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I just recently replaced the air conditioning system compressor on my car (2009 Honda CRV). In talking to a number of mechanics, several of them stated that the car was getting to the point where it was likely to fail - apparently this is something that often happens when the car gets to around 100,000 miles (which mine has almost reached).

I believe the air conditioning system in the card and in my house work more-or-less the same way: refrigerant is compressed and allowed to cool, then expanded and the resulting cold refrigerant cools the air in the car/house.

The air conditioning in my house runs longer than the air conditioning in my car - I spend more time at home than I do driving in the heat.

Why is it that one would expect a car air conditioner compressor to fail around 100,000 miles/10 years when the air conditioner in my house is working nicely with no signs of trouble?

I can imagine a couple of differences:

  1. some difference in construction: the auto a/c is engineered to be lighter than a house a/c

  2. vibration: the auto a/c is subject to constant vibration while the car is running.

Is the reason one of these things, or is it something else?

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! I think the thing you are not taking into account is the CRV A/C units are notorious for dieing before they should. I don't know what years it covers, but they get the black death which is quite ugly. Don't know if that's what the mechanics were talking about, but it might be. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Sep 23 '17 at 1:10
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    Take your house A/C unit and put it on a vibration generator which replicates the gee-forces both of an engine and bouncing down the road. Also set up some sprayers to douse it with brine 4 months out of the year and dirty water the rest of the time. Heck, do that same thing to an aviation A/C pack and a marine pack and see how long all of them last. Probably a year for the house and aviation unit and 3yr for marine, just because it's used to salt spray. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Sep 23 '17 at 9:41
  • @Harper and add a nice range of temperature change for the compressor.... :) – Solar Mike Sep 23 '17 at 11:37
  • And seasonal use. Which includes seasonal use of the mechanism that circulates the compressors own lubrication. – SteveRacer Sep 23 '17 at 14:30

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