Mechanics

AC .... PULLEY? CLUTCH? COMPRESSOR? OR SOMETHING ELSE?

2000 Dodge Dakota • 102,000 miles

About every 8 seconds there is a squeal/slipping sound coming from where the belt runs over the ac pulley. I thought it was the belt slipping, but had it looked at and was told it was the compressor. Then said maybe just the clutch. However, it appears my Freon is empty as when we opened the valve only air came out. Air in the truck comes out kind of cool, but not ice cold. He recommended I get a can of the r-134a at a auto store and refill to see. Said if air gets colder its the clutch if not the compressor. Issue is can't seem to find a hose to fit it and don't want to spend to recharge at the shop just to empty and repair. Mean while I will try to find a hose to fit. I also noticed now that the sound stops when the ac is off. I know I could bypass it, but I'd rather just fix it. I just want to know what it is. If I don't need the compressor the cost for the clutch would be better. Though I've referenced your site before for help this is the first time asking a question and appreciate any troubleshooting help or solutions. Hope I've provided enough information.
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Malette
September 27, 2011.



In my opinion, the best way to start would be to locate and identify the leak. If your A/C system has no refrigerant in it, it has leaked out somewhere. There is also a lubicant in the system called PAG Oil. If the clutch on the compressor is slipping, it's a possibility that the front compressor seal has been leaking and the PAG Oil has contaminated the compressor clutch. The 134a refrigerant is ozone-friendly and resonably inexpensive, so if you add a can and use it to check for leaks; you may be able to visually find the leak if it is a large one. A fill-kit can be purchased at any good auto-parts store for a minimal amount of money. And if it is indeed the compressor seal, a compressor rebuilt kit is probably available. Compressor replacement may not be necessary.

Dan_K
Sep 28, 2011.
With the engine off does the center of the clutch turn freely?Or is it all bound up?It could be low on charge causing the compressor to cycle. Or the pressures could be too high causing the pressures to cycle. The low side fitting should be a standard r134 fitting. Its not a good idea to just press the a/c valve in doesnt tell you if the system is full and can be dangerous. To properly do this your self you will need to get a r134 gauge set to see what the high and low pressures.

Saturntech9
Sep 28, 2011.