How to Install an AC Compressor in a Honda CRV

Updated February 21, 2017

The compressor on your Honda's air conditioner is one of the three main components of the air conditioning system, along with the evaporator and the condenser. The compressor works like a pump that sends refrigerant through the system. Be sure to follow all federal and state laws pertaining to air conditioning refrigerant when installing a new air conditioning compressor in your Honda CRV.

Take the CRV to a licensed air conditioning technician to have the air conditioning system discharged. 9 Given the intense pressure the system is under and the environmental dangers of the refrigerant, this should never be attempted by an amateur.)

Disconnect the car's negative battery cable by loosening its clamp nut with a wrench. Set the parking brake and block the rear wheels with chocks. Raise the car's front end using a jack, place jack stands under the car and lower the car onto the stands.

Take off the power steering drive belt by loosening the mounting bolts/locknuts, turning the adjuster bolts to loosen the belt tension and slipping the belt off its pulleys. Use the same procedure to remove the alternator/compressor drive belt. Make a note of how the belts were routed on the pulleys; there is usually a printed diagram on the side of the engine compartment.

Remove the battery ground strap bolt for the car's alternator and the cover from the radiator crossmember, then remove the upper radiator mounting brackets and rubber insulators. Remove the alternator's mounting bolts, disconnect the black wire and the electrical connector, and detach the harness clip to remove the alternator.

Remove the splash shield from underneath the engine compartment by removing the fasteners from the right and left sides.

Detach the coolant reservoir by disconnecting the reservoir hose from the radiator filler neck (plug the hose to keep it from leaking), by removing the mounting bolts and lifting the reservoir out of the engine compartment.

Disconnect the compressor clutch wiring harness. Disconnect the refrigerant lines from the compressor and plug the open fittings to prevent contaminants from entering. Remove the compressor's mounting bolts from the bracket, and guide the compressor carefully out the opening below the engine compartment.

Transfer the clutch from the old compressor to the new one if the old compressor does not have one, by unbolting the clutch from the old compressor and bolting it onto the new one. (This requires a special clutch holding tool available at auto parts stores.)

Drain the refrigerant oil from the old compressor through the suction fitting into a graduated container and measure the amount. Subtract the amount of oil from 128ml to calculate the amount of oil you must add to the new compressor. Add the resulting amount to the compressor through the fill hole.

Mount the new compressor onto its bracket and tighten the mounting bolts.

Connect all lines and electrical connectors to the new compressor. Use new O-rings where the line fittings connect to the compressor.

Re-connect all parts and components that were disconnected to access the compressor.

Have the air conditioning system evacuated, recharged and leak tested by the technician that discharged the system.

Things You'll Need

  • Socket wrench
  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • Wheel chocks
  • Screwdrivers
  • Rubber plugs
  • Refrigerant oil
  • Air conditioning compressor
  • Compressor clutch holding tool (if necessary)
  • O-rings
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About the Author

Chris Moore has been contributing to eHow since 2007 and is a member of the DFW Writers' Workshop. He received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Texas-Arlington.