Informational Guide

Car AC Compressor Clutch Replacement Cost (Price Guide)

An AC Compressor clutch is prone to breaking down. Discover the general replacement costs associated with buying a new model for your AC.

by Josh M

If you want cold air out of your car, you need to replace any parts that go bad, including the AC compressor clutch. The clutch is required in order to convert energy from the engine and send it to the AC compressor.

If it breaks, you need to know the average AC compressor clutch replacement cost so that you can budget for the fix. We review the typical AC clutch replacement cost with you.

How much does it cost to replace an AC compressor clutch? In general, the air conditioner clutch replacement cost will be between $550 and $700. Figure that the labor will cost $150 to $250, while the parts might add $400 to $450. However, there are several factors that affect the AC clutch repair cost. The car type and where you take it will have a profound effect on the price. If you can do the job yourself, you can save some money.

Plus, you want to determine if it’s better to replace an AC clutch or the whole compressor. You could spend a lot of money down the road fixing parts on the compressor, or you could get it done in one shot. By replacing the AC compressor and clutch assembly, you get more long-term reliability. You won’t have to worry about the AC compressor clutch coil replacement cost as a result. Additionally, there’s no reason to figure out the AC compressor bearing replacement cost.

However, you should also price the AC compressor pulley replacement cost at the same time. Sit down with all of the figures and determine what’s best for your budget and the health of your automotive air conditioning system.

Car Compressor Clutch Replacement Cost

Costs for 5 Popular Car Models

Honda Civic

The average 2008 Honda Civic AC compressor clutch replacement ends up costing between $600 and $1,100 because most people choose to put a new compressor on. You might spend about $250 on the new compressor and another $500 to $800 for the labor. Just replacing the clutch might be a little bit cheaper.

Toyota Tacoma

If you want to replace the entire compressor, you may spend around $600 to $700. Labor should make up about $250 to $350 of that, while parts are usually right around $350. However, you could save a little money with a Toyota Tacoma AC compressor clutch replacement instead.

Honda Accord

In general, you might spend $750 to $1,100 on the compressor replacement. Labor is usually $200 to $250, while parts will cost $550 to $850. With a 2003 Honda Accord AC compressor clutch replacement, you cut off a little bit of the expense.

Ford F150

Typically, expect to spend about $600 to $700 on a new compressor for your Ford truck. The labor might be $135 to $200, while the parts are about $465 to $500. Save a little bit with a 2006 Ford F150 AC compressor clutch replacement.

Ford 6.0

The Ford 6.0 compressor replacement is a little more at about $650 to $800. Labor might be around $140 to $200, while the parts are around $410 to $600. To save a little, look at a Ford 6.0 AC compressor clutch replacement instead.

How Does a Car AC Compressor Clutch Work?

The AC compressor clutch takes the energy from the car motor and converts it so the compressor can run. When the air conditioning is switched on, the clutch should engage and spin, thereby transferring power.

Another duty of the compressor clutch is to keep the AC from running continually. If the AC runs all the time, there would be a significant impact on the air conditioning components and fuel economy. It would also cause more wear to the motor.

How Car AC Compressor Clutch Work

Signs Your Car AC Compressor Clutch Needs Replacing

  • Failed Clutch or Drive Belt
    The compressor clutch permits the pulley to disengage and engage from the motor. This system only runs when it is supposed to, so if it seizes, the normal function doesn’t continue. Check the compressor in the front to see if the clutch is moving.
  • High Interior Temperature
    You might first notice an air conditioning problem because the cabin becomes hotter. If you are having trouble getting the temperature down in the cabin, the AC compressor clutch could be to blame. Of course, other defective air conditioning components can cause the same trouble.
  • Strange Noises Coming From the Compressor
    If you turn on your air conditioner and hear a strange noise, it could be due to the clutch failing. The clutch can seize, which turns into grinding sounds, while a worn-out bearing makes more of a squeal. The sound would stop when you turn off the AC.
  • AC Compressor Clutch Won’t Disengage
    The clutch doesn’t allow for disengagement when it fails. Additionally, it’s possible to have the air conditioning stuck on or off when the clutch starts to fail. When the compressor doesn’t get power, it’s more likely that the air conditioning won’t work at all.
  • AC Coil Or Refrigerant Leaks
    The bearing in the compressor can also break from wear. In such cases, fluid could leak through the front seal, but this isn’t common and usually doesn’t happen. If it were leaking, you would see it coming out of the compressor itself.

Signs Car AC Compressor Clutch Needs Replacing

How To Test The AC Compressor Clutch

You can do a visual check of the AC compressor clutch to see if it is working. Follow these two main steps.

  • Inspect The Clutch
    With the AC on and the fan running as high as possible, take a look to see if the clutch is running. If the pulley is moving by itself, the clutch is damaged.
  • Jump The Compressor
    Move to the compressor’s front side and unplug the single connector. Attach your jumper wire to the disconnected wire coming from the compressor. Put the other jumper end to the battery’s positive terminal to start the compressor manually. If this starts the compressor, the clutch is not to blame.

Can Cars Keep Running With A Bad AC compressor Clutch?

You can drive the vehicle just fine with a bad AC compressor clutch. However, you aren’t going to be able to run the air conditioning. If you are only driving in cold climates, you might decide to let it go, but keep in mind that the air conditioning is needed to run the defrost settings.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

How long does the ac compressor clutch last?

If you aren’t too hard on the system, you can expect the compressor and the clutch to last ten years or more. However, there are always times when replacement is necessary sooner.

Can you replace the clutch without removing the compressor?

You can replace a clutch pulley without taking out the compressor on some models. However, most people choose to replace the entire compressor when there is a problem. Otherwise, you might deal with more problems down the road.

How long does it take to replace an AC compressor clutch?

The replacement itself might take about 1.5 hours. However, you need to account for the time to evacuate and recharge the system. There could be additional parts that need to be replaced at the same time.

Why does my AC clutch turn on and off?

Mechanical failure can cause the erratic power of the AC clutch. Additionally, any wiring issue or short circuit could lead to the turning on and off action of the AC clutch.

Conclusion

If you want to replace the AC clutch or compressor, you are looking at a significant cost. However, how much is your air conditioning worth to you? If you plan to keep the vehicle for a few more years, it’s an investment you have to make.

Last Updated on July 5, 2022

Josh M

My name is Josh and I am obsessed with the HVAC industry. I created this website to help HVAC techs of all levels get the best out of their heating & cooling systems. I have spent thousands of hours studying air conditioners, heaters and home air products so you can learn & buy with confidence. Learn more about the team here.

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