Can I drive without my A/C belt?

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Hi! I am not a mechanic or very knowledgable on car work. If I think I have a problem with one of my components, I look in a book or on the internet. Any insight would be great!

I have a 95 Toyota Corrolla. Recently, my a/c belt broke after a piercing schreeching noise came from under the hood when I started it. I had a neighbor look at it and he said that my clutch on the compressor was not turning by hand and that my clutch had gone out and he said that my compressor might be dead as well, this is the reason that my a/c belt broke. This is going to be a big job! I've read on the internet that you need to clean out the whole a/c system and at the shop this costs ALOT (I already bought the compressor and clutch, air filler and expansion valve to do the job myself but I didn't have all the tools to do it. I called the shop and they said that labor will be 500 dollars. The parts cost me over 400 dollars). I noticed I have three belts. One is a small belt compared to the other two. The second one is a larger belt compared to the a/c belt. The a/c belt broke so I only have two belts now. My question is: Can I drive without my a/c belt, without fixing my clutch (or my compressor if that is the problem as well) if I do not use the A/C? Does the water pump or any other components run on the a/c belt?

Thank you so much for who ever knows this question.
melissa B.

posted by  melissa B.

Well difficult to say without being there, if its just the AC then there is no issue you will just have to do with being hot in the car.

You should be able to establish what does what by looking at the pulleys that the AC belt would go over and refer to your haynes (best $20 you will ever spend).

posted by  cinqyg

Without seeing your car, from your description I would have to concur with your friend who said the compressor is locked up. It is correct that when that occurs you need to do a complete flush to ensure you have nothing that will internally damage your new compressor. You also need to do this if you ever have a warranty claim. Unless you can prove you replaced the accumulator (reciever/dryer), the expansion valve and did a system flush the warranty on the compressor (new or reman) is void.

The belt that drives the A/C compressor on your car in fact ONLY drives the A/C compressor (and of course it's tensioner pulley). So... you can motor along your merry way with no ill affects except the lack of A/C.

BTW, $500 labor for refrigerant evacuation, system flush, installation of the listed components and system servicing on your car is about right, maybe even a bargain depending on where you live.

posted by  vwhobo

Thank you for the insight! I decided to not have A/C since it is such a big job to do and it is not the end of the world if I don't.

posted by  melissa B.

I know I should get a Haynes. Thanks so much for the input!

posted by  melissa B.

I think there's a 13% chance that your car might explode. But 13 isn't that big a number. Go for it. :wink2:

posted by  MaChao

lol..Why 13?

posted by  Eclipse_2004

I haven't had A/C in my car for over 3 years now. If you don't feel like shelling out the 500 to get it fixed you could always use 4W40 air conditioning... 4 Windows down at 40 miles an hour! :wink2:

It works for me!

posted by  Zalight

You should be ok. My moms 94 mazda 929 ac compressor locked up causing the belt to break and has been driving it since without problems all the belt does is turn the compressor.

posted by  Viperside

Wow, that's great information, but... Exactly how does the mechanical workings of a '94 Mazda 929 relate to a '95 Toyota Corolla? Wouldn't that come under the heading of apples and oranges? Why yes it would.

I think I speak for everyone when I say thank you for offering no useful advice.

posted by  vwhobo

It's good to have vwhobo back!

posted by  BavarianWheels

hah... no i was stating that because the mazda has 3 belts also. the ac belt broke everythng is still fine.. so in turn i would assume that everything would be fine in his car too.. but thats not good enuf lol..

posted by  Viperside

Yeah, we know. That's why what you said was a waste on your part. :hi:

posted by  DodgeRida67

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