder to circulate the refrigerant. This can cause the compressor to overheat and seize.

If a compressor locks up, it can cause the entire AC system to fail. The compressor is responsible for circulating the refrigerant. If the compressor seizes, the refrigerant can not circulate. This can cause the entire system to fail.

If you think your compressor has locked up, it is important to have it checked by a professional. A locked-up compressor can cause the entire AC system to fail.

I'm Jimmy, the creative mind behind Drawing from extensive expertise in home improvement, I founded this platform to help individuals transform their living spaces. My dedication lies in empowering homeowners with dependable advice, ensuring that every DIY project not only elevates your home but also enhances your lifestyle. Join me as we redefine homes, one project at a time.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Frederick Eiselt

A locked ac compressor can project metal into the lines , I understand this so what is the best approach to service such a unit replace evaporator and lines ?

Frederick Eugene Eiselt

Should I replace everything . When replacing a locked up compressor . If that’s yes then I need to buy a condensor a dryer a. Evaporator a suction line and a discharge line with the compressor , please advise .

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x