On the surface, it does make sense to delay AC repairs during the winter; it’s usually cold outside, so you’re not really turning it on. It’s also nice to be able to delay a car repair until after the holiday season. But there are a couple reasons why leaving your AC inoperative may have secondary side effects to your vehicle’s overall health.
The main reason you would use your AC in the winter is for your windshield’s defroster. When your air conditioning is turned on, the air coming out of your vents is usually drier than the ambient air inside and outside the car. Blowing that dry air onto a fogged-up window will remove that moisture more effectively, clearing up your visibility much faster. You can still set the temperature as warm as you’d like, even if it does feel a little wasteful to have the heater and AC running at the same time.
If your original compressor needs to be replaced due to clutch failure, delaying that repair could also have adverse effects on your vehicle’s belt drive system. An AC clutch pulley that is locking up or dragging could tear up your accessory drive belt, which also powers things like your power steering or alternator. If that belt snaps, you lose those systems. Even if the pulley hasn’t fully seized, it could drag on the belt, causing those other systems to get less power; this would manifest itself in your steering getting harder to turn because of inadequate power steering pressure, or your headlights getting dimmer and your car getting harder to start because the alternator isn’t charging the battery as much as it’s supposed to.
If there’s only one piece of your AC system that needs to be replaced, delaying that repaid could also cause damage to the rest of the system. If you go months without turning on your AC compressor, water could condense in the lines and cause a blockage. The expansion valve could also freeze up, and not work as well to control AC pressure when you need to use your AC a few months later. Just like how it’s not great for your car’s overall health to leave it parked for months on end, the same applies to individual systems as well.
BuyAutoParts has the largest catalog of in-stock AC compressors year-round, from OEM brands like Denso, Delphi, Sanden, Valeo and more. Contact us for knowledgeable assistance getting guaranteed exact fit replacement parts for any vehicle!