Honda A/C

If my A/C compressor has a leak can it be fixed or does it have to be replaced?

That depends on several things. Whether the shop wants to change a seal, etc., how many miles on the compressor, any obvious signs of compressor oil leakage and/or noise, etc.

If the car has high mileage then it’s generally better to change the compressor. With some compressors a seal kit for the compressor shaft may not even be available so there is no option other than replacing it.
Of course if the compressor is changed this means a system flush, new accumulator, etc. and this all gets a bit pricy.

The shop wants to replace the compressor, this after they said I needed to have the evaporator expansion valve replace for $485.00. Once this was done they said there was a leak and the compressor needs to be replaced for $690.00.

Shouldn?t they have been able to tell if there was a leak before they replaced the evaporator expansion valve? Honda Accord 2003 92K Miles.

While the details of how the shop came to this conclusion and their reasons for doing what they did are not known to me, I can only theorize a bit.

An expansion valve that is sticking closed or near closed can cause system pressure to run abnormally high and this can create leaks.
The mileage on the car is not high but at 9 years old it’s in the range where A/C faults often develop.

Just offhand and based on what’s related here it sounds to me like the shop is probably on the right track.

Unfortunately, when A/C systems start getting into the roughly 7-10 years old range problems (sometimes multiple ones) start cropping up. That’s about normal.
Hope that helps anyway.

This helps a lot. It sounds like if the evaporator expansion value was faulty they should still have still been able to detect the initial compressor leak.

I’d want to know exactly what is leaking. It could be as simple as the low pressure line o-ring, that would not require replacement of the compressor. Less likely would be the high pressure o-ring, again just replace the o-ring. Anything else, it would probably be best to replace the compressor with a reman or new compressor.

The reason I suspect the low pressure line is that it would have been under some stress while the expansion valve was being replaced. I would not blame the mechanic for that, its kind of unavoidable. The high pressure line would also have been under some stress too.

The schrader valves could be bad as well. I have had problems with them not resealing properly after charging.

So the mechanic should have done a dye test to determine the exact source of the leak. If they didn’t do the dye test, then they are just guessing. Require them to perform this test before doing any repairs. Ask to see the leak for yourself, they will need special glasses or a UV light to show you the leak.

When they initially performed the dye test everything was ?fine?, no leaks. They diagnostic a faulty evaporator expansion valve as the reason the A/C system was not cooling. It was only after they replaced the valve and replaced the Freon did they say the compressor have a leak. Everything I have read indicates that they should have been able to detect the leak during the initial dye test.