Can I replace an a/c compressor on my own? HELP! - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 08:27 AM
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Can I replace an a/c compressor on my own? HELP!

It has been REALLY HOT in the south this year.

Of course, the A/C in my 1998 ML320 went out(how convenient). So, knowing very little about this ML(I inherited it), I took it in to the dealership expecting to pay $1,000+, have a mild heartattack, but survive.

I had to sit down this morning when my dealer(MB-S. Atlanta) told me that my compressor was not working and needed to be replaced along with the expansion valve. TOTAL = $2,100

I paused on the phone and told the service guy, "I'll have to call you back..."

So, here I am, frantic for an answer. I superficially searched the forums and found diagrams, but not enough detailed information to determine whether I can do this, use my local mechanic to do this, take my whippings at the MB dealer, or turn the ML into a winter-only vehicle.

So, Mr. Reader, hopefully you or someone out there in Benzworld has the answer to the questions...

Can I do this on my own? If not, why?

What do I need to ask the dealer before I fork over $250 to them for telling me the bad news???

Thanks for any help you can provide...
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#2 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 10:02 AM
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It's either the stealer or a reputable AC service shop. I would not let the local mechanic do the work. AC systems can be really FUBARed by someone that does not know what they are doing and who does not have the proper equipment. The dealer is going to take the safest way out and replace the compressor and related stuff. You may only need a charge. If you work with a certified AC shop they may let you change out the compressor if that is what you need and they could finish up the install with whatever else is needed.
(Just a thought)
Mike

[EDIT] --- I would take it to a certified AC shop and if all it needs is a charge than I would refuse to pay the $250 for the false diagnosis.

Last edited by Mike's ML; 08-17-2010 at 10:05 AM.
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#3 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 10:39 AM
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i changed my compressor myself and just got a shop to charge it for me.
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#4 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 11:13 AM
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Yes it is very easy to change an A/C compressor. The problem is if the compressor is bad then you need to replace the filter drier too because pieces of metal from the compressor will go in there. Also you need to evacuate and recover the freon in the system. Then you will need to vacuum the system to remove all moisture after it is all put back together. If you don't have the tools to vacuum the system you can rent a vacuum pump from places like Auto Zone... Don't forget to add the proper amount of oil in the new pump.

True success is being the master of your own time.
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#5 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brettriehl101 View Post
i changed my compressor myself and just got a shop to charge it for me.
How long did the job take?
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#6 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike's ML View Post
It's either the stealer or a reputable AC service shop. I would not let the local mechanic do the work. AC systems can be really FUBARed by someone that does not know what they are doing and who does not have the proper equipment. The dealer is going to take the safest way out and replace the compressor and related stuff. You may only need a charge. If you work with a certified AC shop they may let you change out the compressor if that is what you need and they could finish up the install with whatever else is needed.
(Just a thought)
Mike

[EDIT] --- I would take it to a certified AC shop and if all it needs is a charge than I would refuse to pay the $250 for the false diagnosis.
I talked with the dealer this afternoon and he said that they did evacuate and charge the system, but without the compressor working, they don't know what other problems there might be besides the compressor being bad. The service "advisor" said that even with voltage put to it, the compressor refuses to budge.
His personal view is also that it would be a great winter car.
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#7 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rudedude View Post
Yes it is very easy to change an A/C compressor. The problem is if the compressor is bad then you need to replace the filter drier too because pieces of metal from the compressor will go in there. Also you need to evacuate and recover the freon in the system. Then you will need to vacuum the system to remove all moisture after it is all put back together. If you don't have the tools to vacuum the system you can rent a vacuum pump from places like Auto Zone... Don't forget to add the proper amount of oil in the new pump.
Thanks for the advice...How easy was it to access the compressor?
Also, how much $$$ for all of the parts? Looks like around $600...does that sound right?

BTW, I am picking up the ol' ML this afternoon so I can look around in it and make a decision.

You know, it still drives great for 226,000 mi...it's just the comfort factor.

Again, thanks for your help.
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#8 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 04:13 PM
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This is the parts deal, you can replace compressor/engine compartment parts for under $400:

Required: new compressor (new Behr China great value) + seals kits = like $260:

1996 - 2008 Chrysler Dodge Mercedes New A/C Compressor

Required; drier, get OE, not knockoff = $36

Your Parts Search Returned 1 Part(s)

Required: expansion valve, get OE Denso = $40

Your Parts Search Returned 1 Part(s)

Optional, but recommended, new condensor - there the updated condensor is like $130-$160, but could need new drier-to-condensor line for another $60.

Pull the trigger on the right parts, then shop for a shop for the install...

Keep the faith !
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#9 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 06:28 PM
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fabbrisd1:

I have to ask this. What connects Arkansas with La Jolla and Hong Kong?

Tom DeTemple
Denver
'99 ML320 traded @139k miles for---
'02 ML320 traded @45k miles for---
'05 ML350SE now at 112k miles
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#10 (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 05:57 AM
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Great Reply!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fabbrisd1 View Post
This is the parts deal, you can replace compressor/engine compartment parts for under $400:

Required: new compressor (new Behr China great value) + seals kits = like $260:

1996 - 2008 Chrysler Dodge Mercedes New A/C Compressor

Required; drier, get OE, not knockoff = $36

Your Parts Search Returned 1 Part(s)

Required: expansion valve, get OE Denso = $40

Your Parts Search Returned 1 Part(s)

Optional, but recommended, new condensor - there the updated condensor is like $130-$160, but could need new drier-to-condensor line for another $60.

Pull the trigger on the right parts, then shop for a shop for the install...

Keep the faith !
Thanks for the post! I will definitely heed your advice and source these parts.

I'll make sure and post again when I have them and report back with prices.
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