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2014 Chevy Traverse AC Compressor EXPLODED

I have a 2014 Traverse. In June, I took my car in because the AC was blowing hot air and the back AC had stopped working completely. At the time, I was under my CarMax extended warranty with about 300 miles remaining. They replaced the AC compressor hose and the back AC motor. It worked fine (cold) but my husband and I did notice that the front AC didn’t seem as powerful afterward but didn’t think much of it. Thursday I was driving home and suddenly heard/felt what I thought was a bunch of gravel running through my car as I was passing a gravel truck. Turns out, the AC compressor EXPLODED. According to CarMax, because of the explosion, there is debris all over the place, specifically in my AC unit which they say I need to replace for $4k or at least replace the compressor (and something else I can’t remember) and try and clean the debris from the unit. My thoughts are 1) they completely missed this when I came in in June and should’ve replaced the compressor then WHEN I WAS UNDER WARRANTY rather than just a hose, or 2) they didn’t attach the hose properly or did something to mess up the compressor when they were “fixing” it in June. Does anyone have experience with this? I am at a loss. Thank you!

A/C compressor hose develops a leak.

Refrigerant and refrigerant oil leak out of the A/C system.

A/C system stops operating.

A/C compressor hose is replaced along with rear blower motor.

A/C system is evacuated to remove any air/moisture and recharged with refrigerant.

But no refrigerant oil is added to replace what was lost.

Everything works for a while until the compressor explodes due to the lack of oil.

Now the entire A/C system has to be disassemble to flush/replace components due to the exploding compressor.



Not sure what caused it, but the $4,000 repair bill seems consistent with the symptom. OP can read more about this by following the below link below to a well-written and easily understandable four part article on how automobile AC systems work, and ways they fail.

YES. That sounds like exactly what happened. I could find very little info on AC compressors exploding. I knew it had to be connected. Thank you for the clear explanation!

Good luck trying to prove your position, as it’s hard to show there was no oil added. Their position will be that the compressor is 5 years old and died a natural death. Check your paperwork from the warranty repair for mention of oil being added either in the narrarive of what was done, or in the lists of parts and supplies used.
If no oil is listed, point this out to the repair facility, and they may accept liability. If oil is listed, your position is harder to prove. Even if your paper work states oil was added, it may not have been.

Looking at the receipt, it lists Freon R134A but no mention of oil. Would those likely be 2 separate items?

Yes, they would be.

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I liked the proper use of the all caps.