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I'm trying to figure out if my A/C Compressor is bad or just the clutch. Yesterday my wife and I were driving down the freeway. The A/C was working cool bit not ice cold. It kept getting warmer to the point it was blowing hot air. I pulled over to an auto parts store and bought a gauge. It showed in the red being over charged. Then I noticed the compressor was not coming on. When it did it sounded like the thing was going to explode grinding and making all kinds of noise. Can the clutch be changed or will I have to buy a new unit. How had are they to change in the driveway? Any advice would greatly be appreciated.
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You can change the cluch seperately and it could well be a clutch bearing. If it is the compressor, you'll probably have to flush all the lines and the condensor, change the accumulator and the orifice tube as well, as once the compressor disinigrates, it throws debris through out the system. If it is a clutch bearing it would likely make noise all the time as it is free wheeling when the compressor is disengaged. If it only makes noise when the compressor is engaged, then I would suspect the compressor.
 
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