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What happens if I just let the compressor go?


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igotquestions
New User

Sep 7, 2016, 9:51 AM

Post #1 of 14 (440 views)
What happens if I just let the compressor go? Sign In

I have an '03 Kia Optima, and the AC compressor bearing is going (really bad whining/grinding noise). Other than the obnoxious noise and possible future AC failure, is there any drawback to just letting it go? The same belt drives the power steering, so my only concern is if the pulley seizes up and then I have a bigger problem with power steering not working. I was quoted a $900+ repair on a car not worth that much (hail damage), and the mechanic said it needs to be done because "it's tied to the power steering too" - apparently thinking along the same lines. Is it a real concern about the pulley, and if so is there any way to just replace the pulley not the whole compressor?


kev2
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Sep 7, 2016, 9:59 AM

Post #2 of 14 (437 views)
Re: What happens if I just let the compressor go? Sign In

thoughts:
there are AC elimination kits to reroute the belts - I do not know if available for KIA..
Is it possible to replace just the bearing or clutch assy on this KIA?


A known good dependable vehicle* cannot be purchased for that much so consider options.


*ASSUMING this is a dependable vehicle just hail damage and AC issue.... ugly no AC but dependable.


kev2
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Sep 7, 2016, 10:15 AM

Post #3 of 14 (434 views)
Re: What happens if I just let the compressor go? Sign In

A quick check of belt routing diagram shows the AC belt is separate, crank pulley to tensioner to ac compressor - BUT I do not have vehicle to look at.
Also look at a diagram of sorento without AC in factory parts and see how belts were routed...





(This post was edited by kev2 on Sep 7, 2016, 10:22 AM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Sep 7, 2016, 10:15 AM

Post #4 of 14 (434 views)
Re: What happens if I just let the compressor go? Sign In

Same pretty much - folks don't want to spend the bucks for A/C where I am at a certain point. As Kev2 suggested check for a bypass kit as it probably need it for just the pulley.


Other #1: If you can, find the right shop and tech who will remove the clutch (I think you are in trouble with the clutch bearing not shaft 'bushings' so make sure it's compressor at all) can be replaced if clever even when not usually done by just the bearing. Bearings are #rd and can cross over and however held in place redone by the right tech - THEN disable compressor from allowing it to engage and the system stays intact. If just that bearing might fix the whole show?


Other #2: Just get a used compressor with a good clutch if nothing else it can also just set there as a pulley and not work but also disable it from trying to.


Know this about compressors: When "disengaged" you are only running a pulley of the clutch and its bearing. When engaged that bearing is static (not moving relative to anything) and can't make noise but bushings for bearings inside an engaged compressor making noise would be a real problem and very costly to repair - probably more than the $900 quoted if throwing debris already?


Can be done - just find the right tech or shop that will as I seriously doubt a pre-made kit (can't be certain) to eliminate it is ready made to buy,


T



igotquestions
New User

Sep 7, 2016, 10:55 AM

Post #5 of 14 (426 views)
Re: What happens if I just let the compressor go? Sign In

Thanks for the suggestions. Sorry I didn't specify but it's the 2.4L model, here's the actual belt routing.

The "other #2" was kind of my go to idea, even engaging the used compressor - why not? I think that finding a used compressor might be easier than finding a tech who will reliably jury rig it for me.


Edit: belt routing pic didn't seem to take. I'll just describe it. Belt 1 goes from crank to power steering to tensioner to compressor. Belt 2 goes from crank to alternator to something else (not labeled in the pic).


(This post was edited by igotquestions on Sep 7, 2016, 11:03 AM)


kev2
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Sep 7, 2016, 11:10 AM

Post #6 of 14 (417 views)
Re: What happens if I just let the compressor go? Sign In

not labeled is likely water pump.
I think the compressor can be bypassed just using a shorter belt - lets see what the gang says



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Sep 7, 2016, 11:48 AM

Post #7 of 14 (412 views)
Re: What happens if I just let the compressor go? Sign In

Excellent diagrams Kev.


OP: I'd ruled it out but would just ask for the belt as if this was ordered WITHOUT A/C at all. Might be nice if you could test measure that with at least a string and marked with belt off for a clue.


Reasonable bet now this just needs the shorter belt. Been there, done that with one NOT listed and found one that fit of a few but was my own parts supplier so allowed. Some might shy away from that.


Tensioner should end up with room to move so it can operate properly - a must,


T



kev2
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Sep 7, 2016, 1:05 PM

Post #8 of 14 (406 views)
Re: What happens if I just let the compressor go? Sign In

 









(This post was edited by kev2 on Sep 7, 2016, 1:07 PM)


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Sep 7, 2016, 2:16 PM

Post #9 of 14 (400 views)
Re: What happens if I just let the compressor go? Sign In

A shorter belt isn't going to work with the current tensioner. It's mounted in the wrong place to get sufficient tension.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Sep 7, 2016, 2:33 PM

Post #10 of 14 (398 views)
Re: What happens if I just let the compressor go? Sign In

igotquestions :


Can't find the definitive answer that the noise is in fact the compressor or misread something. The clutch is just a plain pulley with a bearing.


When that is bad it would shut up the noise with compressor engaged - got that? If so it is the "clutch bearing" and not fooled by another pulley.


When outer hub of compressor is spinning - engine running with A/C requested if silent that's a diagnosis. Then shut if off totally such the outer hub quits turning at belt speed if it makes the noise makes sense this is in fact the clutch bearing itself.


If need be and probably should if YOU don't understand it's two possible ways to make noise, when running compressor noise or no and when it's not running noise or not ---- doesn't do both 99% of the time.


Take belt off and spin the pulleys suspect by hand if need be to be sure. You may need the tensioner and not the compressor pulley or compressor at all?


Any noise risking a belt failure must be found and fixed. Only a compressor's clutch MUST be good - the system doesn't need to work or fixed otherwise but must be disabled so it can't it existing pulley is good and compressor itself is the bad part,


T



igotquestions
New User

Sep 7, 2016, 2:56 PM

Post #11 of 14 (395 views)
Re: What happens if I just let the compressor go? Sign In

The noise is constant when the car is on, regardless of AC turned on or not. The shop says it's just the clutch, not the actual compressor, and though it's evidently hard to get the clutch separate from the whole compressor for a KIA they say they can get it. They also said that bypassing the compressor would not work in this case. Other shops I've called around to say there are "warranty issues" with replacing the clutch only and want to replace the whole compressor.


Tom Greenleaf
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Sep 7, 2016, 6:45 PM

Post #12 of 14 (382 views)
Re: What happens if I just let the compressor go? Sign In

This is messed up and IMO misdiagnosed!


It doesn't matter if clutch's bearing is bad if "ENGAGED" it has to shut up - no noise! It's turning but bearing is still relative to the turning.


When not engaged it's just a pulley and nothing else is when the bearing would or could make noises or seriously burn up, fall off, smoke the belt or do something as it will NOT stay with a bad bearing you can notice for long at all. Hours of use would be questionable.


THIS IS MESSED UP - NOT THE COMPRESSOR AT ALL IMO now at all!!!!


This has yet to be diagnosed what is making the noise. Things are frequently tight to even see never mind test and prove with a pulley driven noise yet to be tested - just take the belt off and spin that idler/tensioner bet it's about to fall apart right now!.


The only thing that's true is not all clutches alone are available so easily and would void anything to do with the compressor.


These are two separate things that are just mounted as one. Literally all the compressor is doing is sitting there dumb while A/C is OFF just holding a bearing with a pulley on it -- nothing else!
----------------------------------------------
Places for way out of ordinary problem could be the PS pump or the crank damper as a pulley is rubber isolated to absorb vibrations and can wobble and slip but you can just see that almost always. The grooved pulley by design has to be isolated from the hub of the crank pulley - also called a harmonic balancer or damper.


THERE'S AN ERROR IN THIS SOMEWHERE IN WHAT IS MAKING THE NOISE!


If I can I'll see if I can find a YouTube of what a compressor is doing when engaging and disengaging and post that here now or edit it in when a good one is found.


Short >> not your vehicle but right idea to show you what I mean and how they work...........
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULGnUO9fo6U


^^^^ Checking a used one off car shows how the unit is in fact TWO things in one,


Tom


PS: You've said professionals have looked at this and if confused it's a misunderstanding by someone but this is not something a tech shouldn't understand fully - even if they don't do work on A/C......



igotquestions
New User

Sep 8, 2016, 4:53 AM

Post #13 of 14 (364 views)
post icon Re: What happens if I just let the compressor go? Sign In

I get what you're saying Tom, thanks for the video. Essentially, EITHER the clutch or the pulley could be bad on the compressor, but they don't spin at the same time so if either one was bad the noise would stop with AC engaged/disengaged. There could be a misunderstanding but they definitely said the clutch needs to be replaced. I have the car back now so it's time to dig in there myself.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Sep 8, 2016, 5:27 AM

Post #14 of 14 (361 views)
Re: What happens if I just let the compressor go? Sign In

OK - what they said doesn't make sense as already beat on the clutch is engaged it's "static" so can't made noise itself and still make noise when "dis-engaged" when it's just a pulley. You see that in that video - same deal.


You could take the whole clutch off and not be a clutch at all and just put the pulley back with a good bearing with trick so it isn't ALSO a clutch!


The clutch is a machine of its own. It is engaged to turn the compressor by a coil that pulls it in to engage as part of it. I've said if bearing was good just like the guy in the video where the whole unit on bench was declared OK was doing you could really just unplug the thing and be on your way indefinitely and A/C wouldn't work to make cool air for you is all.
Whatever the tech(s) saw the suggestion was common. They aren't likely to want to mess with just one part of the clutch rather get the whole unit new with new clutch as well ready to go. They would look bad if anything didn't work out well for you long term, many are NOT going to look for used anything nor a battle to find just a whole clutch nor a bearing that could be quite tricky to replace or not possible right now is unknown.


They probably knew (this is common for techs) just didn't want to explain nor tell you they don't want to just hack this to be fine, work as a vehicle just without A/C. May not be profitable or allowed shop by shop?


In video - same game as that guy I would still diagnose this which isn't clear yet but if compressor or clutch get the used one he did with the hoses just cut off. See he spun the pulley and found it fine? That I would do for a vehicle that owner wasn't going to fix an A/C for cool air anyway but couldn't drive the vehicle anymore - a same day fix and off they go. Fix it all later if they wish but need the vehicle fast. Common would be a plumber, carpenter, roofer or other with a van or truck something full of their tools and can't work and work out in the heat all day anyway so A/C is just not critical - working is.


Refresh: IF THAT NOISE IS REALLY MAKING THAT NOISE AND YOU CAN SEE IT ENGAGE AND THEN TURN IT OFF AND IT STILL MAKES THE SAME NOISE IT CAN'T BE THE COMPRESSOR BY WILD ODDS! IT WOULD MUCH MORE LIKELY BE THAT TENSIONER PULLEY INSTEAD - ANY OF THEM NOT RIGHT CAN'T BE TOLERTED. I still maintain it's not a clear diagnosis at all which I'm trying for you to avoid a mistake, the cost and hopefully not a new compressor to find out that wasn't the problem at all!


Tom







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