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Possible Problem: Air conditioner compressor clutch stuck engaged?

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Old 11-29-2008, 08:47 PM
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Possible Problem: Air conditioner compressor clutch stuck engaged?

I spent the morning doing some maintenance on an 2003 C320 (60k miles now) and noticed an unusual noise coming from the engine compartment. Upon further inspection, I noticed that the sound was coming from the air-conditioner compressor. I went in the car and turned off the A/C by hitting the AC Off button (digital A/C). Looked back at the compressor and noticed that the clutch was still engaged and the belt was still running the compressor. Then tried cycling on and off by pressing Auto and decreasing the Airflow volume to 0, or pressing the AC Off button on and off. Clutch was still engaged no matter what.

Anyone else have noticed this problem? Could the clutch be mechanically stuck? Could the A/C controller be bad?

I recall, about a year ago, that this happened before (stuck clutch) and never thought of it being a problem. Also, the car was brought to the dealer right before expiration of the basic (50K warranty) since the A/C stopped working. They said they only refilled with r134 to fix it.
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:07 PM
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I could be wrong but I believe there is no clutch on our AC compressor. It always runs. The compressor vanes are varied to increase/decrease the compressor pressure.
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by mleskovar View Post
I could be wrong but I believe there is no clutch on our AC compressor. It always runs. The compressor vanes are varied to increase/decrease the compressor pressure.
I know the system uses vanies which it does indeed vary unlike other vehicles. Not sure if there is a clutch or not.

On some (most?) models the A/C stays on for a certain period of time after you turn it off. Sorry I can't be any more specific than that.
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:45 PM
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Could any of you guys confirm? (Check to see if activates or does not activate?)

I thought I've seen the center part not turn before? I am almost confident that there is a clutch there but I might be wrong.

I will look under the hood of my E320 and see if there is any difference.
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Old 11-30-2008, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mleskovar View Post
I could be wrong but I believe there is no clutch on our AC compressor. It always runs. The compressor vanes are varied to increase/decrease the compressor pressure.
My 03 C240 has no clutch - runs all the time. Same installation as Land Rover/ Range Rover
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Old 11-30-2008, 06:25 PM
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Alright, I'm wrong. LOL No clutch. Traced the electrical wire to a recirculating valve. Looks like that might be the problem...
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