How Do You Replace an Automotive AC Compressor?


Quick Answer

To replace an automotive AC compressor, open the hood to locate the failed compressor, unmount the AC compressor, use a solvent to flush the parts you are not replacing and install the new compressor. Finally, evacuate air from the AC system, recharge the system and test it to ensure it is functioning properly.

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Full Answer

Locate the AC compressor, remove the AC belt from the AC pulley, and detach the negative battery cable and electrical connectors from the compressor. Remove the mounting bolts, and lift the failed AC system from the vehicle. Transfer components such as manifolds, brackets and switches to the new system.

Flush the components you are not replacing by using an approved solvent to remove contamination. Use compressed or filtered shop air to air dry the flushed components. Replace the expansion devices and the accumulator or dryer.

Mount the new AC compressor, install the compressor bolts, connect the electrical connectors, replace and oil the O-rings, and re-attach the AC belt to the compressor. Reconnect the negative battery cable. Remove air from the system, and recharge the system using the recommended refrigerant.

Insert a thermometer into the system's center register, and start the engine to check if the air ducts eject cold air. If the AC system is functioning properly, the thermometer reads between 30 and 36 degrees Fahrenheit.

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