Acura TSX Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Recently replaced the AC Compressor on my 2006 Acura TSX and wanted to share some information that wasn't readily available. I found a partial DIY in the comments of a DIY request, created by craig.creationz and another on Acura-zine.

DIY Threads w/ Pictures can be found here below but neither are as detailed as what's below. I recommend printing out what I have and using the threads as a visual guide. Could I have taken pictures and added them? Yes.
Tools:
  • 10mm socket
  • 10mm wrench
  • 12mm socket
  • 12mm wrench
  • 14mm socket
  • Universal socket joint
  • 16" Extension or combo to make roughly 16"
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Breaker bar - substitute if breaker not available
  • Allen key set (large)
  • Zip-Loc bags & marker
Optional Tools and highly recommended
  • ratcheting wrenches - trust me, perfect for tight spaces
  • panel popper tool - makes removal quick and reduces breakage
  • 1/4" socket - meaty enough for 14mm and small enough for the tight spaces
  • ramps - as opposed to jacks
  • Ultra-Violet (UV) Flashlight
  • Aluminum tape - great for covering exposed AC tubing
Parts
  • AC Compressor
  • Condenser Filter Sub-Assembly
  • UV Leak Detector
  • Belt (optional)
  • Panel Clips - you're going to break at least one
  • O-Ring set
  • AC Oil
  • Belt Tensioner / Idler Pulley (optional)
IMPORTANT NOTE - If you have freon in your system, have a shop evacuate it for you. I negotiated a deal with a local lube shop to charge $30 to evacuate the freon and another $30 to refill it as opposed to $90 to have it filled, and venting into the atmosphere which is incredibly dangerous and illegal!


  1. Pull car on to ramps or jack it up
  2. Disconnect Battery - no exceptions - (2) 10mm
  3. Remove upper Radiator Cover - panel clips
  4. Remove lower Engine Cover. The cover runs up the inside of the wheel wells - panel clips & (x) 10mm
  5. Move, but leave attached, the Radiator Overflow Tank - (2) 10mm
  6. Disconnect and remove Fans. Be careful with removal of harness clips and do not scratch/dent Radiator fins - (4) 10mm
  7. Remove Belt. Use a 14mm socket attached to breaker bar on the Idler Pulley. Pull towards you to loosen tension on the Belt. Use a flathead (NOT FINGERS) to carefully pull Belt off the top Pulley - 14mm
  8. Disconnect the Hydraulic Pump and move to the side - (2) 12mm
  9. Disconnect the Alternator wiring harness plug
  10. Disconnect the AC Compressor hoses using the extension(s) and immediately cover - (2) 10mm
  11. Disconnect Alternator. One bolt on top and two below which are hard to see - (3) 12mm
  12. Disconnect Alternator power wire. It's covered with a red harness - 10mm
  13. Pull Alternator out from engine bay. Again, be careful not to damage the radiator fins
  14. Disconnect AC Compressor harness
  15. Remove all four bolts from AC Compressor. Two from the top and then then two from the bottom which are in a very tight spot - (4) 12mm
  16. Pull the AC Compressor out of the car from the top. Fins. Don't damage them
  17. Disconnect and remove the two upper Radiator mounts - (2) 10mm
  18. Remove the front Grill by carefully pulling straight forward. It's held in place by four plastic clips which don't need to be removed.
  19. Disconnect and remove the passenger side Horn - (1) 12mm
  20. Disconnect the two upper Condenser mounts located underneath the radiator support assembly up top - (2) 10mm
  21. Disconnect and immediately cover the upper and lower Condenser hoses - (2) 10mm
  22. Cover the Condenser openings where the hoses just ran
  23. Remove the Condenser . Pull the Radiator forward and make as much room as possible to pull the Condenser from the top. BE VERY CAREFUL not to rub/bend the fins when removing
  24. Remove the Condenser filter bag plug - unknown large allen key
  25. CHECK FOR METAL SHAVINGS IN ALL AC COMPONENTS - CONSIDER ADDITIONAL REPLACEMENT OF AFFECTED PARTS AND A FLUSH IF FOUND
  26. REPLACE ALL EXPOSED O-RINGS AND COAT WITH OIL BEFORE INSTALLATION
  27. Replace filter bag, O-rings, and reinstall into Condenser. Be careful not to scratch the plug or new O-rings and clean the orifices before re-installation.
  28. Check to see if your new Compressor comes pre-oiled. If so, it should be ready for installation however read/check all material that came with it to be certain. If it does require oiling, do so now and fill according to your Compressors instructions.
  29. Reinstall Compressor. Begin with the bottom two bolts since they have to be inserted into the compressor before attached. This will make sense when you're down there.
  30. Reinstall everything in reverse order.
  31. Take back to shop to have it filled and/or flushed
  32. Add UV Leak Detector and check for any leaks

Notes:
  • Check that your Condenser isn't an aftermarket unit beforehand like mine was. Mine was replaced during a collision repair with a non-OEM model sold by NAPA which has no Sub-Filter Assembly replacement and the O-rings aren't standard either. The OEM Sub-Filter Plug doesn't fit this Condenser which created all kinds of trouble.
  • Make sure your belt is routed properly and be very careful installing the new one because you can very easily, seriously injure yourself.

That's all I can recall for now. If I remember anything else, I'll edit the post. If you have anything to add, please do. I didn't take photo's because I'm lazy and hope this is a handy guide for those performing this repair. Doing it myself, I saved a few hundred extra dollars.
 

·
, Admin, Marketplace
Joined
·
3,073 Posts
Photos would have been perfect but thanks for taking the time to post this information. I am sure it will help people out.

Just wondering how did you know you needed to replace it ? Was it not blowing cold air any more or making noises ? Just curious for future reference.

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you! I forgot how long it takes to write out and properly format these things...haven't had the need to perform many repairs on this vehicle so it's been quite a while.

In response to your question, it quit blowing cold air, sufficient freon in the system, no leaks, AC Clutch didn't engage, and time of break consistent with those who've had theirs break under heavy and repeated acceleration with AC on. I have over about 108k miles and figured she'd blown. Metal particles found in the system confirmed Compressor failure.
 

·
, Admin, Marketplace
Joined
·
3,073 Posts
Thank you! I forgot how long it takes to write out and properly format these things...haven't had the need to perform many repairs on this vehicle so it's been quite a while.

In response to your question, it quit blowing cold air, sufficient freon in the system, no leaks, AC Clutch didn't engage, and time of break consistent with those who've had theirs break under heavy and repeated acceleration with AC on. I have over about 108k miles and figured she'd blown. Metal particles found in the system confirmed Compressor failure.
DIY's take a while to write up, I have done a few myself and you don't want to give any wrong info and you want it to make sense to everyone.

Thanks for the reply.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I just overhauled the A/C system on my wife's 2008 Acura TSX (140K miles). I went ahead and replaced everything but the hoses and, in retrospect, I should have changed those as well (or at least made plans to flush them when the system was all opened up). If you have any reason to suspect contamination, changing everything is really the way to go. I paid about $750 in parts (most could be found on Amazon and were either OEM or a close second) and probably $250 in tools (manifold gauge set, vacuum pump, long handle wrenches, long screwdrivers, a creeper, etc). Dealership wanted $1500 just to replace the compressor and drier element. Pffft, there were metal shavings found in the connection between the hoses and the expansion valve. As soon as they saw that, that quote would skyrocket. I'm hoping the new drier element will absorb anything that stuck around in the hoses before that stuff makes it into the compressor!

I replaced the compressor, radiator (including fan, reservoir tank, and coolant sensor), condenser, and evaporator (including the expansion valve). The reservoir tank had to be replaced because one bolt was spinning freely so I couldn't detach the tank from the old fan and reuse it. I also had to get a new elbow connection for the lower coolant hose because the old one was practically melted onto the radiator (so I just cut it with a pipe cutter). If you don't have those two uh-ohs, you'll save another $95 from what I paid.

Make sure the freon has been evacuated. In my case, the compressor failure caused a leak so the system was empty. Put the car on ramps, disconnect the battery, take off the lower valance. Drain the coolant. Remove the radiator and condenser fans, then the radiator. Remove the condenser. Remove the compressor. On the inside, remove the glove box, blower, evaporator. Reinstall everything. Vacuum and then recharge. These two videos served as my primary guides:


You can also find the service manual online. It helped with a couple minor things but those faux 3D schematics are quite misleading, especially with regard to screw/bolt placement.

As with everything else in life, the 20% took 80% of the time. I worked on this car for a few hours every other week over 6 weeks or so. The waiting (for more parts) was not the hardest part. The hardest part was one stupid bolt or one stupid screw holding me back from moving forward. Also, the f$&@ing mosquitos.

Highlights:
No need to remove the power steering pump or alternator. There's plenty of room once the fans are out, even more so when the radiator and condenser are out!
In order to get to the passenger side lower bolt on the compressor, I had to get a long-handle 10mm wrench. I had to use both the open and closed sides of the wrench and on both sides of each end, depending on how far the bolt had been extracted. What a mess that was. If you have access to a lift, even a paid one, take advantage of it just for the compressor and lower valance.
Cutting the center brace under the glovebox to get to the blower and evaporator is actually the recommended practice for service shops. I was dumbfounded.
You need an 8" #2 screwdriver to get to a couple of the screws on the back of the evaporator housing.
You need a deep 10mm socket to remove three of the nuts that hold down the blower.
Might as well replace the cabin air filter while you're at it.
The weatherstripping on the blower was nasty. I used some home stuff to replace it. I had to trim it down because if it's too thick, the blower won't go high enough for the lower right plastic brace to go over the screw it mounts on.
I had to buy 30ft of HVAC insulation tape (Home Depot) just to cut 6-8" to wrap that stupid expansion valve. Watch out, that stuff will stick on any surface it touches and will leave residue.
I bought a 25-pack of those fasteners that hold the valances down (both the lower valance as well as the trim that sits over the radiator). They're so easy to break, even if you have the proper popping tool.

Everything else you need to know is either in the above videos or in general documentation (about handling freon, vacuuming the system, recharging with freon, burping the coolant, etc).

Good luck! This project (and the fact that I now have a working A/C) was testament that this stuff is idiot-proof (although a lot could go wrong if you're not ready for it; I studied every aspect of this project repeatedly, especially dealing with freon). Again, these components are quite hardy. If they required true expertise, my efforts would have been for nothing. Car mechanics don't make a lot of money. It's the owner of the shop that makes a killing.

Please feel free to ask questions. If you're in the Dallas area, I'll be more than happy to help you do it yourself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I just overhauled the A/C system on my wife's 2008 Acura TSX. I went ahead and replaced everything but the hoses and, in retrospect, I should have changed those as well (or at least made plans to flush them when the system was all opened up). If you have any reason to suspect contamination, changing everything is really the way to go. I paid about $750 in parts (most all could be found on Amazon and was either OEM or a close second from reputable brands) and probably $250 in tools (manifold gauge set, vacuum pump, long handle wrenches, long screwdrivers, a creeper, etc). Dealership wanted $1500 just to replace the compressor and drier element. Pffft, there were metal shavings found in the connection between the hoses and the expansion valve. As soon as they saw that, that quote would skyrocket. I'm hoping the new drier element will absorb anything that stuck around in the hoses before that stuffs makes it into the compressor!

I replaced the compressor, radiator (including fan, reservoir tank, and coolant sensor), condenser, and evaporator (including the expansion valve). The reservoir tank had to be replaced because one bolt was spinning freely so I couldn't detach the tank from the old fan and reuse it. I also had to get a new elbow connection for the lower coolant hose because the old one was practically melted onto the radiator (so I just cut it with a pipe cutter). If you don't have those two uh-ohs, you'll save another $95 from what I paid.

Make sure the freon has been evacuated. In my case, the compressor failure caused a leak so it was empty. Put the car on ramps, disconnect the battery, take off the lower valance. Drain the coolant. Remove the radiator and condenser fans, then the radiator. Remove the condenser. On the inside, remove the glove box, blower, evaporator. Vacuum and then recharge. These two videos served as my primary guides:


You can also find the service manual online. It helped with a couple minor things but those faux 3D schematics are quite misleading (especially when it came to the screws that hold the evaporator case down).

As with everything else in life, the 20% took 80% of the time. I worked on this car for a few hours every other week over 6 weeks or so. The waiting (for more parts) was not the hardest part. The hardest part was one stupid bolt or one stupid screw holding me back from moving forward. Also, the f$&@ing mosquitos.

Good luck! This project (and the fact that I now have a working A/C) was testament to the fact that this stuff is idiot-proof (although a lot of things could go wrong if you're not ready for it; I studied every aspect of this project repeatedly, especially dealing with freon).

Highlights:
No need to remove the power steering pump or alternator. There's plenty of room once the fans are out, even more so when the radiator and condenser are out!
Cutting the center brace under the glovebox to get to the blower and evaporator is actually the recommended practice for service shops. I was dumbfounded.
You need an 8" #2 screwdriver to get to a couple of the screws on the back of the evaporator housing.
You need a deep 10mm socket to remove three of the bolts that hold down the blower.
Might as well replace the cabin air filter while you're at it.
The weatherstripping on the blower was nasty. I used some home stuff to replace it.
I had to buy 30ft of HVAC insulation tape just to cut 6-8" to wrap that stupid expansion valve. Watch out, that stuff will stick on any surface it touches and will leave residue.

Everything else you need to know is either in the above videos or in general documentation about handling freon, etc. If you need help, holler!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
What's the best way to replace the clutch pulley and coil on the compressor without removing it and opening up the A/C system?

Can they be accessed and removed from the passenger wheel well area?

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
What's the best way to replace the clutch pulley and coil on the compressor without removing it and opening up the A/C system?

Can they be accessed and removed from the passenger wheel well area? I also want to test the field coil from the top.
I removed the fan and radiator overflow tank but I still can't reach down there

Thanks
If you are absolutely positive it's the clutch and not the compressor internals (bearings) that gave out (that means you can manually engage the clutch), I believe there are instructions online on how to remove just the clutch. I can't remember off the top of my head but I think it's the bolt on the side of the pulley. To do it that way, you may have to remove other nearby components like the alternator. If you have more than 125k miles on that compressor, do yourself a favor and overhaul the entire A/C system. I wish I could help you further.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
If you are absolutely positive it's the clutch and not the compressor internals (bearings) that gave out (that means you can manually engage the clutch), I believe there are instructions online on how to remove just the clutch. I can't remember off the top of my head but I think it's the bolt on the side of the pulley. To do it that way, you may have to remove other nearby components like the alternator. If you have more than 125k miles on that compressor, do yourself a favor and overhaul the entire A/C system. I wish I could help you further.
I've been following the service manual troubleshooting guide and got to the point where I measured resistance of the field coil. I was able to measure the field coil and thermal protector resistances from the top after removing the radiator expansion tank.
There is no resistance and no continuity at the field coil, but the thermal protector checks out. leads me to believe that I need to replace the field coil and clutch assy correct? I believe I can get a reman pulley and coil on ebay for around 60, a new one for $120.

A new four seasons compressor will cost me $220, and then I would have to evacuate and vacuum out the system which would cost me another $100 or more at a shop.


EDIT: I Was able to remove the inner liner and have access to the AC Clutch pulley. I will need to rent the special tools from auto zone and see if I can get them off. Hopefully they are the same autozone part numbers as the RDX procedure that is on the "other" acura website. If I can pull these parts off, get new parts on and have this thing work, it would probably save me about $320. If it doesn't work, well, I wasted time, and about $80 for an ebay pulley and field coil kit. I purchased this car for $3200 and dont want to sink too much money into it, I have a transmission clutch and axles that I will be replacing in the near future so will need to allocate my repair funds towards that!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
I've been following the service manual troubleshooting guide and got to the point where I measured resistance of the field coil. I was able to measure the field coil and thermal protector resistances from the top after removing the radiator expansion tank.
There is no resistance and no continuity at the field coil, but the thermal protector checks out. leads me to believe that I need to replace the field coil and clutch assy correct? I believe I can get a reman pulley and coil on ebay for around 60, a new one for $120.

A new four seasons compressor will cost me $220, and then I would have to evacuate and vacuum out the system which would cost me another $100 or more at a shop.


EDIT: I Was able to remove the inner liner and have access to the AC Clutch pulley. I will need to rent the special tools from auto zone and see if I can get them off. Hopefully they are the same autozone part numbers as the RDX procedure that is on the "other" acura website. If I can pull these parts off, get new parts on and have this thing work, it would probably save me about $320. If it doesn't work, well, I wasted time, and about $80 for an ebay pulley and field coil kit. I purchased this car for $3200 and dont want to sink too much money into it, I have a transmission clutch and axles that I will be replacing in the near future so will need to allocate my repair funds towards that!

Just following up to my post. I was able to remove the center nut from the compressor from the side, but there's no way I can fit the pulley removal tool without getting at it from the top.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Just following up to my post. I was able to remove the center nut from the compressor from the side, but there's no way I can fit the pulley removal tool without getting at it from the top.
Throwing the towel in and getting a new compressor. I was able to get a four seasons one for $200 (vs $110 for a pulley kit on ebay).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
OK Just got the system's r134a evacuated by a shop and also had the A/C system flushed before removing the old compressor.

First question: how much oil does an a/c flush remove, if any?

Second question: Just purchased a new Four Seasons AC Compressor replacement on rockauto. There are two conflicting instructions for adding oil quantity... which one should i defer to?

The 4seasons compressor comes with 3 oz i believe already inside it. The instructions on the 4 seasons website says to add enough to total 8.11 oz with the caveat that " All oil specifications assume that A/C system has been properly cleaned, and new accumulator / filter drier has been installed. Specs are for total system capacities. Always refer to under hood decal as the primary source for refrigerant and lubricant information." I will be installing a new accumulator and dryer ( or maybe replacing entire condenser not sure yet).

The Acura TSX Service manual says to add only 5.33 oz minus the amount of oil drained from the old compressor. I am assuming the acura manual is assuming that we are replacing w/ a genuine oem replacement part, which from reading the instructions seems to be pre-filled with oil?

Any suggestions on what to do? I really don't want to screw this up and have to do this again, so i am triple checking all of my work and asking all the questions i can think of right now. Car is already ripped apart and new compressor is ready to be installed
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top