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Discussion Starter #1
It seems the AC compressor is not producing cooling - thought air is blowing out of the vent.
Meanwhile, I hear an unusual noise from the passenger side of the engine bay. Does this mean that the serpentine belt is failing (not failed yet, as power steering is still working), or the AC compressor is bad (I can still hear the clutch sound when AC is turned on).

2011 Buick Enclave, never changed the serpentine belt, 104k miles.

Thanks.
 

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Changing the serpentine belt is probably a good idea as far as preventative maintenance goes. At 9 years sand 104k it’s about due they don’t last forever. With a belt change the noise may go away or you may have to dig a little deeper.

The clutch/pulley on the ac can go bad. It will start making noise and then fail altogether. Most shops put a new compressor (big $) on. It is possible on some compressors to change out just the clutch and pulley.

The alternator can also fail and make noise.

There is an idler/tensioner pulley that can fail. You will need to determine which item, belt, ac, alternator or tensioner is making the noise.

As far as not cooling but you can hear the ac engage, you may just be a little low on coolant or your hvac doors are not opening and closing correctly.

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you. The coolant and R134A levels are good - I just checked over the weekend. So HVAC doors may be the issue, as I recently changed the cabin air filter. Thank you for the link.

Changing the serpentine belt is probably a good idea as far as preventative maintenance goes. At 9 years sand 104k it’s about due they don’t last forever. With a belt change the noise may go away or you may have to dig a little deeper.

The clutch/pulley on the ac can go bad. It will start making noise and then fail altogether. Most shops put a new compressor (big $) on. It is possible on some compressors to change out just the clutch and pulley.

The alternator can also fail and make noise.

There is an idler/tensioner pulley that can fail. You will need to determine which item, belt, ac, alternator or tensioner is making the noise.

As far as not cooling but you can hear the ac engage, you may just be a little low on coolant or your hvac doors are not opening and closing correctly.

 

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That you’re hearing a noise and the AC isn’t working could be a coincidence but probably isn’t. The belt isn’t the cause of your lack of AC that’s for sure. If the belt failed you’d have charging and overheating issues too.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
After some tests, I believe it is a bad ambient air temp sensor - an $8 fix. I will update if that fixes the issue or not.

That you’re hearing a noise and the AC isn’t working could be a coincidence but probably isn’t. The belt isn’t the cause of your lack of AC that’s for sure. If the belt failed you’d have charging and overheating issues too.
 

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Doesn’t explain the noise but the ambient air sensor would prevent the AC from coming on since our AC won’t engage in cold temps.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, the condenser button keeps flashing. Thank you for your help.
I ordered an OEM ambient air temp sensor. Will pick it up at the local store tomorrow, install, and see how it goes.

Doesn’t explain the noise but the ambient air sensor would prevent the AC from coming on since our AC won’t engage in cold temps.
 

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It will also flash if the AC pressures are wrong (aka, problem with the compressor). Worth trying the cheap part first though. Fingers crossed.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok, the new temp sensor does not solve the problem. The compressor button always flashes three times (AC does not engage) regardless of the temperature setting. Does this mean a bad compressor? I can get a new compressor for $170-180 from Amazon, but it will probably cost more to have it replaced. Or there is a way to reset the compressor pressures?


It will also flash if the AC pressures are wrong (aka, problem with the compressor). Worth trying the cheap part first though. Fingers crossed.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Some discussion online said this is due to a faulty Air Conditioning Refrigerant Pressure Sensor, which costs about $35 to replace. My local shop asks for $100 just for the diagnosis. What do you think? Is this the next possible fix?

It will also flash if the AC pressures are wrong (aka, problem with the compressor). Worth trying the cheap part first though. Fingers crossed.
 

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It’s worth a try, $35 vs $100. I know some vehicles this valve can be replaced without opening the ac system, I did it on my daughters car. Rock auto often has ac Delco parts listed on their site right along with the cheap stuff. They have an oem compressor for $260 and change.

I would caution about buying a compressor from amazon most of those cheap ones are junk.

Have you identified the noise yet?
 

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At this point I think I’d want to know where the noise is coming from before throwing more parts at it. Maybe take the belt off and spin the AC pulley by hand to see if it’s making the noise.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The noise is gone. I believe that was irrelevant (sorry for misleading). Now the issue is that the AC pressure sensor is hard to find on this car (Buick Enclave 2011). Do anyone know where the sensor is located? Great thanks.


At this point I think I’d want to know where the noise is coming from before throwing more parts at it. Maybe take the belt off and spin the AC pulley by hand to see if it’s making the noise.
 

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The noise is gone. I believe that was irrelevant (sorry for misleading). Now the issue is that the AC pressure sensor is hard to find on this car (Buick Enclave 2011). Do anyone know where the sensor is located? Great thanks.
Its on the high pressure hose, between the Compressor and the Condenser. I just replaced my high pressure (discharge) and low press (suction) lines this summer. I trouble shot for weeks before taking it in, $100 later I knew exactly what was wrong, and had AC back shortly after

 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks. Do you happen to know it is closer to the condenser or closer to the compressor? If it is closer to the condenser, I assume we can remove the cover on top of the bumper to reach it. If it is closer to the compressor, it seems to be hard to reach. Suggestions?

Its on the high pressure hose, between the Compressor and the Condenser. I just replaced my high pressure (discharge) and low press (suction) lines this summer. I trouble shot for weeks before taking it in, $100 later I knew exactly what was wrong, and had AC back shortly after

 

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Its closer to the Compressor, but still reachable with the cover off. However, I swapped mine when the hose was off, as my new hose didn't have one. Its on a valve, so you shouldn't lose any freon when you swap the new one in. IIRC, its just over from the oil filter, further to the passenger side past the Suction Line port. Sorry, but I don't have any pics of it in place. Its tight in there, but not impossible. Find a deep socket that fits the sensor, unplug the pigtail connection and you should be able to change it out. Not sure if you can get at it from below easier or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks, I have eliminated some of the potentially problems. It seems very likely I have a bad A/C switch.
However, based on your description of the location, it seems easier to reach it from the blow.
Also, I hate this type of unfriendly design. Who would put the low pressure port and the A/C switch to the very bottom of the car?

Its closer to the Compressor, but still reachable with the cover off. However, I swapped mine when the hose was off, as my new hose didn't have one. Its on a valve, so you shouldn't lose any freon when you swap the new one in. IIRC, its just over from the oil filter, further to the passenger side past the Suction Line port. Sorry, but I don't have any pics of it in place. Its tight in there, but not impossible. Find a deep socket that fits the sensor, unplug the pigtail connection and you should be able to change it out. Not sure if you can get at it from below easier or not.
 
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