Car: 2003 Opel Agila 1.2

I would like to retrofit Air Conditioning to my car, as I'm planning to travel to a hot place!

My questions:

  • Apart from charging and discharging the system, which I would obviously do at a garage, as everyone knows that AC gas ravages the environment, how long would the job take?

  • Could I do most of it at home? (with a socket set, screwdrivers, a Jack and a hammer)

  • If I had a donor car. with AC, how difficult would this be? (including removing all the AC parts off the old car)

  • What parts would I need to remove from the donor?

  • If I didn't have a donor car, how expensive would it be?

  • As this is just a "dumb" AC system with no climate control, just red for hot and blue for cold, is the electrical work for the AC complicated?

2 Answers 2


If you have a complete donor car, it is by far easier to swap it out than to retrofit. If the donor car doesn't have an engine in it, level of difficulty goes up exponentially. This is due to not knowing where everything is/was/should be. Also, you'll be on an expedition in parts finding. You'd need to find the right AC compressor, lines, & pulleys which probably wouldn't be there without and engine.

Things you'll need to pull out of a donor car:

  • Compressor
  • Refrigerant lines
  • Pressure switch
  • Drier/filter
  • Condenser
  • Evaporator
  • Evaporator housing
  • Heater core (possibly if different than original)
  • Fan
  • Fan resistor pack
  • Switches
  • Wiring (could possibly be there if manufacturer has single wiring harness for vehicle)
  • All associated nuts/bolts/screws/brackets/etc

This list is not exhaustive. You will probably find that there are little things which I've not mentioned you'll need.

Expect your vehicle to be down for a couple of days while retrofitting. To do this, I'd bet everything pulled out of the donor car first. Anything which touches the bits/pieces you are pulling off needs to be suspect and prepared for movement to receiver car (within reason ... you won't need to introduce the body over, lol!). Do not get rid of donor car until you have the job done. That way if you find you need something you haven't planned for, it will be there.


If there is an Agila model with aircon, chances are most of the fittings are in place already (it's cheaper to have one common platform). It's quite a job actually though. Plus you'll need to install a new pulley belt. It's not impossible, but if you have the money and don't care about the learning experience, have someone else do it.

  • There is a model with AC. Would it be really hard to add a new pulley belt? I thought it would just be a straight swap for the longer one
    – George
    Jun 30, 2015 at 10:00
  • No, it's a straight swop. It's not that hard. It's just a lot of little jobs that need doing, e.g. the new belt, new buttons, wiring, mounting, ducting, etc. If you know what you're doing, you'll be able to pull it off in a day or so. Jun 30, 2015 at 10:21

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