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I have an 2000 Accord coupe with the 2.3 engine (it's been relegated to commuter car duty), though it still runs great. The problem is I am getting an annoying whine from the AC Compressor, it quiets down when the AC is on and the clutch engages .
My question is, does the entire unit need to be replaced or could it be repaired with replacement of the bearing or just as simple as using a lubricant?.
If the bearing is replaceable would the system have to be evacuated of the refrigerant? or is it just best to replace the entire compressor.
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If the pulley bearing is making the noise, then it can be replaced without evacuating the system. If the compressor shaft seal was leaking then I would repair or replace the compressor. That would involve evacuating the a/c system.
To just replace the bearing:
Since there is little room down there, you will probably have to unbolt the compressor to be able to turn it towards you. Remove the clutch (make sure that the shims don't spill all over the place) and then the snap ring that holds the pulley in place. The new bearing will have to be pressed in at a machine shop.
You may be able to put fresh grease in the bearing, but I have no idea how long it would last.
The bearing is pressed into the pulley, can be replaced.
The system does not have to be evacuated.
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Well, I've never had to replace that bearing, but here's a picture.
Looks like you have to replace a bearing within the big pulley. Or maybe the noise is from the clutch (outside of the pulley, the clutch assembly doesn't spin when the AC is turned off). When you get the belt off, maybe you can pinpoint the location of the sound.
This parts-picture implies the DEALER won't have the bearing alone, you have to get the pulley or the clutch assembly as indicated by the part number pointers. But if you can press out a bad bearing you can check bearing-supply shops. This picture is a bit strange, where #2, #10, & #13 show alternate combinations of the same parts that you can buy packaged together.
If the bad bearing were INSIDE the compressor, then it would be noisy only when the compressor is actually spinning. When the AC is turned off, the pulley is freewheeling on it's own bearing outside of the actual compressor.
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