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Q: My AC bearings are making noise - what does this mean?

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How long can I drive till something HUGE happens?

My car has 180000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hi there. I am not quite clear which bearin...

Hi there. I am not quite clear which bearings or other components you may be hearing. The most likely noises coming from the engine compartment would be the AC compressor clutch bearing, and the compressor itself. While the clutch bearing is much less expensive to replace the compressor. Both require evacuation of the refrigerant from the system and recharging.

If either of them is rattling, you don't have long before they will fail (less than 1K miles perhaps). I would recommend having the AC system inspected completed by a mobile mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, to have this problem diagnosed and repaired.

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