A/C compressor or A/C clutch seized?

Old 11-09-2012, 12:37 PM
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A/C compressor or A/C clutch seized?

So, after reinstalling my engine in my 03 after about 7 weeks of repair, the A/C wouldn't come on. All fuses and relays appear OK. It worked fine immediately before the engine was pulled. Car has about 170,000mile on it, and the A/C is used a lot since I live in SoCal.

Trying to figure out if it's the compressor seized or if its the AC clutch not working.

I haven't checked yet if it's getting any power (I know, I know, why am I even posting...).

But, a question. I've heard that if the compressor is seized, then when the clutch engages, the compressor will smoke or make noise or the belt will slip etc. None of that is happening.

So, does that mean the problem is the clutch for the compressor not working? Someone mentioned you can easily check the clutch if it's seized by just turning the very front of the face of the pulley, but I can't remember if they said it's fine if it does/does not turn freely by hand.

Anybody know about this stuff?
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:21 PM
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If all the refrig. has leaked out the compressor will not engage.
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:29 PM
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Engine on, turn off the AC. While it's running look at the front of
the compressor. It should remain stationary while the pulley
turns. Turn on the AC. You should hear a click and the clutch
should spin. If it doesn't you have an electric issue. I suspect
it's a clutch issue. AC clutch that is.
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:58 AM
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You did recharge the system, correct?
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by philiam View Post
Engine on, turn off the AC. While it's running look at the front of
the compressor. It should remain stationary while the pulley
turns. Turn on the AC. You should hear a click and the clutch
should spin. If it doesn't you have an electric issue. I suspect
it's a clutch issue. AC clutch that is.
Hmm...the clutch is stationary whether I have the the AC on or off. There is only one electrical connection, correct? So I should be able to hook up my VOM and see if it's getting any voltage.

I also read something about whether I can turn the clutch by hand meaning if the clutch bearing is seized or not. I can turn it about an 1/8th of a turn. Anybody knows what that means?

Is there any type of failsafe circuit built in that when the compressor is seized the clutch will not engage it?
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by kgf3076 View Post
You did recharge the system, correct?
Uhh.....don't know actually. I didn't do the work, my mechanic did. They pulled many S2000 engines though. Is there a way to pull an engine without evacuating the system of Freon?
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by will williams View Post
If all the refrig. has leaked out the compressor will not engage.
Interesting....I can check this by just pressing the little valve and listening for hissing, correct?
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:10 AM
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So, I pressed on the high and low side pressure relief valves and no hissing. I assume no hissing means no charge in the system. And according to Will Williams, no charge in the system means no engagement of the compressor.
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:26 AM
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That is correct. Chanches are at least one of the hoses cracked durning the engine removal/install. Replace the hoses and recharge the system.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by will williams View Post
That is correct. Chanches are at least one of the hoses cracked durning the engine removal/install. Replace the hoses and recharge the system.
The mechanic did a quick and dirty electrical test on the compressor. He connected power to it and it bogged down the engine to stalling. Then he announced it was seized. \ thinking it bogged and stalled the engine because he either connected the power backwards, or that's what would happen if there was no charge in the system. Is that correct?

Also, won't the clutch still try to engage a seized compressor, if all else with the system is OK? Or is there some sort of failsafe where the clutch won't engage the compressor if it's seized?

Last edited by davidc; 11-10-2012 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:03 AM
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Wow, I'm the OP and forgot to post the outcome.

Well, brought the car in and we went to change the compressor because it was seized.

As soon as we took it off, we saw a huge crack and blow out in the side of the compressor. How did I miss seeing that?

Because it was on the side directly next to the engine, or oil pan. And there was no leaking of fluid to give us a clue because the crack was above horizontal, so all the fluid stayed inside.
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