Considering that it took 10 days to find a used one, I am going to assume there is a design flaw. After finally getting a new one installed, I was told that freon would not be put back into the system because it might cause it to freeze up again. I was told by someone else that it needed some freon (with oil?)or it would surely freeze up again. At odd times driving during the day, morning especially, it makes an almost squealing, grinding noise and it is hard to steer. (I know when the compressor doesn’t work, the pressure builds and power steering fluid pushes out.) Other times, there is no noise and no trouble steering. I am also getting a burning smell–varying degrees–(power steering fluid?). Who’s right about the freon and what can I do to keep the compressor happy? HELP!
I’m no expert when it comes to AC repairs but I think anytime a compressor is replaced the system should be flushed out to remove any particles possibly inside it and then new oil and refrigerant added after the system has first been checked for leaks. These repairs are expense to do but the experts earn their money when it is done correctly.
From your description of the trouble it sounds like the power steering pump has a problem or even more likely, the steering rack. If the AC system isn’t turned on, the clutch on the compressor doesn’t engage and just free wheels so it shouldn’t matter if the system was charged or not unless there was something wrong with the compressor clutch.