How to remove the AC compressor, alternator, power steering pump, and bracket on mk4

difficulty: 1/5
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This article shows DIY removal of the AC compressor, power steering pump, alternator, and bracket on a 2004 VW Jetta TDI.

The exact model year shown is a 2004.  The 2004-2006 mk4 body cars are slightly different than the 1998-2003 mk4 body cars so there are a few minor differences.  The biggest one is that the 98-03 use a different serpentine belt routing.  The difference is noted in the procedure section.  For the mk4 VW Passat, see the Passat DIY index.

For any questions about this writeup, please post a followup comment in this thread in the forum.


13, 16mm wrench
VW tool 10060 or 10060a (optional, you can also use a pin or nail)


First, remove the engine top/bottom covers, which ones you remove will depend on what you're doing. For serp belt replacement you can just remove the upper cover, but removing the lower cover is helpful when doing the PS pump, but all the belt driven accessories CAN be removed from the top.  If you have a 98-2003 you can modify your engine cover to pop off instead of removing its 3x 10mm nuts.  See 1000q: engine cover pop mod for more details.  If you have a 2004-2006 the engine cover already pops off.

Remove the intercooler outlet pipe. There are two retaining clips you can pop up with a pick or screwdriver. They only pop up about 1/4"-1/2", do not completely remove them. Snake out the wire that runs along side of it, and take the coolant lines out from the clips. It's up to you if you want to remove the coolant pipes from the overflow tank and tuck them out of the way, you can work around them.

Here is the serpentine belt routing for the BEW engine.  You can see the alternator at the top, the compressor below it, and the power steering pump at the bottom.

Put a 16mm open end wrench on the tab of the tensioner, swing the wrench clockwise (towards the front of the car) to relieve the belt tension. You can then either remove the belt and slowly allow the tensioner to return to its rest position, or put a small punch in the tensioner hole to keep it in it's 'tensioned' position.   VW tool 10060 or 10060a is the official tool (a pin) shown below.  PLEASE WATCH YOUR HANDS AND FINGERS since it can slip and pinch your fingers so BE CAREFUL!  

Remove the 3x 13mm bolts on the tensioner.

If you have a 1998-2003 ALH engine, the tensioner has a nub on the lower part where you can use a wrench to rotate it clockwise to loosen it.   Here is the routing for that engine.

Alternator removal

Disconnect the battery's negative terminal.

Remove the 2x 13mm bolts on the alternator.  There are also two electrical connectors on back of the alternator, one is the battery connection which is a nut, and the second is a clip connector.

You'll need to use a pry bar to persuade the alternator to leave.  This is because there are bushings that clamp down to fit the bracket when you tighten its bolts.

For alternator troubleshooting and clutch pulley removal, see 1000q: alternator replacement and troubleshooting

Air conditioning compressor removal

To remove the compressor, remove the 2x 16mm bolts.

If you are removing the compressor you need to disconnect the two lines on the back, which are 6mm hex heads. If you are removing/replacing the compressor evacuate the AC system first, don't add to the hole in the ozone. Otherwise you can leave the lines attatched and use a wire hanger to support the compressor out of the way. The upper bolt can not be removed as it is sleeved, and it hits the frame rail, you need to bring it out with the compressor, and remove it after moving the compressor.  You can also see that there is one electrical connection on the backside of the compressor that needs to be removed. You will also need to use a prybar to get the compressor out.

Power steering pump removal

The PS pump is a little different.  First, the pulley needs to be removed by counterholding the pulley while removing the hex bolts.   Put a screwdriver through one of the oval holes and jam it against the pump body. Then remove the hex bolts.

You can then remove the 3 bolts on the front of the power steering pump and there one hiding on the back.  You can then either swing the pump out of the way and hang it up or remove the two power steering lines and let the fluid drain out.  If the fluid is drained remember that the power steering system will need to be bled after it is reinstalled.

Here is the bolt on the back of the pump.

You will also need to use a prybar to give the PS pump a little nudge, it shouldn't take too much pressure on the pry bar for any of these components.  If you're really fighting, stop and take a look to see if something is jammed.

If you are going to be swinging the PS pump out of the way without unhooking it, you need to remove the bolt on the metal power steering line on the underside of the engine block.

If you need to go a step farther and replace the accessory mount, there are 6x16mm bolts holding it to the engine block.

Do you have any questions related to this writeup?  Please search using the box below or ask in the VW TDI Forums.