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Q: Serpentine Belt replacement

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Kia Optima EX 2006. The serpentine belt is broken as well as my air conditioner which I was told that the compressor had frozen up. Can I replace the serpentine belt without repairing the air conditioner ?
My car has an automatic transmission.

It depends. In scenario no. 1, let’s assume the compressor itself is seized and will not turn. In that scenario, so long as the bearing that allows the compressor CLUTCH to rotate freely is good AND you NEVER attempt to operate the A/C system, then it is safe to install and run a new serpentine belt. In scenario no. 2, though, if BOTH the compressor and the clutch bearing are seized, it would be impossible to install a serpentine belt because the belt would simply get hung up on the seized a/c clutch pulley every time you turn the engine on. In scenario no. 1, if you have a good clutch bearing, but a seized compressor, just disconnect the clutch wiring harness to prevent accidental engagement of the compressor and then you can add the new serpentine belt. The foregoing two scenarios represent the situation that you face technically. As far as good advice though, unless you live in Alaska, I strongly recommend you simply repair or replace the compressor because a/c is not a mere "convenience". Cars are mini-toasters, or worse, in the summer and for your own health and safety a/c is more than just a "good idea". If you schedule the repair on a mobile basis through YourMechanic, it can be affordable. The recommended service for belt replacement is serpentine belt repair and for the a/c system, a/c compressor replacement. Please let us know if you have additional concerns.

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