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A/C Compressor


Well-known member
Aug 21, 2001
Round Rock, TX
73 LS4 Coupe - 04 CE Conv
I think I have lost the lubricant out of my A/C compressor on my '90. Had a lot of lubricant leaking on the left front, first thought of power steering but wrong color and could not find any leak and reservoir did not show any loss. The only other thing over there is the compressor.

- How do I diagnose if it is the compressor?
- If I have lost the lubricant have I also lost the refrigerant?
- Can the average home mechanic (otherwise know as Bubba) replace the seals on the compressor?


Do you have a wet dirty grease strip forming on the bottom side of the hood just above the a/c clutch? If so, take a good look at the compressor. That is where you will see the spray. You want to clean any oil as soon as possible with good anti grease chemicals of your choice as soon as possible before it is absorbed into the glass. I have seen perfectly good hoods that have to be thrown away because after the oil seeps in, the paint will bubble, and or it won't hold new paint later.

Factory power steering fluid should be clear. Most people stick ATF in there over time and that is why it gets red or brown. I don't think the average person could tell the difference between a bottle of factory clear power steering fluid and the clear oil that goes in the a/c. If the a/c still works, and you have a lot of oil, I would think it is more like the rack, hoses, or power steering pump.

Let us know about the strip under the hood.

BTW, I have changed the front a/c seal before. It really is not that hard buy you have to have the correct tools for pulling the clutch and removing and installing the seal. ANY contamination on the seal will defeat it. I know, because the last one I did took me three tries.

Also, a little bit of dirty oil streak is not unusual for a 11 year old car. If it is wet and shinny, you have a problem. A/C compressors will leak a little oil and freon over time.

I you are going to fix your leak with sealer i would watch because it has blow up compressors and plug orfice tubes.i would not recommond using it.you can pump dye into it and run it and see it with an ultraviolet light .i would also retro fit if not done allready good luck.

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