A/C rattling and tearing up belts

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by JAnderson2, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. JAnderson2

    JAnderson2 New Member

    I have a 2002 1500 4x4 Suburban with the 5.3, 54k miles. I bought this 1 1/2 years ago in winter and last summer after using the a/c and noticing a rattle at low rpms accelerating from stop or idle. A month or two into the first summer with it the Air went from the rattle and cold air to just hot air with no rattle. We were going out of town, so instead of looking into being new to this set up I just had the local garge fix it. He told me the belt broke and put a new one on and said the rattle was from the tensioner. A year later (this past weekend) 6 hours from home on vacation it decides to break another belt. I stop at local garage and told him about the rattle and belt issues and asked them to replace the belt, he called and said tensioner was bad. He replaced belt and tensioner, again called back and said rattle was still there and it was the clutch on compressor. I didn't have him fix it for $700. Can the clutch be rebuilt or is the clutch compressor one part? Can this be a DIY job? Any help would be great.

  2. Chris Miller

    Chris Miller Rockstar 100 Posts

    The clutch can be replaced without changing the compressor out. For that truck, it's probably $100-$125, and you can get the tools to change it from the auto parts. But if you're not familiar with the job, let the tech do it. Getting a mouthful of freon and oil is not pleasant.
  3. Ethan

    Ethan Rockstar 100 Posts

    The clutch wouldn't cause a rattling and belt breaking problem, a bent pulley would. If the clutch was bad, it would just be slipping, causing overheating and eventual failure. Is it a rattle sound, like, somethings loose, or is it a chatter sound, like something is grabbing and slipping?

    The clutches on some compressors can be removed and rebuilt, but not all, and some are not even worth attempting. I don't know about yours, but Chevy's are pretty good at making their compressors in their trucks simple, so you prolly could just replace the clutch. I think they are usually just held on by a large nut, like on alternators, you'd prolly need an impact to get it off, and the pulley and clutch should come off the shaft. But I'm only guessing here.

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