The A/C compressor is considered the heart of your vehicle’s air conditioning, since it pumps compressed refrigerant throughout the system. It plays a critical role in this complex process, making sure your car stays cool when you want it to be. Turning on your A/C on a regular basis can help keep parts lubricated and running smoothly. However, if it takes too long to cool down the cabin, an inspection may be necessary. Ask your service advisor to have your A/C compressor checked when there is a significant change in the quality of air, or when there’s just no cold air coming out of the vents. Without a functioning compressor, the A/C system will not be able to create cool air in the summer, nor be able to defrost in the winter. If the compressor fails, the rest of the system fails with it, as there’s no way to move the refrigerant through the system. If ignored long enough, you may need to replace the entire compressor. From a safety standpoint there is little risk, but the air in the cabin can become uncomfortable. From an environmental point of view, there is significant impact. Leaking refrigerant is poisonous and could be ingested by children, pets or other animals.