My AC Compressor is bad. I work out of town and I can’t afford to have it fixed right now. Since winter is upon us do I need to have it fixed right away?

  • 2
    Can you specify how it is bad? Does is not blow cold air? Is it making noise?
    – mikes
    Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 11:05
  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Along with what @mikes says, you show it's a Ford Focus, could you also tell us what the year of manufacture is as well as the model? Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 14:02
  • Why is it bad? Real concern should come only from a seized compressor that can turn on any moment (to avoid any further manage until the repair can be done, the clutch coil, if the compressor has one, must be disconnected from the harness; a clutchless compressor should instead have already severed its seized shaft from the pulley as a safety measure) or one with a noisy or seized pulley/pulley bearing (must be taken care of as soon as possible).
    – Al_
    Commented Nov 12, 2018 at 20:18

1 Answer 1


A working AC is not a requirement for any time of the year, so you don't have to get it fixed at all. A working AC can be extremely useful for defogging your windshield as it dries the air in your car, even in wintertime, however it is not an essential.

The only time a compressor failure needs to be fixed right away is if the clutch seizes as that will cause excessive belt wear.

  • Some cars specifically state to leave a/c on permanently and let the system control what it does, so that pump damage does not occur...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 16:00
  • Sure, @SolarMike, I'd leave mine on most of the time as a matter of course, but if it's broken anyway....
    – GdD
    Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 16:02
  • More precisely, the only time a compressor failure needs to be fixed right away is when the compressor pulley bearing is compromised and begins making grinding or groaning sounds even with AC off. A noisy ball bearing can seize up any moment, and since modern cars have a single serpentine belt a seized accessory pulley means that the alternator, the power steering pump and the water pump stop working too, and this means choosing between a very damaging limp home, a tow truck ride or being left stranded.
    – Al_
    Commented Nov 12, 2018 at 20:12

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