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my 2002 Forester, EJ251, 4EAT, with approx 235K - started making a whining noise on Saturday... sounds just like if the power steering fluid was low, but that is confirmed to be good...weather was quite cold - sub-zero over night, barely above zero during the day...

 

Today was finally warm enough to be outside for more than a couple of minutes, and after getting the car fully warmed up driving a bit, I popped the hood, and the whine seems to be coming from the AC compressor pulley...

 

There is no change in the whine by cycling the Defroster on or off, just a steady whine even sitting still in park.

 

Anyone else ever have this sort of issue?

What are the options to fix it? if any?

 

Will be pulling the belt that drives the AC compressor in a day or two to confirm that it is the problem.

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I’ve seen comments of people replacing the compressor bearing but may depend which compressor you have if it’s accessible or not.

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hmm, might be worth checking into.. I can live without the darn thing for the winter, but would like to have working AC come summer again.

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Take the AC belt off and spin the tensioner bearing. That's the usual suspect. Should be a 6204 RSJ. About $10 at Napa. Can be knocked out and the new one knocked in with the proper sized socket.

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look in the power steering tank for bubbles while idling - maybe get a helper to whip the wheel back and forth a little.

 

 

Fig-2-63734.jpg

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A/C tensioner/idler (aftermarket usually lists as an idler) is relatively common. If the bearing seizes it'll frequently damage some of the hardware around it.

 

Pull the belt and check the pulley. If that bearing feels rough, replace it. If you catch it before it wrecks other stuff, you can replace just the bearing.

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Take the AC belt off and spin the tensioner bearing. That's the usual suspect. Should be a 6204 RSJ. About $10 at Napa. Can be knocked out and the new one knocked in with the proper sized socket.

Agreed. Take the belt off and feel for play and or drag on the pully. If it fails in production metal bits will find their way into the ac system. Should be able to operate without the ac belt until fixed. I did with my 98 obw

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so got the AC belt off today during my lunch break - the whining is gone, so definitely related to the AC and/or AC belt system...

The tensioner pulley does seem to be a bit sloppy, but didn't spend much time investigating it today.. will look at it more closely this weekend.

 

just happy the whining is gone and I got the belt off before something seized up completely causing more problems... just in time, too - the weather is supposed to turn frigid cold again. :blink:

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just a quick update on this - it is definitely the tensioner pulley for the AC belt - it is shot - crunchy sounding and does not spin smoothly.

 

Will be getting a new pulley bearing for it and will re-install once the weather starts warming up again.

 

Thanks all. =)

 

edit: Upon closer inspection, there is no way to press the bearing out of this pulley without destroying it - the pulley wheel (plastic) wraps around the outer race of the bearing on both sides <_<

 

so I guess I will be ordering a whole new pulley from Rockauto - not terribly expensive, but still about double the cost of just a bearing.

Edited by heartless
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Ah. Previous owner had it replaced it with a plastic one. Those are supposed to be metal. Not really cost effective to buy a new metal one vs plastic but keep an eye out If you have any u-pull-it junkyards and get a real metal one and put a new bearing in it to keep as a spare.

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there are no "you pull it" yards around here - none.

 

the ones I am seeing on RockAuto - the pulley only with bearing installed - look like all metal ones that the bearing can be pressed out of/in to, but yeah, there is a "belt kit" that has a pulley like the one I pulled off.

the new pulley w/bearing is only $21 & change, not terrible so it will be ordered sometime soon.. =P

 

This is the one I am looking at getting: http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=366348&cc=1378739&jsn=398

 

This is like the one I pulled off: http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=6355527&cc=1378739&jsn=404

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That's not too bad for a metal pulley. I hadn't seen those before but I would do that before buying a plastic one.

Might ask in the classifieds here if you want/need a spare.

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not in a huge rush for it - spring is still a long ways off, LOL

We just had around 8" of snow dumped yesterday.

 

and yeah - not putting another plastic one on there. Will get the new metal one and be done with it for a long time.

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