Recently I just had a small crash that broke a plastic flange from my ac system. I checked around to be sure nothing else is broken and it really look like this is the only broken thing. The compressor has emptied itself since this caused a big leak.

So my question is : Is there anything i should worry about if I don't repair this before spring (in about 4 month)?

I was told I should at least remove the fuses to stop the compressor from working. Should I do this?

edit / this is on a vw passat 1998 1.8t

  • Year, Make, Model? Dec 13, 2013 at 22:53
  • @Larry it's a vw passat 1998 1.8t I didn't added this info in the question since I tought it was pretty mutch irrevelant to the question/answer
    – Rémi
    Dec 14, 2013 at 1:54

3 Answers 3


It's best to repair it now if you can. Moisture is the enemy of an AC system and the moisture in the air is enough to cause a problem. This can cause corrosion on the inside of the components in the AC system. Causing you problems down the road.

You also need a functioning AC system for the defroster to operate effectively. The AC compressor is run to dehumidify the air to help clear the windshield.

As for the fuse there is no need to pull it, the AC compressor won't come on if it's low on refrigerant.

  • Thank I will have it checked to have a approximation of the cost to repair this.
    – Rémi
    Dec 14, 2013 at 1:56

Depending on where you are located it will matter. If in cold weather, the AC will kick on to dehumidify the front windshield (defroster). Without it, your breath will freeze on the inside until the car is warm enough to unthaw it. If cold is not an issue, the break will allow atmosphere into the lines and will cause the death of the drier. If you don't mind putting out more money for the drier as well, there shouldn't be too much of an issue. You won't kill the compressor if you were wondering. My suggestion is to get it fixed if at all possible.

  • The drier will need to be replaced regardless, most if not all manufactures require replacement of the drier anytime the system is opened, even if it's only open for a short amount of time. Dec 13, 2013 at 22:52
  • @Larry ... I would agree. Dec 13, 2013 at 23:33
  • 1
    Thank you for your answer. Since I'm in Québec, Canada and now it's about -20 I will try to have it checked as soon as possible
    – Rémi
    Dec 14, 2013 at 1:57

Your AirCon system has a low pressure sensor and also a high pressure sensor. Your compressor has an electric clutch. If the low pressure sensor signals below 40 psi the compressor clutch is isolated and cannot work the compressor. If the high pressure signal is over 400 psi the compressor clutch is again isolated and cannot operate the compressor.

You say you the compressor has emptied. The clutch compressor will now just be spun freely by its drive belt, no system pressure, and will not cause any further damage.

On your system you have a component named 'receiver' or 'drier'. This is a filter and a moisture collecting component. Vehicle manufacturers recommend this is changed on service operations, mainly because of the filter collecting debris from the system such as metal 'dust' from system operation. The moisture element is minimal in a closed system.

In the event of a compressor change, it becomes absolutely essential to change the receiver/drier.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .