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Dead A/C compressor, could I have diagnosed this?

448 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  RyanT
I have a 2017 model, still under its 3-year warranty. That's good, because this spring, the air conditioning never functioned. When I took it to the dealer service dept, the diagnosis was a freon leak, followed by failure of the compressor. If I'd been paying for the repair, it would have been $2000! I assume the compressor is lubricated by the freon, but shouldn't it have shut itself down rather than trying to keep operating until it was destroyed? And when the compressor seized, they said the "pulley" failed too (that might mean the electric clutch that connects the compressor to the engine when it runs).

Is there any way to head off this kind of damage, by maybe checking the freon level before there's a real catastrophe? After another year, this is going to be my responsibility. And are there other models of vehicle which protect the A/C compressor better than the Forester evidently does?
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In theory, there is a pressure sensor/switch that will completely disable the compressor if the pressure gets too low. I had the same thing happen to my 2018. The refrigerant leaked out and the compressor killed itself. Luckily it was all warrantied.
If you never use the AC, it will fail on its own. It has to do with the way the seal on the compressor works. You should cycle it, even for a few minutes, at least once a month.
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