Question about 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier

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It is all a big mess. I'm sorry this is so long

But I was horribly wrong, and thought you might have a suggestion as to, what I can do now. (please bare with the length of this question I have no one else to ask really)
I picked up my car today. (for the record, when I talked to one of the guys, he mentioned the compressor making noise. I told him it made a small rattle and I figured it was a loose belt.)
I get in the car, take off and was horrified. When I turned on the air, it started making a weird sound. When I was stopped at the light, I opened the door to listen, and was blown away with this monster sound it was making. And it was still over heating and the coolant light still on. When I first walked in I mentioned the compressor sound, and the guy says "yeah, that is what I told you on the phone." I started to tell him it's not the sound the car was making before I brought it in. He got real defensive and I knew it was over that moment.I even suggested the possibility of the piece of belt wrapped around the pulley and now gone maybe being the reason it was quiet before. They just kept saying that when the barrings go out, that is the sound they make. Nobody seemed to be able to give a reason or even acknowledge that the car is different now. That it was quiet when it arrived and now bad. So I let go of that for the moment.
As far as the overheating they convinced me to do the flush.He garenteed that if I'd do the flush all would be well, and would no longer overheat. I had them do that, and while they were at it. I had them do a "birthday" oil change with my filter for free. They had three guys try to replace the filter.(maybe I should check and make sure they put it on.) it's in a pain in the brain to get, especially with "man-hands", so I'll give them that one.
But I wonder, since they were concerned bout the coolant flush. Do you think they would've some how kept it at an over heating state to guarantee I do it there. (one of the guys who knew I said to fill it with water, filled with universal coolant for free. He probably couldn't bring himself to fill with water. I thought for sure it would've run at least fairly normal until I got it to where I said I was going to do the flush at) At any rate all seems to be well with that whole overheating thing now. (assuming a burning rubber smell is normal with a new belt?)
I just can't help but shake the feeling something was bent, or is now rubbing against something. I guess I don't know what a new belt smells like. But the compressor is different as "day" and "night" in my car. Not just the horrendous sound, but when I'm idle at a light, the car jiggles pretty significantly. Kind of like in my olds, as a tire was wearing the car would jiggle just slightly. The way I could tell, was how my forearm muscel would jiggle a bit when waiting at a light or on the freeway. I was right every time. I tend to notice a lot of slight things with the way things sound etc. Do you think a company holding that name, would actually go so low as to make it "appear" as though my compressor was failing. In hopes I would go there to get it fixed? (how naive of a question was that?)
Or do you have any suggestions while this is fresh, for possible corrective action from them? Maybe I should find the ss# on the compressor and compare to an irretrievable document stating the car's orig. ss# of parts?
OR see if another mechanic, can look and make sure something is not missing? Or who I should contact, to start my "sqeeky-wheel" process? So I can play the B.S. games of the world, and become the voice they want to never hear again, fix it so I *******?
You've been a comfort through this and if nothing else helps. That has helped a lot. Also, this spell checker just freaked out on me, so excuse my grammer and spelling.

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  • Chevrolet Master
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Yikes!!!!! Holy Moly!! Oh no!!! Well, it's a fine mess I've got you in now.....Wish I could have seen the Cavalier before and after the "fix". OK, let me start at the beginning of your letter: When you picked up the car, how soon did you have an overheating problem, and describe it in detail...I'm interested in how far you drove in miles and time before you noticed a problem, and exactly what was happening to lead you to believe it was overheating. This explanation should be totally separate from the A/C problem in your description for now.
Next describe the compressor before and after they 'fixed' the car. You already said there was a small rattle before the fix. Was this small rattle noticeable ONLY when the a/c was on, or ALL the time? Your 'faster than a speeding bullet' super belt man, can you take the car to him just to take a look at it? He sounds like a good and trustworthy guy.
Here's a few possibilities: (I should get all the above questions answered 1st, but I already have some opinions of what's going on.) 1. As far as the overheating after they put the pump on, I want you to answer my questions 1st. 2. The burning rubber smell--It shouldn't be there. The only possible reason I can come up with, is that the compressor bearings are so bad that it is about to seize up (stop turning,this would mean the belt would start to slip on the compressor pulley, as the pulley is resisting the spinning belt, this could cause the burning smell) because the bearings (metal marbles that roll and allow the pulley on the compressor to spin). When bearings go bad, they wear down, chip, break apart, etc, so that is why you hear noise that sounds terrible. I find it 'unusual' that there would be such a dramatic change from the time you dropped off the car and picked it up. I also must say it would be very difficult to prove someone screwed around w/ the compressor, even though it is possible. To prove tampering, you'd have to have someone who knows a lot about a/c systems examine it closely--which would possibly call for removal of the compressor for close examination----more$$$ you'd have to pay. I am quite sure they didn't 'swap' compressors, as they would have to remove a/c refrigerant, swap the compressor, refill the refrigerant, and they would also have to have one that fit your car. As far as checking parts #'s, that won't work, as usually the only #'s are the car vin Visible thru the windshield on the dash, the engine, and transmission. Everything else would maybe have just a part #, all the same as other models. They could have messed w/ the compressor, but difficult to prove. Let me know answers to above, and anything else you may remember. Check w/ Better Business Bureau to see if they have any complaints from customers that sound like bogus repair practices. And to answer your question 'would a big company go so low, my answer is no, not the co., the low life employees of that particular franchise. This is another reason I do my own repairs and maintenance--there was a garage in town that would do oil and filter changes, the owner would save old oil filters, put one on your car that was a different manufacturer than what you came in w/, so if u looked under the hood u would see a 'new' filter. He sometimes didn't even change the oil. I get really pis---- off when scum bags take advantage of people like this. People go to them trusting that they'll fix their problem, and instead they rob them. And it's difficult to prove it. I have some ideas of action to take, but 1st, answer my many questions!!!!! Curt

Posted on Aug 22, 2008

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