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Ted G.
Ted G., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 6089
Experience:  20 years auto repair experience, ASE Master Tech, Mechanical Failure consultant, Expert Witness
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1995 Chevrolet G20: Van..condition compressor clutch burned..driven

Resolved Question:

1995 Chevrolet G20 Conversion Van - air condition compressor clutch burned out - horrible grinding noise when started, then fades - dealer says could lock up if driven - cost to replace about $2,000 - is there any way to by-pass the a/c and safely continue to drive the vehicle?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Ted G. replied 7 years ago.
Well, it sounds like they are overpricing a little-or a lot. A whole AC compressor is available online for as little as $210.00 with the clutch and the clutch is about $130.00 if you just wanted to replace that. There is also a belt available for your vehicle with no AC, which in many cases will work on the engine bypassing the compressor, but this is a trial and error thing that may cost you the belt price if it doesn't work. That would be the cheapest way to get around it.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I failed to finish the question - sorry. Can the vehicle be driven without 'locking up'? My 2 neighbors are retired mechanics and say yes - drive it. If I go to a junk yard and get a replacement I am not qualified to tear into a van and do the work due to age and health. I cannot find a local garage here in southern Georgia that will do the work. If I can safely drive the vehicle then will do so - the noise fades out once engine is engaged and I can live without the A/C. Will it lock up?
Expert:  Ted G. replied 7 years ago.

Does it make the noise if the AC is turned off?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
When I start the engine it makes noise - then it fades out. At highway speeds I hear nothing. Driving in town at slow speeds it will occasionally make noise - akin to a 'rubbing' sound. BTW - I accept the answer and thanks for your reply whatever it ends up.
Expert:  Ted G. replied 7 years ago.
If it will make the noise with the AC turned off (even for a short time after starting) then eventually it will get worse, because you can't stop it from turning. And it will get to the point where it will lock up and/or come loose, which will stop the truck. But that means it's just the clutch pulley bearing and could be replaced fairly inexpensively. Of course it is hard to find an actual technician now so I guess that is where the problem lies.
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