I have a Hyundai Excel 96 sedan, the AC is not working any more. I will eventually have a new AC system installed, but not now because it does cost some bucks.

I'm planning to have it removed since it's just added weight, but I'm worried that if I have it removed now, afterwards when I would install the new AC system it will be harder since the old system was ripped out.

So is it OK that I'll have it removed for now then install a new AC system probably next year? Or should I just let the AC system stay in the car until I have it replaced?

  • 1
    If you could find a mechanic willing to do it, replacing all the major components would give you a more reliable system, although it would be quite expensive. An AC system needs to be squeaky clean inside in order to have a long lifetime, and one that's been open for years is going to be really dirty. The expected life of an AC is directly related to the skill and care of the installer. Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 20:54
  • @TerryCarmen Please answer in the answers section. Comments are not suited for that since they can not be downvoted, nor can they be accepted.
    – pipe
    Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 12:03

4 Answers 4


Keep the AC system in the car until you are ready to get it repaired. There's a load of parts to an AC system and some of them are hard to access, you are likely to spend much more in labor costs removing and then re-installing the system than any fuel savings from reduced weight.

  • 7
    Absolutely concur! Plus, when repairing an AC system, there's usually only a few parts to look at (ie: compressor, evaporator, dryer, condenser, expansion valve, and seals), and then not even all of these. Trying to replace all the bits and pieces would be a total PITB and expense would be a LOT greater. Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 16:27
  • 3
    Plus the old non-working one will still have perfectly good pipework and so on. No point tearing that out.
    – Criggie
    Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 18:39
  • @Criggie - Exactly my point! :o) Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 19:25

Don't rip it out. In addition to what GdD said, some parts of the system, particularly the evaporator core, likely make up part of the seal between the engine compartment and the heating/AC ductwork. If you remove that you will have some work to do to ensure that you're not pulling fumes in to the cabin.

  • yup I'll keep it intact, thanks for the advice I thought it would be a very simple procedure.
    – chip
    Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 6:39

Keep the system as intact as possible. Moisture is a big enemy for a lot of car systems and the A/C is no exception. Let's say you pulled out the heavy compressor and just left the lines open. Well, moist air is now going to fill the system and cause corrosion throughout the remainder of the system. If you still wanted to remove parts, capping of any open lines or parts would be a good idea, but finding makeshift ways to create an air-tight seal on all of the proprietary connectors wouldn't be easy.

If you're that worried about weight, pull out the back seats or only fill up your tank halfway. Taking out the A/C isn't worth the hassle.


(Please consider this an extended comment, not particularly an answer to the question.)

Wow, this question brings back old memories. I once knew this very crazy car racing enthusiast. He raced in a particular class of vehicles where they had to use factory / stock released components. No customization of parts allowed.

With that said, this guy was a fanatic. He tore his car apart and removed all the carpeting and plastic interior parts. He then used a heat gun and paint scraper to remove every little bit of body sealer in the vehicle. He put all the carpet and plastics back in. Took him a crazy amount of time. Why'd he do that? To remove weight, of course. It made the car a bit noisier, but that car was only used for racing on weekends.

At the time, for that model year of vehicle, the factory did used to offer a heater only option. In fact if you go back to the 1980's Air conditioning take rates for some vehicles were less than 50%. So you guessed it... this guy advertised in the local paper, and found someone who owned the same model year vehicle as his, with the heater only option. I helped him with the swap.. He swapped all the heater only parts onto the race car, and the other guy got a free A/C out of the deal. For anybody who hasn't done it, that's a mighty big job. Lots of parts involved. It did save the race guy a whole lot of weight. Did I mention that he was pretty competitive?

So.. I do confirm the answer from JPhi1618. The major reason for not removing anything on your system is to preclude moisture from getting into the refrigerant system. Water plus refrigerant turns acidic and corrodes aluminum terribly. If you've got a system exposed to the atmosphere, you should remove each and every component, drain all the refrigerant oil (measure exactly how much is removed, to ensure you get each and every last drop), replace all the in system desiccant and replace all the refrigerant oil. Evac and refill with refrigerant.

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