How to Replace the A/C Compressor in a Honda Accordby Eli Laurens
The Honda Accord uses an optional air-conditioning system to lower the temperature inside the car; the system has a condenser, evaporator and compressor that circulate Freon through a channeled blower fan. The compressor can wear out and require replacement; this can take the average backyard mechanic about an hour to complete.
Evacuate the A/C system with certified collection equipment by taking your Honda Accord to a garage or oil-change facility. Most garages will evacuate the system for free, as they are paid according to how much Freon they collect. The system must be evacuated and depressurized with professional equipment.
Disconnect the battery by turning the positive terminal bolt in a counterclockwise direction. Set the terminal aside, so that it does not touch metal.
Remove the drive belt from the compression pulley. Press firmly onto the tension pulley to get enough slack to work the primary drive belt off the idle pulley at the top of the motor. Let go of the tension pulley, and the belt should now have enough slack to be removed from the compressor pulley wheel. Slide it from the grooved pulley carefully.
Disconnect the wiring harness adapter by pulling it free of the compressor terminal.
Remove the line bolts that connect the Freon exchange lines to the compressor by turning their hexagonal ends counterclockwise. Some latent hissing may occur from the evacuation, but it should not be sustained or dangerous.
Remove the compressor by turning the mount bolts counterclockwise, sliding the bolts out of the mount arms, then working the compressor free.
Replace the compressor with a new unit by positioning it into the mount arms, then sliding the mount bolts back into place. Turn the mount bolts clockwise until snug.
Plug the wiring harness back into the compressor by pressing the adapter plug onto the compressor terminal.
Restore the exchange lines by turning their line nuts clockwise into the correct openings on the compressor. Replace the gasket on the end of each line if necessary.
Secure the drive belt over the A/C compressor pulley wheel, then press the tension pulley firmly to slide the belt underneath the idle pulley. Release the tension pulley and the belt will tighten.
Replace the battery terminal by turning the positive terminal bolt clockwise until snug.
Refill the system with Freon by plugging the female adapter tip on the Freon fill valve into the male adapter on the evaporator line. The valves available will allow only the correct connection; don't force the valve nozzle onto the wrong nipple. Run the A/C with the can of Freon connected, and the system will draw the coolant into the lines. Your Honda Accord will take in about 1.6 pounds of 134a coolant.
- Convert older R-12 Freon systems to 134a Freon for less expensive coolant.
Things You'll Need
- Socket set
- Freon fill valve (gauge recommended)
- Do not vent the Freon into the atmosphere if possible.
Eli Laurens is a ninth-grade physics teacher as well as a computer programmer and writer. He studied electrical engineering and architecture at Southern Polytechnic University in Marietta, Ga., and now lives in Colorado.