Monday, July 6, 2009

Air compressor screeching on 2001 Chevy Tahoe

Last summer I had a problem that seemed to only occur when I would put the engine under stress (like accelerating) while running the air conditioner and then later on whenever I would start the A/C. I would hear a screeching sound, not like a belt screeching, more like something was loose in the engine. I have a 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe 4 wheel drive with a 305 HP Vortec V8 Engine and at the time it had about 60,000 miles on it. Eventually I took the Tahoe into a shop and when they called back to tell me the problem the compressor had to be replaced at a cost of around $1,000. (Maybe I should have used a dealer).

It turns out the compressor was tearing itself apart from the inside out, caused by broken / loose metal. I’m not sure how this originally happened but this loose metal began to strip the rest of the insides making it hard to cool and making it very noisy, hence the screeching sound. Now that I have a repair manual, I know every 5 years or 60,000 miles I’m supposed to have the air compressor service. Maybe if I had done that around the first 60,000 miles I might have been able to catch the problem before it got worse.

This isn’t exactly a technology issue, except that if there were a better place to track vehicles and their maintenance requirements, a lot of these types of problems could be avoided. I’m surprised GM hasn’t come up with a site on their own; better maintained vehicles over the long run could be a marketable advantage!

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