Can You Rebuild Your Car’s A/C Compressor?


On a hot summer day, few things make you more miserable than driving your vehicle around with a malfunctioning A/C system. When that happens, it might be due to your A/C compressor. The compressor can seize or fail as a major air conditioning component and, as a result, wreak havoc on what used to be a comfortable ride.

For the avid do-it-yourselfer, an A/C compressor rebuild may be one option. If you don’t have the room to work on a vehicle, the right tools for the job, and the know-how, this type of job is better left to a professional.

Let’s troubleshoot the A/C compressor for your vehicle, and then look at the process of a rebuild.

What Does the Compressor Do?

Not surprisingly, for cool air to make the interior of your vehicle more comfortable, internal refrigerant fluid is compressed by the A/C compressor. By numerous parts of the compressor working together, it functions to pressurize the system’s refrigerant. To see whether or not a rebuild is recommended, your compressor can be analyzed by a mechanic. They will disassemble the part and execute a diagnosis.

Troubleshooting Your Vehicle’s A/C Compressor

Is the A/C compressor on your vehicle getting ready to fail? Has it already failed? Here are some signs and symptoms to watch for:

  • Though you have the air conditioning system set to its highest fan setting and coldest temperature setting, the air isn’t getting as cold as you’d like it to be.
  • The compressor pulley clutch will not engage.
  • From somewhere in the engine compartment, you detect a noise you’re not used to hearing.
  • You see that the A/C compressor, after a visual inspection, is obviously damaged.

The following are other problems that could be related to the compressor:

  • Clogged cabin air filter
  • Bad blower motor
  • Blown fuse (or a bad relay)
  • Broken or worn serpentine belt
  • Loss of refrigerant (from a leak somewhere in the system)
  • Blocked refrigerant

Compressor Rebuild

Should a rebuild be the best course of action for your vehicle’s A/C compressor, here are some basic steps to follow:

  • From the interior of the compressor, empty the oil.
  • In order to carefully disassemble the compressor, remove the compressor’s shaft nut first.
  • Be careful! Make sure that none of the components or parts get bent or damaged.
  • Before you rebuild the compressor, make sure you carefully check all components for any distortions or damage.
  • To prevent compressor leaks, any structurally compromised parts should be replaced.
  • The disassembly procedure can now be reversed.
  • In their respective locations, replace all the parts and components.

Rebuild Your Compressor with a Kit from R & Y A/C Compressors®

Before you shop anywhere else for automotive A/C parts and components, check out the inventory at R & Y A/C Compressors®. Currently, we carry evaporators, condensers, valves, accumulators, and other items needed to work on automotive air conditioning systems. Contact us at 305-919-8864 today.