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'88 5K Air Conditioning Compressor
The previous owner told you the A/C compressor clutch was seized.
You therefore probably need to replace it. The compressor, that
is. Clutches cost ~$125, and you need special tools to remove and
replace them on the compressor. The compressor will have to come
out to replace the clutch. You can get used compressors with a
clutch for ~$50 and rebuilt ones with a clutch and a guarantee for
~$250. New ones are $600 - $800. Welcome to the wonderful world
of Audi parts prices.
Before you replace it, try to test it. There is a single wire
which goes to the compressor/clutch. Look for it and its Kostal
(not sure of the correct nomenclature) connector on the driver's
side frame rail underneath and behind the fan. Apply 12 DC volts
to it. The clutch should engage. You should see it and hear it
click when you apply and remove the 12vdc. A convenient source of
12vdc nearby is the positive battery post jumper cable connection
over on the other side of the engine bay.
If the compressor/clutch is no good, you will have to replace it.
This is not a difficult job. But when you replace it, you will
lose whatever refrigerant charge you had in the system. You can
recharge with the original R-12 at 3 cans @ ~$50ea, or convert to
R-134a at 3 cans @ $6ea plus some other retrofit pieces. I highly
recommend the R-134a for cost reasons. Conversion is easy, but
that is another story. Let me know if you are interested.