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Hello, I was driving my car to work the other day and noticed that when I started it a loud "belt problem sound" seemed to be coming from under the hood. The next day I noticed my A/C was not working properly anymore. I just took it to a mechanic and he informed me that my air compressor and clutch system were shot. Also I was informed that it takes about 5 hours worth of labor to even remove/replace this system.

Here is my question: I don't care about the A/C, I have no problem toughing out the Pennsylvania summer. However, the mechanic informed me that this air compressor basically runs the belt which in turn, runs my power steering and other stuff...I am not great with cars, but basically he said that I would need to replace this system if I don't want the car to completely break down. He then told me that with labor and parts I will be looking at anywhere between $700-$1,000!

Is this true? Do I really have to replace this A/C air compressor and clutch in order for the Sable to not break down? Isn't there some kind of different belt system that I can install which doesn't even use an A/C?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

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I don't know if I can post any advise here. Is there any regulations? Do I have to be TSF Automotive team?

What was the sound? Squeeking?
How long did the sound last?
You heard the sound when you drove to work, what's about the way back home? Was the A/C working? Any belt noise?

Are there 2 things in problem here? One is A/C compressor, the other is the Transmission Clutch in drive train?

Or just A/C compressor and its clutch?

Usually, the A/C compressor's clutch breakdown couldn't cause catastrophic engine failure as long as your A/C switch is off. Even the A/C is on, it's unlikely that it could cause serious problem to the engine.

If it's the transmission's clutch, then you must do something with it.
 

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Hello, I was driving my car to work the other day and noticed that when I started it a loud "belt problem sound" seemed to be coming from under the hood. The next day I noticed my A/C was not working properly anymore. I just took it to a mechanic and he informed me that my air compressor and clutch system were shot. Also I was informed that it takes about 5 hours worth of labor to even remove/replace this system.

Here is my question: I don't care about the A/C, I have no problem toughing out the Pennsylvania summer. However, the mechanic informed me that this air compressor basically runs the belt which in turn, runs my power steering and other stuff...I am not great with cars, but basically he said that I would need to replace this system if I don't want the car to completely break down. He then told me that with labor and parts I will be looking at anywhere between $700-$1,000!

Is this true? Do I really have to replace this A/C air compressor and clutch in order for the Sable to not break down? Isn't there some kind of different belt system that I can install which doesn't even use an A/C?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
With the newer single belt systems you wil have a problem. 1 Belt turns the alternator, power steering pump and on most (but not all) the water pump. If the clutch on the A/C compressor burnt up that most likely means the compressor it self seized and caused the clutch to go, because of the heat generated while the clutch was going bad you most likely damaged the pulley bearing and it will fail causing a breakdown.
The way that compressor is mounted will cost a lot in labor to remove it but you could get them to price out just replacing the clutch and leaving the electrical connection unhooked so it won't come on. however this also greatly reduces the value of the car. another option along the same lines is to put a used compressor from a junkyard on it and not recharge the freon. Also I wouldn't wait too long to do something with it.
 

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Hi jeb34 and welcome to TSF,

Last fall, I replaced the AC compressor on my 96 S10 Blazer. It took about three hours to replace. The compressor with clutch cost about $160 at Autozone. You can replace the clutch, which is probably your only problem. It has an idler bearing inside it that can fail and will make a lot of noise when it happens. I think the clutch cost around $80 at the time. I needed both since I had a small freon leak around the shaft on the compressor.

The compressor is held on by four bolts and the freon line mounting block is held on by two bolts. It took me longer to refill the system with freon than to replace the compressor.

That said, you might want to check with a couple of other mechanics for a cost estimate. If the compressor is hard to get to, labor costs will, of course, be more.

Best regards,
Mack1
 

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If you really want to go cheap you might try to find a busted leaky compressor that has a good pulley idler bearing. Install the dead compressor and leave the system uncharged and leave the clutch electrical connector off.

But if you leave the a/c discharged for a long time all the components will deteriorate. Could be a problem if you ever went to sell the car.

Also, doing a compressor can be a fairly easy DIY job or a nightmare depending on access. If you want to do the compressor you can take the vehicle to a shop befor job to dischage and after job to recharge the system if you don't have the gages, vacuum pump and experience. You can save a lot of money getting the part and doing the R&R labor.
 

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jeb some vehicles come from the factory without air conditioning and they too need a belt. if you dont mind not haveing the air you might be able to get a replacement belt from your local auto parts store for a vehicle like yours without the a/c option and it will just bypass the compressor. now im not sure if your vehicle had the no a/c option but if it did you should be fine just buying a belt and not messing with haveing it repaired or replaced.

Bud.
 

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Ok guys there are products in the after market just for this situation.The called ac by-pass pulleys and depending upon the engine size may be available for your Sable.They're available in the Help/Dorman line from Carquest etc.Only about 1/4 the cost of a compresser.Part #34166 may be just what your looking for.
 

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If you do decide to go ahead and replace the compressor, bear in mind that in order to have a valid warranty, you must also replace the receiver/drier, expansion valve/orifice tube, flush the system with that manufacturers approved flush, and have complete documentation to back up what was done.
We have had warranty units denied simply because the work order did not state that the system was flushed even though it was billed to the customer on the same work order.
 

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I have a 1999 Merc. Sable and the same problem happened. I'm a lil more car savoy but what you need to do is: A: Get the unit taken out (not replaced) i.e. the pulley so the serpentine can run its route properly w/out hitting the pulley itself but mite cost some money and I don't think most shops will do half a job for you... B: Find a new route for the belt to run so it doesn't come in contact with the pulley, which I am currently working on... C: Say "Bollocks to this!" and find a way to break or cut the pulley to make room for the original belt to run its path, which I have considered out of frustration... Aside from option D: Get it fixed, which I don't have the money for, option B followed by option C is what im going to try and do...

And your problem by the way is caused directly by the Air conditioning pulley seizing up and not rotating causing an immense amount of friction on your belt keeping the other primary pulleys (or the more important ones) from doing their job safely.
 

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Hello, I was driving my car to work the other day and noticed that when I started it a loud "belt problem sound" seemed to be coming from under the hood. The next day I noticed my A/C was not working properly anymore. I just took it to a mechanic and he informed me that my air compressor and clutch system were shot. Also I was informed that it takes about 5 hours worth of labor to even remove/replace this system.

Here is my question: I don't care about the A/C, I have no problem toughing out the Pennsylvania summer. However, the mechanic informed me that this air compressor basically runs the belt which in turn, runs my power steering and other stuff...I am not great with cars, but basically he said that I would need to replace this system if I don't want the car to completely break down. He then told me that with labor and parts I will be looking at anywhere between $700-$1,000!

Is this true? Do I really have to replace this A/C air compressor and clutch in order for the Sable to not break down? Isn't there some kind of different belt system that I can install which doesn't even use an A/C?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
I hope this post right and i have a 95 sable (same problem) i just removed the ac pump bought a shorter belt slaped it on and uhh sorry to all you other guys saying itll mess ur this and taht up no it wont been driving almost 2 yrs like this no prob cept it gets hot near barstow,ca a decent mechanic should be able to fix this for you, but then again we own a ford for the most part Good Luck with this My mechanic charged me 60 buck s for the belt and labor he also is a avid car builder and racer
 

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Hi and welcome to TSF :wave:

I am sure they have it figured out by now as this post is 2+ years old. Since it so old I am going to close it now.

BG
 
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