Q: AC compressor locked up.

asked by on July 14, 2016

Was driving home the other day when my AC stopped blowing cold air. When I got into town and rolled the windows down I could hear a slight humming/whistling sound coming from the compressor. Took it to a local shop and they informed me it locked up. They quoted me about 2000 for a complete repair. Is my car still safe to drive? AC is not a must for me so I'm fine without it for the time being. I just want to make sure my car is still safe to drive or if there's a cheaper alternative action I can take to prevent any more extensive damage. Especially since I must have my vehicle to work. Thanks for any advive

My car has 108000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The problem is the compressor is turned by the same belt as the water pump, power steering, and alternator. Dodge uses two different type compressors on these vehicles. One type can free spin when the clutch is not engaged. The other turns continuously and has internal compressor mechanisms to control pressures called a swash plate. If you have this type then you may not be able to disable it and make it free spinning until you get it fixed. Otherwise it will cause the serpentine belt to break. The mechanic should be able to identify the two different types and identify the one you have. They will be able to tell you if it is safe to drive with the compressor working or not. If you’d like a second opinion on this, consider YourMechanic, as a certified technician can come diagnose your A/C issue and help you fix it accordingly.

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