can I drive my car 70 miles if the ac compressor is noisy?
You can, but i'd get it replaced sooner than later, it can seize up making the belt spin on it, breaking it and leaving you stranded.
Is the A/C compressor running or not? If it is running and noisy then just unplug it. If it is noisy and the compressor is not running then the A/C clutch bearing is starting to go bye bye so you won't get very far before it locks up and burns the belt off. Some but not all Asian models have a shorter belt that will bypass the A/C compressor completely, your parts store should have that listing if it is one that can be bypassed.
Thanks for this. The ac works but it's a little noisy right now even when the ac is turned off. I just drove my short 70 mile round trip and it was OK. I just put a new belt in yesterday so I assume it's all on one belt. My mechanic thought that by replacing the tensioner/idler pulley that the noise would subside. It didn't. Do I need to replace the whole compressor or can I just replace the clutch? Any suggestions for a economical fix?
I would take off the belt and manually check for noise from all of the drives by hand, if it's as bad as you say then it should be easy to find. Yes A/C clutch assemblies are replaceable but be careful sometimes it is cheaper to replace the entire A/C compressor assembly then just the clutch/coil pack.
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