Car siezes up while driving

Before I left there was a noise coming from the belt, sounded more like a metallic noise rather than a whine. noise went away so i decided to drive it to work. on my way home the car made a loud squeal then shut off completely on the highway. battery stayed on however, engine just shut off. theres belt shaving all over the water pump. everythings tight, nothing lose. so not sure if this sounds like tensioner pulley or not but that is the general area in which the noise was coming compressor was just changed. the car is drivable right now, no noises or sign of anything failing. but im sure itll lock up again so its gonna stay parked. any idea guys?

Remove the belt, and check if all the pulleys turn freely.


i did, and they do

I think your “new” compressor may have failed. Hook up a fused jumper to your A/C clutch and then try to turn that pulley.

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Some compressors come with the correct amount of refrigerant oil in them. Most do not; at least the ones I’ve seen.

Maybe someone forgot to add oil to the compressor and it’s trying to lock up.


it came with oil. I ran the car with the ac off so the compressor wouldnt run, but it did the same thing again.

I’m at a bit of a loss here since all of the other items rotate freely unless a tensioner pulley or water pump is getting hot and trying to seize.
Just some food for thought here, but what about the possibility of the rear axle trying to seize up due to lack of gear oil? Or even a U-joint? The latter would be unusual but in the mechanical world many things happen that don’t make much sense.
Any squeal or tire chirp from the rear when this happens?

Just to chime in but all powering the compressor does is activate the clutch. If the clutch is seized on the compressor, the pulley will not turn whether the ac is on or not. When mine failed, the whole thing was locked up.

Two thoughts:

  1. disconnect the clutch (or its fuse) and go for a drive. Some cars run the AC even if the AC has not been turned on (I hate that).
  2. Do your pictures show two belts? If so, what is on each one?