How to buy the correct air conditioning compressor

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THE COMPRESSOR IS
THE HEART OF THE AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM

The compressor has an electromagnetic clutch which when engaged starts the compressor pumping refrigerant around the system. There are several seals O-rings and gaskets associated with the compressor. Any of these can develop leaks.
The compressor can wear and under perform or even seize up. The Field coil in the electromagnetic clutch can develop an open circuit (burn-out) and won't work. Some compressors are Variable Stroke type and can de-stroke (spin but not pump).

When looking to replace the compressor it is important to ensure that the one you buy matches your expectations on Quality and value for money.

SORTING OUT THE TERMINOLOGY USED BY SELLERS

 

FACTORY ORIGINAL

The vehicle manufacture designs the air con system and selects the brand of compressor used in the system based on the quality and performance of the compressor. This is known as the Factory Original and is usually more expensive than similar units made by other compressor manufacturers.
 

REPLACEMENT       ……TYPE            SAME AS……  FITS………..

These will fit but are made by manufacturers other than the Genuine brand used as Factory Original. Some of these are good quality but others can be very poor quality. The important thing is that the seller will nominate the Brand Name of the better quality ones whereas the questionable ones won’t have a brand name.

 BRAND NEW TO SUIT

These will fit but are made by manufacturers other than the Genuine brand used as Factory Original. Some of these are good quality but others can be very poor quality. The important thing is that the seller will nominate the Brand Name of the better quality ones whereas the questionable ones won’t have a brand name. If it’s real cheap, has no maker details and has a unusually generous warranty like say 5 years then what do you think?

OEM

 
This stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer but it does not necessarily mean that it is the Brand used as the Genuine Factory original for your vehicle. Again see if there is a Brand name nominated.

UNIVERSAL         GENUINE……..

Several Compressor Manufacturers make a range of compressors that have universal application and  are used by various vehicle makers and After- Market System Suppliers
Examples are “Genuine Sanden” but beware that “Sanden Type” is NOT a genuine Sanden. Again see if a brand name is nominated.

COMPATIBLE MAKES

Some sellers nominate the compatible makes in their listings. This usually means the make of vehicle the compressor is compatible with and not the make of the compressor.

MAKE

Some sellers nominate the make and model in their listings. Usually this means the make of the vehicle and not the make of the compressor.

RECONDITIONED

These generally have had any faults repaired but do you know how good the new parts are and which parts were replaced and which partly worn parts were not replaced. Again see if there is a Brand name nominated.

RE-MANUFACTURED

These usually have been fully repaired to the Makers specifications and all wearing parts replaced. Again the seller will nominate the Brand Name of the better quality ones.

USED

These are as the name implies been used on your model vehicle. If yours needs replacing there’s a fair chance that the one for sale may be on the way out also. How good is the warranty on these. Well the seller won’t pay you to send the unit back or reimburse you the cost of installing the compressor and re-gassing it to find out it’s faulty.

OTHER FACTORS TO WATCH

OIL CHARGE

Make sure that the compressor comes with oil. Refrigeration oil is expensive and there are several grades that must be used in various compressors and these can be difficult to obtain.

PRICE DELIVERED

Don’t be fooled by a lower price nominated and then expensive freight is added on sometimes making the compressor dearer than those advertised as “Free Delivery” or delivery included.

WARRANTY

Some cheapies nominate 12 months warranty but do you only want the compressor to last just beyond the warranty period or for several years. Once again if it’s cheap and no Brand name nominated you must question how good is the warranty.

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