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Do I need to replace the compressor or the alternator? Please help!

(2007 Dodge Caliber)
in Odessa, TX on December 29, 2011
My car has been making this loud rattling noise for about 2 months now. I took it in to get an oil change and I went ahead and asked the mechanic to check the noise issue. He said that it is the compressor failing and that it'd be very expensive to replace. I decided to ask around and do some research myself before giving the go-ahead to fix the compressor. Other sources told me that the problem is witht he alternator. Now I don't know which way to go. Does anyone have any advice? Can anyone tell me if I myself can check the alternator belt to see if that's the problem? I appreciate your help! :)
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Popular Answer
The first thing to do is to isolate whether it is the alternator or air conditioning compressor that is actually making the noise. Listening to the compressor and alternator with a mechanic's stethoscope may isolate the noise, removing the belt and spinning each component separately would be best. Autozone have some popular workshop manuals for free on line once you register (for free) on their website http://bit.ly/autozone_repair_info. There is a company that independent auto repair shops get their information from, this same information is available inexpensively for people that work on their own cars.. The information is year make and model specific, covering repair procedures, torque specifications, fluid capacities and specifications, service bulletins, component locations, wiring diagrams ect.... Alldata is very easy to navigate http://bit.ly/AllData_Repair_Manuals_Online
Alldata would be best. Replacing the belt is easiest, replacing the alternator may be doable but will not be able to replace the a/c compressor yourself.
on December 31, 2011
Thank you so much! I'm gonna go ahead and take it to Firestone...I don't really trust the mechanic I took it to in the first place. Thanks again for your speedy response.
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