I have a 2003 Nissan Primera 2L with what seems to be a belt noise when the A/C is turned on. The noise isn't really a typical high pitched squeal, but is very noticeable when the hood is lifted.

If I spray water on the A/C pulley, it significantly alters the sound, but doesn't make it go away completely.

The guy who's buying the car from me is very nervous about this noise, and wants me to take care of it, and I'm wondering if one there is really anything to worry about in the first place, and two if simply replacing the serpentine belt will take care of it, of if it may be that the belt is fine and maybe it's an issue with the alignment of the pulley itself?

  • You're probably beyond this, but I had a minor chirp coming from the belt-driven accessories and for years had no idea where it was coming from. Over a couple years I replaced the water pump, idler pully, tensioner, and AC compressor, so I assumed none of those were the source, which didn't leave much to be the culprit ..the power steering pump, the fan ...maybe the oil pump? FWIW the sound quit once the car warmed up. Anyway I recently replaced my serpentine belt and the sound vanished completely. I was surprised by how much tighter the new belt was. So I assume a loose belt was my problem. – elrobis Jan 23 '18 at 18:52
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    @elrobis Actually, I kept the car because my wife decided she wanted it for herself. – Robert S. Barnes Jan 23 '18 at 19:40
  • Gots to do what the wife says, no doubt ... good choice ;-) – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jan 23 '18 at 19:50
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    @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 you know what they say: happy wife, happy life :-) – Robert S. Barnes Jan 23 '18 at 20:14

Sounds like the clutch may be going bad in the A/C compressor. If it was slipping when engaged, you'd be hearing a terrible noise when the compressor is turned on, then water on it would definitely cause it to change in pitch. I don't know how you could test it, but I'm pretty sure if you remove the belt and then engaged the clutch, you could probably tell if there was an issue there.

  • It's not really a terrible noise. Noticeable, but not terrible. – Robert S. Barnes Jul 26 '17 at 21:35
  • @RobertS.Barnes - To me when noises come out of the engine bay which shouldn't be, it's a terrible noise ;-) – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jul 26 '17 at 23:34
  • I took it to a shop this morning and the guy said he thinks it's the PS bearings making a little noise when extra tension is put on them by the AC clutch closing, but that he thinks it's nothing to worry about, "just old car noise" as he put it. – Robert S. Barnes Jul 27 '17 at 8:25

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