Replacing the a/c compressor on my wife’s 2001 Oldsmobile Alero, 2.4L 4 cyl engine. This is one type of repair I don’t do very often because I don’t have the equipment to recover the freon from these systems. Trying to do these types of repairs on a/c systems, I’ve always recommended people go to shops that have the equipment to do it.
It’s always a hassle, it makes me sad that I can’t help friends and family that needs this type of repair done. This time was different. I have a buddy of mine that had the equipment to perform this repair this time. All I had to do is buy the compressor and he would help me perform this repair.
Before you begin this repair, take note of how your serpentine belt is routed in your vehicle first. This is a very vital part of the project when you finish the repair. Either take a picture of how it looks or get a piece of paper and draw how it is routed. Once that’s done you can start dismantling. Make sure you hook your e-vac system to the air conditioner lines once that is done then you can continue taking everything off.
We started with the alternator but we did NOT disconnect the battery because we had an emissions test coming up and we didn’t want to lose the codes on the computer so we disconnected the alternator through the bolts and lifted it up out of the way very carefully. Once out of the way we could see our a/c very well, all we had to do is loosen 4 bolts and undo the huge a/c line clamp to the back of it and the connection for the clutch and hoisted it up with plenty of space to spare being careful not to lose all the oil inside the compressor because we may need some for the new compressor.
As I noticed there 2 seals on the back side of the huge clamp where the lines come into the a/c compressor, make sure these come off because you don’t want these in the way when you install the new one. Now, my new compressor came with new seals to replace the old ones. I’ve noticed on the new one it has a block on the new compressor which I will take off once I install my compressor. I was going to take my block off and take some oil from the old compressor and put some in the new one, then we noticed a note on the new compressor how much oil came with the compressor and then we realized that it had already the adequate amount in it.
This is why I will leave the block on it until the compressor is mounted to the engine. Once I had it mounted I installed my new seals on my line, I removed the factory block that’s used for protection, then just install my lines, and the compressor is finally installed. Once I have that done all I have to do is go back up top and reinstall the alternator.
Now we did run into another problem while reinstalling the alternator, one of the mounting bolts would not go in all the way so we had to remove the tensioner pulley bracket and remove some debris in the hole with some W-40 and a small metal pick to get all the junk out of the holes. We did both just to be safe. And you may want to do the same. Now also remember to replug in your electrical to your a/c compressor clutch and another electrical that may need to be reconnected. Once we had the debris cleaned out of the holes of the alternator it was reinstalled. We got the belt put back on and of course, I didn’t look at my serpentine drawing and I put the belt back on wrong. See what I’m telling you? Nobodies perfect.
Now onto hooking up our a/c manifold vacuum compressor to evac the system of any air or moisture and all we do is sit down and relax while it is doing that for 15 mins. Once that is done we get to charge the system with new freon R-134A and while we are charging the system, the car should be idling and have the a/c settings to recirculate at the full cold and the a/c button on inside the car. We used 2 12 ounce cans on her. This car holds only 21.5 ounces. So we got in a little over 1 1/2 cans but as it gets hotter outside I will go back and finish up the last of the second can at a later date. But how sweet it is, my wives little Oldsmobile has her air conditioner working again! And a special thanks to my great buddy, Mike Hammack!!!