How to Change the AC Compressor in a 1997 Cavalier

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    • 1). Take the vehicle to an authorized service center to have the air conditioning system discharged. Discharging the system should not be attempted at home, as air conditioning refrigerant is dangerous when inhaled.

    • 2). Place a wrench on the drive belt tensioner and rotate it to relieve the tension on the drive belt. Slip the belt from the pulleys and remove it from the vehicle.

    • 3). Raise the front of the vehicle with an automotive jack and secure it with jack stands.

    • 4). Disconnect the electrical connector from the air conditioning compressor.

    • 5). Remove the plate located on the back of the compressor holding the suction and discharge lines to the compressor. Remove the mounting bolt to the plate with a ratchet wrench.

    • 6). Remove the rear compressor mount with a ratchet wrench.

    • 7). Remove the compressor-to-front-bracket bolts and nuts with a ratchet wrench and remove the compressor from the engine compartment.

    • 8). Pour the oil from the old compressor to the new compressor if oil is not included with the new compressor.

    • 9). Place the new compressor in position and install the compressor-to-front-bracket bolts and nuts with a ratchet wrench.

    • 10

      Install the rear compressor mount with a ratchet wrench.

    • 11

      Install the plate located on the back of the compressor holding the suction and discharge lines to the compressor. Replace the mounting bolt holding the plate to the compressor with a ratchet wrench.

    • 12

      Attach the electrical connector to the air conditioning compressor.

    • 13

      Remove the jack stands and lower the front of the vehicle with an automotive jack.

    • 14

      Route the drive belt over the pulleys according to the routing diagram located in the engine compartment. Place a wrench on the drive belt tensioner and rotate it to increase the tension on the drive belt.

    • 15

      Take the vehicle to an authorized service center to have the air conditioning system evacuated, recharged and tested for leaks.

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