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A/C Compressor & Clutch for Freightliner

Nobody's going to dispute the usefulness of a functional air conditioning system for your Freightliner long-haul truck. You'll find all the parts you need to keep your cabin-cooling system in check, including replacements for your compressor clutch, pulley, bearing, belt, coil, and more. When your A/C breaks down, don't lose your cool to the pressure of summer heat.

How does A/C in a vehicle work?

If you're planning to perform any repairs, it's good to know how the system works. Your Freightliner's cabin-cooling equipment works in three basic steps:

  1. The primary component is the compressor, which starts by drawing power from the engine to compress a refrigerant gas into a low-temperature liquid that's pushed through a circuit, cooling the system.
  2. The ventilation system picks up the cooled air and blows it into the cabin.
  3. Once the system has reached a certain temperature, the compressor clutch kicks in and shuts off the A/C compressor (signified by a noticeable "thump" or "click" in the engine) to save fuel and preserve the moving parts.
What parts may need replacement down the line?

Air conditioning assemblies in vehicles use several moving parts that are subject to continuous wear over years of use. While other components in the vehicle aren't normally impacted by using A/C, the compressor does place slightly more pressure on the motor to run. Generally, the following parts will need to be checked when the system begins to be affected:

  • Compressor clutch
  • Refrigerant
  • Pulley
  • Bearing
  • Band
What symptoms of overuse should you look for?

Due to the highly mechanical nature of A/C, as well as the requirement that gases and liquids remain sealed for proper functioning, there are several accessories that end up being negatively impacted sooner or later — it's an inevitability. The most notable accessory that can falter is the core compressor itself since it takes the most pressure when running A/C. If you notice any of the following, it may be time to consider repairs:

  • Grinding or squealing sounds
  • Inconsistent functionality
  • Air isn't as cool as it used to be
  • Rattling or shaking while running
  • Compressor constantly runs and refuses to idle
How easy is replacing a compressor clutch?

In most cars and trucks, it's a moderate task that involves more than just finding accessories and dislodging them. If you're replacing an A/C clutch, you can expect to deal with several connections that handle power, sensors, and coolant circulation. You must also be careful when recharging the coolant. If the line isn't vaccuum-sealed when reintroducing the gas, it can significantly impact A/C performance down the road and expedite wear on the whole assembly.