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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-08-2013, 07:46 PM
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Tkaczuk Tkaczuk is offline
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Possible ac compressor seized?

Hey guys, my daily M50 had some trouble coming home after a long trip last week. I've been busy so I didn't get a chance to take a look. Tonight I went out and after some investigation think that possibly my compressor seized up.

In traffic the car shut off. I got it going again and got off the road as soon as I stopped it shut off again. I start it one last time to get to a better location and after that point it wouldn't start up again. I knew my water/alternator pulley was going bad to I figured that was the problem. To tonight I loosened the belt and discovered it was free so I loosened the compressor belt and I couldn't move the compressor at all.

Two part question

1. Any other possible problems?

2. Can I run the car without the compressor belt on correct? Not effecting anything?

Any input would be great.
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  #2  
Old 12-08-2013, 08:03 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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Yeah, you can run the car without the A/C belt installed, but I wouldn't think that a seized A/C compressor would be able to prevent the engine from running. Seems like you'd just roast the belt off rather than stopping a 190hp engine in its tracks.
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  #3  
Old 12-09-2013, 07:08 AM
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Tkaczuk Tkaczuk is offline
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I'm not sure what else it could be. Its something belt driven. If I try to start the car I hear a belt squealing the engine is turning over and firing.
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  #4  
Old 12-09-2013, 08:08 AM
Leusent Leusent is online now
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I would be tempted to cut off the $10 belt and see if everything gets better... just don't cut the wrong belt
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  #5  
Old 12-09-2013, 08:36 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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Don't cut any belt. Just remove the A/C belt.
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  #6  
Old 12-09-2013, 08:51 AM
Leusent Leusent is online now
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Thats better advice. Listen to ZeGerman.
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  #7  
Old 12-09-2013, 09:15 AM
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Tkaczuk Tkaczuk is offline
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I took it off last night. Not hard to do. I want to replace the water pump pulleys while I'm in there.
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  #8  
Old 12-09-2013, 09:48 AM
hursh328ic hursh328ic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
Yeah, you can run the car without the A/C belt installed, but I wouldn't think that a seized A/C compressor would be able to prevent the engine from running. Seems like you'd just roast the belt off rather than stopping a 190hp engine in its tracks.
my bubbies cadilac had the ac compressor seize up and it stopped his engine.
i wouln't have belived it either but the car wouldn't even turnover. i took the tension of the belt and the car started right up. release the tensioner and the car stalled again
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  #9  
Old 12-09-2013, 11:05 AM
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Yeah, I guess it must be possible then. It's hard to imagine a 190hp engine being stopped in its tracks by a small rubber belt that isn't even 1-inch wide, but I believe you.
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  #10  
Old 12-09-2013, 12:00 PM
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The 4-banger in the '87 Celebrity I had was stopped dead by a seized AC pump while driving down I-10 at 80 mph! It was an automatic so it more or less coasted a bit, I put it in neutral and I realized what it was. As soon as I turned off the AC I could restart the engine and drive home. It made a hellacious noise and smoke when it locked.
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  #11  
Old 12-09-2013, 12:03 PM
Leusent Leusent is online now
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I seized a compressor on my '95 neon. The car barely started and the idle was bad for about 5 seconds until the belt broke... then everything was fine. Guess it can go either way.
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  #12  
Old 12-09-2013, 12:07 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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The belt on the 4-cylinder is THE belt, as in only one. If it had broken, I'd have been stranded. It drives the PS pump, water pump, alternator and AC compressor, so it's a big, wide multi-groove belt.
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Quotes to live by:
guessing gets expensive...drivinfaster
nothing is more expensive than a cheap BMW...c4harpe13
buying a ratty example (of a BMW) is a parasitic relationship.(and you ain't the mosquito) 7pilot

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BMW-CCA #441426
1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
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  #13  
Old 12-09-2013, 12:14 PM
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Tkaczuk Tkaczuk is offline
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I hope that's the problem. I'm going to put it back together and see what happens later today. The compressors probably is stock and the car has over 200k.
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  #14  
Old 12-10-2013, 11:46 AM
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It was the compressor. Took the belt off. Put the other pelt back on and it started right up. Got some more power now that its not trying to turn that. Thanks for the help guys.
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  #15  
Old 12-10-2013, 11:52 AM
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Glad to hear it was an easy fix.
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