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Your Car Care Questions Answered!

My car was diagnosed some months ago to a leak in the A/C compressor. The vehicle has been driven due to cooler weather without the use of A/C. Vehicle was recently serviced for Lube and Oil change by different automotive facility and was told that the repair needed to be done immediately or parts within the compressor will come loose and damage the engine. Is it safe to drive the vehicle with no A/C for two or three more weeks as I do not have funds available at present. What kind of expense can I anticipate? The Ford has been serviced by a dealership and recently at another repair shop in Sun City. At ‘quick lube’ type place, I was told of the A/C compressor leak last October, and that I could take my time getting it repaired as long as the A/C was not used. At the other auto repair shop, however, I was told this needed to be replaced immediately.

If it’s just a leak in the compressor and you don’t turn the A/C on, it shouldn’t be a problem. However if the compressor has a leak, the leak will leave the system with low pressure, leaving air space in the compressor and allowing moisture to get in. Moisture can corrode the inside of the system. The entire system has several components that make the A/C system work: Compressor, Accumulator, Orifice tube/Expansion valve, high and low pressure switches, Evaporator, hoses and control head. If the inside of the system corrodes, the cost to replace the entire system will be significantly more than the cost to replace just the compressor. Additionally, in most new vehicles, the A/C system is connected to the climate control system, allowing it to turn on by itself, primarily in the defrost setting. The A/C removes the moisture from the air to help defrost the windows in the winter. Once the system loses enough Freon, the low pressure switch will not allow the compressor to ever come on.

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