Question about 1997 Ford Aerostar Extended

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The compressor on my 1997 ford aerostar is smoking. It happened when I turned on the heat and the pulley got really hot to the point it started turning red. It seems like it is going to melt the belt. What do I do?

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It sounds like the compressor locked up. Do not attempt to drive the vehicle in this condition, you'll destroy the belt or just stall the engine and could find yourself walking to your next destination.

For a quick "fix", check to see if you can get a belt from a parts store that bypasses the AC. If that is available, it can keep you going until you get a chance to get it fully repaired, or just drive the vehicle without an AC indefinetly.

Otherwise, you likely need a new AC compressor and all of the components and labor that such a swap entails... which will not be cheap.

Posted on Apr 28, 2010


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1 Answer

The compressor on my 1997 ford aerostar is smoking.

This is not going to be good news for you. You are going to need to fix this immediately if turning off the A/C does not stop the smoking. The compressor is safeguarded by several cutoffs.

Turn your A/C off and use only the vent. The compressor clutch in front of the compressor is the part the belt rides on. The pulley should freewheel without the A/C on or the Defrost setting on.

If the compressor clutch fails to freewheel,disconnect the electric connection at the compressor. Should the clutch continue to turn the entire clutch(both the front and back plates) you will burn up the belt and lose every connection that belt works.

The cutouts for the compressor are suppose to blow fuses and thermal links to prevent overheating the parts. At a minimum your compressor bearings are probably destroyed and the oil and Freon have leaked out of the system. If you can still find an Obama rebate van with the A/C intact you can remove the compressor with clutch from a Salvage yard.

There are some special "O" rings on the lines that need tools designed for them and you will need an A/C shop to purge the system and refill it. Or a Vacuum purge pump is available for deposit at Autozones and Oreilys. But with the connections this is a sizeable job. Good Luck, there are no shortcuts I can give you.

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