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A/C compressor out at 45,000 miles

First let me say I know very little about cars. I have a 2005 Ford 500. I recently noticed that my car was not cooling. I live in central Mississippi and we have been having consistent 95-102F temps. I was use to it taking time to cool after first starting especially if parked out in the sund,but even after riding on the interstate it’s not cooling. I took it to a trustworthy shop and was told it was the compressor. Was told he had seen several 500’s where the compressors had gone out. Said it was due to the location of it being so close to the manafold(sp?)and it was frying the compressor. I really need A/C but I don’t want to pay to replace it if it will go out again at 90,000 miles. Has Ford done something to correct the problem? Is there anyway I can get the dealership to pay since it is located in such a bad area? If not any suggestions where to buy besides dealership?

I would look for a local A/C shop. Is there any chance the original new car warranty is still valid?

“Is there anyway I can get the dealership to pay”

Why should the dealership be on the hook for a possibly bad design from the manufacturer–especially on a vehicle that is at least 5 years old and out of warranty?

If you want to pursue this at a higher level, you need to contact Ford at the corporate level. Contact info can be found in your Owner’s Manual.

All of this being said, the 500 model does have a fairly high rate of early compressor failure, so what you were told by your mechanic is probably valid. Take this up with Ford. If you keep your conversation civil, it is possible that you may get some “good will” assistance with the problem, but please don’t be surprised if you get a polite refusal to help.

Compressor problems are often misdiagnosed and I would suggest you get a few more opinions WITHOUT mentioning what you were told by this shop.

A bad compressor will make noise, leak like a sieve, or produce incorrect system pressure.
Did they tell you the reason why this compressor is allegedly bad?

The part that sounds suspect (very) to me is this bit about being located close to the manifold and that being the reason for the compressor frying. If that were true compressors on many different types of cars would be frying by the millions.

Thanks for your response. Unfortunately it is not under warranty. I will look for an A/C shop.

Thanks for your response. Never know until you try, right? I will try but I will also get a second and third opinon.

Thanks for your response. Would the noise be continous or occassionally? I have noticed a knocking noise sometimes when I start the car. Would the leak be seen on the ground under the car? If the pressure is incorrect would I get a warning? No, they did not tell me what led them to the conclusion. I am going to take it to an a/c shop and see what they find. The price I was quoted was $1,300 and I know I can get it done cheaper somewhere else. Actually I think I can get the part from a wholesale supplier and I just need to find someone to change it if that’s what is wrong. Do you think having the dealership look at it is a good idea? I would never let them do it but just let them diagnosis my problem.

A compressor can make a knocking noise but if this noise occurs when starting the car and the A/C switch is off then the knock is elsewhere. Hopefully, not an engine knock.

A leak will not be seen. Refrigerant disappears instantly when it hits the atmosphere. It is possible that a compressor leak can be detected if the bottom of the compressor has oily blotches on the bottom of it.

Incorrect pressures, or lack of, will not give you any warning except lack of cooling.
The price could be about right. There’s more to it than a compressor change. This involved changing the accumulator, orifice tube, flushing the system, etc.
Assuming the compressor is bad of course.

You do not have to have the dealer check this problem. Any competent independent shop can do this and preferably one that specializes in A/C work.