How To Manually Engage An A/C Compressor Clutch

Mechanic holds a set of high-pressure pipes for filling the car's air conditioning system.

You’re having a problem with the air conditioning system in your vehicle. You know a little something about these things, so you decide to try some diagnostics. Once you do some checking, you come to the conclusion that it’s probably the A/C compressor clutch. Now what?

If, in your vehicle, that A/C clutch isn’t engaging, what would you do next? Among other things, do-it-yourselfers will try to engage an A/C compressor clutch that doesn’t seem to be operating. But why would the clutch be giving you a problem in the first place? There are a number of reasons for compressor clutch failure, truth be told.

Let’s look at some information that could be useful when it comes to determining if the compressor clutch is a problem, why it became a problem, and what to do about it.

Is Your A/C Compressor Clutch Bad?

The most obvious sign there is a problem with the clutch relay on your A/C is, when you turn on your air conditioning system, the compressor doesn’t turn on. When the clutch is connected, it usually makes a click sound. No click – no clutch. For some reason, it isn’t engaging. It could be a bad relay, or something else.

If, from your A/C vents, you’re not getting any air blowing out, this could be another sign of a clutch relay problem. The compressor won’t operate if the relay goes bad and that means no cold air production.

A/C Clutch Issues – Causes

As stated, there are any number of reasons why your A/C clutch may be failing to engage. Here are a handful of them:

  • Bad relay/burnt fuse – replacing the fuse may remedy the situation.
  • Low refrigerant – refrigerant would need to be added to, hopefully, solve the problem.
  • A/C compressor oil is insufficient – the oil for your air conditioning system’s compressor might need to be checked/topped off/replaced.

A/C Compressor Clutch – How to Jump It

Follow these steps to give your clutch the kickstart it might need:

  • The clutch oil cable must be disconnected.
  • Make sure there is a sufficient amount of oil in the compressor.
  • According to the manufacturer’s requirements, make sure the amount of refrigerant in the A/C compressor is sufficient.

The clutch can now be jump started. Here’s how:

  • Unplug the single wire connector at the compressor’s front side.
  • To the compressor wire you just disconnected, attach a jumper wire.
  • To the positive terminal of your car battery, you will then attach the other end of the jumper wire.
  • This will help manually start the compressor.

Note: This can all be very confusing, especially if you just don’t know that much about A/Cs or car engines. When in doubt, have a mechanic or technician check out your A/C system/vehicle engine.

We Supply Automotive A/C Compressor Clutches and More

Whether you’re purchasing from R&Y A/C Compressors for the first time, or if you’ve purchased from us before, check out some of the parts and components we have to offer:

  • Condensers
  • Evaporators
  • Tubes
  • Accumulators
  • … and much more

To reach our customer service department, between 8:30 AM and 5 PM, Monday through Friday, please call 305-919-8864. On Saturdays, we are available from 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM. You may also choose to send us an email at [email protected].

If you’d rather, you can fill out our convenient online form, send it in, and we’ll respond. We look forward to working with you.