AC Compressor Exploded (very exciting)

I have two questions about my daughter’s 2001 Honda CRV air conditioning.

Background: She said it was making a horrible noise when she turned on the AC. I went out to listen and heard a loud periodic shriek that got faster when I revved the engine. I also noticed that the engine shuddered with each shriek. After a couple of minutes snooping around, there was a BOOM and HISS. Fortunately this happened when my head wasn’t nearby, although since I’m typing this, I guess that’s self-evident. When lots of vapor cleared (my apologies to the ozone) I could see a huge crack in the AC compressor.

Question 1: Is there reason to suspect this was caused by anything other than the compressor dying (pinched line or something)? I don’t want to replace the compressor and have the next one die, too.

Question 2: New and remanufactured compressors are ~$300. Are junk yard or other solutions cheaper (and worth it)?

Thanks in advance for any help!

If your compressor came apart, regardless of the cause, you will need to replace the dryer and the orifice valve. You will also need to flush out the condenser, evaporator, and all of the lines. The compressor may have sent metal bits all through the system when it went. I’d also replace the pressure relief valve. It sounds like it might not have been working when it should.

If the car has a drier it does not have a orfice valve. Driers go with expansion valves,orfice valves(really tubes) go with accumulators.

A exception that I can think of is the rear air on Suburbans they are controled by expansion valves while the front is a accumulator/orfice tube set-up.

You see drier/reciever expansion valve set-ups when space is limited. Accumulator/ orfice tube systems take more space.

The compressor likely blew because of lack of oil. This could have been caused by an improper amount of compressor oil when the A/C was first installed or loss of oil over time due to a refrigerant leak. You’ll never know at this point.

Others have already gave good advice about flushing the system, replacing the accumulator, etc, etc. so the only thing I would add is that you would be better off replacing the compressor with a reman unit rather than a salvage yardd unit.
Odds are the yard unit will have a dried and leaking shaft seal, or soon will.
On items like this salvage yard units are fine if you’re DIY. If you’re having to pay someone it’s not worth the risk.

Yep, I’d agree. I’ve put in used, rebuilt, and new compressors. I got the least service from a used, and the longest from a new one. Labor is the same either way. Absolutely needs to be completely flushed though.

You know the really odd thing about the flush,when we replaced a exploded compressor (usually customer pay) the Dealer never wanted to pay for a flush but never denied warranty on a non-flushed system,never figured that one out.