There is a good chance that the compressor isn't damaged at all. All modern automotice A/C systems have a low pressure cut-off switch to prevent the compressor from running in the event that the refrigerant runs low, or completely out. Grab a can of R-134a refrigerant (they sell them with the gauge built on to the can these days) and hook it up. Turn the A/C on in the car and begin filling the system, once the pressure reaches a high enough level in the refrigerant system, the compressor should kick on (you'll hear it click and start to run). That should answer both questions. :)
Well the compressor is not hard, I think (without looking at it) it is like 4 bolts, and a couple of connections. The problem is that most good A/C guys will tell you to replace most of the system at once or when you replace the compressor, you will have to replace most of the parts, one after the other, and perhaps eventually replace the compressor again not to far out... From what I understand... the compressor tears parts up inside, and sends them through the lines to the other parts, eventually eating each of them up.
Sounds like the compressor is shot and it would be best to replace both. Unfortunately when the compressor goes bad it sends metal trash throughout the system. If you replace the compressor with out having the system flushed clean (which is almost impossible to do) the trash in the system will eventually destroy the new compressor.
Freon coolant is frequently circulated through an air conditioning compressor by way of a number of different hoses and lines into a condenser and an evaporator, and finally, it cools through a blower. It is possible for the compressor to fail, typically because there is not enough lubricant, and this will require having to replace it. If you intend to replace your compressor, it is important to work carefully with the coolant and with the electricity that occurs within your vehicle. You can probably replace your compressor in under two hours.Take out all of the Freon coolant that is present in the system. You can typically get this done at no cost from any oil change facility. However, do not use amateur equipment or let it vent out into the open atmosphere.Turn the positive terminal off and remove the battery. Turn it away from the battery.Locate the connections that harness the wires and remove the adapter from the socket of the compressor. It may also be connected to the blades. Take the line nuts and rotate them counterclockwise before setting aside the coolant lines.Pull the tension pulley arm and take out the belt, ensuring that you slide it out from beneath the pulley wheel, which should be idle. This will enable you to have enough lack to take out the belt from the pulley wheel of the compressor. If you have one belt, it will come with an adapter bolt that allows the compressor to easily slide while it is set counterclockwise, which lets the belt become removed.Now you must locate the mount nuts and turn them counterclockwise, sliding them outside of the arms. Take your new compressor and insert it directly into the position of the mount arms, followed by replacing the bolts for the mount through their arms as well. You will need to then turn the nuts clockwise to fasten them Take the Freon lines and insert them back into their original position, making sure to take a close look at the gaskets while you are putting them back in. Now you may put the belt back into it and reconnect the harness for the wires and the adapter plug.
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