Disconnect A/C Compressor on Ford Explorer permanently



I have a 1994 Ford Explorer LTD.

The A/C Compressor SCREAMS when the engine is started. Prior to this noise, the clutch intermittently tried to catch everyn 5 seconds or so.

I live in Oregon, and do not use the A/C.

The Explorer is an occasional vehicle, used when needed.

I want to disconnect the A/C compressor permanently.

Currently, I pulled the electrical plug out of the socket on the compressor. I can drive just fine without any noticable effects.

Is this good enough to ‘disconnect’ the A/C (knowing that my gas mileage will suffer because the A/C is still on the belt circuit)?

Thanks in advance for any information.


Yes, that should do it. But what you describe should not happen unless the A/C or defroster is switched on…All you did was disable the compressor clutch. But something is trying to turn it on…The compressor itself sounds like it’s seized up…


If the clutch is off, then the compressor is not really still “on the belt circuit.” Yes, having one extra pulley running is a very very slight drag, but you could never detect it in the mileage of the car, unlike the 1 MPG or so difference that the compressor would make if it were running.




I know on Chrysler products you can unplug a non-functioning compressor but eventually the compressor will seize up and since it’s on the serpentine belt it disables the car. There are aftermarket pulleys that bolt on in place of the compressor. I think Autozone and Advance carry them and they are not expensive but may require a different belt.


In that case, it would be the clutch that eventually failed. (The compressor I assume was already seized and that’s why you disconnected the clutch.)
Either way, the result is the same and the compressor has to be replaced by an idler pulley.


You are correct, I wasn’t differentiating between the compressor and its’ clutch.


If you disconnect the compressor it will not run and if the clutch bearings are OK. you will be fine. You might miss the A/C some day when you want to get rid of fog on the windshield.
Caddyman is right.


Dorman makes a bypass pulley cost about $30.00, it can be purchased online at Rockauto.com or any auto parts store that carry Dorman parts.

You would need to have the refrigerant Recovered/Removed in a environmentally correct way by a certified A/C technician before removing the compressor. Once the compressor is removed the rest of the system will get irreversibly contaminated. So removing the A/C compressor is permanent.


If you unplug the compresser and the clutch bearings are ok, that is all you ned to do. You won’t need another idler pulley.


I would cut the belt, and if it’s a serpentine, get one for the vehicle not equipped with air.

We had a Ford Granada and late in its life the same thing happened, the compressor seized. We just cut the belt and drove it another 3 years before disposing of it.


I doubt that there is a “without air” option on this vehicle. Why cut the belt? It’s as easy to remove as to cut.


I was actually on a shopping trip and the engine would not re-start. Previously the belt had squealed according to my wife. Not having any tools with me and the comppressor being driven by a dedicated belt, I simply cut it, since I only had a jacknife with me. No need to even loosen it.


Wouldn’t the belts run if you left the A/C off?


In my case the whole compressor assembly (clutch included) was seized up, and the only way to start the car was to disconnect it completely. This was an old style Ford Compressor that looked like a giant starter motor/generator.

My mechanic had warned me that the compressor was on its last legs and replacing it was not cost effective as the car was 14 years old. My wife was the normal driver and she does not use A/C.


Well, I guess you did what you had to do!!


Disconnecting the compressor will have no effect on gas mileage unless the clutch is seized up also. I doubt very much if it is.