My A/C sounds like a mating elk

93 Corolla: Last fall they were barking up the wrong tree on another problem ( stalling - turned out to be a bad distributor ) and removed the
gas from my A/C, despite me asking them not to.
When they put it back in, the A/C didn't work. They changed the evap valve. It worked for about a week but occasionally made honking sounds from down around where the compressor was. Then fall came and we didn't use it.
Now cometh spring and we tried the A/C and nada. Took it back in, they tried topping the R12, nada. So they evacuated it and put a vacuum on it, in case there was an air bubble or something. Fine, it works now. Only now it's making honking sounds again, from down around the compressor, and sort of sounds like a mating male elk. The sounds are getting more frequent, sometimes going into a lower volume steady tone.
The mechanic thinks that maybe it's the A/C clutch.
Any ideas on this?
( and no, we dont want to find it a female elk friend :)
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Sounds like you need a new mechanic. The one you have is guessing too much.
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Sarah, if you keep fooling around with this person you'll soon be broke - I'd suggest you take it to an independant a/c repair shop - usually they know what's going on as that's about all they do. If there's been no refrigerant in the system you've probably got serious problems and need a new unit. It might be just the belt or clutch but that usually stops during cycling (well might be bearing too in clutch).
Anyhow, I'd get a pro IMO
Ron in Idaho
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I've never heard a mating elk and so I have not idea what the sound you are hearing is like. There are several things that can make noise, some of which have other symptoms and some which are symptoms of major damage and improper repairs.
The most common cause of AC noise is a slipping drive belt, although the sound is usually described as a squealing or screeching sound. The drive belt can slip because the belt has stretched or become glazed, or if the belt does not fit properly, or is improperly tensioned. I believe your car has an AC compressor RPM sensor, where if the accessory drive belt slips and the compressor RPM varies from the engine RPM, the AC amplifier (computer) will disengage the compressor clutch and the light on the AC button will start flashing. If the light is not flashing, a slipping drive belt is not a likely cause.
I have never heard of an AC clutch making anything other than a clicking sound and have never run across one that slips so I doubt if the clutch is the source of the noise. Also, if the clutch were slipping, the AC light would flash if there was a difference in AC compressor and engine RPM.
The compressor bearings could be making noise, and my guess is that is the source of the sound if it is in fact coming from the compressor. Compressor bearings can make noise if the AC system was exposed to lots of moisture for a long time, if the proper quantity of oil was not added when the system is serviced, or if the drive belt was over-tensioned.
The correct name for the valve on the evaporator is "expansion valve," not "evaporator valve." Evaporator valves can fail if there is excessive moisture in the system because it was not properly evacuated. The moisture in the system freezes and the nozzle in the valve clogs.
Automotive AC systems are a use it or lose it proposition. If there is a leak and moisture is allowed to get into the system because it is left in a discharged state too long, the desiccant bag in the receiver-drier will become saturated and the moisture that is not absorbed causes problems like internal corrosion and freezing expansion valves.
As others have suggested, you should find a competent technician, preferably an ASE certified technician, to work on your car. The ASE certification is a good indication that the technician knows more than what is taught in high school auto shop class and can diagnose a problem rather than take a shotgun approach.
--

Ray O
(correct punctuation to reply)
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Did they convert it to 134a?
I'd make sure it is not overcharged. If they loaded in too much refridgerant they could be getting liguid at the compressor. This is a bad thing.
I'd look for a different mechanic - one that specializes in A/C.
Ed
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