Step by step guide on how to replace an air con pump yourself
Estimated time: 1 hour Difficulty: Medium
Begin by emptying the refrigerant fluid from the refrigerant reservoir to drain the system. There is a specialist tool for removing the fluid, a recovery machine, but if you don’t have this then you may want to get a mechanic to drain the fluid for you and you do the rest of the work.
When the fluid is drained from the system get a large screwdriver to pry on the tensioner for the fan belt to relieve the pressure on the belt and then remove the belt from the pulleys.
There may be a power steering pump in the way so this will need to be unbolted and moved out of the way. Now you can disconnect the refrigerant lines by unbolting the connection and pulling them free. When the refrigerant lines are disconnected, block up the lines with a paper towel or something so that nothing can get in.
Disconnect the electrical connection by unclicking the wire from the air con pump. There will be a few bolts holding the air con pump to the engine, disconnect these bolts and remove the old pump.
Place some refrigerant fluid in the new air con pump before fitting. The new air con pump will probably not come with the connections for the refrigerant lines so will need to take this part off the old one. Disconnect the bolts, remove this part and fit it to the new one.
Fitting an air con pump
Put the new air con pump into position and bolt it in place, ensuring the bolts are tightly fitted. Connect the refrigerant lines and bolt them back in place. Don’t forget to reconnect the electrical connection.
When this is done you might want to bleed the system by connecting a vacuum pump, turning on the pressure and leaving for about an hour. This will help remove any air or contaminants from the system.
Re-fit the power steering pump and the fan belt whilst you are bleeding the system. Bolt the power steering pump back in place and reconnect any connections, and relieve the tension from the tensioner on the pulleys to refit the fan belt.
There is a proper procedure to follow for filling up the refrigerant. You might want to take it to a garage to get this done.
Once the system is topped up you will want to test your air conditioning inside the vehicle.