A/C Compressor Clutch

Discuss any problems, warranty, repair, or replacement issues you are having with your Vibe & Matrix

A/C Compressor Clutch

Postby jlynam » Tue Jul 03, 2007 4:04 am

My A/C wasn't working so I took it to a shop, they charged it but said the compressor wasn't getting power. I took it to the dealer today and they said it is getting power but the compressor clutch solenoid is bad (at least that is what I remember them saying)
The part is about $140 but the labor is $350+.
Just wondering if anyone else had this or a similar issue and is there anything I should know.
If it isn't getting power then it won't work period, it would be an electrical issue, not an A/C Issue. If it is what the dealer said then the previous troubleshooting was wrong. (yes, fuses were checked first)

If any of you have seen this, I would love to hear from you!

Thanks!

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Re: A/C Compressor Clutch (jlynam)

Postby keithvibe » Tue Jul 03, 2007 4:40 am

I haven't had any issues with the Vibe but my wife's cavy's compressor went and I got an estimate to replace the compressor to the tune of 700 including labor.... I did it myself took me about 2-3hrs with breaks inbetween to install the new compressor then I took it to a shop to do an evac before I took out the old compressor and then again when the new one was installed then they charged and checked for leaks... that cost me 100bucks with the new belt and compressor it cost me 450bucks(total, compressor, belt, new ac oil, evac and recharge)... The money i saved I spend on my new rims LOL


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Postby Mario » Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:09 am

As a refrigeration mechanic I have never heard of a "compressor clutch solenoid". I don't work on car air conditioners, but it sounds weird to me.
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Re: (Mario)

Postby keithvibe » Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:47 am

Quote, originally posted by Mario »
As a refrigeration mechanic I have never heard of a "compressor clutch solenoid". I don't work on car air conditioners, but it sounds weird to me.

There is such a thing, not sure if there is one for the Vibe but there is for Honda's and Acura's
http://www.innerauto.com/brows...enoid


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Postby Mario » Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:51 pm

Yeah, I could be wrong. I even looked it up in the automotive section of my refrigeration text and still couldn't find out what it was.
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Postby Sublimewind » Wed Jul 04, 2007 9:47 pm

A compressor clutch solenoid is used to turn the compressor on and off. The compressor doesn't run constant and it is what starts and stops the compressor from running. It activates a "drum brake" of sorts inside the clutch pully housing.

The whoile dealer "diagnosis" sounds a bit fishy to me. Well, maybe not the diag, but the labor on it seems crazy... but you ARE talking about a dealer, shady bastiches...

I couldn't imagine it being that difficult of a job, it's the dealer labor rate killing you, but heck, even if it was a 3hr job, there still getting over 100/hr... nutz... I couldn't imagine it being a 5hr job, that would just be stupid...

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Re: (Sublimewind)

Postby 98ex » Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:34 pm

I had my magnetic clutch relay replaced on Wednesday that controls my clutch going on and off. They have a TSB for the Matrix on this issue, maybe a similar problem with the Vibe.

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Postby realred96 » Sat May 10, 2008 8:40 am

It is the A/C compressor magnetic clutch coil I'll bet. Mine just went out on my 03 GT. It took longer to find the part than fix it! Pontiac could not even get the compressor clutch. they told me I had to buy the entire compressor to get it. i found one at Auto zone. it was about $128.00.
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Postby vibecrxsi240sxse » Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:51 pm

Digging up an old thread with a couple of questions regarding this problem.

My neighbor and I are working on my 63 yr old mother's '03 vibe with only 51,000 miles. The a/c went out abruptly. Fuses fine, relays tested fine, a/c comp clutch not so good... it won't engage even with direct power applied to it.

Finding parts is a nighmare. We are using alldatadiy.com for our step-by-step fixit. I'm still relatively new to auto a/c, my neighbor is an old pro. The 'fix' is a new a/c clutch. Darn near impossible to find, everyone just wants to sell the whole unit for $400 and up!

I did call a Toyota dealer, very near the house, and they have a clutch only for an '03 Matrix base model ( Xr? ) Will it fit? Removal of the compressor looks pretty straightforward. Once I've got it on a work table, I have to use a spanner tool to hold the clutch while I back out the center bolt holding the clutch on.

We already found a whole compressor unit, which of course has a clutch on it, for $250 remanufactured from Autozone. 12 month warranty, 2 years if we replace the drier a and a couple of other small parts. I should be getting a call around 10 am to go pick up the compressor from Autozone.

Should I buy the $150 clutch unit from Toyota and try to only change the "broken" part?

BTW, system has pressure and R134, just cant' really tell just yet as the compressor isn't turning.

Anyone know offhand what pag oil is used in these compressors?

Thanks in advance from my mother for suggestions. We called a Chevy/Gmc dealer that used to carry Pontiac and were quoted just over $1000 to r/r with a new compressor. $440 in labor, $560 for compressor, who knows how much for mickey mouse charges on top of that!!!

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Postby vibecrxsi240sxse » Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:07 am

Well, I always like to share fix-it tips and stuff with car forum folks.

Took off the alternator, removed the R134A, then removed the compressor. Was only 3 bolts and was able to slide it out from the bottom w/o undoing a radiator hose.

I went ahead a bought an 8oz supply of gm approved pag oil ( even though we had 2 viscoscities of pag oil already, the gm bottle had no indication of what the weight was, so we just got what was recommended by alldata). We only used 4 oz, I never could find out exactly how much was specified, but we figured 4oz was probably enough. 2 new orings for $10 each! and we reconnected the new, complete compressor/clutch assembly.

Reattached the alternator and serpentine belt( I'd just changed it out last month ), drew down the system with an a/c vaccum pump, then put the recommended amount of 134A back in.

Cold air once again!! Yea! Go have a beer or 10 now!

Called a dealer and they said in the neighborhood of $1000 to fix +/-. Labor was gonna be $450 and compressor was $550. They'd have probably nickel and dimed me to death with R134, o-rings, and misc crap for another couple o' hundred bucks. My total cost was $327... $270 for compressor, $57 for 2 O-rings and 8oz of pag oil.

Value was priceless as I got my mom ready for the upcoming brutal summer heat in deep Southeast Texas for not so much $$.

All in all, 2 bolts to remove the alternator. 3 bolts holding the compressor to the engine and 1 bolt holding the a/c lines to the compressor. If you can remove a serpentine belt, ( and have a way to remove gas from the a/c system ), you can replace a compressor. Take it to a shop to remove moisture and recharge & you're good to go.

Lastly, yesterday was a very low humidity day.... good for working on a/c as the chance to introduce moisture into the system was much less than working on a high humidity day.

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