Air Conditioning Compressor Failure

The air conditioning may not be getting cold enough or is blowing warm air on some 2018-2020 Malibu and 2019-2020 XT4 models. The A/C compressor on these models may have failed due to a combination of low refrigerant and/or PAG oil.

Prior to replacing the A/C compressor, confirm that the compressor is seized. Check the housing for signs of cracks and the clutch/hub for any damage. (Fig. 8)


Fig. 8


The rubber of the clutch hub may be torn or separated (on Malibu models with the 1.5L engine, RPO LFV, and 2.0L engine, RPO LTG) (Fig. 9) or the clutch hub may show signs melted rubber.


Fig. 9


In addition, try to manually rotate the hub/shaft near the center bolt. If it does not rotate freely or the compressor is seized, replace the compressor and complete the oil balancing procedure before checking for any A/C system leaks


Checking for Leaks

If the hub/shaft rotates freely and there are not any signs of cracks or damage, inspect the A/C system for leaks. Possible leaks may be found at the Internal Heat Exchanged (IHX) welds (Fig 10), the condenser – including the receiver and dehydrator cap – and the joints and connections.


Fig. 10


One other possible leak area is the A/C compressor hose. On Malibu models, check if the hose is rubbing against the fan shroud and exhaust manifold.

If leaks are not found in these areas, continue leak testing the rest of the A/C system following the procedures in the appropriate Service Information.

For additional information, refer to Bulletin #20-NA-224.


– Thanks to Christopher Semanisin

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