Do’s and Don’ts to Follow When Buying a A/C Compressor By-pass Pulley
Aside from making the wheels move, the engine also serves as a power source for the A/C compressor through a serpentine belt. The engine is synced with the compressor pulley because of this, which is why once the AC compressor malfunctions, the engine also goes out of sync. Repairing or replacing the A/C compressor should fix the problem, but if changing the compressor is not feasible for any reason, another option is to install an A/C compressor bypass pulley instead.
In this guide, we'll share some do's and don'ts in buying a A/C compressor bypass pulley.
- DO buy a bypass pulley that corresponds to your vehicle. Bypass pulleys come in various sizes and mounting options depending on what vehicle it will be used in. A bypass pulley designed for a Mazda sedan, for example, cannot be installed and used on a Dodge pickup and vice-versa. The pulleys are often packaged with relevant vehicle information, so make sure to check the packaging if you will be buying the right type of pulley.
- DO buy a bushing adaptor that's of the right size. Some bypass pulley kits allow you to reuse the original pulley of the compressor to ensure compatibility with the serpentine belt. However, in order for the pulley to work properly, it must be fitted with the correct diameter and size of bushing. Using a bushing that's even one size too small may make the pulley loose and cause it to pop off when rotating, resulting in a very dangerous situation.
- DO check and compare the warranties of the product to ensure the best deal. A/C compressor bypass pulleys are typically designed as temporary measure to keeping the engine functioning normally, but this doesn't mean that you should overlook its warranty. And as aftermarket products, the quality of A/C compressor bypass pulleys can vary from one manufacturer to another, so malfunctions can be quite a reality.
- DON'T buy just the pulley as is. You can buy A/C compressor bypass pulley as a standalone unit, but it is preferable to purchase a kit which contains the spacers, bolts, and added hardware needed to install the pulley. Using the hardware provided by the manufacturer will help ensure compatibility as well as having spare ones to use in case the original hardware is already compromised.
- DON'T buy a refurbished compressor bypass pulley. There are many resellers online offering refurbished pulleys at the fraction of the cost of brand new ones, but their quality and durability may already be questionable. What's more, the warranty is likely to be voided in the case of secondhand pulleys. So as much as possible, buy a brand new pulley set.
- DON'T hesitate to buy a new serpentine belt and hardware as well. Even a brand spanking new high-end A/C compressor bypass pulley won't do much if the serpentine belt is already frayed or the threads of the mounting bolts stripped down to the base. If any of these components appear to be damaged or worn, do buy replacements for them along with the bypass pulley.