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Old 04-13-2018, 04:02 PM   #1
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AC compressor noise

I made a youtube video of the noise coming from my AC compressor while it is engaged. https://youtu.be/m0pbcMVORjY

I've found other youtube videos that demonstrate the same noise:
2015 model:
2011 model:

The frequency increases as the engine RPM increases and the only time the noise goes away is when the AC compressor disengages.

The drive belt that turns the compressor isn't slipping. The clutch engages & disengages smoothly. My AC blows cold so I have no idea why it's making this weird sound.

Anyone else with this weird sound or know why it's doing this? I don't want to spend hours swapping out the AC compressor unless I need to.
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Old 05-23-2018, 02:53 PM   #2
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Update: I finally decided it was about time to do something about this weird noise so I drove it to a local mechanic to get his opinion. He had a listen to the air compressor with his stethoscope & said I probably needed a new one. I ordered a new compressor from Rock Auto yesterday.

I'll update this thread again once the current air compressor is off & I've had a chance to look at the internal parts.
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Old 05-23-2018, 05:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CC2099 View Post
Update: I finally decided it was about time to do something about this weird noise so I drove it to a local mechanic to get his opinion. He had a listen to the air compressor with his stethoscope & said I probably needed a new one. I ordered a new compressor from Rock Auto yesterday.

I'll update this thread again once the current air compressor is off & I've had a chance to look at the internal parts.
Amazing nobody replied with an answer glad you're getting it fixed good luck

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Old 06-14-2018, 04:34 PM   #4
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The replacement AC compressor I ordered from Rock Auto is now installed. During replacement, only 5oz of refrigerant came out. The label under the hood says there's supposed to be 21oz.

I took the OEM AC compressor apart today & here's what I found:
- Clutch bearing spun freely, no slop/play, no sign of wear
- The PAG oil was clean and I couldn't find any hints of contamination inside.
- No wear on the pistons nor the cylinder walls
- No wear on the swash plate shaft thrust bearings
- No wear on the swash plate
- Possible wear on the bottom side of the piston bearings (I don't know if that's what they are called). There are two of these half-circular bearings per piston, one for each side of the swash plate.

The curved portion of all 10 bearings looked like they had been worn/flattened. I'm not an AC compressor expert - they might have been designed like that but my gut feeling is that they were not.

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Old 06-14-2018, 05:28 PM   #5
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Just a quick update. Now that I've had a chance to sit down a do a bit of googling, it looks like the half-circular bearings I was describing are called "piston shoes".

I still haven't figured out whether the flat spots are normal or a sign of wear as I've seen some photos that show some type of insert (like graphite) in the centre of the bearing while other photos show a perfectly round surface with no insert.

From what I've read so far, it looks like these piston shoes are a known weak spot. There have been numerous patent applications filed for piston shoes since 2000! Also, AC Delco make a big fuss about how good their piston shoes are in this news release.
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Old 06-15-2018, 01:29 PM   #6
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That's too bad about your compressor.
I had the shaft break on one years ago. It was on a new truck, so it was repaired under warranty. It was the very first thing to break.
I still have the truck, and the replacement compressor still works 27 years, and 600k miles, later. As a matter of fact, the A/C compressor is the oldest moving part on the entire truck. It would likely still have the same refrigerant in it, but I accidentally drilled into the condenser a few years ago.

Anyway, I wish you similar luck with your replacement compressor.
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Old 04-27-2019, 04:22 PM   #7
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Same Same

I have a 2016 v6 and it's making the same noise. I'm about to replace the whole compressor as recommended but it seems soon to be having to replace. I've got just over 60k on the car.
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Old 04-28-2019, 07:50 AM   #8
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It is what it is. They can go bad like anything else. Hell, even "super reliable" brands like Honda and Toyota have AC compressor issues. The good news is they are not super hard to get at and white box replacement units on Rockauto or ebay aren't super pricey.
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Old 05-01-2019, 02:41 AM   #9
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That must explain the noise on buddy's 2012. We'll take a look at the compressor right after we finished installing the rack and bak flip cover on his current truck project. The noise is intermittent so hope the compressor can still be saved.
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Old 05-01-2019, 04:51 AM   #10
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On the other hand, I have never, NEVER had air conditioning as cold as a properly functioning 96-04. My old blue car and current silver one the left vent gets closed on longer drives or my knee legit starts to hurt after awhile lol.
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