I have a 2001 Sable, 3.0L DOHC, mileage about 82K.
Symptoms: First A/C was not as cold as before but still did cool enough. Next, while idling at stoplights, drive-through, etc., with A/C on, the engine temperature gauge would go to "hot," but with A/C off, it would be fine. Then about a week later, the A/C started blowing out hot air and there was a "rattling" or scraping-type noise in the engine, plus the "check engine" light came on.
Took it to a repair shop and they said the A/C and water pump are "broken" and that the rattling sound was a bearing in the water pump, and also that the check engine code was P1633 "Keep alive power voltage too low."
They quoted me the following: Replace water pump; replace A/C clutch pulley, hub and coil; replace serpentine belt; evacuate and recharge A/C system. Grand total of $1506. This price seems excessive to me (I live in Oregon, not near Portland).
A relative of mine says he can replace the water pump, and I found a parts shop price for that at about $34 to $57. If he replaces the water pump, will that take care of things until I can get the A/C repaired? Or do all of those things go together and all need to be replaced at the same time?
Checking around town I've gotten quotes for just the A/C repairs anywhere from $510 to $1067.
Thanks for the help!
Did they mention what caused the code P1633? It may have been from the serpentine belt coming off and disabling the alternator, but maybe not. You might want to double-check on that one.
The price may be a little high. I ran the numbers at $75 per hour for labor and dealer cost on the parts, and it was roughly closer to $1000 before tax (but there could be more work involved). The biggest part of the job seems to be the A/C clutch and coil (4.8 hours labor, not counting evacuating and recharging the system).
And if the A/C pulley is no good, there's no way around the repair because the serpentine belt has to ride on that A/C pulley in order to drive the other components (alternator, power steering).
Thanks for the help. They said they thought the code probably was caused by the water pump or A/C, but they weren't sure. Definitely the A/C belt is really loose, almost ready to fall off. The serpentine belt didn't actually come off, but they suggested replacing it due to the mileage and because they'd already have the engine apart I guess.
If replacing the A/C pulley (is that the belt?), do the other parts need to be replaced (the clutch, hub, coil, or other) or can the pulley be replaced on its own?
The belt rides on the A/C pulley, and the belt has to be correct. Otherwise it can come off or break and disable the other stuff it's rotating, like the alternator and power steering.
I'm not sure if replacing the pulley and not the other components on the A/C compressor is possible. But even if it were, the bad clutch and coil may obstruct the pulley, resulting in noise and possible damage. Plus the job is a lot of labor, and it's crazy not to replace all the damaged parts while they're in there.