Question about 2002 Nissan Altima

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02 altima belt noise

When I turn the AC on at idle the drive belt vibrates and make a loud noise, only with the ac on and in drive (at an idle).
Drive belt isn't cracked and the belt tension isn't frozen and moves freely!! Stumped!!

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  • mouroux Aug 21, 2008

    My belt also rattles when the A/C is turned on. Tensioner looks ok, but the belt vibrates like crazy!

  • JackBrown Sep 08, 2008

    I have exactly the same problem; when A/C is turned on and the car is placed in Drive, Accessory belt starts flopping back and forth generating loud noise. I have taken it to the shop AFTER I have replaced the belt, and I've been told that I need new belt tebtioner. i have replaced the tentioner, but the problem is still there, with new belt and tentioner. Now I am really stumped!!

  • ghano Sep 30, 2008

    I have the same problem. I have replaced the belt and the tensioner but it has not helped.

  • tplankenhorn Nov 14, 2008

    Same as above. Interested to find out how to solve this problem.

  • Anonymous Apr 09, 2009

    I have the same problem and replaced both the serpentine belt as well as auto-tensioner and the problem still exists. I read on another post that it could be the Alternator bearings... not sure how much sense that makes since it only happens with the A/C on and idling in Drive.


  • Anonymous Apr 27, 2009

    I have the same problem on my '05 Altima, belt rattles when in drive and a/c on. I thought I needed a new belt and drove to Autozone to purchase the belt. The associate there looked at it and said exactly what Solution #1 (Best Solution) said. She said that the clutch in the A/C compressor was going bad and that eventually the compressor would die. It was also causing my whole motor to slightly shake, I guess contributing to the slack in the belt and causing the belt to flap and make noise. So, it's off to buy a new compressor. I felt better at doing it since someone else has done it and their problem has been resolved. Will let you know of my outcome.

  • arodery May 23, 2009

    In my 2003 altima sometime with the ac on even it park, the belt shakes wildly and makes a lot of noise. The compressor also seems to move up a bit when the a/c is turned on- then the belt runs loose with noise. Not sure if it is compressor or alternator shaft related- which I understand is a common problem with the Nissans. Can you please offer any info? Thanks



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OK, went through the exact same thing this week. Put on a new belt, checked for proper seating, etc, etc. and that wasn't it. Read all through this site and others and it comes down to one of two things, the tension pulley assembly or the compressor itself. Seeing as compressors ran about $300 or so and the pully assembly is less than $50 and takes about 45 min to an hour to replace, I did that first. And for me, that was it. Tip for replacing the pulley assembly? Have a wide variety of sockets (depth) and extensions.

Posted on Jun 28, 2009

  • jdd3479 Jun 11, 2011

    if you are in drive with the air conditioning off - did the car sound good? Mine rattles at a stop, with drive on, and the air conditioning on. Thanks - would hope it's just the pully assembly


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It could also be the Alternator Pulley. Many articles on You can replace just the pulley or the whole alternator. However most remanufactured alternators do not replace the pulley during servicing and you could end up with the same situation soon after alternator replacement.

Posted on Aug 11, 2010


I recently had this same problem and ended up having to replace the A/C compressor. My mechanic said that it had something to do with the compressor shaft. I completely at his mercy. I will have to say that after it was repaired, the noise stopped immediately. It was a very costly fix!

Posted on Oct 09, 2008

Could be the bearings on your Idler Pulley... Thoroughly check your pulleys. Replace both belts, Ribbed and AC belt if that doesn't work.. Good chance you'll need to take your pulley's apart clean them ( in brake fluid ) .. That'll do the trick.

Posted on Aug 29, 2008

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I finally found

Posted on Sep 30, 2010

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Your belt could be glazed. You should replace it.

Posted on Jul 12, 2008

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: 2002 nissan altima revs up while idle

my car has done the same thing. . I have replaced the tensioner and belt twice now and it will start it again within a couple weeks of replacement. Had it looked at again and there is nothing wrong with it! just an embarrassing noise. dont replace it, its a waste of money.

Posted on Aug 21, 2009

SOURCE: When I turn the AC

I had the same problem. It's the altnerator. The altnerator has a clutch on the pulley and and try's to lock up when it's under a load. But I had that fixed and no more problems. I had a guy rebuild mine and replace the pulley and didn't cost but $75

Posted on Sep 28, 2013

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