AC Compressor Running But Not Cooling: Troubleshooting the Issue

To stay comfortable and be safe against the scorching summer, people often prefer AC in the car. It feels heavenly to have that cool air blowing straight to your face. However, sometimes your luck deprives, and you encounter that AC compressor running but not cooling.

No matter how high you set that regulator, it does not seem to work. Well, there are many reasons behind your AC, not blowing cool air.

AC Compressor Running But Not CoolingThe Possible Reasons

From the leaking refrigerant to the bad compressor, even a tiny fault in the HVAC system can make you face difficulty with your AC. Let’s get to know different reasons and their solutions-

If the Refrigerant Is Leaking

It often happens, and it is the most common issue that makes an AC blowing hot air. When the refrigerant is leaking, all you have to do is using the sealant that is available in most of the car repair shops. In case of confusion, you can call a repairer and let him seal all the leaks causing AC compressor running but not cooling. 

To detect the possible leaks, there are AC leak detection kits available online. You can also ask your nearby car repairing shop for the kit.

Make sure all the fittings are intact.

Locate the front seal and the o-rings sealing and see if the switches are secure.

Make sure no hoses are crimped onto the fittings.

Compressor running but not cooling
Blocked condenser hinders the AC performance in car (Photo Source: townlec)

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If the Condenser Is Blocked

The condenser is one of the important components of an HVAC system as it converts the hot refrigerant into cool substance after it goes through the compression process. As a result, you get the cool air via the airflow that comes through the front of your car.

If the condenser is blocked in some way or due to the dust and debris, the overall functionality gets compromised, and you don’t get cool air. You can check the condenser yourself as it is easy to locate. In most cars, it is situated in front of the car.

When the Condenser Needs Replacement

Every time, a simple cleaning is not going to work because maybe the condenser needs a replacement. From road debris and such materials, a condenser can get broken, and if this is the case of an equipment failure, only the replacement will get things in order again.

Determining if your condenser needs cleaning or replacement is easy with just a visual inspection. If it is not the condenser you can also check the compressor and have a compressor replacement.

Wiring Issues

Well, if this is the case, then it is going to be a tough one to solve on your own. You should hire a car repairer in this case as it is not safe for a novice to deal with such situations.

However, if you can visually locate any broken wire, you can fix it using the electrical tape or let the professional handle it for further diagnosis.

Faulty Cooling Fans

Fans play an essential role in maintaining proper airflow. When the fans are faulty, the airflow is not going to happen, and you are not going to get the cool air. Do a visual inspection for this one, too, and see if the cooling fan is not broken. In case it is, you need to make a replacement for the same.

If you see the fan is not broken, it may be some wiring work that needs to be done. Call a professional for this and troubleshoot the problem.

Tip: It is wise to take your car to a professional once in a while and ensure that everything is working fine.

If the Compressor Itself Is Faulty

The compressor is the unit that is responsible for making your AC going on. Having it faulty means, no refrigerant would be circulated through the system, and that means no cool air. Compressors often go bad due to long periods of serving without any maintenance or replacement ever.

So, if you feel every other component seems fine, the final check-up you can do is with the compressor. It is good idea to have some hands on experience with handling your car’s minor faults. Reading the Maintenance Tips frequently can help you with that.

Also, sometimes not using the compressor or the AC system makes it passive, and you may have to get it checked. As a solution, it is recommended that you run the AC on full speed once in three weeks in winters and monsoon when you don’t use the AC frequently.

car ac
Professional car repairer restores AC functioning and cool air (Photo Source: mastermechanics)


There is nothing to worry about if your AC compressor running but not cooling. Sometimes, it just needs a visual inspection to determine which component is malfunctioning. Additionally, you can call the car repairer and let him deal with the deeper issues.

This can be frustrating; especially in summers, and for that, you can have your AC checked beforehand. This way, you would be ready to battle the summer with the best AC running in your car.