ac compressor issues
My 1996 Ford Ranger is having compressor issues. Towards the end of september no air would blow when I turned on the AC or the heater. Then, about 2 weeks ago I noticed a grinding/squeaking sound coming form the belt area. The pulleys are good and the belt is new, so I took it to a mechanic. He quickly identified that it was the compressor going out. There is a pulley for the belt that is connected to this compressor, so I am under the impression that if the compressor quits it would take the belt, and the engine with it.
Here are my questions:
1) Is it true that the compressor going out would cause the belt to slip or lock up, thus ruining my engine?
2) Do I have to replace the whole compressor or is there a repair kit available?
Thank you for your help.