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2010 Mazda 3 AC Compressor Noise

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New User

May 24, 2021, 10:31 AM

Post #1 of 6 (1153 views)
2010 Mazda 3 AC Compressor Noise Sign In

Hello, I have a 2010 Mazda 3, 2.0L i4 with ~118k miles. The air compressor has started making a pretty loud noise when the clutch engages. It has obviously always made a noise, but I don't remember it being quite so loud. I have a link to an unlisted YT video provided below. If it is sounding abnormal, what steps do you suggest taking?

Thanks so much for the help. James

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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May 24, 2021, 11:03 AM

Post #2 of 6 (1141 views)
Re: 2010 Mazda 3 AC Compressor Noise Sign In

James: AT least for noise video was great. You didn't say if it blows cool air properly still so two choices come to mind.
It's low on charge but enough to engage - take pressures will show that only counts when engaged.
Hurry sport this is what kills compressors waiting is now cause a debris field IMO so far.
Low charge if low enough will NOT carry oil - gone with compressors it's too bad they don't quit working on time automatically.

Other is already messed up if you don't know what's been done if anything to this system it just was wearing and parts like condensers can't pass thru gas to make liquid well enough so it's starving either way or was too long once before.

Pressures back up might buy time but know how to do that or really wreck it. Too much is no good nor too little charge by weight has to be spot on to the ounce so many cars use such little volume of "refrigerant" it doesn't take much off to stop the show,

Be fast it could save you on how extensive this will be, hence serious bucks,


New User

May 24, 2021, 11:13 AM

Post #3 of 6 (1135 views)
Re: 2010 Mazda 3 AC Compressor Noise Sign In

Okay, thank you.

The AC unit is operating perfectly with very cool air, so I did not suspect the refrigerant charge to be the issue. I will check the pressure to validate that this is not the culprit. If its just a matter of wearing parts am I looking at a full AC compressor replacement? If it blows, will it destroy the rest of the engine, or will it only destroy the AC system? Neither are okay, I'm just curious. I've seen people in forums talk about cutting the belt to the AC compressor to ensure it doesn't blow. Is that necessary here? I'm new to this (obviously), so I appreciate your response.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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May 24, 2021, 1:18 PM

Post #4 of 6 (1123 views)
Re: 2010 Mazda 3 AC Compressor Noise Sign In

OK, back now. If it blows compressor SOME belt layouts can't do without clutch if only working. As a 2010 I expect it also might allow electric fan(s) to work and be plugged in so you might be without a car over a blown compressor, just taking it out of the system may be its own headache?

It blows cold that noise in the thing isn't getting enough oil or already in trouble? Pumps with few exceptions need the oil or don't last for crap no matter what they pump.
Look at the belt and see if one would fit for same exact model and all things just as it ordered NEW without A/C. I just can't know 500 million variations of all cars ever made - just look it should be obvious??

I'd bet you want it to work not just do without A/C and keep the car over it? It's history is barely relevant now you've said just what's needed to me to need the compressor and suggest go new only, whole assembly with clutch AND mandatory parts like driers if you want any warranty on it.
Wild crap shoot IMO it might shut up with...….. sa 1.5 ounces of proper oil added and charge known correct.

We can't know that. If you find a tech or shop that can just evacuate it, add oil at then discretion and it shuts up you are lucky I just don't think that sound of running dry can last much longer??

Sorry for the course in A/C it's a challenge when it was all simple!


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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May 24, 2021, 1:57 PM

Post #5 of 6 (1115 views)
Re: 2010 Mazda 3 AC Compressor Noise Sign In

Yep, that compressor is on the way out. It's hard to say how long it will last like that. I've seen them go more than a year while knocking like that.

When it does go you will have to replace the condenser along with the compressor.

Check to see if the fans are working properly. That's a common cause of compressors doing this.


We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.


Jul 8, 2021, 7:38 PM

Post #6 of 6 (963 views)
Re: 2010 Mazda 3 AC Compressor Noise Sign In

Compressor is dying, but an oil charge would help determine that. I'd add at least 2 ounces of PAG 46 and see if the noise dimishes or goes away.

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