What To Do When A/C Compressor Clutch Is Not Engaging

There are a number of reasons why the A/C compressor clutch is not engaging. While some of the reasons are relatively simple, others are more complicated. Below is a description of this phenomenon, why it happens, and what you can do about it.

What Is The Purpose of The A/C Clutch?

The A/C clutch helps the compressor turn on. It is usually attached to a flywheel through the accessory belt, which is how its power is derived. A clutch system is used to control the clutch, and its shaft will be joined to a rotating shaft’s flywheel through the usage of the electromagnetic switch. The clutch plays an important role in the compressor and as a consequence must be thoroughly maintained. However, any machine made by man is subject to breakdown, so below are some reasons the clutch isn’t working as designed.

The Refrigerant Is Low

This is often the main reason an A/C clutch doesn’t engage. Once the refrigerant drops to a certain level, its lower pressure switch will prevent compressor rotation, which means that it will no longer be able to shield the compressor’s internal parts from sustaining damage. The majority of modern automobiles activate and deactivate their A/C clutches by utilizing higher and lower pressure switches.

The Compressor Oil Is Inadequate

All mechanical devices need lubricant, and air conditioning compressors are no exception. The substance will sit between the internal components and prevent metallic contact. However, if the compressor oil drops too low, the air conditioning automatically shuts down the compressor to protect it.

There is Too Much Refrigerant

If your A/C system has a refrigerant overcharge, its clutch will often not engage. This is done to prevent temperatures from rising to a point where the compressor is damaged. The air conditioning system will need to have a specific level of refrigerant so it can operate correctly.

A Fuse Is Burnt or A Relay Is bad

When your clutch fails to engage, one of the things you’ll want to check is the fuse box. Here you should be able to find its air conditioning fuse; extract and test it, which can be done with the multimeter. You want to ensure that the fuse is working correctly and the same method can be used for evaluating the clutch relay.

Jumping The A/C Compressor Clutch

To jump your vehicle’s compressor clutch, you’ll want to disconnect the clutch oiled cable, be sure the compressor has adequate oil, and then set the amount of refrigerant. Once this is done you can jump-start your clutch, which will require you to manually engage it. Near the front side of the compressor, unplug its single wired connector, and then connect the jumper wire to the other wire you disconnected.

Then connect the other end of the jumper to a car battery (its positive terminal) since this will help your compressor startup manually. Examining your vehicle’s A/C compressor is not too difficult. You’ll want to be sure to activate the A/C along with its fan at the highest setting. Startup the engine, then check whether the pulley and clutch are running.