Q: Belts are cracked and need replacing, okay to leave off a/c belt?

asked by on September 29, 2016

My usual mechanic has said my belts are cracked. The A/C belt and the power steering belt to be specific. My boyfriend says he will replace them for me, so I purchased 3 new belts....the a/c, power steering and the alternator belts. Now it is 3 months later and still the belts are sitting waiting to be installed. Boyfriend/home mechanic says that he can take off the a/c belt and not replace it because my a/c doesn't work anyway and there's no point in putting it on. He also says that my fan shroud is a pain in the butt to take off and he will remove it and not put it back on.

What is the truth? Will taking off the a/c belt and not replacing it come back to nip me later on? Will taking the fan shroud off and leaving it off be okay?

This is my daily commute car. A 1990 Toyota 4Runner, 4 cylinder, manual transmission. It has been rebuilt a few times. It has lots of miles. Let me know what a real mechanic thinks.

My car has 330000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Hello. If the belt driving the A/C compressor only drives the A/C compressor and nothing else, you can remove it with no consequences. The fan shroud is not optional equipment however as it has both a cooling system function and a safety function.

Depending on your climate, you might consider diagnosing the A/C system and repairing it. If you use a service such as YourMechanic, it will often be economical enough to do it, particularly if the fault is limited.

Even if the compressor shaft sealing is leaking (would be likely after 25 years), that is fixable in the field. Feel free to contact YourMechanic if you have additional needs relative to this or the replacement of your power steering, alternator, A/C belts.

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