98 Cherokee A/C Burning Smell, Grinding Noises. :-/

Tiny
CHRISGSCOTT
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 JEEP CHEROKEE
1998 Jeep Cherokee, 4WD, 147000 miles, inline 6. A/C stopped pumping cold air recently, then started to smell very bad shortly thereafter. Smells sort of like burning (maybe rubber? Mostly just a burnt smell), nasty when the A/C is on, and faint when it's off. And I did notice a new set of marks/stains under the hood directly over the belt that runs the compressor, like it had spattered up onto the underside of the hood. Now when I start the Jeep I hear a terrible noise that sounds sort of like a grinding noise, most predominant when starting, but also there a little at idle. The kind folks at Jiffy Lube told me that the compressor failed, something about a clutch, something else about a blown fuse and that it's just an A/C problem. They didn't really talk much about the noise. What I'm wondering is, is this really just an A/C problem? I'm ok with sweating for a little while while I save money to fix an A/C, but I'm not into getting stranded on the side of the road, doing a get-my-crap-out-of-the-jeep-while-it-burns-to-the-ground dance. Obviously, I'm auto-challenged. A little help here?

Thanks!
chris.
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Thursday, August 16th, 2007 AT 11:29 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
DIPWEED23
  • MEMBER
BE very careful with this one!
If that AC pully decides to seize up while you are driving you are in for a world of trouble. (And yes the cars do have a mind of their own, and usually decide to be mean to us!). The compressor already failed and it's only a matter of time before the pully seizes up too. (The pump only runs when the clutch is engaged, otherwise the pully turns freely)
Not sure if you have 1 belt that drives it all, or a seperate one for just AC. If you have seperate one just for the AC, CUT IT until you can get the compressor replaced, to get rid of burn smell.
If that belt drives something else too. Get that compressor replaced ASAP. If it happened to me, it can happen to you too!
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Saturday, August 18th, 2007 AT 1:50 AM
Tiny
CHRISGSCOTT
  • MEMBER
Thank you! Unfortunately, I'm about 99% positive that I have one belt which drives everything. Any clue how much this might set my wallet back - ish?

Thanks again, really appreciate it!
Chris.
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Saturday, August 18th, 2007 AT 6:55 AM
Tiny
DIPWEED23
  • MEMBER
To do yourself, upwards of $100 Whatever the cost of the pump and belt would be, plus refridgerant, oil and dryer. If you don't have a vacuum pump that can pull it to 30in/hg vacuum, the cost of that too.
To have A/C shop do it. Maybe $300 ish?
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Monday, August 20th, 2007 AT 5:26 PM
Tiny
CHRISGSCOTT
  • MEMBER
1 new A/C compressor and assorted A/C compressor related paraphenalia, 1 new radiator, 2 radiator flushes, 1 new thermostat, 1 new battery, and around $1200 later. I'm finally up and running again.

Got the A/C compressor fixed, just to have the Jeep start overheating after around 10 minutes of driving. Was told it was unrelated. I'm just glad to be back on the road again.

Thanks for your help throughout the process.
Chris.
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Friday, August 24th, 2007 AT 8:31 AM

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