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A/C Compressor & Clutch for Saturn SL

Keep your cool in the summer with any of the assorted parts available for your Saturn SL's air conditioning system. These parts include A/C compressors, pulleys, clutches, and more to repair or replace your car's wayward cooling system. When your Saturn's compressor clutch begins seizing or your coolant needs a recharge, you can find everything you need to get back to chilling out.

How does A/C work in the Saturn SL?

The air conditioning system in your Saturn SL car utilizes a compressor that draws energy from the engine flywheel to pressurize a gas known as a refrigerant. This causes it to rapidly drop in temperature after which it's circulated through the ventilation system to be expelled by the cabin fans. The compressor flips on and off through interval phases using a compressor clutch, which keeps the A/C from running more than is required to supply the cabin with cool air.

What are the signs of A/C failure?

As the component that handles the most strain, A/C compressors inevitably fail in all vehicles. As such, most failures in your Saturn's A/C will come down to the compressor falling apart. The symptoms to look out for are as follows:

  • Air isn't cool
  • Rattling, screeching, squealing, or grinding during operation
  • A/C continually runs without ever idling
What parts in the A/C can require replacement over time?

A number of complications in your Saturn's air conditioning can arise over time, especially because it is a system that utilizes many moving components. The exact parts that can go bad in your Saturn will depend on whether the compressor has experienced an internal or external failure. Internal failures can spread contaminants through the vehicle's systems and damage other components. They are also more difficult and expensive to repair while external failures are a better-case scenario. The following parts may need to be looked at when the system shows signs of impending failure:

  • Pulley: The pulley can become scored from continuous contact with the belt
  • Bearings: Bearings can begin grinding or squealing as they wear down
  • Belts: Belts can thin down or become dislodged, causing squealing
  • Clutch: This part can seize through continuous mechanical wear, preventing the system from toggling and resulting in a noticeable rattle
  • Refrigerant: The refrigerant in your A/C may leak as it circulates through the system over time, reducing the cooling factor and requiring a recharge
Is it recommended to have a professional install the parts?

If you're not especially savvy with your Saturn SL, it may be wise to consider letting a technician handle replacing A/C parts; although, for the more savvy owner, this kind of work can be done at home. Replacing a compressor involves the disconnection and reattachment of multiple components, and you'll need to refer to the Saturn SL shop manual to know exactly what steps to take and which tools will be needed.