Rattling Compressor DANGEROUS?

97 Pontiac Grand Am SE, 126,000 miles

I took my car in a couple of months ago to have the water housing changed. The mechanic told me that my compressor makes a rattling noise when the air and heat are off. He said the compressor was going bad and should be replaced, but also that technically I didn't have to because all I had to do was turn the air or heat on and the rattling went away. He said to check back when it gets warmer if I have A/C troubles. I was aware of this problem as it has done this for at least a year.

Now, he also told me that all of my hoses were about to blow and wanted to charge me $500 for a kit and replace all my hoses. I decided to get a 2nd opinion on this with a different mechanic. The new guy told me that my hoses were fine. However, he pointed out to me that my compressor situation was extremely dangerous and I shouldn't drive the car under any circumstances. This he told to my agent, as I just had my wisdom teeth pulled so I couldn't really talk to him so I couldn't inform him of what my other mechanic said about the situation. I'd like to get some input before I talk to him personally about this, as it is a very expensive repair.

Between the hoses and compressor situation I feel that I am being lied to by both mechanics, one for each situation. I'm not concerned about my hoses (you can't see them anyways.) But can anyone tell me. Can a failing compressor actually be dangerous? Especially since this is such an old problem and I can technically make the rattling stop?
Do you
have the same problem?
Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007 AT 6:10 PM

1 Reply

I guess it is in how one defines "dangerous". If the A/C clutch comes apart, it will throw your belt off. Losing your belt means no power steering unexpectedly. If you overcome that the waterpump and alternater aren't working and your ride will be expensive and short. IF the belt takes out a line or the radiator or whatever gets whacked the price keeps rising.

If the compressor has been making a tingling sound for a while, your probably pretty close to the end of it.
There are sopme cases where you can bypass the compressor with a smaller belt. It isn't always possible depending on the routing pattern.
Was this
Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007 AT 7:22 PM

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