Car not starting again


I took my '97 Ford T-bird, 4.6 V-8, to one of those hand car wash places to wash it. After I was done and tried to leave, the car would not start, hardly turning over. I called AAA, and the tow truck guy came and gave me a jump. It was hard to start but eventually did, but with a lot of squealing from the belt. The tow truck towed me home.

This morning, thinking that water got in the engine area and shorted it last night and it had the night to dry out, tried to start it. It gave two slow cranks, and then started to crank faster, but again there was squealing and never started. I know that the A/C compressor is going out, but I don’t think that’s it since the belt didn’t break. Any help here?

Also, how easy would it be to take the A/C compressor and/or compressor pulley out in order to drive it without worrying about the compressor going out and breaking the belt? Thanks.


Well, the squealing COULD be because water got on the belt. Wipe it off with a clean rag (maybe there’s soap on it, too).

I wouldn’t worry too much about the AC compressor - there’s a clutch on the front of the AC compressor that freewheels unless you turn the AC on. Leave the AC turned off and you should be OK.

Look up your local AutoZone or Advance auto or equivalent, and jump start your car and take it there.

Get them to check your battery and alternator (most will do it for free) and buy a new battery if you need it.


I took the battery in to two places, both said the battery was fine, and the second one even charged it back up. I put the battery back in and it still is not starting - just slow to get going and then trying to start but it gets nowhere.

Could it be the starter?



It could be your alternator. If a bearing went it could be causing the belt to slip as it is toast.


I have had AC compressor bearing lock up so the pulley will no turn with the AC tuned off. This will cause the belt to slip and squeal, and eventually burn. You can see the belt slipping on the stationary pulley if you look.

If your car has a separate belt for the AC (unlikely), you can just cut it off. Otherwise you are going to have to have the compressor fixed (at least well enough to allow the pulley to turn freely).


I’ve replaced the AC Compressor, but last time I did, it froze up completely and the belt snapped off, but I don’t remember any squealing beforehand. This time there’s squealing while trying to start it, but there was nothing like this before going to the carwash.


I’ve replaced that in May 2005, so I’m not sure that’s it.


Is there a way of either taking the compressor out and leaving the pulley in, or disengaging the pulley from the rest of the compressor while leaving the compressor in and allowing the pulley to spin freely?