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Old 06-30-2008, 05:32 PM   #1
mirandm
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1996 SL1
Default A/C Rattling Noise

Hey Folks,

When I turn on my AC and shift to reverse or drive I get this Rattling noise under the hood. The noise is most prevelant when in gear at idle rpm's. When I accelerate or shift to neutral or park it stops , any thoughts ? Thanks Gang , Mike

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Old 06-30-2008, 07:21 PM   #2
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1998 SC2
Default Re: A/C Rattling Noise

Take a look under the hood when its rattling. Is the engine/transaxle moving in time to the rattle? If so then there is one or more bad mount.

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Old 06-30-2008, 08:11 PM   #3
mirandm
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Default Re: A/C Rattling Noise

I guess I would have to jack up the car in order to do this ? The only thing is , if I put it in gear and have the brakes on it still rattles ? When I accelerate it stops or when I turn off the A/C

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Old 06-30-2008, 09:16 PM   #4
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1998 SC2
Default Re: A/C Rattling Noise

Pull on the emergency brake and leave the transmission in neutral, engage the A/C and pop the hood and look at the engine motion. You can then go back in the car and look at the top of it with the hood open through the back. Shift to low and see if the engine twitch amplitude increases.

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Old 06-30-2008, 11:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: A/C Rattling Noise

I've had the same noise before, and discovered it was the catalytic converter hitting the heat shield. With the car idling (a/c on) and in park or e-brake fully engaged and tires chocked, get on your hands and knees and look under the drivers side door at the exhaust system. If possible have someone apply pressure to the throttle and release (or use a broom/other tool with a long handle to hit the pedal).

On release, I bet the catalytic converter hits the exhaust shield. If that's the case, then it's either the previously mentioned mounts or (as in my case) that you are in need of new exhaust mounting parts.

Check the exhaust mounting parts by driving the car onto ramps/or placing on jackstands, allow the car to cool, then get under there and see how far you can move the exhaust pipes around. The rubber mounting parts could be stretched to the point where they are allowing the system to come in contact with the frame, causing your 'rattling' noise.

Last edited by moabjeepboy; 06-30-2008 at 11:42 PM.. Reason: additional information

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Old 07-01-2008, 11:18 PM   #6
mirandm
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Default Re: A/C Rattling Noise

Hey Gang , an update on this problem. Upon observing the belt tensioner , it has an irratic wobble to it , I installed this unit in Feb/2008. Do after market belt tensioners have a percentage of failure ? any thoughts on this? The shadetree technicians at work all seem to concur that the tensioner is the problem.

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Old 07-01-2008, 11:21 PM   #7
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1998 SC2
Default Re: A/C Rattling Noise

There is another poster on here who commented that the Gates tensioners have a very short service life. You may have one of those. You want the one that has the metal front, not plastic.

You may have found your problem.

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Old 07-01-2008, 11:29 PM   #8
mirandm
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Default Re: A/C Rattling Noise

Damn , you know , it is plastic and I didn't like that fact from the get go ! It has a lifetime warranty , I wonder if they'll honor it ?

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Old 07-02-2008, 12:08 AM   #9
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Default Re: A/C Rattling Noise

If its plastic its probably a Gates. After you pull it out you can check for the maker. They should honor the warranty at the store that sold it.

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Old 07-02-2008, 12:11 AM   #10
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Default Re: A/C Rattling Noise

Just went into the garage and found the original tensioner. The replacement tensioner is a dayco , just looking at the original shows the difference in quality , geez , plastic crap , it just boggles my mind

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Old 07-02-2008, 01:22 AM   #11
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1998 SC2
Default Re: A/C Rattling Noise

You can find the metal one at RockAuto. Do not remember the brand but you can tell it by looking at the pictures. The idler and tensioner both use the 203 (6203) bearing in double sealed configuration. They are easy to change and much cheaper than buying a new assembly. You may have a good tensioner and a bad bearing. I do not have these numbers for a brand new tensioner but you can run this test. With a beam type torque wrench place it on the pulley bolt with the beam laying across the pivot bolt and slowly increase the force while the arm is moving read the torque. I get about 22 ftlb doing that and the tensioner is keeping the belt tight.

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Old 07-02-2008, 01:36 AM   #12
mirandm
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Default Re: A/C Rattling Noise

The tensioner is fine , the belt is nice and tight , but that wobble is pretty bad , need to repair this asap , got a long trip in 2 weeks , it's too hot here to get stranded because of something avoidable like this. My buddy has the torgue wrench we need. Thanks !!! Six packs on the fourth baby , six packs !!!

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Old 07-02-2008, 08:35 AM   #13
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Default Re: A/C Rattling Noise

Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hey Gang , an update on this problem. Upon observing the belt tensioner , it has an irratic wobble to it , I installed this unit in Feb/2008. Do after market belt tensioners have a percentage of failure ? any thoughts on this? The shadetree technicians at work all seem to concur that the tensioner is the problem.
I have the same problem -- under load idling (in gear, although not necessarily w/ AC on) I hear a slight underhood chatter, and my new replacement tensioner wobbles erratically up and down. The noise is very minor and you can't hear it w/ the windows up. When you are going down the road at speed the belt is probably smoothing out but I don't like the way it looks at idle either ... good to know about the better quality tensioner. Might have to look into that. But I doubt I'm going to get stuck because of it

...
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Old 07-02-2008, 10:25 AM   #14
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Default Re: A/C Rattling Noise

If the bearing fails or the tensioner pulley disintegrates, the water pump stops and so does the car. It is a major part that you are going nowhere if it totally fails. The plastic pulley is a joke.

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Old 07-07-2008, 11:51 PM   #15
mirandm
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Default Re: A/C Rattling Noise

I installed the original tensioner and the noise stopped , we tried 2 after market tensioner and they both made noise, we seem to think the tension spring inside the housing would heat up and it would start to rattle , I do live in Florida but that may not be the cause , is it possible I got tensioners with a lousy spring ?

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Old 07-08-2008, 01:36 AM   #16
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Default Re: A/C Rattling Noise

I hear a rattle as well in the morning after I start the car, put it in drive, and start moving. This happens very briefly and unlike what you are describing. I've thought this is the ABS system checking itself.

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