Replace Your Car's AC Compressor Clutch, Coil, and Pulley

Struggling with a faulty air conditioner clutch in your car? This comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps to replace the AC compressor clutch, clutch coil, and pulley. Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a first-timer, follow these steps to ensure a successful replacement.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Socket set
  • Screwdrivers (flathead and Phillips)
  • Pliers
  • AC clutch removal tool
  • New AC compressor clutch, coil, and pulley
  • Safety glasses and gloves

Step 1: Safety First

Before you begin, ensure your car is parked on a level surface, the engine is off, and the keys are removed. Wear safety glasses and gloves to protect yourself.

Step 2: Discharging the AC System

Discharge the AC system properly. It's recommended to have this done by a professional, as it involves handling refrigerant.

Step 3: Locate the AC Compressor

Find the AC compressor. It's usually located at the front of the engine, attached to the serpentine belt system.

Step 4: Remove the Serpentine Belt

Loosen the tensioner pulley and slide the serpentine belt off the compressor pulley.

Step 5: Disconnect Electrical Connections

Disconnect the electrical connections to the compressor clutch and coil. Mark them if necessary to ensure correct reassembly.

Step 6: Remove the Clutch

Remove the bolt holding the clutch in place. Use a clutch puller tool to carefully slide the clutch off the compressor's shaft.

Step 7: Remove the Pulley

After the clutch is removed, take off the snap ring or bolt securing the pulley. Use a pulley puller tool to remove it.

Step 8: Remove the Coil

With the pulley removed, the coil is now accessible. Unbolt and remove the coil from the compressor.

Step 9: Install the New Coil

Position the new coil on the compressor and secure it with bolts or the C clip.

Step 10: Install the New Pulley

Place the new pulley onto the compressor shaft and secure it with the snap ring or bolt.

Step 11: Install the New Clutch

Align the new clutch onto the compressor shaft and install the retaining bolt. Ensure it's properly aligned and not too tight.

Step 12: Reconnect Electrical Connections

Reconnect the electrical connections to the clutch and coil.

Step 13: Reinstall the Serpentine Belt

Reposition the serpentine belt over the pulleys, ensuring it fits into the grooves correctly. Adjust the tensioner pulley to maintain proper tension.

Step 14: Test the System

Before starting your car, double-check all connections and fittings. Start the engine and turn on the AC to test. Listen for any unusual noises and ensure the AC is cooling effectively.

Step 15: Vacuum Down and Recharge the System

Once the compression has been reinstall the system will need to be vacuum down and recharged.

Step 16: Final Checks

Inspect the area around the AC compressor for any signs of leaks or loose parts. If everything appears secure and the AC is functioning correctly, your replacement is successful.


Replacing the AC compressor clutch, clutch coil, and pulley can be a challenging but rewarding DIY project. With the right tools and a bit of patience, you can restore the efficiency of your car's air conditioning system. Always prioritize safety and consult a professional if you encounter difficulties during the process.


Guide knowledge base was created by the 2CarPros Team, overseen by Ken Lavacot: Automobile repair shop owner and ASE certified master automobile technician of over 40 years.  

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