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AC Compressor Replacement

What is an A/C compressor?

The AC compressor in your vehicle is one of the cabin cooling systems major components and has the job of pressurising the refrigerant in the air conditioning system, as well as circulating the refrigerant which is necessary for the rest of the system to focus on keeping it cool. The refrigerant in the system can be harmful if released into the environment, and should always therefore be managed by a trained professional. 

It’s an unlikely fix so you may never need to get an AC compressor replaced, although its much more likely to break down on vehicles over 15 years old.

How do you know when it is time to replace your A/C compressor?

It is time to get your AC compressor looked at if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Failure of the AC system to produce cold air when activated;
  • A seized AC compressor will often result in a broken serpentine belt;
  • A heavy clunk noise from the clutch when it engages;
  • A leak found during a diagnostic.

What happens during a A/C compressor replacement?

In order to complete a AC compressor replacement the mechanic will need to first remove all of the refrigerant from the system, ensuring that the system is no longer pressurised. They will then remove the serpentine belt and AC compressor clutch pulley. Once removed the clutch is unplugged and the refrigerant lines are disconnected from the compressor, before it can be replaced.

Following the installation of the new compressor the mechanic will need to re-gas the refrigerant throughout the entire system and ensure that the AC is working properly.

How much does a A/C compressor replacement cost?

Despite being an uncommon issue it’s pretty expensive to have your AC compressor replaced. The cost runs between $960 & $1,500 depending on the make and model of your vehicle.

Is driving with a broken A/C compressor unsafe?

It can be… The AC compressor is a major component of the AC system, and therefore ensures the cabin remains cool. However, it also helps to ensure the windows remain defogged and transparent which is a necessity when driving.


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