Question about 1996 Ford Explorer

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Compressor locked up and ruined drive belt. Do I need to replace entire compressor or just clutch

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  • rsmith7837 Nov 02, 2010

    yes i will change the compressor

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Yes, you need to replace the compressor . if you buy new one be sure to follow the instructions with new compressor on how to install .

Posted on Nov 02, 2010

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I have a 2002 sable that sounds like a silverwAre drWer.


I can contribute a little to this but there are a few things that you have done that maybe you did not understand. Not saying this is not salvageable but there are procedures.

With the serpetine belt off, you can turn the compressor electric clutch. Without power the clutch is suppose to free wheel on bearings until electric is allowed to flow to the clutch and lock or engage it to drive the compressor. You should feel roughness in the compressor clutch if its bearings are bad. Most remove with left handed threads but sometimes rust to the compressor shaft.

If you can lock the electric clutch(may not be 12 volt) you can manually turn the compressor to feel roughness. Be aware that compressors take oil and each maker uses different oil weights.

Next, you need to borrow a vacuum machine to empty the system and since moisture will turn to ice, it needs to have negative vacuum pressure.

When you refill the system you found out that too little or too much Freon will not work. You look for the a/c label on the car and it will show the ozs. you need. A postal type scale can help.

While you have the serpetine belt off, check the other pulleys for roughness. Hope this helps. A compressor leaking oil will bring noise and burn out bearings. Hope this helps.

Aug 28, 2018 | 2002 Mercury Sable

1 Answer

My 94 grand marquis shut off seconds after a loud grinding noise that sounded like it was coming from the front left hand side. I tried turning it back on after it happened and the check engine and oi


I interpret this as the Passengers side of your car. Usually the serpentine belt breaks when the A/C compressor seizes. That is the part which is probably grinding or the A/C clutch bearing is seized.

Although this is Winter, the Defroster is made to activate the compressor to lube it during the Winter. Now the pulley that turns the compressor has a clutch bearing. It is ALWAYS turning when the engine is on except when electricity is applied to the compressor clutch and it locks and turns the A/C compressor shaft.

What needs to be done now is to determine if the A/C clutch bearing is bad or if the A/C compressor is bad. Most A/C clutch bearings can be removed and replaced. SOME of the bearings within the A/C clutch can be changed and then they are as good as new.

The procedure for replacing the bearing is 1 step beyond replacing the entire A/C clutch. The fan shroud must be removed, the serpentine belt must come off, then a small bolt and a retaining clip must be removed and the clutch slid off the compressor.

There is no need to remove the compressor or lose Freon. The bearing situation can be determined once the serpentine belt is removed and the parts turned by hand.

Jan 20, 2014 | 1994 Mercury Grand Marquis

1 Answer

My daughter has a 2002 explorer "Eddie Bauer" and the compressor is locked tight. I am assuming I need to replace it or could it be something else? Any suggestions?


if the clutch locked up rec.replacing with new compressor assembly and having the ac lines flushed just to make sure all metal debris if any is removed otherwise it could result in failure of new compressor

Apr 15, 2013 | 1998 Ford Explorer

1 Answer

AC Clutch noise and vibration


An A/C clutch will not make this concern happen, more likely the A/C compressor is begining to go out. The belt on the A/C clutch Assy. free wheels (spins feree on the pulley) when clutch is not engaged. If concern is not present with A/C off this means the bearings in the puley assy. ok. Once the A/C clutch is engaged it locks the compressor against the spinning pulley and turn the compressor chaft and spins the A/C compressor internal shaft. If you hear a loud "screach" when you turn on the A/C it means the belt slipped for a second, if it continiues to screach it means either the belt is loose or that the compressor is internaly locking up. I wouild start by checking the belt tension (if not equipted with and auto tensioner). You can also remove the belt and turn on the A/C and attempt to turn the clutch/pulley by hand, it should turn with a little effect but should not bind or lock at times if that happens compressor is bad.

Sep 30, 2012 | 1997 Saab 900

1 Answer

Replacement compressor locked up almost immediately, what could be the cause and how do I get it fixed? Perplexed and upset.


There is no reason that manual switches should lock up a new compressor that was installed properly. If the new mechanic installed the new compressor, he should fix it. Can't tell you what's wrong without knowing how the compressor was installed and the system filled for service. Was the proper amount of oil added to the refrigerant?

Jul 28, 2017 | 1993 Pontiac Bonneville

2 Answers

I have a 2003 Mercury Sable and the AC comprssor is about to break my question is can I still drive my car if the compressor does bresk.


If the compressor locks up or the bearing goes bad in the clutch, it will ruin the belt. All the accessories attached to the belt will not work, like your alternator, power steering pump, and most importantly your water pump.

Jul 06, 2011 | 2003 Mercury Sable

4 Answers

Can I replace the A/C clutch myself or do I need any special tools? Can I by pass this with a different belt?


bypassing the compressor is best to do. get a belt for your engine less the ac option. the removal and tear down of any compressor is not easy for a novice

Sep 04, 2010 | 1994 Chevrolet Lumina APV

2 Answers

I turned on the air conditioner and the car lost power and made a really bad noise and smelled like a rubber tire was burning. It has 168 000 miles.


air conditioner compressor is locked up. If noise stops with ac off, it's ok to drive. If it noise stays, DO NOT RUN VECHILE. You'll break your belt, ruin your compressor, and be a pain in the a$$ to clean everything out so the new belt fits and works properly.

Aug 19, 2010 | 2003 GMC Yukon Denali

1 Answer

How to change the belt on 1996 pontiac boneville


on the 3.8 liter v6, the pulley on the a/c compressor can be replaced if it is locked up (frozen) on the compressor. the question is what is actually locked up? if the a/c compressor is locked up but the a/c compressor pulley turns, then you need to disconnect the wire harness connecter that is on the a/c compressor pulley/clutch so you can run the defrost on the climate control. many GM cars will run the a/c when you switch the climate control to defrost especially in the winter so the a/c system stays lubed and does not lock up the a/c compressor from lack of use. you can then relace the belt without replacing the compressor pulley/clutch assembly. if the compressor pulley/clutch assembly is locked up, it will need to be replaced. i do not believe there is a way to route the belt bypassing the a/c compressor. you dont want the water pump turning in the wrong direction if you reroute the belt wrong or the engine will overheat. i hope this helps!

Jan 01, 2010 | 1996 Pontiac Bonneville SE CA Value

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