Author Topic: AC Compressor Clutch Failure  (Read 1686 times)

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Offline Paraben

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AC Compressor Clutch Failure
« on: August 12, 2019, 04:49:22 PM »
2009 1.6L Petrol Mazda 3 Sport

During a long journey about 2 weeks ago in a heatwave, the A/C went warm, and went cold when switched off for a while, but this soon went warm again. On the return journey, it refused to do cold.
I took it to a garage a few days later who reported that gas levels were ok, power was supplied to the compressor, but the electromagnetic clutch was not engaging. No further information was provided. When moved by hand, the pulley moves freely (no grinding or seizing).

I have checked the fuse and relay, both of which were fine and powered. No activation of clutch, but belt spinning. Will try to check power to the actual coil soon, once I find something suitable.

The garage report they need to fit a whole new compressor, and are unable to replace the clutch, if that is the item at fault. This is at a cost of £750 minimum. Through my research, a new compressor is £122 and a new clutch is £56 + postage.

I have also found some videos of the clutch being replaced, so it is do-able I don't want to spend hundreds on a car I don't intend to keep forever, but I want AC to work for my benefit and to make it easier to sell/PX in future.

Has anyone had an experience like this? What was it? What did you do?

Offline Willpower

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Re: AC Compressor Clutch Failure
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2019, 08:46:51 AM »
Hi
I had this same problem on my 2004  2ltr Sports  in  2012.  Only it happened to me whilst on holiday in France. In my case it was accompanied by some very noisy banging and clattering coming from the engine bay.  I called the RAC who sent a rescuer out to me. We discussed the situation and as I was actually on the way home at that time, eventually came to the decision to remove (cut) the AC drive belt. All noises ceased at that point, but as you will realise I had no AC.
After getting home I took the car to my dealership who diagnosed exactly the problem you have, in so much as the clutch had gone and that it was not possible to replace just that part. I required a new complete  compressor with clutch.  It may be that your car being 4 years younger might have had the components upgraded to enable just the clutch to be changed. But mine couldn't.  I therefore had to have a new compressor(c/w Clutch). In 2012 this cost me £500 including labour to fit. 
I am surprised that you have found a compressor as cheap as you say. But I certainly wouldn't undertake a task like replacing it, or trying to replace the clutch.     

On a side note, the new compressor fitted in 2012 is still alive and working fine.
Good luck with your decision :)
Look at life through the windscreen, not the rearview mirror.
2004 Winning Blue 2Ltr Sport Saloon.  Laser Blue Main beams.

Offline Engineer Andy

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Re: AC Compressor Clutch Failure
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2019, 03:09:43 PM »
My worry is that, for those of us owning gen-1 cars (Paraben's might be a gen-2), the availability of parts is now likely to drop significantly as the EU requirement for the car manufacturer to hold spares for cars up to 10 years after they go out of production passed earlier this year.

Even if parts are available, prices will likely rise, and increasingly so, in order to cover the ongoing cost of storage, and eventually, shipping from Japan once they are the only Mazda source.  Prices will likely stay high even if they sell much/all of their gen-1 stock to specialist parts suppliers, given that's how their business model works - it certainly does in the construction industry with older parts for things like boilers, etc.  One of the downsides of owning cars from a Far Eastern manufacturer with no plants in the EU.

We might be licky if many of the gen-2 cars' parts are compatible with the gen-1 car, especially as the engines are very similar.  I was shocked at the high price of changing the power steering pump on my car (£900).  The higher-than-average cost of parts for Mazdas is, to some degree, pushing me towards getting a Toyota Corolla next time, especially as the cost of (performance-wise) comparable cars is about the same.

Offline cwilliams255

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Re: AC Compressor Clutch Failure
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2019, 09:34:30 PM »
2009 1.6L Petrol Mazda 3 Sport

During a long journey about 2 weeks ago in a heatwave, the A/C went warm, and went cold when switched off for a while, but this soon went warm again. On the return journey, it refused to do cold.
2009 2.2L Diesel Mazda 3 Sport

During a long journey about 2 weeks ago in a heatwave, the A/C went warm, and went cold when switched off for a while, but this soon went warm again. On the return journey, it refused to do cold.

:D

Went for regas, same as you, discovered same issue. Having had the compressor off my Bongo and serviced the whole A/c system I reckon replacing the compressor is easy enough for someone fairly competent to do. Main issue on the 3 might be just that its tricky to get at, I'm going to replace the receiver drier at the same time but it needs the bumper off so fairly committed. I plan to get this all fixed in the next couple of weeks myself

Mazda 3 Forums UK

Re: AC Compressor Clutch Failure
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2019, 09:34:30 PM »