2004 Honda Civic A/C Compressor issue

I believe my A/C Compressor is going to give out soon. The noise when selecting A/C in the car is very loud and noticeable by anyone listening to the engine. This noise is new and was not present a few weeks ago. I can only reproduce this when using A/C in the car. Does anyone know what tools I would need to change this part out? I believe that replacing this on my own will be much easier on my wallet. The car has 159,000 miles on it and this part has never been replaced. When I took my car in to the garage for an inspection I had them replace the original serpentine belts out. They were very worn and cracked.

Or should I just live with the sound and hope it doesn’t seize up?

If the AC compressor is failing internally, you don’t have the special tools/equipment to return the AC system to proper operating condition.

Unplug the AC compressor clutch so if the compressor decides to lock up it doesn’t take the belt out.


If the compressor itself is failing and not the compressor clutch bearing then I would say to you that it takes more than another compressor and a few tools to perform this job.
The drier should be replaced and the system thoroughly flushed out; otherwise, this will lead to a redeux.

On top of the basic hand tools for changing the compressor you will also need a set of gauges and an understanding of what the pressures mean, a vacuum pump, and preferably a means of checking for leaks after the job is done. The latter would mean a sniffer preferably.

There’s also the inherent danger involved with a novice working on A/C. Refrigerant can cause serious injury in a nano-second.

If the compressor itself is rattling a bit when in operation you might consider having someone add a couple of ounces of refrigerant oil and that may shut it up for the life of the car. Over time A/C systems lose a little refrigerant and refrigerant oil is also lost with it. It’s something to consider anyway. Hope some of that helps.

Ok. What would be a ballpark figure on getting this fixed at the garage (if it is indeed the A/C Compressor).

In the meantime I will have to figure out how to unplug the AC compressor clutch.

The prices will vary wildly due to locale, parts sources and markups, etc, etc. Probably in the 1000 to 1500 dollar range.

Generally speaking, costs are higher on the east and west coasts, northern major metro areas such as Chicago, etc.

The reason I mention inherent danger is because I’ve worked with A/C for decades. A few years ago in a moment of carelessness I inadvertently blasted the tip of a finger with refrigerant. When refrigerant exits a can it freezes anything it touches almost instantly.
That’s why today I have a permanently numb fingertip on the right index finger. Killed the nerve endings I guess.

Thanks for the insight. I will have some refrigerant oil added next time I go to dealer.

If you want to save some money you could do this yourself. But before you do it have your system professionally evacuated. Next change your compressor, then have professionally re-evacuated of air then recharged. Rock Auto.com sells compressors for this car for $160 to $274. The full component kit, which you should get, includes the compressor, accumulator (drier) & expansion valve goes for $200 - $300.

Thanks. I have been putting this off for the last few weeks- time to get it taken care of.