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2008 Subaru WRX A/C Compressor

2008 Subaru WRX Sport 165,000 miles.

A little while ago I started having trouble with my AC. I’d hit the AC button but the compressor wouldn’t engage. This was sporadic at first but eventually I just had no luck getting the compressor to engage. Eventually I think it froze and the belt shredded. After I removed the belt, it started blowing fuses so I took it to the dealership and they unplugged the compressor. So today I got the bright idea of seeing if I could do this myself.

I went out and tried to see if I could move the compressor by hand and it was locked up. Eventually by trying to rotate it clockwise and counterclockwise I was able to get it freed up but I can hear loose metal inside the pully wheel somewhere. I am assuming I need a new compressor.

So how hard is this? Do I just unbolt the old one and bolt the new one on with a new belt? The dealership quoted over 1K for this job and I see compressors for less than half that online. (P/N 73111FG002) I’m in between jobs right now so it would be nice to save 500 bucks.

Mike from Indian Trail, NC


NOOOOOOO, just unbolting is not going to do it. The old refrigerant has to be evacuated first. Releasing it into the atmosphere on purpose is against the law. You will need specialized equipment, vacuum pump, gauges to properly evacuate and refill refrigerants.

You might want to watch some youtube videos to get an idea what all is involved in replacing a compressor and probably agree it’s not something you want to approach if you want it done correctly. Doing a half-a$$ job can ruin a perfectly new compressor.

There’s way more to it than simply unbolting the old compressor and bolting the new one on. As mentioned, the system has to be discharged first.

The entire system will also need to be thoroughly flushed and the accumulator replaced.

Not being proficient in A/C work could easily lead to a new compressor being wiped out or worst of all; personal injury to various digits or permanent blindness if released refrigerant hits your eyes.

As the other responders said there is so much more to an AC system. When a compressor fails it can send bits of metal through your system. It is not a DIY project. So be prepared to spend big bucks.

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