Change compressor Bearing vs. changing whole compressor


Old 05-01-14, 10:23 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 11
Change ac compressor bearing vs. changing entire ac compressor

Short story.....I went to buy a used 99 accord from a private owner and while test driving it I put on the ac. It was working fine for about 10 minutes and then the bearing froze up. It turns out that the car was in a garage and hadn't been driven in about a year. I didn't buy the car because the price they wanted and the cost of replacing the compressor when added together exceeded the value of the car. Later that night I decide to do some research about auto ac because I realized how little I know about how ac actually works and in my quest for knowledge I went to you tube and watched some really great videos. One particular video was by "Eric the car guy". He was diagnosing a noise the car made when the ac was turned on. Turns out the car was an Acura which shares many parts and system designs with Honda which I believe is Acura's parent company. Anyway, Eric took the belt off, removed the pulley and clutch assembly, knocked the bearing out and replaced it with a new bearing after getting the manufacturer and bearing number off of the old bearing. I think he said the bearing was less than $10. Sorry, this story is getting longer than I anticipated. My point is that it is likely that the Accord compressor was of similar design and if I could have fixed it for less than$10 I would have bought the car which was immaculate My question is "can all compressors be repaired this way?" Ever time I had a bad bearing on an ac compressor in one of my cars I was told "you need a new compressor." Any comments? I'm sure most people here have been in the same, if not a similar situation. Hope to hear some good feedback. Thanks for listening!

Last edited by Fmonthefly; 05-01-14 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 05-01-14, 11:17 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: santa fe /texas
Posts: 998
It depends on "when" it locks up !!
IF the eng runs fine "untill" the A/C clutch is enguaged, & THEN it Locks up.
NO, The internal's of the compressor are fried !( replace the complete comp)
IF the Eng wont run because the chutch Hub bearing is sized / It will run with belt removed !
THEN this repair will work
Old 05-02-14, 01:13 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2013
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Internals fried

Thanks for your input Newtofta. Could you be more specific? when you say "internals", what do you mean? what is inside a compressor that could be fried? Like I mentioned in my earlier post I am just learning about auto ac. I thought a compressor was just a piston.. If you have a moment, please let me know what's really inside a compressor.
Old 05-02-14, 02:03 PM
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Inside an auto AC compressor. - YouTube Heres one type of compressor...there may be others. As you can see, lots of moving parts to fail.

As Newtofta said...if the engine runs until the A/C is engaged, then it's internal and needs a new compressor.

If it won't run or smokes the belt with the A/C off, then it could be the clutch bearing and could be a cheap repair.

At least thats the way I read his post.
Old 05-02-14, 02:15 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: USA
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Thank you so much. I had o idea a compressor was so complex.. The car s ac was working fine for about ten minutes and then locked up and the belt was smoking so I shut it down. It could have been the bearing or the compressor "internals' to paraphrase newtofta Thanks again. You guys are great!

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