So I just took my 2004 Ford Tauraus into the shop. I have about 155,000 miles on it. I was told as part of the repairs that my air conditioner pump was bad, and that I should have it repaired, as it would affect my power steering and battery. The total cost of the repair and the part I was told would be $1100, money that I do not currently have and that I would not like to dip into my 401K for. My question is if this repair is absolutely necessary, and if I don’t get it fixed can I still drive the car as long as I don’t use the AC.
IF the A/C clutch pulley is spinning freely, the A/C compressor can be unplugged and rendered inoperable. Then the belt will continue to work all the other components normally.
– BUT – if not
A pulley replacement must be put in it’s place. Still a lot of labor just to take out the A/C.
We need more info to answer that queston…no one answer here, lots of variables.
Which engine in this Taurus ?
You can not usually just put in a shorter belt due to its routing needs.
Take it to another mechanic and get another opinion. Are the belts squealing when you turn on the air? Why did you take it in to start with?
The only connection between the A/C compressor and the power steering system is the serpentine belt.
The only connection between the A/C compressor and the battery is the serpentine belt.
A/C refrigerant evaporates immediately, so there’s nothing in the compressor to leak onto the power steering pump or the battery.
The only way an A/C compressor can affect the power steering or the battery is if it binds up or comes apart and causes the belt to break, whereupon you would lose your power steering and your alternator. And of that happened, the engine would immediately die and your battery would be unaffected.
As Ken said, unless we know how the compressor is failing, we can’t guess how the failure would manifest itself. However, of it IS the bearings going out, you could always replace the old compressor with a boneyard compressor that has good bearings and not bother to reconnect or recharge the A/C system. The replacement unit would essentially be acting as an “idler pulley”. My guess is that if a boneyard unit can be found locally this could be done for under $100 plus shop time. Shop time will probably be a couple of hours. The shop will have to purge the system IAW EPA requirements, maybe remove the wheel and inner wheel well liner to access the front of the engine (I’m not sure of that on this car), and then do the mechanical stuff. And, of course, you’ll be footing the bill for a new serpentine belt and maybe a new tensioner (he’ll definitely want to check that since he’ll be replacing the serp belt).
So, exactly how is the compressor “bad”?
My advice is to take your Taurus in for a second opinion. I think the “shop” is just trying to get a couple of boat payments from you.
I confirmed with my Dad that is actually the compressor. I don’t see how an air conditioner compressor could affect my system unless I were to actually use the air conditioning system. Couldn’t I just not use the air conditioning system? Also, does anyone know how I could go about maybe finding a used air conditioning compressor?
I’ll add some stuff . . .
I’ve seen quite a few Tauruses where the AC compressor seized, and shredded the belt
As far as not using the AC, in the future, you or somebody else will forget and attempt to turn on the AC, in which case something bad may happen
Years ago, a customer complained that the car would occasionally just shut off. It turned out the AC compressor was frozen. When it got the signal to engage the clutch, the engine would stop.
I unplugged the connection for the clutch, so that somebody inadvertently pushing the AC button wouldn’t cause the car to stall out in the middle of an intersection
Save your money for the future AC repair
In the meantime, unplug the compressor
If you truly need an AC compressor, buy a new or remanned unit, complete, with the clutch already installed and gapped. Also install a new accumulator and orifice tube. If the belt is questionable, install a new one.
“I don’t see how an air conditioner compressor could affect my system unless I were to actually use the air conditioning system.”
Quite simply, it depends on what’s wrong with it. If the bearings are going out, it could easily bind and load down the serpentine belt and cause it to slip or break A slipping belt will not properly operate the alternator and/or power steering pump, and if it breaks everything stops. Your power steering would cease completely and your battery would go dead flat in perhaps under 15 miles. 10 if it breaks at night and you have to use your headlights.