Car Mechanic

How To Install A Compressor For Your Car

The compressor is considered to be the central element of a car’s air conditioning system. It is designed to compress the refrigerant in the refrigerant circuit of your car’s A/C. Compressors can fail due to contamination via debris entering the A/C mechanism. Other cases included oil starvation. This means the system burns out due to insufficient lubrication. If either of those two conditions exists, you need to replace your A/C compressor.  Find out how to install a compressor for your vehicle in this post!

Step One: Flush and Evacuate the A/C System

Before you change any parts, it is pertinent that you flush and evacuate the A/C system. After vacuuming and flushing the system, you should check for metal flakes or discoloration. When performing this task, do not forget to use an A/C system flush solvent. If you spot any impurities after flushing the system once, you can repeat the process.

Step Two: Install A/C Compressor Oil

Your compressor should always have a proper supply of quality oil. Oil is needed to enable the A/C system to function properly. You should note that each compressor’s compatibility with oil varies. Hence, check your user manual for the proper viscosity. Today, oil comes with a viscosity of 150, 100, or 46. You may wish to stick to PAG oil; double end-capped or something better.

While some new compressors come pre-filled with oil, you can never ascertain whether you have the required amount of oil, the right quality of oil, and the right freshness. You should always start your installation procedure with a brand new refill of premium oil.

Step Three: Install Freon (Refrigerant)

Do not compromise. When it comes to Freon, you should use URE R134 for R134 retrofits. Yes, there is a wide array of refrigerant alternatives out there, but you should always ensure that you are utilizing Freon products from a sealed and trustworthy source. Fraudulent products can compromise your A/C compressor installation project.

Step Four: Install the Drier

The drier of a compressor helps filter out debris in the A/C system. When you change your compressor, the drier needs to be replaced with a new one. No exceptions! Driers contain a desiccant element that pulls debris and moisture from the system. If the moisture in the old system is bad, the viscosity of the oil will be altered and that eventually ruins the system. Listen, you never change your engine oil without changing the filters as well right? The same applies to A/C systems!

Step Five: Install O-rings and Expansion Device

A great array of modern A/C systems uses O-rings to connect parts to each other. A improperly or wrongly installed O-ring can cause A/C leaks. When you install a compressor, make sure you replace the O-rings as well.

Next, expansion devices such as expansion blocks, expansion valves, and orifice tubes should always be replaced with every new installation project. Never risk blowing out the head of the compressor because of a stuck expansion device.

Want to save money? If a compressor is not blowing cold enough or leaking, cleaning the expansion devices is still acceptable. Anything worse than that will require a change of device.

Step Six: Replace any A/C Compressor Switches

Make sure all refrigerant is drained from the A/C compressor before removing the old A/C compressor switch. You can use an air conditioning gauge set to help you facilitate the removal of condensation in your compressor. Next, proceed to add brand new refrigerant that meets or exceeds your compressor’s specifications. To ensure the new A/C compressor switch works, you should:

  • Turn off the engine for several minutes
  • Start the car up
  • Allow the engine to run for five minutes
  • Turn the A/C on MAX

If all is well, you should hear the sound of the switch engaging after a few minutes.