When investigating an air conditioning related noise, you must first know the conditions under which the noise occurs. These conditions include: weather, vehicle speed, transmission in gear or neutral, engine speed, engine temperature, and any other special conditions. Noises that develop during air conditioning operation can often be misleading.

For example: What sounds like a failed front bearing or connecting rod, may be caused by loose bolts, nuts, mounting brackets, or a loose compressor clutch assembly.

Drive belts are speed sensitive. At different engine speeds and depending upon belt tension, belts can develop noises that are mistaken for a compressor noise. Improper belt tension can cause a misleading noise when the compressor clutch is engaged, which may not occur when the compressor clutch is disengaged.

Check the serpentine drive belt condition and tension as described in Cooling System before beginning this procedure.

(1) Select a quiet area for testing. Duplicate the complaint conditions as much as possible. Switch the compressor on and off several times to clearly identify the compressor noise. Listen to the compressor while the clutch is engaged and disengaged. Probe the compressor with an engine stethoscope or a long screwdriver with the handle held to your ear to better localize the source of the noise.

(2) Loosen all of the compressor mounting hardware and retighten. Tighten the compressor clutch mounting nut. Be certain that the clutch coil is mounted securely to the compressor, and that the clutch plate and pulley are properly aligned and have the correct air gap. See Compressor and Compressor Clutch in the Removal and Installation section of this group for the procedures.

(3) To duplicate a high-ambient temperature condition (high head pressure), restrict the air flow through the condenser. Install a manifold gauge set to be certain that the discharge pressure does not exceed 2760 kPa (400 psi).

(4) Check the refrigerant system plumbing for incorrect routing, rubbing or interference, which can cause unusual noises. Also check the refrigerant lines for kinks or sharp bends that will restrict refrigerant flow, which can cause noises. See Suction and Discharge Line in the Removal and Installation section of this group for more information.

(5) If the noise is from opening and closing of the high pressure relief valve due to excessive discharge pressure, evacuate and recharge the refrigerant system.

See Refrigerant System Evacuate and Refrigerant System Charge in the Service Procedures section of this group. Check the condenser, fan(s), and refrigerant charge level. The venting of refrigerant by the high pressure relief valve indicates a system malfunction, not necessarily a relief valve problem requiring replacement of the compressor.

(6) If the noise is from liquid slugging on the suction line, replace the filter-drier. See Filter-Drier in the Removal and Installation section of this group for the procedures. Check the refrigerant oil level and the refrigerant system charge. See Refrigerant Oil Level and Refrigerant System Charge in the Service Procedures section of this group.

(7) If the noise continues, replace the compressor and repeat Step 1.


For circuit descriptions and diagrams, refer to 8W-42 - Air Conditioning/Heater in Group 8W - Wiring Diagrams. The battery must be fully-charged before performing the following tests. Refer to Group 8A - Battery for more information.

(1) Connect an ammeter (0 to 10 ampere scale) in series with the clutch coil terminal. Use a voltmeter (0 to 20 volt scale) with clip-type leads for measuring the voltage across the battery and the compressor clutch coil.

(2) With the heater-A/C mode control switch in any A/C mode, and the blower motor switch in the lowest speed position, start the engine and run it at normal idle.

(3) The compressor clutch coil voltage should read within two volts of the battery voltage. If there is voltage at the clutch coil, but the reading is not within two volts of the battery voltage, test the clutch coil feed circuit for excessive voltage drop and repair as required. If there is no voltage reading at the clutch coil, use a DRB scan tool and the proper Diagnostic Procedures manual for testing of the compressor clutch circuit. The following components must be checked and repaired as required before you can complete testing of the clutch coil:

  • Fuses in the junction block and the Power Distribution Center (PDC)
  • Heater-A/C mode control switch
  • Compressor clutch relay
  • Electronic clutch cycling switch
  • High pressure cut-off switch
  • Low pressure cut-off switch
  • Powertrain Control Module (PCM).

(4) The compressor clutch coil is acceptable if the current draw measured at the clutch coil is 2.0 to 3.9 amperes with the electrical system voltage at 11.5 to 12.5 volts. This should only be checked with the work area temperature at 21 C (70 F). If system voltage is more than 12.5 volts, add electrical loads by turning on electrical accessories until the system voltage drops below 12.5 volts.

(a) If the clutch coil current reading is four amperes or more, the coil is shorted and should be replaced.

(b) If the clutch coil current reading is zero, the coil is open and should be replaced.

    Dodge Durango (DN) 1998-2003 Service Manual


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