('06-'08) AC Compressor making noise - fix or replace ? - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-13-2011, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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AC Compressor making noise - fix or replace ?

07 XT 5sp

Its been making noise for 2-3 weeks now, tonight I finally was able to get it into the shop and troubleshoot. We pulled off belts (Alt / Pulley / AC ) until the noise went away. The noise BTW sounds almost like a supercharger whine. As soon as the belt for the AC was pulled and the motor started it was nice and quiet again. When I spun the AC wheel with my hand I could kinda hear that high pitch metallic sound .

Subaru tech says to replace, before I do so can these be fixed ? Is there a kit from Subaru ?

And if it can't be fixed how about picking up a used one ? What years Forester AC units do I need ? Can I used an Impreza / WRX / STI AC compressor ? Or is this one of those items I should buy new OEM ?

I was really hoping it was the alternator , such an easy swap.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-13-2011, 07:28 PM
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Before I replaced mine, it sounded very metallic, like metal on metal. It made a squeaky-grinding sound whenever the car was on.......like the bearings or something was shot. I just replaced the A/C compressor with a used one from eBay for $100 bucks and it's been good for over a year now.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-13-2011, 08:48 PM
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are you positive its the actual compressor? The A/C belt tensioner tends to go bad and can make a ton of noise just like what you describe, and its pretty hard to pinpoint the sound due to the rad being in the way.

Theres not much that can be done to fix the compressors on newer models, easier/cheaper to just pickup a new/used one. Not sure if the impreza ones are the same, they should be similar on the 2.5L wrx and possibly sti (it would make sense if they used the same one, but I know the power steering pumps are different, so who knows)

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-14-2011, 05:03 AM Thread Starter
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The tech (Subaru mechanic) did the diagnostic last night. He had his scope but even with that we didn't know until he pulled the belt for the AC.

How could you tell if its the tensioner and not the AC unit itself ?

And that's the million dollar question: How do I find out which AC compressors are compatible with my 2007 XT ?
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-14-2011, 11:54 AM
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I'm having the same prob :( but have been ignoring it for a while.

I've been going to opposedforces.com, pulling the PN on the compressor and when you click on the PN, it'll also pull up all the other subies that run it and their MYs. I should really get it fixed...

05 XS
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-14-2011, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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How long has yours been making noises ?
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-14-2011, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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Took this video today, can clearly see the sound goes away when the ac clutch engages and comes back when it disengages. Now how do I tell if this is the clutch or the compressor that is the problem ?


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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-14-2011, 07:55 PM
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Take a listen to the video on this post. Different, but the first part has a similar sound.

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]

'07 FSXT - COBB Surgeline dyno Protune - Stage 1+
'03 X +AVO turbo kit = XT (son's)
'95 Neon Sport
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-14-2011, 08:22 PM
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Easiest way to see if it's the A/C tensioner (which can change pitch as the A/C turns on because the load is increased) is to take off that bracket that holds on the A/C tensioner pulley. It should turn smooth with a little resistance, but not much. If it feels awkward, or spins with a grind then replace it (should be about $20 bucks).

But other than that, it sounds VERY much like mine did before it started to make a huge ton of racket, and mine ended up being the A/C compressor. But making sure it's the pulley is a must as it could be the difference between paying for a $20 fix or a potentially $500 fix.

2004 XT - RIP
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-14-2011, 08:22 PM
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Can you try to blow the crud out of the clutch? It sounds like noise in the clutch, not so much the bearings. It could be just that the bearings are quieter under load, but our clutches are known for be a little problematic. You could probably buy just a clutch, but after the labor for installing it, you'll be better off just getting a new(er) compressor. Don't forget to replace the dryer if the system needs to be opened up.

04 X a/t
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 05:34 AM Thread Starter
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I'll try the tensioner thing but it looked like it came off easily when it was removed on Monday night. He used an air rachet so it was hard to hear if it made any noise itself.

Now I should say: I did degrease the motor the night before if that has any relation to this noise. I wonder if I washed some crud into the clutch. I didn't spray hard , more gentle spray trying not to force water into anywhere. Would using compressed air out of a tire inflator nozzle be enough to blow anything loose ?

Its interesting that Subaru sells a clutch for this yet there's next to no info about replacing the clutch only.

Also, from the research I've done this compressor is supposed to fit 02-07 Foresters and 08+ are somehow different.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 07:09 AM
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I have almost the same exact noise and it only started after I washed the engine bay. I haven't had a chance to explore yet. I'm curious to find out what your findings are.

-Rob-
'01 S Sedona Red Pearl
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legacy View Post
I'll try the tensioner thing but it looked like it came off easily when it was removed on Monday night. He used an air rachet so it was hard to hear if it made any noise itself.

Now I should say: I did degrease the motor the night before if that has any relation to this noise. I wonder if I washed some crud into the clutch. I didn't spray hard , more gentle spray trying not to force water into anywhere. Would using compressed air out of a tire inflator nozzle be enough to blow anything loose ?

Its interesting that Subaru sells a clutch for this yet there's next to no info about replacing the clutch only.

Also, from the research I've done this compressor is supposed to fit 02-07 Foresters and 08+ are somehow different.
At the bottom of this thread is a link to clutch installation instructions. AC Compressor making noise - fix or replace ?
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legacy View Post
07 XT 5sp

Its been making noise for 2-3 weeks now, tonight I finally was able to get it into the shop and troubleshoot. We pulled off belts (Alt / Pulley / AC ) until the noise went away. The noise BTW sounds almost like a supercharger whine. As soon as the belt for the AC was pulled and the motor started it was nice and quiet again. When I spun the AC wheel with my hand I could kinda hear that high pitch metallic sound .

Subaru tech says to replace, before I do so can these be fixed ? Is there a kit from Subaru ?

And if it can't be fixed how about picking up a used one ? What years Forester AC units do I need ? Can I used an Impreza / WRX / STI AC compressor ? Or is this one of those items I should buy new OEM ?

I was really hoping it was the alternator , such an easy swap.

Did the tech give you a quote on replacing the compressor? I am having a similar issue where my compressor may need to be replaced. I stopped at an independent shop and got an informal quote of $750, but I an thinking that is low.

Thanks for any advice.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 08:27 AM
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by neoshi View Post
I'm having the same prob :( but have been ignoring it for a while.

I've been going to opposedforces.com, pulling the PN on the compressor and when you click on the PN, it'll also pull up all the other subies that run it and their MYs. I should really get it fixed...
opposedforces.com is a sweet site. Thanks for sharing.
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