Serpentine Belt and A/C Compressor

Was told today that because my serpentine belt broke this caused my A/C Compressor to lock up so the extended warranty that I had purchased for the 04 Ford Taurus would not cover my repair bill.

I’ve heard of compressors locking up and taking out serpentine belts. But I’ve never heard of a serpentine belt breaking and locking up a compressor.


Jerry … I think it would pay to take this too management. It doesn’t sound right that the extended warranty wouldn’t cover that situation. I mean if it would cover something that goes wrong with the compressor at all.

I agree with Tester. As often discussed here, extended warranty companies often do everything possible to deny claims. This appears to be a good example of that.

“I’ve heard of compressors locking up and taking out serpentine belts. But I’ve never heard of a serpentine belt breaking and locking up a compressor.”

Add me to that list too

Another to the list of those who think what you were told is utter BS.

It’s an extended warranty company fishing lamely for denial excuses.

I’d need more information. Is it possible that the compressor failed and that is what caused the belt to break? Is it possible that the belt broke and the shreds of it went flying and pulled out/damaged the electrical connections on the front of the compressor?

What portion of the repair is or is not covered by the extended warranty? Are the items covered/not covered clearly outlined in the contract?

Captain Jerry

Your extended warranty guys are jerking you around . . . big time

We have lots of Tauruses in our fleet

And several of them have had AC compressors lock up, which caused the belt to snap

NOT the other way around

I know this, because I was the one that diagnosed and repaired the vehicles

Whatever warranty guys you’ve been talking to either don’t know cars, or they just don’t want to pay

I actually had this happen to me and a friend of mine. My 2000 Ford Explorer and his 1999 Ford Windstar minivan. Both use the FS10 A/C compressor. The pully bearing locks up and snaps the serpentine belt. A belt snap will not cause a bearing to sieze.

Jerry, from the information you provided it would seem the opposite is true, the compressor is the cause, not the belt. Call the warranty company and ask them to put the denial in writing and fax or email it to you. Have a certified mechanic look at the car and also give an opinion in writing. Appeal to the management of the warranty company to reconsider and if no joy sue them in small claims court.

I appreciate your comment and those were my thoughts exactly, that a belt snap can not cause the compressor to seize. It has to be the other way around.

Yeah, that’s why I would be interested in seeing a written denial and the logic behind it.

To ASEMaster, this is what happened exactly. I was driving car and engine started squealing and smoke started to come out from under the car by the passenger’s side front tire. Probably not a good idea but since I was less than a mile from home, decided to drive the car there. As soon as the power steering went out I knew the belt had broken. Also, before I got home the battery warning light came on, another indication the belt was toast. After getting home, raised the hood and pulled out the serpentine belt. It was all twisted and smelled burnt where it had snapped but it was not shredded in any way. Had car towed to dealership where it was purchased. After inspecting car, dealership called and told me repair would be $1100. Informed them car was under warranty I had purchased from them. Told me that they would call warranty company and explain diagnosis. Couple hours later dealership called back and told me warranty wouldn’t cover my repair costs due to the belt breaking which caused the compressor to seize. I immediately called warranty company and was told that this was how it was explained to them, belt broke first which then caused the compressor to seize. so, since belt is not covered under warranty that my claim was denied.

That makes as much sense as a flat tire causing your radio to fail. Those extended warranty people are worthless and so are their warranties.

You need to go have a long talk with someone at that dealership.

If your compressor is seized at this point then the a/c is the source of the broken belt, not the other way around. You need to familiarize yourself with the fine print of your contract. If the A/C system is covered then your repair should be, regardless of whether or not the clerk at the dealer explained it wrong.

By the time you get this straightened out you will have spent more aggravation, time, and effort on this than you have paid for the warranty or just paid to fix it. Water under the bridge now but don’t ever buy an extended contract again.