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What’s the Role of Guide Pins in Compressors?

Are you experiencing compressor failure? It’s ideal to inspect all components, including the guide pins. Read further below for all you need to know.

What's the Role of Guide Pins in Compressors? - KB Delta

No one likes facing an issue such as a compressor failure, and this is because fixing it can be costly. Most people that encounter this problem will throw out such a compressor and opt for a brand-new one. And of course, a brand-new compressor costs an arm and a leg. But the truth is that you don’t have to throw away a compressor that fails. It is possible to rebuild a compressor.

In this article, you will learn what happens when the components that make up a compressor fails. You will also learn the primary role of one of the major components of a compressor valve – known as guide pins – its importance, and what can occur if guide pins fail, which will also be covered in this article.

Read this article to the end to find out more about this vital component.


Rebuilding Your Compressor Valve

Compressor valves are composed of several parts or components that work seamlessly together to create the valve. However, if any of these components suddenly go bad, the compressor stops working and is considered failed.

But when you replace a few components from time to time, you will end up rebuilding the compressor valve. This periodic replacement of components helps you to avoid replacing the entire valve altogether.

Let’s start with diagnosing the problems that usually arise as you use the compressor valve.


Diagnosing the Problem

Several problems can arise when a compressor fails. But if a compressor valve fails, you will notice a wide variety of symptoms. You can check out these symptoms immediately in order to see if you can do something about them.

But first of all, you need to be sure that it is indeed the compressor valve that has failed, not something else. This is why you need to ask yourself a few questions such as:


  1. Is there a considerable loss of lubrication or oil?
  2. What about the refrigerant? Is it moving properly – and without fail – within the compressor?
  3. Is the compressor itself overheating?
  4. Do you detect sludge within the system?


If your answer to all these questions is a huge ‘YES,’ it simply means that the compressor valve is the problem. However, you can still get the assistance of a professional to check the rest of the compressor in order to confirm that the valve is the causal agent.


Components That Make Up a Compressor Valve

As mentioned earlier, the compressor valve is a combination of different components assembled. Getting familiar with these components will go a long way in helping you identify which one needs replacement when problems arise over time.

Therefore, here are the components a standard compressor valve is made up of:


  • Gaskets

Gaskets refer to parts of the compressor valve that ensure the coolant and oil stay within the mechanical device. As a rule, no 2 different surfaces can be machined perfectly. And for this reason, a gasket is vitally important.

A gasket efficiently buffers the gap between the 2 different surfaces in order to make them unassailable. If one of the gaskets fails, you may notice that lubrication, oil, or refrigerant starts leaking.

But in a few instances, the gasket could fail such that the liquids within the compressor somehow get mixed. In most cases, this incidence showcases itself via the loss of refrigerant, lubrication, or oil without even catching sight of these fluids on the compressor or even on the ground.


  • Guide Pins

The primary role of guide pins when compressor valves are assembled – or reassembled – is to ensure each component or piece is perfectly aligned so that there is a negligible margin for error.

Guide pins usually sit in a component, while the alignment holes render ideal fitment when assembling other components that make up the compressor valve.

In most cases, the only way that guide pins fail is if they are applied to other functions beyond their regular day-to-day use. When they fail, the compressor valve starts to overheat, and oil, lubricant, or refrigerant starts leaking from the mechanical device.


  • Spring Plates

Spring plates are generally used for buffering the operation of the compressor. One of the things you will notice when spring plates fail is a lot of noise. You will also notice a few leaks from the compressor itself.

Spring plates are designed to bounce with the overall movement of the internals of the mechanical device. This action protects another component within the compressor valve, which reduces the stress on the machine.


  • O-Rings

O-rings share a similar purpose with gaskets in a compressor valve. They are generally used between 2 surfaces on a valve as they sit in indentations. The indentations within the valve are there to ensure only the correct size of the O-ring is used.

The O-ring needs to be in the perfect location for effective operation, and this makes human error almost impossible. When an O-ring fails, you will notice a leak from a fitting or a considerable loss of lubricant, refrigerant, or oil.


Compressor Valve Hardware

Every piece of hardware in a compressor valve serves a particular purpose. Hardware used during the assembling of this mechanical device includes:


  • Studs
  • Locknuts
  • Bolts
  • Lift washers, etc.


When rebuilding the compressor valve, experts advise replacing the hardware on the old valve with brand-new ones.



Assembling the compressor valve is vitally important to the compressor. This is because it efficiently regulates the refrigerant, lubrication, air, or oil in the compressor. Moreover, the mechanical device acts as its own noise dampener.

The components highlighted above work in conjunction with one another in order to form an active or functional part. If any of these components fail, especially during the process of rebuilding the compressor valve, a valve failure will occur.

Guide pins are components that work efficiently by ensuring every piece is properly aligned, thereby giving little room for error when the compressor valve is reassembled or assembled.

Guide pins do not usually fail unless they are handled outside of their typical application. But when they do, expect to see leaks, and the compressor valve itself will start overheating unexpectedly. This is why care needs to be taken when handling these components.


What's the Role of Guide Pins in Compressors? - KB Delta

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