Cars & Vehicles
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Clutches and Flywheels
1995-2005 Chevy Cavaliers

How long can you drive a car if the AC clutch compressor is bad but not making a noise constantly?


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Wiki User
2015-07-15 19:32:00
2015-07-15 19:32:00

My 1996 Chrysler Cirrus started making noise about 2-3000 miles ago. Had a difficult time determing what was causing the noise since it went away a minute or two later after warming up. Now it is constant and the clutch is starting to smoke from friction. Driving any further may cause it to freeze and snap the belt. I tried to pull the clutch off but too difficult. Guess I have to pay $6-700 to replace it.


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If the compressor is bad or noisy and the AC clutch is okay try unplugging the AC clutch fuse or relay.

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The AC compressor is belt driven. There is an electric clutch that engages the belt drive to the compressor. The circuit for the clutch is driven by the Powertrain Control Module (PCM), which might feed to a relay used to drive the clutch. The PCM receives a start signal from the dashboard control knob or switch. There may also be a refrigerant pressure sensor that can moderate the output of the PCM to the AC clutch signal.

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Check the ac compressor and clutch to see where the noise is coming from. Also check the compressor drive belt for wear.

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Any of the following.......... 1. The compressor is locking up. 2. You have a bad a/c clutch. 3. You have a bad drive belt. 4. You have a bad tensioner. 5. The a/c system is overcharged.

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The A/C compresor is low on the front of the engine, up inside the engine compartment. I have never heard of a serpentine blt "bending" a pulley... When an idler pulley bearing fails and siezes, it will break a belt. This is most likely the cause of belt failure. If the A/C compressor drive is not turning by hand, this is most likely the cause. There is a bearing on the nose of the compressor that allows the hub to rotate and "drive" the compressor when the clutch is activated. The A/C clutch is replaceable without replacing the entire compressor assembly. Check all the pulleys and make sure another one is not also failed.

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