Question about 1999 Chrysler Town & Country

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1999 T&C with very loud noise somehow associated with a/c or belt

I have a terrible noise coming from I believe my a/c compressor. It sounds like a box of marbles is attached to the pulley. Really I cannot tell where the noise is coming from. It started out as a softer noise (maybe a box of BB's instead of marbles) and it only occurred when I turned on the a/c and only when the engine was idling. As I would rev the engine it would quit. If I turned off the a/c it would quit. It was annoying but bearable and the a/c still blew cold air.

I took it in yesterday for an oil change and tire rotation and asked them to check the freon levels thinking that it might solve the problem. They told me levels where fine but it was only a matter of time before the compressor seized up. Could be tomorrow, could be a year from now. In my mind I saw the dollar bills floating away and decided I had better start saving up. Well later that evening the noise became 10x worse. Now it sounds like it did before even with the a/c off and if you turn it on it sounds like marbles. Could they have accidentally bled out the freon/oil in the system when they checked it and that made the noise worse? Why would it suddenly get so much worse, coincidence? It still blows cold but you can hear me coming down the road from a mile away.

Any thoughts? It is a serpentine belt system so it could be anywhere I suppose and engaging the a/c might change the rpm enough to cause a problem? The noise still quits if I get the engine over 1000 rpm.

Please help me figure this one out before I throw down big bucks ...

Murphy

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From your description it sounds like a bearing in one of the units driven by the drive belt is failing. It's most likely the a/c compressor but could be a tensioner or idler pulley. The added stress of the a/c compressor could cause the noise to occur only with the a/c on. To determine which bearing is failing the drive belt would be removed and the pulleys spun by hand while listening for noise. It is just a coincidence that the noise got worse after they checked the refrigerant pressures. The part that is likely failing isn't oiled by the oil in the a/c system.

Posted on Jul 31, 2010

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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