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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys,

brief bit of background for you. I’ve been working from home for the last few months, so the cars only been driven once a week, but everything’s worked fine, no rattles etc.

A few days ago I went onto the motorway and the air con stopped working, and things got quite stuffy!

I tried leaving it off for a bit, turning it off and on, temperature up and down etc but no joy. When I turn the air con on or off I can hear the compressor spinning up, so I’m confident it’s not an electrical/relay issue.

In the video attached, there’s a new rattle noise that’s come since the air con stopped. The noise is still there when the air con is off, but it comes and goes. The noise also disappears above say 20mph, and isn’t constant (it comes in bursts, but the bursts are longer/more frequent when the air con is on).


The air con was refilled at ATS a few years ago and there haven’t been any issues since then.

I can’t quite place the sound in there, but if any of you have ideas or want me to record it in a different place or try things, I’m happy to do it.

Thanks in advance for any help with this!
 

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i-Vtec
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2,783 Posts
Welcome to Civinfo.

Well your AC Clutch is engaging ok as I can see it spinning. That is a weird one because if it was the relay, or no gas due to a leak the compressor shouldnt engage. Im assuming the radiator fan is also working when the AC is on?
It could be the Auxiliary Belt Idler pulley tensioner that is causing that noise. Im assuming the noise is still there when you turn the AC off? Best bet would be to disconnect the aux belt and turn pulleys by hand, a worn out bearing should be easy to feel and hear with that removed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi,

I’ve checked the fan, and it turns on and off with the ac. I’ll try it when the car is cold and see if turning it on and off makes a difference, but I’m not expecting much.

If I follow the video attached, is it easy enough to take the belt off by just reducing the tension to get it off and on, or am I going to need to take the wheel etc off to get good enough access for checking everything?


Thanks
 

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i-Vtec
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TBH its not something Ive tried myself, so have no idea. I will check the How 2 section and see if there is one in there.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
No worries, thanks for checking 👍

Hopefully this will be something relatively simple
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So a bit of a follow-up, I had the belt off earlier and gave all the pulleys a turn, but none of them stood out as being bad.

The compressor was fairly stiff to turn, but it was still smooth.

The tensioner, and whichever one is above or below it (with the alternator at the front, the next one along and the one underneath that one) both turned okay, but there is a metallic noise while they turn. It's not a bearing noise, and there's no resistance or other movement when they turn.

The pulley at the back of the engine turned smooth, but can be moved side to side slightly.

Are they all meant to be silent? I'd assume they are, but I've not played with all the pulleys before to know.
 

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It sounds like the idler pulley to me.
On the 1.8 8G that is the one at the back of the engine that you say has some play.
 

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Tensioner, you can very carefully (at your own risk) put a large screwdriver or pry bar up against the arm when it rattles and it should go away.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
When you say arm, xzibit, are you talking about the area next to the tensioner (the bolt you turn to take tension off) or a different area?

Is it worth me searching for a cheaper version, or are the cheaper ones known to fail fast?

If I can change the pulley blind this won't be too bad, from the diagram it looks like a single bolt 😅
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So the noise was from the ac unit, and after changing the pulley it's all quiet again.

I bought a cheap clutch kit from eBay (£9), but the actual clutch piece is a different size to the original, and I'll have to find 1mm+ shims to space it enough to not be clamped onto the pully. The kit also came with a new magnet, but I don't have a circlip tool big enough to get the one that holds it in out.

I took it to have it regassed today, and they said it was empty originally, it holds the gas fine, but the compressor isn't kicking in. He thinks it's the high pressure switch, because the clutch wasn't moving even when it was charged.

Is there any easy way to confirm it's this that's the problem?

If I need to split this into a new thread in the ac section, that's no problem 👍
 
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