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Do you know that your car's A/C compressor is one of the components driven by the serpentine belt? Yes, this is one thing it has in common with such parts as the alternator and many pumps in your auto-they're all driven and connected together by the said belt. The compressor is driven by the belt through the A/C clutch. The clutch engages and disengages with the compressor when the engine is running to determine when the component should pump and distribute Freon around various A/C parts. When you look at the composition of the clutch and the compressor, you will notice a set of coil, a disc, metallic springs, and other components. The assembly is designed such that when you power the A/C system, an electromagnetic field is created and causes the clutch and compressor to engage-operating the compressor in the process. The use of the A/C clutch and the set-up that enables the compressor to be engaged and disengaged allow the latter part to stop working even if the engine is running. This does not only ensure that you have full control over your A/C assembly's operation but that you save on engine power because you won't be operating the A/C the whole time the engine is at work.Like all other clutches, the A/C clutch also loses its friction materials over time. After a while, it won't engage with the compressor as efficiently anymore. There are also instances when the distance between the clutch and compressor gets messed up, so the two parts don't engage fully and slipping happens. The most common symptom indicating this problem is a scraping noise, and this will require adjustment of the distance between the said parts. It's not a good idea to ignore any problem with the A/C clutch because the part that it operates, the compressor, is the primary component of the A/C system. Therefore, failure of the clutch means non-operation of the compressor and the entire A/C assembly. As soon as you notice any problem, check the clutch at one to determine the culprit. If the part is damaged, replace it immediately with a new one from Auto Parts Warehouse. Our parts are not only of top quality but are also offered at very affordable prices-they even come with a Low Price Guarantee! Find a new A/C clutch today and keep your A/C at its best shape at all times!
A/C Clutch: Keep Cool-Get it Right
Air conditioning has got to be one of the most amazing and best loved innovations in the field of automobiles. To have yours break down seems like such a minor thing until the heat starts setting in-then it becomes such a huge frustration. That's why, when shopping for parts that keep you're A/C going, it pays off in spades to be informed and to shop smart.
Not all compressors are created equally
Things are fairly standard across the board-there's little variance in terms of functioning from one A/C system to another. The problem lies in the fact that there is a lot of difference in terms of the sizes and shapes of these systems and their components from one vehicle to another.
Among those components, the clutch is most vulnerable. The clutch is an electro-magnetic "door" that lies in front of the air conditioner and is slaved to commands from the A/C system as a whole. Again, functioning is consistent, size isn't. So it absolutely helps to use your own clutch as a reference.
Picking the right clutch
Honestly, it boils down to fit. Apart from using your own car's clutch and information from your owner's manual as a guide, it also is smart shopping to take advantage of matching software that a lot of online retailers embed into their sites.
These are simple to use. Just input the year, make, and model of your car as you search for an A/C clutch and it should return results that are more or less a guaranteed fit. It bears mentioning: be careful still. Do not be complacent. These range in prices between $50 and $70 for a reliable replacement-so be smart about things, and you can avoid a lot of heartache!
Fixing a Busted A/C Clutch
What motorist does not love their air conditioning unit? What motorist does not hate it when it breaks down? This last bit is most especially true of the a/c clutch-it's slightly more vulnerable than the rest of the components. With this guide, a couple of tools, and a little effort, you can make sure you're a/c clutch is up and running again in no time when it breaks down. This task isn't really difficult--you can actually finish the job within an hour or less.
Difficulty level: Moderate
Stuff you'll need:
- New A/C clutch
- Your vehicle's owner's manual
- 3/8-inch drive ratchet
- 3/8-inch drive socket set
- Feeler gauge
- Wrench set
- Snap-ring pliers
Step 1: Disengage your battery and allow for half an hour to pass before you start working on anything under the hood.
Step 2: Take the air conditioning accessory belt out with the appropriate-sized wrench from your wrench set.
Step 3: Disconnect the connector on your compressor's magnetic coil.
Step 4: Use the correct-sized socket to remove the 6 mm bolt in the center of the A/C clutch.
Step 5: Remove the clutch with a light tug.
*NOTE* Carefully note the spacers on the shaft behind it-these allow for proper gapping, so make sure that you store them safely.
Step 6: Remove the snap-ring that you will find on the shaft securing the pulley, then slide if off the shaft.
Step 7: Clean the shaft and all other parts well before installing them-this ensures your air is clean and free-flowing!
Step 8: Put in the new pulley, and engage the snap-ring with its beveled edge facing outwards.
*CAUTION* Perform the following steps very carefully. A mistake in installation could damage your air conditioning in the long run.
Step 9: Re-install one spacer on the compressor shaft.
Step 10: Install the new clutch, and then re-fasten the 6 mm bolt securely.
Step 11: Ensure proper clearance using the feeler gauge-if clearance is insufficient, remove the clutch plate and add in another spacer.
Step 12: Check the air gap to ensure that the clutch will engage properly.
*CAUTION* If this gap is inaccurate, your clutch might wear out more quickly!
Step 13: Reconnect connector to the electromagnetic coil.
Step 14: Re-connect the battery, start your vehicle up, and test out the air conditioning system!
- Always play it safe. At the very least, deck yourself out in the bare basics in safety: goggles, gloves, and closed-toed shoes.
- If there are any discrepancies between this guide and your manual, the manual takes precedence.