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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

Last night on the drive home all of the sudden the air conditioning got very humid and lost all cooling as I was coming up to a red light. Than a few seconds later, I saw some smoke coming from the passenger side of the engine bay. I immediately turned off the a/c until I got home (the smoke also stopped when I turned off the a/c). At home I turned the car on and ran the a/c in hopes of finding out where the smoke might be coming from, however, the a/c was nice and cool and no problems. Do you guys think something within the a/c system is getting ready to go kaput? I have a 2003 Vulcan with 100,700 miles on it. This is the first issue I've had with the a/c system other than adding refrigerant last year.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
 

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Sounds like the a/c clutch bearings are going out. I would not drive the car any great distance until you replace the compressor clutch. What will happen is the clutch bearings will seize, and will snap the serpentine belt. Read the topic finder on the how-to on replacing the clutch. If you decide on replacing the entire compressor, make sure you also replace the dryer, and have the whole a/c system flushed out (debris builds up over time in the condensor and evaporators). The system should also be evacuated (removes any moisture after opening the system) prior to being charged. If you replace the compressor, do not have a rebuilt one put in, only 100% new (rebuilt a/c compressors never last very long).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quick question, I will need a few days to get my plan figured out and the time to work on the car. If I leave the a/c off during any driving, will that avoid the potential for the compressor to seize and snap the serpentine belt?
 

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Not necessarily. It's not the compressor that will sieze-there's likely nothing wrong with it, It's the pulley bearing. Once the bearing is damaged it's only a matter of time. It might make it and it might not.
 

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I had a similar problem, except no smoke came out of mine, but it's all fixed now... as a matter of fact got it fixed yesterday lol. On mine I noticed a "chirping" noise coming from the area where the compressor is.
Just like Austex04 said, I replaced the A/C compressor, dryer, evacuated the system and recharged it. Now the air blows cold as ever. It's a bit pricey, but I'd recommend have a professional do the job. It's a big job and it will bit a bit pricey. Also I'd recommend changing the serpentine belt while you at it if you can since you have everything appart. Mine was a bit dried up so I changed it too. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Leolfds, would you mind telling me approximately how much you paid. Did you go with Motorcraft parts?
 

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$850.00 and that included brand new A/C compressor w/ clutch, dryer, new serpentine belt, and recharing of the system, plus 4.5hrs of labor. All parts from NAPA. Motorcraft is too expensive, and for me it's just a name anyways. Only certain things I would get Motorcract. I've been using Napa and so far no problems.
 
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