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Air Conditioning Compressor Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Air Conditioning Compressor Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

4 hours4 hrs

Tab:

$600 to $1,100

Talent:

***

Tools:

E12 Torx socket, extensions, universal joint, T45 Torx, 17mm socket

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz C350 (2008-14)
Mercedes-Benz GLK350 (2010-14)

Parts Required:

A/C compressor

Hot Tip:

Inspect for leaks before replacing the compressor

Performance Gain:

Working A/C

Complementary Modification:

New engine air filters

A word of note before you start: The A/C system is charged with a refrigerant that is both dangerous and illegal to discharge into the atmosphere. If you are going to be working on the system make sure you have the refrigerant properly evacuated and reused or disposed of.

There are all kinds of things that can go wrong with the A/C system on your Mercedes including something as simple as needing a recharge. This article is not intended to instruct you on the complete A/C system and how to check it out but rather how to replace your compressor once you have determined that the compressor is at fault. The compressor is not cheap so make sure to give your system a complete diagnostic before just replacing the compressor.

Begin by removing the front engine cover (red arrow) and two air ducts (yellow arrows).
Figure 1

Begin by removing the front engine cover (red arrow) and two air ducts (yellow arrows). Pease see our article on engine cover removal for additional assistance.

You will need to remove the under body engine trays to access the compressor (red arrow); please see our article on under tray removal for further instructions.
Figure 2

You will need to remove the under body engine trays to access the compressor (red arrow); please see our article on under tray removal for further instructions.

Remove the drive belt by placing a 17mm socket on the tensioner and turning it counter clockwise until you can slip the belt off the motor (red arrow).
Figure 3

Remove the drive belt by placing a 17mm socket on the tensioner and turning it counter clockwise until you can slip the belt off the motor (red arrow). Use care not to pinch your fingers between the belt and tensioner.

This photo can be used to install the belt after the job; you can see where the belt travels around the alternator (red arrow), power steering pump (green arrow) and the A/C compressor (yellow arrow).
Figure 4

This photo can be used to install the belt after the job; you can see where the belt travels around the alternator (red arrow), power steering pump (green arrow) and the A/C compressor (yellow arrow).

There are three bolts that hold the compressor to the engine and its mounts.
Figure 5

There are three bolts that hold the compressor to the engine and its mounts. The two front bolts go into the mount at an upward angle (red and yellow arrows). You will need to decide whether it is easier for you to remove the bolts working from above or below the compressor. Note: a lot of components have been removed for photographic purpose only; you do NOT need to remove anything other than what is described in the article.

The lower mounting bolt can be accessed from below (red arrow) but there is not a lot of room between it and the sway bar, so you will have to take your time.
Figure 6

The lower mounting bolt can be accessed from below (red arrow) but there is not a lot of room between it and the sway bar, so you will have to take your time.

You can access the rear A/C compressor mounting bolt by using an E12 socket with a wobbler or universal and slip it between the tie rod boot and power steering lines (red arrow).
Figure 7

You can access the rear A/C compressor mounting bolt by using an E12 socket with a wobbler or universal and slip it between the tie rod boot and power steering lines (red arrow).

The wiring clip sits on the compressor; use care when working with it as it can break very easily (red arrow).
Figure 8

The wiring clip sits on the compressor; use care when working with it as it can break very easily (red arrow).

Disconnect the wiring and slide the wiring back out from the compressor.
Figure 9

Disconnect the wiring and slide the wiring back out from the compressor.

With the refrigerant properly and safely evacuated from the system you can use a T45 Torx and separate the two lines.
Figure 10

With the refrigerant properly and safely evacuated from the system you can use a T45 Torx and separate the two lines. Make sure to suction and properly cap the open lines. When installing the new compressor make sure to lubricate the new O-rings with compressor oil before installing. Installation is the reverse of removal.

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Comments and Suggestions:
C230 2006 model Comments: HELLO THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR DIY. IT IS AWESOME IT WORKS WELL ON 2006 MODEL C230 w203 TYPE. ALMOST EVERTHING SAME. SOMEBODY MENTIONED BEFORE THAT IT IS SUPER IMPORTANT. IF YOU HAVE AIR CONDITION ERROR CODE IN YOUR SYSTEM IT IS NOT ENOUGHT TO DELETE THE CODE. I GOT ICARSOFT MBii FOR $160. IT CAN DELETE THE ALL CODE BUT IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO START YOUR COMPRESSOR. YOU NEED TO ORDER THE COMRESSOR TO START AGAIN. BECAUSE THE COMPRESSOR STOPED TO PROTECT ITSELF. PLEASE NOTE THAT MAYBE YOUR COMPRESSOR WORKS WELL. JUST YOU NEED TO DELETE AND ORDER AGAIN THE COMPRESSOR. THE I CARSOFT MBii CANNOT ORDER THE COMPRESSOR. YOU NEED MORE COMLICATED DIAGNOSE CODE READER. I KNOW BECAUAE I TRIED A LOT. BEFORE PUT FREON YOU NEED TO CAVUUM FIRST. IF YOU DO NOT VACUUM THE SYSTEM, YOU CAN BROKE YOUR COMPRESSOR. THANK YOU FOR GREAT DIY.
June 13, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your repair process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Rhino Comments: I have a 2005 clk 320 question: if ecm senses large vacuum leak will it disable a/c compressor?
March 16, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not that I am aware of. - Casey at Pelican Parts  
rozek Comments: Please HELP!
I own a 2006 Mercedes benz s430 4matic with 78k miles. I believe that my a/c compressor is still good but the pulley/clutch broke off from the a/c unit. Is it possible to buy and replace the pulley/clutch alone without having to replace the a/c compressor? I also plan to replace idler pulley/tensioner/serpentine belt. Thanks
February 21, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That is a common problem when the compressor seizes up. Better to replace the compressor. Make sure to flush the a/c system when you do because the A/C compressor will spread metal throughout the a/c refrigerant circuit. - Casey at Pelican Parts  
gavinbr Comments: Nick,

If you follow the link listed herein it shows how and what you need to purchase to remove the Freon/R134 from your system.

In another note you didn't mention which model of Mercedes you show in your decription.

Brian

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsXjs_2lKdc
August 25, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and note about the vehicle model missing. We appreciate it. I will have the article updated.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
DoubleWasp Comments: There is a very important part worth noting, as this is a DIY: Doing this yourself has a great possibility of resulting is complete failure, even if everything above is done correctly. If the AC system has an error code as a result of compressor or some other failure, the AC system will be electronically disabled and unable to be turned back on unless reset by a dealer. Early climate control systems can be manually reset, but later ones like my 2006 E350 can only be reset by the dealer. One way or another, one can only turn to the dealer or a shop with the proper computer equipment to finish the job.
August 20, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it. I will have the article updated to reflect that info.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
brian Comments: Nick,

Thanks for the response.

We have to remember that this site is for DIY guys.

You did not explain how you go about draining the system before disconnecting the connecting hoses, and what tools you need to this.
August 18, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It is noted in the first paragraph of the article:

A word of note before you start: The A/C system is charged with a refrigerant that is both dangerous and illegal to discharge into the atmosphere. If you are going to be working on the system make sure you have the refrigerant properly evacuated and reused or disposed of. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
gavinbr Comments: this procedure makes it look like a breeze to remove.the complexity and tight space to work in makes this a major job?
I need to do this to fix a leak around the hose seals.

Brian
August 17, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Once evacuated, it is not that tough to replace. the compressor has room to come out. Accessing some of the fasteners can be tough. get an o-ring kit if the line seals are leaking. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
kJ Comments: i just replaced my compressor and condenser as suggested by the technician, is there anything like manual or automatic AC compressor as, the guy said he bought manual compressor so, he added some relays to make it function perfectly.
March 30, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The climate control system should turn the compressor on and off. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Tue 6/27/2017 03:13:47 AM