Noise. It is a constant battle in our lives, and for some people, it’s a painful struggle to avoid the noise of society.
For car owners, two types of noise come along with owning a car–the noise from your engine and the noise from your air conditioning system.
A noisy car AC compressor can be a huge annoyance, especially when you are trying to have a conversation with someone in the passenger seat.
The first thing you should do if you’re looking for ways to quiet down your noisy vehicle ac compressor is to figure out what type of sound it makes.
Types Of Car Air Conditioner Compressors
There are three types of car air conditioner compressor systems.
The most common type is belt-driven, which uses a serpentine belt to drive the compressor and other components.
Another kind is engine-mounted, attached directly to the engine block with brackets or an adaptor sleeve for mounting in between motor mounts.
The last type is shaft-driven, where the compressor mounts to a pulley on the engine’s crankshaft.
Types of Car AC Compressor Noises and How to Fix
These tips are for cars that use R-134a refrigerant (commonly known as “freon“) in their AC systems, but many of these tips apply equally well to other kinds of vehicles too.
Loud High-Pitched Whine
This type of car ac compressor noise is relatively easy to diagnose, and the solution involves replacing your old compressor with a new one.
This sound usually comes from an older engine-mounted AC system where the belt-driven compressors can sometimes overheat if they are not functioning at their peak capacity or efficiency.
At this point, you should also check for other symptoms like low refrigerant levels or dirty air filter elements that might be inhibiting airflow into the evaporator core inlet (the round rubber cone near the center of your dashboard).
If these problems are found, consider having them fixed too – but remember that fixing freon leaks will only solve part of this problem.
Finally, make sure you’re using high-quality R-134a refrigerant that meets strict safety and quality standards.
It’s always good to have your air conditioning system serviced by an experienced technician if you need help diagnosing noise problems because it is highly advantageous for them to see the compressor at work when they’re trying to diagnose these issues.
Rattling Or Clunking Sound
Cars with rear-mounted compressors often make a rattling or clunking sound at idle speed – this noise usually gets worse as engine RPM increases, so take care not to rev too high in neutral while listening closely for any car ac compressor noises.
This type of car ac compressor noise can be caused by worn-out front bearing assemblies on older vehicles where the AC belt drives off from the crankshaft pulley instead of from the water pump like newer cars.
The compressor clutch will “load” the bearing when it engages, which makes this particular noise – just like how your washing machine spins faster when you turn on the hot water.
If these bearings are worn out, they’ll need to be replaced with new parts right away before any more damage occurs. Otherwise, problems may begin to crop up in other areas of your engine or drivetrain.
High Pitched Whining Noises
The last type of car ac compressor sound is probably one that most people have heard during their lives, if not while driving a vehicle themselves: high pitched whining noises from under the hood accompanied by periodic loud thuds and clunks emanating from under the dashboard.
This kind of problem usually means that something gone wrong inside your compressor assembly itself, which is generally an expensive repair for a professional technician to handle.