How To Troubleshoot A Failing A/C Clutch Relay On Your Honda

How To Troubleshoot A Failing AC Clutch Relay On Your Honda

Are you less than happy with the supposedly “cool” air your vehicle’s A/C is putting out? Does it seem weak? Has it failed to operate altogether? Particularly during the warmer months, you want that air conditioner operating at full capacity. But what if it isn’t? How do you know if there’s a problem?

When it comes to failing air-conditioning systems in automobiles, the signs and symptoms don’t differ much from vehicle to vehicle. That said, the following is a step-by-step “how to” guide as to how to check for a failing or bad A/C clutch relay in a Honda.

Honda Vehicles and Air Conditioning Units

A wide range of vehicles is designed and manufactured by Honda. Air-conditioning units in vehicles are, in this day and age, standard in many automobiles. The A/C compressor in vehicles is powered courtesy of the A/C compressor clutch. Before it enters the cabin of a Honda, air is cooled by the compressor unit. If your vehicle is not being properly cooled by your air conditioning system, you may have a faulty A/C clutch or relay. The following will describe methods for testing the clutch relay.

A/C Clutch Relay Testing in Your Honda

 You will need a “test light” for this procedure.


  • The engine of your Honda should be on for testing.
  • The setting for the A/C should be off.
  • Open the Honda’s hood and locate the clutch relay for the A/C.
  • Find the A/C compressor wire running away from the compressor (it connects to the clutch relay).
  • On the firewall of your car, you will find the relay mounted.
  • On the relay, there is a three-wire connection.


  • To the negative battery terminal, you will now connect the test light clip.
  • To the middle wire (of the three wires) touch the test light. Power from the clutch relay is received by the middle wire.
  • You should receive an “inactive” reading from the wire.


  • Now turn on the A/C control.
  • From the A/C compressor, then unplug the wire harness.
  • To the middle wire, once again touch the test light lead.
  • You should now see “hot” as the reading for the wire.
  • If there is no sign of registering on the test light, power isn’t getting to the compressor because the clutch is faulty.

Once you know whether or not you have a faulty A/C clutch relay, you’ll know whether or not it needs replacing. If it’s faulty, replace it. Fortunately, while not being the cheapest repair in existence, it’s relatively affordable. You can do it yourself or rely on your local automotive technician if you don’t feel comfortable with your automotive repair knowledge (or you don’t have the tools or you don’t have the space to work on a car).

Before You Shop Anywhere Else for Your A/C Clutch Relay, See What We Carry

If you’ve repurchased parts from R & Y A/C Compressors®, you’re already familiar with our stellar customer service and high-quality products. If not, you’re in for a treat. For over 30 years, we’ve been providing exceptional service and parts to the community.

Here’s a very small sample of some of the parts and components we carry:

  • Tubes
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  • … and much more

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