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Regular clicking/clunking sound w/ AC on?
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Thread: Regular clicking/clunking sound w/ AC on?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Germantown, MD
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    Question Regular clicking/clunking sound w/ AC on?

    I'm absolutely loving my new 2014 Abarth. I just took a nice road trip from MD to Charlotte NC and back and the car was absolutely great on US 29 and even Interstate 85. Much smoother and quieter than journalist reviews would have led me to believe, but still a ton of fun! And the standard Abarth seats are very comfortable for long trips. It's also amazing how effective such a basic rear suspension can be. We won't hesitate to drive the Abarth (we still haven't named it, but it feels like it's going to be a girl name) up to New England in the fall.

    Anyway, there IS a slight issue. It's a (mostly) regularly timed dashboard clunking noise that seems to be made by the A/C. I've searched this forum and found only one similar comment and there was no answer. When the A/C is on, there is a regular clicking/thumping/clunking sound coming from the dashboard. It can be pretty loud, but not every time. If you put your hand on the HVAC control panel you can actually feel the thump when the sound occurs. The odd thing is that this sound occurs regularly EVERY 18 to 25 seconds. And it happens as long as the A/C is on, regardless of recirc/fresh, temp setting, or fan speed. The sound is completely unrelated to engine or road speed. It's NOT a buzzing, it's a clunk or thump. I'm guessing that it is an A/C line that jumps a bit when the compressor cycles on and off (but the sound doesn't seem to be the compressor itself). The line must be thumping on something in the dash. The sound also closely resembles a slight rattle when driving the car slow on local, bumpy streets. So I'm thinking a hard A/C line needs some better isolation.

    Has anyone experienced such a regular clunking sound related to the A/C? If so, how was it handled? If necessary I'll mention it to the dealer when I get the oil changed, but that's still a few thousand miles out. There's certainly no problem repeating the issue for the tech. But if it's an easy fix, then I'd prefer to do it myself right now. I'm thinking some kind of A/C line needs to be padded or wrapped, but I'm concerned it may be buried deep in the dash. I did see one thread where somebody removed the "engine shroud" and padded an A/C line firewall pass-through with foam. That may do the trick. But what's the engine shroud? I suppose it covers the firewall, but I don't see anything that looks like it just yanks right off. A service manual .pdf would be helpful for some panel removal guidance, but those appear to be hard to find w/o buying them from FCA.

    Thanks for any help or guidance you can provide.

  2. #2
    Senior Member streetsurfer's Avatar
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    Mar 2013
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    The engagement/disengagement of the clutch on the A/C compressor makes this noise and is normal.

    However the frequency with which you say it happens seems a bit rapid. It may benefit to have the A/c charge checked. Or it may be normal as well. It doesnt seem mine cycles that often though.
    Last edited by streetsurfer; 09-08-2015 at 09:07 AM.

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    earthwateruser (09-09-2015)

  4. #3
    Junior Member EvilEvoIX's Avatar
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    Feb 2021
    Jerzy Shore
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    Mine does this too. It's the compressor cycling on and off. I think it is normal. Cools my car way down for sure.
    2013 Fiat 500 Abarth.
    P006D from Madness ECU Piggy back but feels great
    TPMS Failure because of course
    Front Drivers Side CLUNK CLUNK CLUNK CFP Strut Hats on order
    Missing Madness Heat Shield (Anyone got one)
    Madness Pedal RULES but gives me the Red Lightning Bolt.
    Still love this car.

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    SeaDawg (06-10-2021)

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