Ac compressor


Hi! Love you guys!!! My air stopped working. Took it in and he said a the compressor is broken. The guy said it is expensive to repair probably $700 for the parts with labor $1,200. Just wanted to check and see if that sounds right, should we get a second opinion. 2001 Honda CRV 73,000 miles


If in fact the compressor is shot a $1000.00 is about the going rate. A second opinion wouldn’t be a bad idea just to make sure. Also a lot of mechanics replace the hole compressor when only the clutch is bad. What is wrong with the compressor?


I agree, if the compressor really failed that price is in the ballpark.


If the compressor is really “shot”, the bearing material by now has worked itself through the system, which has to be purged out and new refrigerant put in. The $1200 sounds reasonable; although on an American car you would likely install a rebuilt unit, and with labor that would come to about $800 as I recall. You don’t need to go to the dealer for this; specialty A/C shops do a great job.


That’s way over the top, find another shop he ryhmed…

I’d replace the compressor even if the clutch failed, but the complete compressor is available from AC specialists or EBay for less than $200. You’ll also need a new drier for about $35.

However if the compressor has an internal failure, you could have metal particles in the system, the system will need to be cleaned and other parts may be needed. But it isn’t 10 hours of labor at $120 / hr.

If it’s just the clutch, $800 is closer to the mark including parts & labor.


I agree with Docnick,
a dealer will be at minimum twice the cost of a A/C radiator shop. A Remanufacured unit is about $400.00. BTW the compressor for this Honda is a American compressor made by Sanden. So a little price shopping could get the cost down to about $800


He said something about the compressor part was broken, he didn’t mention the clutch, but the guy at Lube Pros told me he thought it was the clutch. The guy at the shop today said something about flushing out and cleaning. But he said the part of the compressor to fix was about $700 (he even said expensive) (would that be the clutch he is talking about?


The clutch is a separate part of the compressor and can be replaced without changing the entire compressor. A bad clutch will not contaminate the A/C system or possibly even cause it to lose its refrigerant charge.

A/C compressors and clutches seldom fail without a warning. If either one were was failing you should have been hearing some racket; grinding, rattling, knocking, scraping, etc.

The price is about right but if you were not experiencing any noise before this then you might consider another opinion or two. A/C compressor failure may be misdiagnosed.
(Example. Guy had an Oldsmobile with a diagnosed bad compressor by the Olds dealer no less. Older model with V-belts and the Olds dealer had installed the wrong belt. The belt was too wide and was riding high on the pulley. This kept the belt from getting a good bite on the pulley and it would scream like a banshee when the A/C was turned on. New belt, problem solved.)


It started to make a bad noise, and that is when I took it in. It sounded grinding scraping, and then now it does not cool. It is o.k. to drive the car and can I use the venting system? The ac is kind of a seperate unit right?


You can use the vent or heat function but do not use the A/C, A/C Max, Bi-Level, or Defroster mode because the compressor will operate in those positions.

A grinding is definitely the sign of a problem. The mileage on the car is a bit low to be suffering a compressor or clutch failure, but…

I would advise getting another opinion though. If the compressor clutch bearing is going bad then the clutch can often be removed and replaced without going any deeper into the A/C.
This is what the clutch looks like.

There is also a bearing for the clutch available separately but at about 45 bucks for the bearing one would probably be better off just getting the entire clutch assembly.

It is very easy to determine if the problem is the clutch or the compressor. The belt is removed and the clutch rotated by hand. If the clutch is bad enough to grind it will be very noticeable by feel.
Hope that helps.


Hopefully the technician would have had the common sense to disable the compressor by unplug the wire connector on the A/C clutch to prevent further damage.


At the Chevrolet dealer in 1997 an AC compressor for a 97 s-Blazer sold for $606.00 I remember the price because we did alot of them because they leaked at their case half mating point. As far as flushing the system of a exploded compressor this is a very good idea with sound logic behind it and this is what we were taught in school but no Service Advisor would ever get you any more time to do it and both the dealer and GM would still warranty the work (no customer was ever told “no warranty if you dont let us flush”. I know the number of exploded compressors I replaced was small (under25) I never had a come-back. Belivw me I wanted to flush but no one would pay. Iam 54 and retired now (I know kinda early) so some of my reference points are dated.


O.K. I have the estimate is says the following:

checked ac system
found low (charge)
add refrigerant & found compressor intervels noisy & no operation
compressor & other componants needed evacuate system
est. of repair $1166.25 parts, labor

What do you think?


It’s still unknown to me without car in hand so I will have to defer to the guy who looked at it.
If the compressor was quiet until being activated then it could point to a bad compressor (internally).

What happens with a low charge is that over the years the compressor will lose refrigerant and when this happens compressor oil is also lost.
Without knowing just how loud this compressor noise is, one would hope that they would have added a little oil to it when adding the refrigerant.
A compressor that is only slightly noisy may quieten right down when a bit of oil is applied and of course if the comp. is real noisy then it needs to be replaced.