2000 Cavalier Rattling Only When A/C off

I'm having a problem with our 2000 Chevy Cavalier, wondering if anyone has any ideas what to check.
Whenever the A/C is NOT running, there is a loud rattling (sort of a
metal-on-metal noise) coming from the vicinity of the A/C compressor.
When the A/C is started, the rattling immediately goes away. Turn the A/C off and it comes right back.
BTW the A/C works fine and no other problems with anything else.
Thanks for any suggestions!
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It might be the A/C compressor clutch rattling. Under load its engaged against the pulley. Shut off the A/C & its freewheels. Can you see it wobble any when the A/C is off?
Good Luck
Harryface 05 Park Avenue, 32,688 91 Bonneville LE 304,619
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common problem?
Anyways, looks like it takes a lot of specialty tools to replace it. Anybody know if AutoZone rents out the tools to do it or are some of them dealer-specific?
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I'm sure some auto parts store chain will rent out tools for the job.
I've only worked on a 91 Pontiac so I'm not sure of the design of a 2000 Cavalier clutch plate, but if it comes off in two pieces like it did on my Bonneville its broken and is more than likely the problem and not the bearing.
If you can drive with the clutch plate off see if the noise you've been is gone. A snap ring held my bearing / pulley on, its also pressed onto the shaft as well.
The bearing on mine is staked into the pulley, so don't be too shocked if you need a bearing/pulley assembly - if that turns out to be your problem.
Good Luck.
Harryface 05 Park Avenue, 32,672 91 Bonneville LE 304,778
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Try replacing the belt or check for a bad spot. While at it check the tensioner.

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