2001 Honda Civic belt/rotating noise

Tiny
EVANW
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 143,000 MILES
Hello and thanks for reading

Two days ago I noticed that when my AC is turned OFF, something in my engine in making a metallic scraping/shaking noise. It clearly sounds like something metal is scraping against something else that is metal while rotating and shaking. When the AC is turned ON, the noise is not as pronounced.

The sound is present when the car is idling and under about 30 mph. At freeway speed, you can't hear it even though the noise is very loud. When you open the hood, the sound is coming from the drivers side, by the belts. Sounds like maybe a bearing is loose or maybe something has gotten into the grooves of the timing belt. I'm not sure though. Maybe an engine mounting bracket is loose and causing something else to rattle and shake?

I don't know when the belts were last replaced since I recently bought it but they don't look very worn or old.
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Wednesday, August 25th, 2010 AT 11:27 AM

10 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi evanw,

Thank you for the donation.

Symptoms indicates a possible fault with the A/C compressor clutch bearing. Get the bearing checked.

As to the belts, if they don't look worns and have no visible cracks, they shoudl be ok.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, August 25th, 2010 AT 11:56 AM
Tiny
EVANW
  • MEMBER
How could it be an AC clutch bearing if the noise is LESS noticeable when the AC is ON?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, August 25th, 2010 AT 12:21 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
When the clutch engages, the load on the clutch bearing lessens as the compressor shaft takes over some of the load so the noise would change.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, August 25th, 2010 AT 12:34 PM
Tiny
AXIS
  • MEMBER
When the a/c is off, only the puleys are turning and the compressor shaft is stationary. At this instance, the clutch bearing is also turning. When the a/c is on, the clutch engage and the compressor shaft turns at the same rpm of the pulley. As the bearing further deteriorates, the wiggle and the noise will be more, even if the a/c is turned on.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, August 25th, 2010 AT 1:22 PM
Tiny
EVANW
  • MEMBER
That makes sense. I'll see if I can get the ac clutch bearing replaced. I hope it won't be too expensive.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, August 25th, 2010 AT 1:40 PM
Tiny
AXIS
  • MEMBER
Im not familiar with the prices in your area, i've changed mine before, but I changed the clutch pulley together with the bearing inside, used part though.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, August 25th, 2010 AT 1:47 PM
Tiny
EVANW
  • MEMBER
Honda wants $1600 to replace the compressor, coil, drier and clutch. I might as well pull down my pants and bend over. The mechanic says that the compressor rod is shifting back and forth and moving around. While the bearing is basically falling apart. I'm not sure if I entirely believe him.

The AC still runs and cool air is still being produced. I have a feeling that I'll just have to replace the clutch, maybe the coil/solenoid if it got damaged.

Does that sound good?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, August 26th, 2010 AT 4:24 PM
Tiny
AXIS
  • MEMBER
Situation differs in different location. If I were u. Ill try to find a used compressor, damaged or not as long as the clutch is fine. Invest in some tools u need to use. Replace the clutch pulley together with the bearing. After you finish the job, you still have your tools to do other repairs. You will spend less and you will learn.I will guide you all the way.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, August 26th, 2010 AT 6:57 PM
Tiny
BEEV
  • MEMBER
I attempted to replace bearing in vehicle myself but gave up. The reason noise is less when AC is on is because the magnetic clutch pulls the pulley into better alignment and, as stated by another, the idle bearing is no longer turning.

The problem is the longer you wait the more damage to the clutch plate, pulley, and electromagnet housing you'll have. In the end, it was cheaper to buy a remanufactured compressor and replace whole thing DIY.

I replaced compressor, tension/idle pulley bearing, and the receiver/dryer. Best price/quality at time was diiscountacparts. Com

Once parts came in I took car to a shop and had them remove refrigerant. You'll have to remove the radiator and p/s pump in order to get the compressor and its mounting bolts out. Use new O-rings and replace receiver/dryer at time you replace compressor. If you have over 100K miles and haven't replaced the water pump and timing belt yet this is also the time to do that. Once all back together have system recharged and you're good to go.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, August 30th, 2010 AT 4:16 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi Beev,

Thank you for the input.

It is much appreciated when someone who knows what he is doing and has done it shares his experience.

Have a nice day.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, August 30th, 2010 AT 11:21 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides