Q: Do I need to keep refrigerant in my A/C compressor during winter months

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Belt was squealing on A/C compressor unit .replaced belt squealing continued. Had unit replaced squealing still happening. Getting worse. Was told may have to keep refrigerant in to lubricate unit even in winter?

My car has 196000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The refrigerant inside the compressor has nothing to do with the compressor pulley turning freely when the compressor is not engaged. If the pulley is not turning free then the bearing inside the pulley will need to be replaced. If the compressor is stored with no refrigerant in it then the compressor will be subject to moisture to get into the system and will corrode the internal compressor parts. The refrigerant helps to circulate the oil to lubricate the compressor internal moving parts and bearings. Plus the a/c compressor is used in the winter when you go to defrost the windshield. If the a/c is inoperative then you will blow warm moist air instead of warm dry air to the window causing moisture build up on the window inside.

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