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My 96 rodeo 4wdr v6 recently started making this engine grinding noise that fluctuates when I turn the a/c on and off. It makes the noise regardless of wether the a/c is on or not. I brought it to my local Isuzu service center and they told me that it was a lose bearing in my A/C reciever dryer and that they also wanted me to replace the compressor for a grand total of 1375.00 they said the rec dryer was 800+ and the compressor was 200+. I talked to a few people who said that doesnt sound right. So I guess my question is could used parts replace these just as easy as new? Does this estimate sound a bit high and could any quality auto mechanic do this procedure if this is what the problem is? Thanks in Advance.
Brian
 

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Well, the grinding noise is quite possibly the bearing in the AC compressor. $200 seems cheap for the compressor itself. I'd expect around $800 from a dealer to replace that part. The next part is the trick:

To replace the AC compressor, they will need to empty the system. As a general rule (that not everyone agrees with) whenever the system is opened, the dryer should be replaced.

Now, another option is to go to an independent shop that might specialize in AC systems. Some AC compressors have clutches that can be replaced, and I've heard of compressors that have bearings that can be replaced. If the Isuzu one is like that, you might be able to get away with a few hundred to replace the clutch/bearing.

Otherwise you'll have to replace the whole compressor, which may or may not require a new dryer.

-Tad
 

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Howdy. I wouldn't suggest putting on a used part. Not that I'm against used parts, but AC is a system you really want to go with new parts. I'm guessing your mechanic is not giving the used AC compressor a warranty. If he charges you for labor again and again, you can easily end up paying out a lot of $.

The work here is easy, but you do need some specialized tools and training. In any case, yes replace the receiver/dryer. Particularly if you have a contamination problem. Also, have your mechanic run an A/C flush through the system to make sure all contaminants are out of there. If you just put a new compressor onto a contaminated system, you will ruin the compressor. Also, keep in mind A/C systems are very sensitive to compatibility issues. That is, you must run the proper compressor for it's designed system, the right refridgerant, oil, seals, etc.

Tads on the money with the bearing/clutch issues. I'll add though, even if these components are replaceable, many general repair shops will want to replace the entire unit. Sad. Your best bet might be a specialized AC shop.

If you have the skills and tools you can re-wind alternators, generators, rebuild starters, etc. Today though, it mostly comes down to time. It's far easier for a tech to replace the units than fuss around with repairing them. How about livng w/o your AC? I used to live in VA, and never used the damn stuff. Of course, AC gives me a headache. My 2 cents.

-Kevin
 
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