So yet another chapter unfolds in the A/C gremlin saga of my LS1 Chevy.
- A/C compressor is relatively new (2 years old)
- One of the belts is squeaking (not sure which one)
- Recently performed a thermostat swap (the only reason why I mention this is because the thermostat housing is mounted directly above the compressor and a bit of coolant did spill on the compressor)
- The alternator outputs ~14.5 V with the A/C off.
- With the A/C on, the alternator outputs 10-12 V, the battery symbol lights up, and a 'Check Alternator' warning shows up on my display. After some time the steering goes hard as well, indicating loss of power steering. Cooling is abysmal.
The symptoms appear to suggest that the compressor is inducing a parasitic draw on the engine (seized bearing, perhaps?), which surprises me since this is a two-belt setup (one for the A/C, one main).
Is it reasonable to expect that a seized compressor bearing would cause loss of tension in the main belt to the extent that alternator and power steering pump functionality is compromised?
Could there be some non-mechanical issue that explains this behavior (such as electrics)?