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Is rattle with a/c on clutch related?

2210 Views 41 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  anarchyx34
I posted earlier on this subject but haven't heard too much in the way of possible reasons for noise. I have a rattle coming from the left front when at idle and the clutch out. The noise is not very loud at all until I turn on the a/c unit and then it's VERY loud. Noise is also loud in first gear and then tends to go away in 2nd at higher RPM's.

Is there any connection between the transmission clutch and the a/c? If so how? I have to talk to the dealer tomorrow and decide if I'm going to shell out $1500 :eek: for a new clutch when I"m not convinced it is the problem.

By the way, I'm have no clutch problems when shifting up or down in or out of gears including reverse.
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You know I almost hoped in some sort of strange way that no one else had this problem. Reason being that in a few years I was thinking about purchasing a new SAAB and doing euro delivery. As more and more of my problems become "common problems", I feel that I will need to step back, and really evaluate the various manufacturers before making my decision. I know this should probably be in a separate thread somewhere, but just a thought I had while re reading the topic. My thoughts with the rattles, and the other the random weird problems that everyone experiences, but saab never recalls, was that it is a very old car essentially, and is just not up to the build quality of newer cars, simply because most of the newer cars are new designs as well that incorporate the latest in design technology. Then I take a look over at the new 93 forums, and find that the same rattles, squeeks, seal leaks, you name it problems exist.

This is not ment to be a SAAB bashing post, as I really love the car, its just that at times SAAB can really frustrate me. It's like the son that always gets C's but you know he can get A's with a little effort, very frustrating.

Thanks for letting me vent...happy saabing! :p

Although at the end of the day, unless SAAB's crash worthiness goes down the tubes, I don't know if I could buy anything else.
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For the life of me, I cannot accept any correlation between the operation of the manual gearbox clutch and the AC compressor.

It is mechanically impossible !

We need more exacting information.For instance, at which RPMs does the rattle occur ??
Also, no rattle ever occurs with a normally worn clutch disk, unless the whole assembly is horribly worn out and/or broken (20 years old). I suspect that the "part time" service manager knows nothing...

I have, over the years, owned and driven hundreds of Saabs - never any outstanding rattle problems. But these were the older and , IMO, better built cars.
New designs are not necessarily better for the consumer, but usually economically better for the builder...
We'll on my car it happens at idle, which I guess is 900rpm. After that, I probably cannot hear it because the noise of the engine would drown it out, although I will give it a try and see if I can still hear it. Maybe the OP can test this better since his seems to bo louder.
The AC compressor puts a load on the engine when it runs. At idle, the load is higher in proportion to the total engine load. Any vibration in the engine bay can change with load. I don't want to make light of this because I try to listen for noises from the engine closely, but engines make more noise as they get older...

Examples could be transmission mount, exhaust section from expansion joint in the downpipe to the flex pipe, AC pipes from the hoses on the front crossmember up to the condenser and drier.

My exhaust rattles a little since the downpipe was off the exhaust manifold a couple times. Some people report that the plastic bracket supporting the AC pipes above the front crossmember cracks and makes the pipes rub on the metal, etc.
You should go and read the Land Rover forums if you want to read some really bizarre stuff. Yes, the Saab's are unique but at least we're not dealing with the 4x4 and AWD issues. I had a 2005 Freelander that was in the shop the first three months of its six month existence before I got rid of it. I took a beating but I just couldn't cope any longer.

I guess what I'm saying is that cars are not perfect and I doubt you will read the same stuff in some of the "more reliable" cars like Toyota but then there anything even remotely interesting or sexy about a Toyota? I think not.

Spoke with service manager this morning. He states mechanic stated there is some wear on the clutch disc and he wants to replace it. I confirmed the wear is just normal wear and not from abuse or neglect. Why would I want to replace a clutch disc with only 20K on the odo that is showing only normal wear and tear and no damage? He said the clutch disc may be warped. If that the case then it's defective and should be covered under warranty.

The service manager is calling Saab to see what sort of assistance they will offer. He wants to go ahead and tear into the transmission and clutch assembly to get a better diagnosis of the real problem. In other words, I don't think the service manager is convinced either.

I'll let you know what happens.
Good point on the first post, and since you still have warranty, let them have at it, and let me know what happens :)
Gave dealer the go ahead to go into clutch assembly and transmission to look for source of the noise. I figure if it is the clutch disc and the noise stops I owe them $1500 if the noise doesn't stop then I have a free clutch and they continue looking for the noise. I'm keeping my fingers crossed it's not the clutch disc. I just can't imagine how the a/c and clutch are connected.
This should be interesting. Just make sure they don't put a piece of foam somewhere to keep two parts from clanging into each other, and then charge you $1500 for a new clutch :p

From my perspective being that I don't have $1500 on the line, if it is the clutch, good. I will eliminate the noise when the clutch dies.:D
Latest from service manager is the noise is coming from a bad spring on the clutch disc. They are putting in a new one and will test to see if noise stops. If noise persists they will reinstall my clutch and look for something else. They will also test transmission on some sort of external dyno to listen for noise. Not really sure what that means. More to follow....
So the spring only exhibits "bad behavior" when the A/C is on? I cannot wait for this update.

I spoke with the service manager this evening. According to him, the tech pulled the trans to inspect (it was fine) and replaced the clutch with all new. Apparently they do they whole thing and not replace just the bad parts. I'm being told the noise is gone and the car sounds fantastic, he said, "it sounds like a Saab should sound." ??

The culprit supposedly was a bad spring on the clutch disc. I guess that kind of make sense if you think about it. When the clutch is out and the car is in neutral the clutch disc is still pressed against the flywheel. It could be there was a loose or bad spring rattle against the flywheel or pressure plate. The a/c may have been making the noise more noticable by putting load on the engine causing more vibration. That would also explain why it stops when you press the clutch in...the clutch disc isn't pressed against anything it can rattle against. (hope that makes sense)

They are going to cold start in the morning and make sure the rattle is gone. I'm going over in the afternoon to test drive and listen for the noise. I'm hoping it's gone but I wish it would have been something covered under warranty.

I called Saab customer service to see if they will offer any assistance since it was not the clutch disc that was bad it was the spring(s) attached to the clutch. I'm hoping they will allow an exception under the category of "defective part" or at least offer some sort of relief on the $1500 bill.

I'll let you know what happens...stay tuned.
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Wow, I just read through all of these posts and that's really weird. My saab 900 se t (cable clutch) makes a really obnoxious noise when the ac is running as well. I've never played with it enough to determine all the factors that increase or decrease the noise. Good luck!
My Viggen has done it since I got it with 49990 (wierd clicking sound from front left side of the car with the AC on). Now it has 70000 and just today with the AC on I think the AC clutch bearing took a dump. I parked it for a while then drove again and the AC worked but when pulling into the drieway the Compressor started making some nasty noises.

I'm calling my insurance to have a claim submitted. A new compressor is $560on

We'll if it is a spring on the clutch disc, I will just wait it out till I need to replace the clutch. But still I wonder if it was just something else tapping, and after pulling everything out, putting it back in, and essentially "retorquing" everything, the noise was gone.
Rogozhin said:
My Viggen has done it since I got it with 49990 (wierd clicking sound from front left side of the car with the AC on). Now it has 70000 and just today with the AC on I think the AC clutch bearing took a dump. I parked it for a while then drove again and the AC worked but when pulling into the drieway the Compressor started making some nasty noises.

I'm calling my insurance to have a claim submitted. A new compressor is $560on

I doubt the two are related, the compressor's seem to suck on these cars. My bearing took a dump 400 miles after I got my car.
No update, but I have had the exact same problem for about 5k, that I could never figure out. I just past the 80k mark on my 2000 SE 5spd, w/ acc. Clutch still feels good and drives fine, but that rattle is definitely there at idle w/ a/c on and goes away when depressing the clutch. This is the first semi-annoying thing. So far so good in the 36k miles I have owned it only had to replace the water pump and some pulleys.
Sorry so late...

Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you on this. Yes, the problem was in fact the clutch disc. Seems there are springs on the clutch disc which loosen up (not fall out) but cause an annoying rattle none the less. A new clutch disc was installed and no more rattle. By the way, mechanic says SAAB has since replace the clutch disc in newer models with one that does not have the problem with the springs. Apparently there is a little gizmo inside each spring (for lack of a better word) that keeps the springs tight and prevents the possibility of rattling.

So....the bad cost me $1400 for a new clutch disc, plate, and assembly. The good news is the noise is gone and the car hums now like good Saab ought to.

I picked up the car and took it over to my favorite body shop to have them touch up chips (black paint) and wet sand some fine scratches on the door. The car look amazing and sounds good too.
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