My wife has an '05 Honda Element and when we turn the A/C on there is a very faint whining sound. The sound is not constant, it goes on and off and you have to listen closely to hear it. The A/C is working fine, but does anyone know what might be causing the noise and if there is anything that needs to be done to prevent a future failure?

2 Answers 2


It sounds like normal operation of the compressor for the a/c. It is run by a belt from the engine. It is normal for it to cycle on and off while the a/c is on or while the defrost is on. As long as it doesn't sound harsh or like it is switching off and on very frequently (every 3-5 seconds), then it is probably ok.


It could possibly be your pulley causing the sound. Well I'm definitely no mechanic but have had to work on my cars more than I cared to. Your pulley is what drives your serpentene belt if you see one belt sometimes 2 n still be called a serpentine. Confusing anyways your belt goes around these pulleys which rotate pulling your belt. The sound could be the start of your pulley wearing out. Hope that answer was better than first n thank you for putn me on blast...

  • Can you expound on your answer? One line answers are ripe for deletion. Aug 18, 2016 at 21:46

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