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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I have a 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan EX 3.8L V6 with 86k miles on the odometer

Here is a link to a video I took of the issue where my A/C makes a rattling/grinding noise from the exterior while engaged:

Still blows cold air, my question is what is making this noise and how can I fix it?

Thanks for your time,
Michael
 

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Sounds like the compressor clutch is starting to fall apart. I've seen them work for years making this noise, but I've also seen them fail shortly after it started. You will need to replace the compressor or live with the rattle until it fails.
 

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That is what mine sounds like
 

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2009 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT (3.8); 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan eL (3.8)
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You can also change just the clutch assembly, and contrary to what the service manual says you do NOT need to unbolt the compressor.
 
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I'd verify that it really was a clutch first though. I'd hate to put a clutch on it and then find it making the same noise.

Then when I get a new compressor, it'll have a new clutch on it too.

Myself, I'm going to keep driving mine until I get an opportunity (or need) to replace the whole thing. I don't believe there is anything pro-active I can do to save the compressor, ALTHOUGH, if I can replace it before the grenade goes off, I may still consider reuse of my condenser, but not if FOD.
 

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You can also change just the clutch assembly, and contrary to what the service manual says you do NOT need to unbolt the compressor.
Often when the clutch fails there is damage to the bearings inside the compressor. That rattle you're hearing is also the force being applied to the compressor shaft in a vibrating rather than smooth manner. It's usually best to replace the whole compressor.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the advice! I have some young kiddos and we live in Texas so I'll get it fixed sooner than later, you know it'll fail at the worst possible moment if I decide to "live dangerously"
 

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Doesn't sounds like an AC clutch to me.

Get a piece of hose to pintpoint the noise source.

Make sure is not the flexplate or tension, alternator pulley instead.
 

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Doesn't sound like the AC clutch bearings (grinding sound), or even the compressor (deep, klunky sound). The compressor is on the other side at the front of the vehicle. Where you are filming is at the sound which is around the catalytic converter and exhaust pipe, so that is the likely source. It also sounds like sheet-metal, which are the heat shields on the exhaust manifold. The reason the sound correlates with turning the AC on is simply that the extra load makes the engine shake in a natural frequency. You can change the whole compressor, but it won't fix the rattling noise.
 

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Good point on the heat shields. Still think it's clutch rattle, but should definitely rule out any possible cheap fixes like heat shields first.
 

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There was a TSB regarding this. Our 2002 DGC eX AC compressor got loud and locked up in the van's 2nd year. It was repaired under warranty. Unfortunately this was a known issue. Both of my 2002 vans have needed this repair. Of course it's too late now for warranty work, but trust me, fix it now before your condenser, evaporator and other parts are ruined by debris from the failed compressor. Good luck!
 

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You forgot the link/embed.
I didn't forget.
If I had, it probably would have read as: "This is what mine sounds like..."

Technician440 does make a valid point. If you catch it before it grenades, you may not HAVE TO change the condenser and other associated parts due to shrapnel contamination.
 

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I didn't forget.
If I had, it probably would have read as: "This is what mine sounds like..."
That's what I get for speed reading on mobile. :p
 
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While sweating...
...at the shop. :p
 
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