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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am having trouble with the AC in my 2003 XL7 2.7 liter vehicle.

I acquired it in the winter of this year and it was sitting without being used during the whole, extremely cold winter. The AC was working before I acquired it but now it doesn't work.

I've been doing a lot of research and have been trying to figure out the cause. Here's what I've done so far:

A few weeks ago there was a loud squeal and then the serpentine belt ripped which caused the power steering to go. I replaced the belt but the AC wasn't working. It was blowing out hot air and squealing. I tightened the belt tension and the squealing stopped, the clutch was engaging and the AC was blowing cold air.

The next day, the AC wasn't working again, the squealing started again when the AC was switched on and I noticed the clutch wasn't engaging. The squealing I'm assuming is coming from the belt rubbing against the locked clutch because there is a burnt rubber smell when I turn on the AC.

I checked the AC "25"fuse in the fuse box under the hood and it looked fine. I also tried switching out the AC relay ( to see if it was faulty) for a few other relays to see if the compressor clutch would engage, which it didn't.

I bought refrigerant with a pressure gauge but I can't check the pressure of the AC system if the clutch doesn't engage, right? Could it be low refrigerant that is causing the clutch to not engage, and if so, why did it work a few weeks ago? How can I safely check the pressure?

I also just tried shorting the ac clutch by temporarily placing a paper clip connecting terminal 30 and 87 in the AC relay outlet which should have by passed any safety switch that would cause the compressor to not run (such as too little refrigerant). when i did this and turned the car on, the squealing started right away without turing the AC on.

is there any other possible cause that I can look into myself without taking it in and being told i need to replace the ac compressor which will cost nearly 2 grand? any help will be extremely appreciated.
 

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Try turning the center portion of the clutch by hand (not the outer pulley). I think that you will find that your compressor is seized. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thank you for the fast response Max!

should the center of the clutch spin freely while the serpentine belt is still on?
and if the clutch doesn't spin, does this definitely mean the compressor is seized?
if so, does this require replacement?
 

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With the engine off (clutch not energized), belts in place, the center portion of the clutch (compressor drive end) should rotate by hand with minimal effort and slight increased effort when the pistons reach the compression position during rotation. Sort of a pulse effort, if you will.

If very hard to turn OR locked...it's toast. :(

If it turns super easy without the slightest bit of resistance, then there is a chance that the compressor is totally shot with no compression capability (yet rotates freely). A rare instance though. Typically they just seize up and from the "sounds" of things...yours did as well.
 

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Assuming the worst, re-man compressors aren't a bad deal. When choosing to buy or have the work accomplished, just watch the choices of single or dual coils (Aux A/C in the rear) as applicable to your vehicle.

2003 SUZUKI XL-7 A/C Compressor

You'll need special tooling and equipment to perform the change-out task, to include expansion valve (valves if dual A/C) cleaning, debris screen cleaning, system flushing, new filter / dryer, "O" rings, oil and freon.

It's a job for the Pro's or a VERY well equipped DIY person. ;)
 
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