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Reman Compressor howling-1989 S10

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    Reman Compressor howling-1989 S10

    new to the forum........please ,some helpful advice....thank you ....took the truck into a local shop that does most auto repair but does`ny specialize in auto ac.....changed the system out to new standards replacing the compressor and related components necessary.....been a couple months and it blows cold no problem there , but around town it howles whenever the compressor kicks on ....coming from the compressor ....howling ...groaning...irritating noise .......when on the highway it mellows out and I dont hear all the noise....took back to mechanic and he supposedly replaced it with another remanufactured ...both from Advance Auto parts.....exact same thing .....2.8 liter 1989 s10 pu......

    Welcome: I take it that it's now retrofitted to 134a not totally a problem at all. Noise if sure from compressor ONLY when engaged (you see outer hub spin) is starving for oil or just sad to say reman compressors don't have a very great track record on a compressor that wasn't so special from the get go but some did work for ages.

    Getting the oil right is part of the challenge. A type that's compatible with any remaining mineral oil if this was retrofitted without going totally nuts Ester oil gets along with mineral but not so well with the PAG. That's just one thing.

    Knowing how much is in it with swapping compressor now twice is almost lost info. Too little makes noise and self destructs or too much gives erratic cooling.

    The place you chose you said doesn't specialize in this at least should be able to do this vehicle not so hard as many but IDK if new compressors that just bolt on are available or not to avoid reman headaches that get quite costly supposed to redo accumulator each new try and an "O" tube.

    Hey - you didn't do it and they took it on despite another attempt it seems it needs another this time go new and flush out start with known oil charge and again required components that go with it.

    If condenser was also replaced it really isn't flushable for 134a without wild tries off the truck not worth it so it goes too. If the OE type can be worked fine in these for retrofits IMO were tougher and flushable.

    In short it's really theirs to figure out with cooperation from you it's throwing fits so depending on how done some stuff more than the compressor will get tossed again or just repeat this over and over. It's theirs IMO and yes they may lose quite a bit to get this right if part of the risks of this biz or don't take it on.

    Sorry it's being a hassle for you.

    Hey - Just add a point so you don't get stuck! Unplug the two wire switch on aluminum accumulator should be on passenger's side near firewall and blower pretty sure. Tie that away out of harm's way so compressor can't engage and seize up would bust the belt and strand you! Know it's just a pulley when NOT engaged. Good luck with shop and everyone staying happy,

    MetroWest, Boston


      Thank you Tom for the information ...not understanding auto ac very well, it sounds like either the oil is contaminated ...or not enough oil....and if the shop decides to replace the compressor again , some other things need to be replaced so this doesnt repeat itself again with the same results......when looking at the Rock Auto parts , they sell a few different compressors...AC Delco ...and a couple others ....are there better remans than others ? Going to take it back in and see what they say ....again ....Thanks for any more info on the subject .....


        More thoughts + info on this exact S-10:
        New (subject to who knows what was altered since new) this was R-12 "Freon" charged with 40oz of that refrigerant and took 8 ounces of mineral oil. Note mineral oil is much like baby oil.

        Rubber products didn't need to be of "Barrier" type but rather quickly (at this age now) would absorb super fine wear debris and seal with smaller molecule of 134a last for a year or two without needed much or a boost, an art almost lost for a relatively high capacity system.

        Mineral didn't really degrade vs the PAG oils absorb moisture from even air slowly or faster become acidic then wreck the alloys used most has to be flushed out for new. Other is/was Ester oil would mix with mineral oils neither absorb moisture but easy to have too much oil in system would puddle at bottom of tube and fin condensers (the radiator for the gas up front of one for antifreeze mix) so you see it round tubes frequently.

        Those were very tough but less heat transfer so a higher efficiency one usually used or if broken not the OE one would change the charge amount about down 8 ounces of R-12.

        Problems NOW just redone is knowing what the heck happened all along the way if not clearly marked and can still read it on stickers under the hood you need to be really well versed at the frustrations of finding how much product to put in. That in turn requires the close ambient outside temp of about 80-90F not lower or info from pressures gets misleading.

        The reman products would only be the compressor the rest you throw out each time. How to know what was done to a wrecked used one turned in is impossible to know. Most IMO that work without troubles were NOT the problem to begin with - a strong guess. They acquired cores from wrecked vehicles and one ones with no A/C issues before the vehicles are scrapped.

        Some so popular they make new or exact fit replacements of another type.

        Hard to be short there's endless curves, snags and things unknown all about it now 30+ or so years old.

        In the mix of troubles is that oil is only for the compressor it's the only real moving part just puddles until the systems are working so preparing a true brand new compressor you would lube it first on the bench till oil spit out before installed and not spin at who knows how fast dry inside burns up like fire metal to metal is junk again in no time if you don't.

        OMG - it's a troublesome trade dealing with unknowns. I give that shop credit for the attempt. There's a learning curve (this is theirs) to doing it. Failures are the teacher - that's on the tech or shop not YOU. That's also why they buy tons of equipment at insane costs you don't see need to get some bucks to do this just to break even is costly to customers really only see the costs not what it took.

        Parts stink worse than ever and I'm not doing tons of stuff anymore it's also end of season would be a waste see if a vehicle even lasts thru another Winter here at all so a different point of view.

        Already moved the junk out of the way so not all over the place can do other things. If limited room for the tools and specialty experience this is a loss to take up space when so much can keep you going in much less time so many don't want it at all just a waste.

        There's the problem - many of them. Yes it can all work out I actually really like these vehicles for practical use have owned one is just a detail you/I would know it lots better than just anything that comes by and drove it a lot so know it even more.

        It shares with other types of the decade (close to that) of the same.

        All that babble just FYI so you understand. Seems you paid for this and a shop admitted this wasn't their specialty. That's now personal between YOU and the shop to make it right always best with cooperation from both.

        It's hard and easy to mess up. Parts on line - holy crap can't even check one before you buy it! Hate that personally.

        Keep at it the shop will learn and either give up taking on A/C with this mess or take it on more and be even better for your area maybe finally make a buck and be worth for them?
        MetroWest, Boston


          Almost impossible to diagnose without hearing the noise, R-4 compressors were always noisy and had one of worse reputations in the business. GM went from one of the best designs to one of the worse when they changed from the A-6 to the R-4.
          Belt noise is one possibility , clutch bearing is another. but if you paid a shop, they should either fix it themselves or pay to have a shop to fix it for them. This assumes the "noise" is something not normal to an already noisy compressor.
          I don't generally recommend installing a different compressor to the one it was designed for, it is hard for a shop or individual to make compressor mounts that will stand up to the test of time. Some of the OEM mounts I have come across are none too good. In the case of the R-4 I might make an exception to my own rule, however.
          Last edited by Cornbinder89; 09-10-2019, 10:03 PM. Reason: spelling


            Thanks for the input fellas.....im going to take it back and see what is said ......Ive been told a number of times now that the compressor used on the truck are of a poor design , but Im sure new off the lots back in 1989 , these trucks never made the noises when the ac compressor kicks on , like mine does now . I hope they decide to give it another go of it , but I have my doubts .....as long as its pumping cold , I think they wont care about the noises it makes .


              Change up in thoughts: They really were noisy. True that if blowing cold enough for an '89 the shop is probably no longer real interested. Will it fail or leak down faster now is on my mind and YES think it would just age some parts and things are just old still plus the 134a thing is just leakier. How long you expect this to last at all now matters.

              Soon for my own both CCOT systems as this ONE same model year. I'll disconnect low pressure cut outs at accumulators on both is the easy thing and just plug it in now and then thru a long off season. That is just because you can't tell if plain nasty cold out if the things work and I don't want them to if low on charge compressors run (even yours) with defog/defrost would be dry of oil if charge is too low.

              Why would they run then? Engine heat! There are LONG times you run (I di) to clear the vehicles so ICE can be removed. It's still and hot Underhood will fool the system and will try to work some thought that A/C helps dry the air I say is marginal if any help at those temps.

              OK: That save the compressor do let it run on a rare hot day or longer and repeat. AYOR I've done this for ages and both are still original systems!! Yes they may need tweaking up which I can do - that will be your problem to find the right shop/person or really learn how - not easy but easier on this than much newer.

              If cool now I think this game is over and hope you get couple seasons out of it you may or may not is always unknown. Good luck,
              MetroWest, Boston


                so if they switch out the compressor for a new ..... not rebuilt ...what else do they need to switch out ?.....they may be willing to give that a try if I pay the extra ....but I want to make sure they replace what else is needed ....Im sure you guys have already explained it all, but now just need what would be necessary to change along with the new compressor ...........and hope they flush and their machine they talk about does it all correctly ....


                  Quote from post #6 ">.....as long as its pumping cold , I think they wont care about the noises it makes<"
                  Who bought the compressor, you or the shop? If it's working and YOU brought it in from Advance Auto trust me they lost interest. IDK ask Advance if a new is available at all IDK for sure.

                  Try this: Spray belt with some plain water CAREFUL if running or don't if some sprayer can't do that for you. It may shut up and the worst of noise is the belt, pulleys but would come right back it's just water.

                  AYOR if it did shut up can try WD-40 on "V" grooves of belt will shut up again longer. That would wash off and wear out pretty fast it's very light and usually harmless.

                  Off on this because naturally you are frustrated we said they are noisy compressors new were also to a point.

                  Now I'm looking for other reasons could easily be pulley wear all worn for a '89 no surprise. They actually like all being the same wear now compressor no doubt came with either another type of wear or new? That the belt fights with.

                  Brand of belt! OMG it was my own Mom's car one brand sounded so bad thought the engine had a problem. Put old one back on and was fine?? Ticked I just wanted new just because of time on it and some age showing.

                  Dayco and others sell "quiet" belts! ASK if this is the main problem and really can be change out the belt.

                  IDK the 2.8 in this did know the 4.3 I recall could swap a belt in no time flat just retract ONE tensioner. Look and if handy enough yourself with some common sense just do it but if a sticker for pattern isn't under-hood how it MUST be on AYOR again. You can ask for a printout or take a picture - don't mess that up!

                  Not a GM problem but since anything possible count the grooves in all pulleys. OMG once in a while they might use 6 or 7 grooves and you never behave that way usually toss the belt of in shards quickly but who knows.

                  Belt off spin all the pulleys should spin silent no wobble or they are no good. May seem fine but don't like the tension and assorted loads on it.

                  If not sure also look at tensioners to also see marks that when on, engine off it's within limits of travel if not it's going to make noise.

                  I'm off on this because it cools and noise isn't steady all the time the same and belt and pulley issues absolutely can do that.

                  THAT'S WORTH RULING OUT and I just said how to check without 20 pages of instructions - sorry about that IDK how to explain in one line!

                  MetroWest, Boston


                    I do appreciate all your efforts Tom ....Thank you so much for hanging in there on this.....taking in at 8 am , and will be mentioning the belt ,pully and tensioner possible problems ....not sure what to think....Im in Hendersonville NC and there doesnt seem to be any local experts nearby....anyway ...we`ll see what tomorrow brings ....


                      Few experts in anything where I am and NONE if you get any closer to "Boston" itself. Too dang costly just to park a dang car so most don't own one and never did, not a clue about how anything works never mind vehicles - even horses were a problem in the 1600s - WHAT! Head inland, get out of that mess.

                      I'm still focused on the belt(s) and pulleys on this thing now. I forget the age alone all the surfaces a belt rides on don't match and can't now. Reman anything? IDK it has a chance to be improved you would think and some stuff is better than OE new.

                      About now relax some on the flush game it makes COOL so something works it's noise to isolate first to me now. My change up is it may not be the compressor as said.

                      I'd just like that ruled out. V belt styles or serpentine - either is still rubber on metal doesn't match anymore and isn't ever again. The "old school" would say toss all pulleys so they match? Now impossible so plan B. They make belts to solve it the problem is those don't last long can be something you change out periodically just to shut it up.

                      Finding help for keeping this going now year after year if still a good vehicle otherwise is going to get difficult is impossible here nobody was born yet still working in anything when this was new or in or around that time. That's a problem alone - car work is super long hours dealing with hazards that just wear a person out fast,

                      MetroWest, Boston


                        Been out of town......back now....took into shop and 4-5 mechanics had their heads under the hood trying to figure the noises out....came down to them offering to put a new compressor on. This will make 3......2 remans....and now this new one .....of course from Advance and from China probably. And I bet the noises will still be there .....stay tuned...


                          Good luck. Expect some just hope improved and can be happy with another. IDK if reman where that's done, see if there's info on that but if right shouldn't matter,
                          MetroWest, Boston


                            The new compressor made a small difference in the noise ...have to give the shop credit for going the distance .....but still , noise is still there and Im pretty much convinced that its coming from somewhere else....funny the shop can`t figure it out ..... At this point Im just going to live with it and move on.....puts out cold air ....thanks for all the thoughts on this and I guess Ill be closing this thread....no more time to worry about this ....best to all !....David


                              David, Thanks for the follow up. Not always sure what to say when a known compressor was noisy new on new vehicles now all these years later what to do about it with remans, clones etc. just makes a problem that at best would only end re-designing which compressor could be fit in without that issue.

                              Thanks again and good luck that it stays working as long as possible for you. I'll try just locking this as closed for archives if a moderator can't re-open it later just start a new. Site is funky not all controlled by anyone attending it - just FYI,
                              MetroWest, Boston