2006 Pontiac Vibe AC Compressor Frozen

I have a 2006 Pontiac Vibe with an AC Compressor that my be frozen. My car was sitting for 6 months not be used. Before the AC worked great. When i put the ac on a few days ago, my engine died. I turned the ac off and started the car up again, and no problem. I pressed AC button and car slowly died.

Does my ac pump need more oil, or a new ac compressor?

Thank you for your help

When the engine dies after turning on the AC, is this while the engine is idling? Or while the vehicle is being driven?


If this is happening when the engine is idling, it is probably a case of a dirty Idle Air Control Valve (IAC).

The thing is that the car only dies when I push the ac button. Could it be frozen so the belt won’t turn and the engine stalls. If so, does it just need oil and freon or a new compressor.

I have the stock 1.8 non GT version, manual trans.

Before turning the AC on step on the acceleator to increase the engine speed to 1,500 RPM. If the engine dies then there is likely something wrong with the AC. If the engine continues to run and cold air blows out the vents it’s a safe bet that @VDCdriver is correct.

And 1,500 RPM would likely be the 15 mark on the tachometer. It’s just a fast idle.

If the compressor is stalling the engine it would likely need a new compressor.

You didn’t answer the question.

Does the engine die when idling or when the vehicle is being driven when the AC button is pushed?


…and now, two days later, I guess that we never will get the answer to your question.

Not much AC experience, but I expect a mechanic could temporarily loosen the belt and tell if the compressor turns freely by hand or not Be aware that many cars activate the AC in defrost mode, so if your car stalls in defrost, that’s probably the same problem. I think the first thing you need to determine is if the AC compressor is turning freely or not. The next step is based on that.

Does this thing even have an iac?

Seems kind of new to still have an iac

I know that Ford hung on to iac a little longer than some, but I believe by 2006, Toyota had moved to electronic throttle on all their vehicles

And I’m saying Toyota, because a Vibe is essentially a Toyota Matrix

I’m kind of leaning towards a frozen compressor

I’ve seen it a few times. Everything is fine, then the compressor clutch engages, and the engine shuts down cold turkey. Boom, without warning

If the compressor let go catastrophically, shooting metal into the system, it’s going to be expensive

A look at a used TB on eBay shows that an '06 Vibe does have an IAC valve.

Guess we’ll never know if that’s the problem or not seeing as how Tester’s question was never answered.

The car dies when idle when AC button is pressed and when slowing down to stop.

Sorry for the delay and thank you for your help

The '06 Vibe GT with 6-sp manual has an IAC valve. Other '05+ Vibes do not.

So there are 2 engine choices, I presume?

Rock Auto lists an IAC valve for this vehicle.

And from what the OP is describing, the first thing I’d suspect is the Idle Air Control valve.


I will check the IAC valve and try to take the belt off to see if the compressor spins freely. Does that depend on if the button is pressed and the AC clutch is engaged, or if it spins freely with the AC Cluch disengaged?

Sorry, i’m not too experienced. thanks for the help

yes @db4690, two engines.
The one with an IAC valve has “VVTL-i” on the plastic engine cover.
That’s the Toyota/Yamaha 2zz-ge. The tach will show an 8400 rpm redline.
The other has “VVT-i” on the cover, Toyota 1zz-fe, 6300 rpm redline. That one is drive-by-wire.
Idle speed is controlled by the motorized throttle valve. No IAC.
The fact that RockAuto lists an IAC does not mean that ALL Vibes use it.

If the car can be driven with the AC on but the engine stalls when slowing to a stop the IAC sounds like the most likely cause of the problem.