AC compressor seize (clutch) and blown gauge fuse...

Aug 28, 2007
Thought I'd share an entertaining occurrence on a road trip I recently finished up over the weekend with my 95. Was relatively hot over the weekend travelling north on I-5 and running the air conditioning. I rarely use it and it's been fading in efficiency slowly over the years. In any case, cruising up the freeway at 70 mph and the compressor clutch seized up solid in short order. Truck shuttered, followed by a heavy drag on the engine (clutch melting on the compressor and the belt smoking from the lock up). Truck shut itself off as I pulled to the side of the freeway due to the drag on the belt. Popped the hood and smoked rolled out - melted clutch material all around the AC pulley (attached a pic of some fully melted pieces) - had to cut the belt off, cleaned off as much of the debris that had flown around the front of the motor and headed for the next exit to better assess the situation.

This is one circumstance where *not* having a serpentine on a 1fze made this only a delay to get home as opposed to a tow truck event.

What's strange (maybe you all have thoughts on this?) is at the moment of the ac clutch lock up, I lost all gauges (among other accessories). Items that did *not* function as I was troubleshooting - no dash gauges, no overdrive (up to 3rd gear only), no windows, no sunroof, no radio, no AC fan and maybe a few other things I'm forgetting. Thankfully I was running my Ultragauge and it was still giving me all my expected data points (temps, speed, etc). I started pulling fuses and the *only* one blown was the 10a gauge fuse. I replaced and everything came back.

So at this point I have an AC replacement job to do...but I'm still a bit perplexed on the gauge fuse. It was the only bad fuse and it had a LOT of control over a range of accessories. Maybe this is a 95 thing but I was surprised how many functions stopped. If you have any experience or input on this I'd be very curious.


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