Question about 2002 Dodge Stratus

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A/C still blows hot air

The compressor does go on but will not stay running. The compressor seems to have a mind of its own. It works when it wants to. Any help would be greatly appreciated......

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  • whatnow692 Jun 28, 2009

    The freon is full but the compressor comes on for a minute then goes off. It does not re-engage. The A/C seems to only work in the early morning and at night. When the A/C is on, the car sometimes makes a sound like driving over rumble strips on the side of the road. The only air that comes out is hot air. We have tried changing the cycling switch (I think that was what it was called) but it still does the same thing. I appreciate you trying to help me......

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Assuming from the description that the compressor comes on but cycles on/off? If not please clarify.

If this is true, then you are likely just low on freon. If you don't have a gauge set then have someone check the pressures. For safety's sake, I don't recommend just getting a fill hose and start dumping more freon into the system without knowledge of current charge.

If this answer's your question and provides a solution to your problem then please take time to rate this post. - Thanks.

Posted on Jun 28, 2009

  • olwork
    olwork Jun 28, 2009

    OK...
    with a full charge and the noise you describe you need to check for a bad a/c compressor clutch, which is just an electro-magnet. Turn the a/c on and watch for clutch engagement. You can tell this by watching the compressor pulley. When disengaged the pulley will "free wheel" and the center (compressor shaft) will not be turning. When engaged the pulley and shaft will turn as a single unit. A clutch that is coming apart will make a horrible racket such as you described and the shaft will slip or not turn at all.

    Note: a failed compressor can also make noise and in turn be the cause of a damaged clutch. You can usually test for a locked-up compressor by (engine off & belt removed) placing a socket onto the compressor shaft nut and turning by hand. Of course, a bad compressor will not necessarily lock-up.

    If the clutch is bad then you can replace the clutch only. You will likely need a special remover/installer, which can be obtained either by purchase or on loan (with deposit) at your local parts store such as O'Reilley, AutoZone or NAPA (others may loan tools also). Make sure there is an exact match on the clutch and pulley size/style. Some clutches must be adjusted via a shim on the back side. A new clutch will likely include a brief instruction sheet.

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