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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys,

2008 3.5S

My A/C clutch stopped engaging today. Was working great since new. Wondering what the issue may be? I applied pressure to the clutch using a wooden stick to see if it would engage, but it's not. Also, there's a weird clunking sound coming from the serpentine belt area. I sprayed the belt with belt dressing, and it mostly clears up but still makes the sound intermittently every few minutes.

Thoughts?

Thanks.
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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6,365 Posts
Are you getting +12V at the compressor clutch when the AC is on?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. Haven't checked for +12V at the compressor. I am trying to first find the relay for the A/C to short it and see if the clutch engages. Any idea where it's located? There's a box between the coolant overflow and front radiator bar on the passenger side. It houses only one relay. Not sure if that's the one.
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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6,365 Posts
Thanks for the reply. Haven't checked for +12V at the compressor. I am trying to first find the relay for the A/C to short it and see if the clutch engages. Any idea where it's located? There's a box between the coolant overflow and front radiator bar on the passenger side. It houses only one relay. Not sure if that's the one.

Start around HAC-48 or 49
 

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2008 2.5S Sedan w/CVT
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253 Posts
An easy way to see if the clutch is working, which eliminates everything associated with it, is to the Auto Active Test (from PCS section of manual):

If the clutch energizes, then it likely means there is an issue with the refrigerant pressure sensor, or your refrigerant pressure is low. (ie it leaked out)

AUTO ACTIVE TEST
Description
In auto active test mode, the IPDM E/R sends a drive signal to the following systems to check their operation.
• Oil pressure warning lamp
• Front wiper (LO, HI)
• Parking lamps
• License plate lamps
• Tail lamps
• Front fog lamps (if equipped)
• Headlamps (LO, HI)
• A/C compressor (magnet clutch)
• Cooling fans
Operation Procedure
1. Close the hood and lift the wiper arms from the windshield. (Prevent windshield damage due to wiper operation)
NOTE:
When auto active test is performed with hood opened, sprinkle water on windshield beforehand.
2. Turn ignition switch OFF.
3. Turn the ignition switch ON, and within 20 seconds, press the front door switch LH 10 times. Then turn the ignition switch OFF.
CAUTION:
Close front door RH.
4. Turn the ignition switch ON within 10 seconds. After that the horn sounds once and the auto active test starts.
5. The oil pressure warning lamp starts blinking when the auto active test starts.
6. After a series of the following operations is repeated 3 times, auto active test is completed.
NOTE:
When auto active test mode has to be cancelled halfway through test, turn ignition switch OFF

Someone's even made a video of it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ww-mXgfEQPA
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks so much for the suggestions.

I did the auto active test and the clutch didn't engage. Going to poke around some more and see if I can narrow down the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I checked the 10A fuse for the A/C in the fuse box under the hood. It's fine, but just to make sure I swapped it with another 10A.

I started my car and even though the clutch isn't engaging, I can hear the engine tone change every time I press the A/C light on my thermal controls.

One other thing I probably should have mentioned, is my high beams stopped working 6 months ago. I figured it was a fuse, and never got around to replacing it. But I checked the h/l beam fuses while checking the A/C fuse, and they're fine too? Perhaps it's my bulbs, because when I switch the high beams on (even though the lights remain the same) I hear what sounds like a relay clicking from the engine bay.

Any further thoughts would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So I found the A/C Relay (under the dash on driver's side, on the back of the fuse panel). I swapped the relay with the blower motor relay (same part) and still the clutch isn't engaging during the auto active test. Starting to sound like a bad clutch coil I'm thinking.
 

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I like the suggestion to test for 12v at the clutch. Might poke a straight pin thru to hook a test lead to a meter.
 

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2008 2.5S Sedan w/CVT
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If the clutch doesn't engage, then per the FSM either the magnetic clutch itself has gone bad (open circuit), or the harness between the clutch and the IPDM, or the fuse in the IPDM. You've already checked the fuse so next up is the magnetic clutch itself. From what I remember it's tight but can you reach the connector? Disconnect the harness from the mag clutch connector. Then you can check for 12V on the harness side and check continuity on the magnetic clutch coil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
From what I remember it's tight but can you reach the connector?
I tried yesterday. It's extremely tight to get my hand in there from behind the wheel. I reached it, but can't seem to unclip the bugger. Looks and feels like there's a tab on top to press and remove. Just very difficult to do so.
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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I tried yesterday. It's extremely tight to get my hand in there from behind the wheel. I reached it, but can't seem to unclip the bugger. Looks and feels like there's a tab on top to press and remove. Just very difficult to do so.
Very unpleasant to do with the alternator in place! That was the reason for the above suggestion to put a straight pin through the wire and test for voltage on that instead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Very unpleasant to do with the alternator in place! That was the reason for the above suggestion to put a straight pin through the wire and test for voltage on that instead.
Yes, unpleasant is a great way of describing it. lol. I took the tire off, got both hands in there, and couldn't get that clip disconnected. I honestly couldn't figure it out and nearly broke it to pieces trying to unplug it.

Anyway... I just grabbed my multi-meter, poked the red wire and grounded my black on the frame. Did an auto test and I'm getting 12v surges at the clutch, so I have to assume the clutch coil is bad. Yay. Tomorrow's going to be fun trying to remove and replace the coil. :|
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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Ok, there was another thread..probably about a year ago--you should search for it. It was a coupe...but we figured out the sedan and coupe use the same parts....and so you can buy just the electric clutch for the sedan and it will fit both...but. Yeah, there's always a but. Apparently the pulley bolt is made out of silver cheese and rounds off if you so much as look at it funny. We figured that was the reason they made it non-serviceable. That member wound up grinding what was left off, drilling and tapping...as that way you can avoid having to evacuate the refrigerant and keep the repair to just mechanicals. Probably don't want to apply too much heat either as it is a pressurized system and you probably want to keep your face intact.

Here's the thread!
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Yeah, I saw a youtube video where a guy used a grinder to slice a flat groove in the bolt to undo it. Hopefully, I won't have to do that.

Thanks. I had checked aliexpress, but didn't want to have to wait that long to get one. I actually just got back from a junk yard. I brought my tools and pulled a compressor off a 2007 2.5 Altima. $33.90 taxes in for the whole thing. Not too shabby.

So tomorrow I'm probably going to disassemble both clutches and swap the coil. I'm too tired to do it today. :)
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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Yeah, I saw a youtube video where a guy used a grinder to slice a flat groove in the bolt to undo it. Hopefully, I won't have to do that.



Thanks. I had checked aliexpress, but didn't want to have to wait that long to get one. I actually just got back from a junk yard. I brought my tools and pulled a compressor off a 2007 2.5 Altima. $33.90 taxes in for the whole thing. Not too shabby.

So tomorrow I'm probably going to disassemble both clutches and swap the coil. I'm too tired to do it today. :)
Not to rain on your parade, but the 2.5 and 3.5 take different compressor models...hopefully it's just in the port positions...but I also think the 2.5 is a 6V groove whereas the 3.5 is a 7 groover... That said if all you are swapping is the coil...you should be fine.

Would also be interested if you find the point of failure on the old one...ie connector, damaged epoxy potting, rust etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Not to rain on your parade, but the 2.5 and 3.5 take different compressor models...hopefully it's just in the port positions...but I also think the 2.5 is a 6V groove whereas the 3.5 is a 7 groover... That said if all you are swapping is the coil...you should be fine.

Would also be interested if you find the point of failure on the old one...ie connector, damaged epoxy potting, rust etc.
Yeah, my only intention for purchase was the clutch coil. I assumed they're the same, since all the listings I've seen online for replacement coils aren't 2.5 or 3.5 specific. That said, I'll let you know if the compressors are different.

As for point of failure, I'd like to figure that out too. I'm getting this clunking/rattle sound from the serpentine belt area every so often. It wasn't present prior to the A/C quitting. I'm almost thinking maybe the coil or something in the clutch came loose.
 
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