Can you replace an AC clutch without removing the compressor?

The clutch in my air conditioner just kicked the bucket, unfortunately. I want to replace it, but I keep reading you need to replace the compressor too. Is this true or can you replace an AC clutch without removing the compressor?

Find out if you’re getting ripped off on your car insurance in less than two minutes.
No spam · No long forms · No fees
Find savings (100% Free)
rating white
3.5k Ratings
Answer provided by
Matt Terzi
Answered on Apr 15, 2022
We’re sorry to hear about your AC troubles. We know how frustrating it is to be stuck in a boiling hot car with no air conditioning, and the window doing little more than letting in scorching radiant pavement heat. Yuck. But let’s help you get this done the DIY way!
Yes, you can technically replace the clutch without removing the compressor. The reason people suggest doing them together is that when one fails, the other usually isn’t too far behind it. It’s just a matter of convenience to replace them both since you’re already doing most of the same steps anyway.
You’ll also find that most OEM and aftermarket air conditioning compressors sold on the market today include a clutch, too. It’s uncommon (but not entirely rare) to find compressors sold without clutches, which isn’t true the other way around.
You can buy a standalone clutch, of course—it’s usually about half the price of a compressor, or thereabouts—but unless you’re on a really tight budget, we recommend buying the compressor and clutch together and just replacing the whole unit at once. It might save you some money and headaches down the road.
Another thing to take into consideration here is that a seized-up pulley bearing can cause damage to the compressor itself. So even if you find the clutch isn’t spinning properly, you might replace it only to find the compressor itself is damaged or blown. This can lead to the old clutch not coming off, or even a new one not seating properly.
We never like giving answers like these, with the potential to cost you more money. But if it’s any consolation, we can save you enough money on car insurance to more than make up for it!
Jerry is America’s #1 top-rated insurance broker app, with users saving an average of $887 per month on car insurance.
It only takes a few minutes to download the app, answer some basic questions, and find quotes that could potentially save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year on home, car, and renter’s insurance. Give it a try!

Here to save on car and home insurance? Great, you do that. We’ll do everything else.

Sign up in under a minute.
No need to fill out forms or shop around. Sign up in 45 seconds to start saving. Jerry does the rest.
Jerry collects and analyzes your current coverage.
Say hello to Jerry, your new insurance agent. We’ll contact your insurance company, review your current plan, then find the coverage that fits your needs and saves you money.
Get the best options before your renewal.
Jerry does all the picky, busy work by comparing prices and coverage from more than 50+ insurance companies. We compare what we find to your current policy and offer you the three best options before every renewal.

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings — it's 100% free