AC Clutch or compressor bad? (1 Viewer)

Joined
Feb 11, 2021
Messages
23
Location
raleigh nc
Hey guys, I've been cruising this form for a while and used it to fix various things on my 2000 LX. Having some trouble with a recent issue.

Background: a few months ago my AC light started blinking and eventually i would hear some sort of grinding noise from the engine with the AC on. I turned the ac off and kept it off and was going to fix it later (thinking it was the clutch). Recently, it started making a similar noise (not as bad) that seemed to get louder the longer i drove with the ac OFF. I believe the compressor is at fault because i have a new compressor and when i turn that one by hand, it feels smooth, but the old compressor feels like its out of oil or something, almost feels like its rusted inside. I am going to replace the compressor but my question is, is it possible for a clutch to go out which then, somehow, causes the compressor to fail as well?

TIA
 

flintknapper

SILVER Star
Joined
May 22, 2004
Messages
9,511
Location
Deep East Texas
Hey guys, I've been cruising this form for a while and used it to fix various things on my 2000 LX. Having some trouble with a recent issue.

Background: a few months ago my AC light started blinking and eventually i would hear some sort of grinding noise from the engine with the AC on. I turned the ac off and kept it off and was going to fix it later (thinking it was the clutch). Recently, it started making a similar noise (not as bad) that seemed to get louder the longer i drove with the ac OFF. I believe the compressor is at fault because i have a new compressor and when i turn that one by hand, it feels smooth, but the old compressor feels like its out of oil or something, almost feels like its rusted inside. I am going to replace the compressor but my question is, is it possible for a clutch to go out which then, somehow, causes the compressor to fail as well?

TIA

The clutch is independent of the compressor until the electromagnetic coil pulls it to the drive plate. So normally the pulley on the clutch is 'free wheeling'. It is always turning with the serpentine belt....so IF the bearing in the clutch pulley seizes it will shred your serpentine belt. But there is nothing about the clutch that would/should affect the internal workings of the compressor.

As for comparing the two compressors....I am not sure when you say you 'turn' the two....if you were turning the pulley or the actual compressor drive plate. Sounds like what you are feeling/hearing is a failing clutch pulley bearing.

I would remove your serpentine belt and spin ALL of the pulleys and rotating components by hand and see what they feel like.

Serp Legend.jpg


compressor-clutch.jpg
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 11, 2021
Messages
23
Location
raleigh nc
The clutch is independent of the compressor until the electromagnetic coil pulls it to the drive plate. So normally the pulley on the clutch is 'free wheeling'. It is always turning with the serpentine belt....so IF the bearing in the clutch pulley seizes it will shred your serpentine belt. But there is nothing about the clutch that would/should affect the internal workings of the compressor.

As for comparing the two compressors....I am not sure when you say you 'turn' the two....if you were turning the pulley or the actual compressor drive plate. Sounds like what you are feeling/hearing is a failing clutch pulley bearing.

I would remove your serpentine belt and spin ALL of the pulleys and rotating components by hand and see what they feel like.

View attachment 2582662

View attachment 2582663
Thanks for the response! I did take the belt off and played with all the pulleys, none seemed excessively bad. I then ran the motor for a few seconds without the belt and didnt hear any noise, which tells me that the noise is coming from a component off the belt. I had the compressor replaced at my brothers shop but its still making the same noise as before (sort of like a scratching/rubbing noise). My brother said it looked like the harmonic balancer was wobbling when it was running so perhaps thats the issue? Ill see if i can post a video and maybe someone can chime in on what is going on. Also, now it wont start, even with a jump box, it just wont even try to turn over. This thing is really killing me...
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2021
Messages
23
Location
raleigh nc
Your fan clutch might be wobbling. You never showed us the HB.
the only thing that makes me think the fan clutch and HB are fine is it doesnt seem to make that noise with the belt off, but perhaps that is because there is less stress on the fan clutch/HB right?
 

flintknapper

SILVER Star
Joined
May 22, 2004
Messages
9,511
Location
Deep East Texas
isnt that behind the fan clutch?

Negative.

Harmonic Balancer is at the very bottom of the engine (the large pulley at front/bottom) It connects to the crankshaft of the engine and is the pulley the powers everything the serpentine belt drives.

Labeled 'CS' (Crank Shaft) in this legend.

Serp Legend.jpg
 

flintknapper

SILVER Star
Joined
May 22, 2004
Messages
9,511
Location
Deep East Texas
the only thing that makes me think the fan clutch and HB are fine is it doesnt seem to make that noise with the belt off, but perhaps that is because there is less stress on the fan clutch/HB right?

Possible. Your fan bracket (the component your fan and fan clutch bolt to) might not wobble until pressure was applied.
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2021
Messages
23
Location
raleigh nc
Possible. Your fan bracket (the component your fan and fan clutch bolt to) might not wobble until pressure was applied.
Hmm thats a good point. I have heard of that part being replaced before due to a similar noise so maybe what i should do next is remove the fan and see if i can find what if anything is wiggling down there
 

flintknapper

SILVER Star
Joined
May 22, 2004
Messages
9,511
Location
Deep East Texas
Hmm thats a good point. I have heard of that part being replaced before due to a similar noise so maybe what i should do next is remove the fan and see if i can find what if anything is wiggling down there

Two possibilities : The fan clutch itself (not common) or the bearing in the fan bracket (common and not serviceable)
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2021
Messages
23
Location
raleigh nc
Yes, the bearing is not replaceable (it is staked into the assembly) so the entire fan bracket must be replaced if the bearing is bad.

View attachment 2604101
View attachment 2604102
I gotcha, sorry i should have just googled that ahead of time. I think the next step is to see if i can produce a wobble out of it, i also read that i should check the four nuts that tighten down to the blue plate that attaches the fan/fan clutch to the fan bracket
 

flintknapper

SILVER Star
Joined
May 22, 2004
Messages
9,511
Location
Deep East Texas
I gotcha, sorry i should have just googled that ahead of time. I think the next step is to see if i can produce a wobble out of it, i also read that i should check the four nuts that tighten down to the blue plate that attaches the fan/fan clutch to the fan bracket

Yes. The fan itself (if not pulled up tight against the fan bracket) could wobble like a Sailor leaving a bar at 2:00 a.m.
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2021
Messages
23
Location
raleigh nc
Yes. The fan itself (if not pulled up tight against the fan bracket) could wobble like a Sailor leaving a bar at 2:00 a.m.
Hmmm... Well, now it wont start.... Nothing happens when I turn the key, might be that the starter solenoids i replaced a year ago are going bad again. The weird part is it shows 9 volts, even when trying to start it and even when a jump box is attached. That makes me think its the terminals...?
 

flintknapper

SILVER Star
Joined
May 22, 2004
Messages
9,511
Location
Deep East Texas
Hmmm... Well, now it wont start.... Nothing happens when I turn the key, might be that the starter solenoids i replaced a year ago are going bad again. The weird part is it shows 9 volts, even when trying to start it and even when a jump box is attached. That makes me think its the terminals...?

OK your starter has ONE solenoid and TWO contacts, not sure which you replaced. BUT.....you're going to want to start from ground zero with this.

1. Disconnect your battery and fully charge it overnight (on a low amperage setting)
2. Check ALL connections (terminals, cables and ground wires)
3. After your battery has been off the charger (rested) for a few hours then take a multi-meter and check the voltage. Should be 12.4 to 12.6 vdc
4. IF your battery is NOT as specified above, take it and have it 'load tested'
5. IF the battery AND all connections are good then (and only then) suspect your starter or an issue in your ignition circuit.

Let us know what you find and do not skip any of the steps.
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2021
Messages
23
Location
raleigh nc
OK your starter has ONE solenoid and TWO contacts, not sure which you replaced. BUT.....you're going to want to start from ground zero with this.

1. Disconnect your battery and fully charge it overnight (on a low amperage setting)
2. Check ALL connections (terminals, cables and ground wires)
3. After your battery has been off the charger (rested) for a few hours then take a multi-meter and check the voltage. Should be 12.4 to 12.6 vdc
4. IF your battery is NOT as specified above, take it and have it 'load tested'
5. IF the battery AND all connections are good then (and only then) suspect your starter or an issue in your ignition circuit.

Let us know what you find and do not skip any of the steps.
Thanks for the step by step man, I think we did most of those. The battery shouldnt be relevant when the jump box is attached, the jump box was definitely good. Battery connections and grounds are all good, though I havent ran a multimeter on the battery itself (but like i said my brother and his mechanic put the jump box on it which has its own multimeter). It doesnt even *try* to crank, which makes me think its the starter or something in the ignition.... BUT why would it show such low volts on the dash? that part is puzzling me. And to answer your question I used one of hte amazon kits to replace the contacts, the brass pieces and the plunger - in other words i replaced the contacts and plugin within the solenoid. I can send pics if that helps, but even if it was the starter i imagine after a few times kicking the key over it should get a connection and start (which is what happened when my starter contacts were going out)
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom