whirring/whining noise after turning on AC blower while accelerating

Reply

  #1  
Old 07-13-06, 06:59 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New Yawk City
Posts: 9
whirring/whining noise after turning on AC blower while accelerating

I have a problem and I hope it ain't costly

The vehicle is a 2001 honda civic LX

The problem shows itself ONLY if I turn on the AC and driving for a few minutes. After which I hear a whirring/whining noise from the engine while accelerating. The faster I accelerate the louder the noise. It does not make the noise while idling, only when accelerating while driving. I noticed that while the noise is occurring the acceleration seems sluggish.

The noise disappears the next day and reappears only when the AC fan/blower is on. Haven't tried it with the heat because I need this vehicle for work and I'm afraid of messing with it more than I have to...

Otherwise the vehicle seems fine, no problems accelerating or driving.

Thanks for any help.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 07-13-06, 08:29 AM
Member
Join Date: May 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 171
Originally Posted by Willy1080
I have a problem and I hope it ain't costly

The vehicle is a 2001 honda civic LX

The problem shows itself ONLY if I turn on the AC and driving for a few minutes. After which I hear a whirring/whining noise from the engine while accelerating. The faster I accelerate the louder the noise. It does not make the noise while idling, only when accelerating while driving. I noticed that while the noise is occurring the acceleration seems sluggish.

Thanks for any help.
I'd start by checking out the AC belt to make sure it's clean, dry and properly tensioned. You might want a local AC shop check the AC compressor to see if it's starting to go. It might be the compressor causing the noise and making the car feel sluggish when it's engaged. You said the car was fine when the AC is off, so that rules out quite a bit.

Christopher
 
  #3  
Old 07-13-06, 09:40 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New Yawk City
Posts: 9
Thanks Christopher.

I thought it might be a belt problem, as that was the first thing that crossed my mind when I first heard the sound.

However, If the problem is the air compressor how much would that cost (ballpark figure) to replace it and would I require the air compressor for the normal functionality of the vehicle, basically can I have it remain broken in the vehicle?

If it is too expensive I might hold out on the repairs as I just had a timing belt replaced and I'm kinda broke.

Thanks again.
 
  #4  
Old 07-13-06, 09:56 AM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 335
I would advise checking the condition and tension of the belt, as well as the belt tensioner

If the compressor goes....
some you can drive with and just not use your ac, however if there is a problem with the clutch and or bearings, you probably cannot drive with it broken.

Some people just use a shorter belt and dont wrap it around the compressor, some have to pull it out so it wont get in the way.


Hopefully its just something minor such as the belt.

ohh, and is your ac cooling?
 
  #5  
Old 07-13-06, 10:28 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New Yawk City
Posts: 9
Thanks zzzz1486, yes the AC is cooling. The cooling part works fine, as far as I can tell.

How much would an AC compressor run? Not too steep I hope...

I'll see what they say at the dealer when I bring it in Saturday...Hopefully I won't go to the poorhouse.
 
  #6  
Old 07-13-06, 11:07 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New Yawk City
Posts: 9
Yikes did a little research and an AC compressor is around 350 bucks for my make/model...

Oh (darn)...I hope it is a belt...
 

Last edited by davzack; 07-13-06 at 06:57 PM.
  #7  
Old 07-13-06, 06:57 PM
davzack's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 304
Not to mention that to get a warranty on a compressor, you also have to purchase and install a receiver/drier and an expansion valve. You're easily approaching $800-1000.

Are you sure it's not just the cooling fan coming on? The fan comes on anytime your AC is on and sometimes those fans can make a whirring sound which is normal.

Can you pinpoint where the whirring is coming from?

Also, almost any car will lose power/feel sluggish with the AC on because now the engine is having to drive the compressor via the belt in addition to the water pump, power steering, and alternator. Four-bangers feel this effect more than six or eight cylinder engines.
 
  #8  
Old 07-13-06, 07:00 PM
davzack's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 304
Oh, and about having it remain in the vehicle broken...yes and no.

Depending on the type of failure with the compressor/clutch you may or may not be able to operate the vehicle with the belt still on. If the belt only goes around the AC pulley and the crankshaft pulley then you can remove the belt and keep on scooting.
 
  #9  
Old 07-14-06, 06:25 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New Yawk City
Posts: 9
yesterday while driving home from work, about five miles I heard the strange acceleration noise again. This time however I didn't turn on the AC at all. Am now greatly puzzled.

I pulled into the driveway shut the vehicle down before deciding to hop down to the local autozone and see if I could pick up a chilton's civic guide. AC LEFT OFF.

I noted that the car started up fine, no whirring/strange acceleration noise whatsoever. I drove for perhaps one and one half miles and the noise started up again during acceleration. AC still off.

Parked in the parking lot went inside and browsed. No manual for the civic. Started up the vehicle. Again, no strange noises starting up or accelerating until maybe half a mile down the road on the way back home. AC left off.

Parked the vehicle in the driveway, put it in park and revved the engine to see if the noise was still there. Yep, during acceleration while the vehicle was in park you could clearly hear the noise. AC still off.

This morning I drove out and made the five mile drive to work. AC kept off. No problems.

The problem seems to manifest itself mainly when the AC is on after driving for four or five miles (or sometimes just minutes after it has been turned on) . Yesterday it acted up without the AC on...

OY GEVALT!!!

Thanks for the input.

PS - Is there a possibility that this might be a transmission problem? I'm a bit worried... vehicle has an automatic transmission. very low mileage.
 

Last edited by Willy1080; 07-14-06 at 06:56 AM.
  #10  
Old 07-14-06, 06:30 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New Yawk City
Posts: 9
davzak,

I haven't been able to pinpoint the sound.

However the whirring sound is certainly not normal as it is coming from under the hood and not from the passenger compartment.

Another thing I noticed is that when I turned on the AC I noticed a strange rattling noise behind the dash. It was real quiet and could only be heard when the vehicle was idling at a red light. It was sporadic. It would rattle and then stop and rattle. It wasn't constant and easily missed if one didn't know how the car reacted/sounded during normal driving.
 
  #11  
Old 07-14-06, 07:33 AM
thiggy's Avatar
Member
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Alabama
Posts: 718
You might consider purchasing a mechanic's stethoscope (inexpensive at Harbor Freight) and listening to the compressor while your engine idles, both with the A/C turned on, then off. That may give you the answer if the strange noise originates from the compressor. While you are at it, you could check the alternator, power steering pump and any idler pullys for noisey bearings.
 
  #12  
Old 07-14-06, 11:47 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 238
It's a charging problem

I know you all a laughing. At me now and again at willy when he's taking that long walk to look for a jump.

Did the rattle in the dash sound like a relay that was not getting enough juice? Can you turn on your brights and rear defroster and get the same noise with the ac off? Have you ever removed and cleaned your battery connections. Do you have the original battery?

Good luck and don't forget the jumper cables.
 
  #13  
Old 07-14-06, 12:59 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New Yawk City
Posts: 9
Hey quit laughing at me!

I just want to get an idea of what may be wrong with the vehicle before I take it into the dealer for them to sort out. I don't want them telling me the frabitz needs replacing and its gonna cost me 2000 bucks to have it fixed/replaced/yanked out, when it isn't the frabitz that needs looking at.

It shouldn't be a charging problem as the alternator was replaced two weeks ago.

Yes it is the original battery. I'll check the contacts when I get home.
 
  #14  
Old 07-14-06, 10:14 PM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 335
Well, if the alternator needed replaced, theres a good chance the battery took a beating when the old one went
 
  #15  
Old 07-15-06, 05:49 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New Yawk City
Posts: 9
Another question for you fine gentlemen (or ladies)

Would the AC compressor have any impact on the electrical system of the vehicle?

I had an SRS light come on last month and had it checked. According to the dealer, it was because of "low power input" after checking the codes. I had mentioned that I noticed irregular activity with the vehicle while the AC was on, when it was changing gears from 1st to 2nd, etc, it would jump to 3000 rpm, instead of the usual 2500 rpm to change gears, along with the strange engine noise after a couple of minutes of driving. I forgot to mention the noise to the service adviser though (DOH!). Like Davezack said, the adviser said, "Yah that should be normal as the vehicle is being busier with the AC on, yada yada".

They replaced the alternator. I was bit hesistant, but they had the part at the time so I decided to replace it anyway considering they were also doing the timing belt and wouldn't charge me for the labor on the alternator as they had to rip everything out anyway.


(After the alternator was replaced I did not notice the increase in RPM in changing gears happening anymore, although the noise still appears. )


The SRS light is back on, after two weeks. I assume it is the same problem. (low power input), or the damn sensors are too sensitive.

So is it possible that the main culprit in this problem is the AC compressor, that is if the AC compressor has any effect on the electrical system of the vehicle.

Mucho thanks for the input so far.
 
  #16  
Old 07-15-06, 10:27 AM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 335
well, when you have your ac on, you can expect a bit higher rpms, your vehicle needs a little extra power to run the ac. Not sure if your car does this, or cuts power to alternator while at idle?

Im not sure if your alternator was actually bad. Did they take it off and test it with a machine?

Did they do a load test on the battery? I think they probably should have if they thought the alternator was bad. Did they clean and tighten up the connections on your battery.
It might be time to consider replacing it.

How many miles on this car?

Heres something for you to do... Take a mulitmeter, set it on dc voltage, and touch it to your battery terminals. What does it read when....

before you start the car
car running at idle
car running at a higher rpm (around 4K)

Now turn the ac on and read again
car running at idle
car running at a higher rpm (around 4K)
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'