Q: Reputable aftermarket A/C compressor brands

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My A/C clutch bearing has started making noise and since my compressor although works ok and still cools is a little noisy and does have 140k miles on it already so I'm considering replacing the entire compressor and condenser as opposed to just replacing the clutch kit with the new pulley and bearing and worrying if my old compressor decides to just crap out anyways after putting some money into it. The problem I have is that OEM Keith brand compressor is just so ridiculously priced that my budget is considering just changing the pulley/bearing. I noticed some aftermarket replacements that range in price and brand but all still substantially cheaper than the oe unit. Are there any well known reputable aftermarket brands that can be recommended for purchase? Any input is deeply appreciated! Thank you

My car has 140000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Hey there. The first thing you need to determine is if it is the clutch that is making the noise or the compressor. If the compressor is noisy internally, replacing the clutch won’t fix your problem. There are many aftermarket quality brands. With any auto part, the cost and availability is greatly dependent on supply and demand in your area. The best thing to do is to locate a local commercial AC parts supplier. Box stores such as O’Reilly’s, Baxter Auto Parts, etc., often use the cheapest parts (but not always). Napa Auto Parts can be good, but this depends on your area. All these stores will buy parts from local suppliers. If you locate the local warehouse, you can often ask them what parts they see fail the most often. As well as inquire about warranties. You will find the parts that are the best will give the longest and most comprehensive warranties.

It is true in the parts industry 90% of the time that the more expensive the part is, the better the quality. It takes more time and better materials to produce a higher quality part and that translates to more money for that part. I could quote a number of brands, but if they are not stocked in your area, it may not make it more cost effective to have it shipped to you. Your best resource for this is a local warehouse or a shop that does a lot of AC work.

Some brands I trust are Sanden, Denso and Four Seasons. There are many other brands out there. Again, what is available is very demographic, so you may want to find a local AC supply warehouse. It will supply both shops and auto parts stores in your area. They will know what is the best product for your budget.

If you need help sourcing the correct parts or installing an A/C compressor that you’ve selected, then consider YourMechanic for help with this job. One of our expert technicians can perform an A/C compressor replacement on your car using the right parts.

Good luck!

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