How Can I Rebuild My Car's AC Compressor?

by Amy Rodriguez
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Driving a vehicle with a malfunctioning air-conditioning, or AC, compressor on a hot day is a miserable experience. The compressor is a major component of the AC system but can fail from seizure. Rebuilding the compressor is an option for a do-it-yourselfer.


An AC compressor pressurizes internal refrigerant fluid for cooling the air that enters the vehicle interior. The compressor functions by using multiple mechanical parts meshed together for the physical refrigerant pressurization. The mechanical aspect of the compressor makes it possible for a mechanic to disassemble and analyze the moving parts for a rebuild.


Empty the oil from the compressor interior. Remove the compressor's shaft nut and disassemble the compressor carefully, avoiding any bending of the parts. Inspect the parts for any distortions before rebuilding. Replace any parts that are structurally compromised for preventing compressor leaks. Reverse the disassembly procedure and carefully mesh the parts back into their respective locations.


Some compressor parts require specific tools for removal and torque. Verify that all tools are readily available for preventing damage to the compressor parts from improper removal and replacement techniques.

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