I have a 1994 Escort LX wagon which needs a air condition compressor. I was wondering how much does one cost brand new and what would it cost for labor to install? So total parts and labor for this job would be approx. what? Thanks...
Im not an AC Tech, so cant give you good advice on labor. Buying the parts yourself, I think the compressor would be about $300 or a little less. But I would never replace -just- the compressor on a 15 year old car, I would also replace the hoses ($about 250?), and the accumulator or receiver/drier (whatever Ford calls it) for maybe $30, and the orifice tube (maybe $3). These are prices from an online seller.
I think the 94's use R-134a, so I think you could legally recharge it yourself & assuming you knew how much oil to put in; BUT....
You would need any refrigerant still in the system 'recovered' by someone with the equipment to do so. Doing otherwise would be illegal (violates the clean air act) at both the federal and state level. (I know, some salvage yards probably break that law when no one is looking). And secondly, you would need to pull a vacuum on the system for an hour or so, to get the old stuff out - and doing a flush on the old system would be a very good idea.
Taking shortcuts will shorten the life of the new system.
I would be glad to learn what it finally costs you to do it or get it done. I suspect no licensed A.C. repair place would care to have you buy the parts for them to install. My guess is it would cost between $700-$1100, to have a working system with a 'guarantee'.
I just replaced a compressor on my '88 GL about a month ago with a compressor from a JY doing it myself and recharging it myself with R-134A cost less than $100. That would be my recommendation if you're looking to save some money. You can take it to a garage and have them evacuate the system of any refrigerant in the system then you can open the system, change the compressor, and recharge it yourself as long as you don't leave the system open for a long period of time and let moisture in the system. You can buy compressor oil at Walmart for about $5. a can and one can is enough for the system. If you do yourself you should also replace any O rings before recharging. If your system is not already R-134A you can buy the complete conversion kit (fittings, freon/with oil, charging hose) at Walmart for about $35. and the freon already has the oil mixed with it so you wouldn't need to buy a can of oil. Be sure you find out the capacity of your system before recharging, because if you overcharge it might ruin the compressor.