How to Replace an AC Clutch Cycling Switch

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The A/C compressor clutch must be cycled on and off to prevent the evaporator from icing up, as well as to to prevent compressor damage. An AC clutch cycling switch is used to determine low side A/C pressure (which is directly proportional to temperature). This information is then used by the electronic control module (ECM) to control the compressor clutch. The ECM will cycle the clutch several times a minute to keep both passenger compartment and evaporator at the correct temperature.

The clutch cycling switch is a type of device called a transducer, which changes internal resistance in response to changes in pressure. The clutch cycling switch measures the low side A/C pressure near the evaporator outlet and is often mounted on the accumulator.

Part 1 of 2: Locate the A/C clutch cycling switch

ac clutch cycling switch placement

Step 1: Locate the compressor clutch cycling switch. The cycling switch will typically be mounted to the accumulator.

The accumulator is usually found at the back of the engine compartment, mounted to the firewall.

Part 2 of 2: Remove the A/C clutch cycling switch

Materials Needed

  • Protective gloves
  • Repair manuals
  • Safety glasses
  • Wrench

  • Tip: You can often get free repair manuals.

disconnecting the negative battery cable

Step 2: Disconnect the negative battery cable. Disconnect the negative battery cable with a wrench or ratchet and set it aside.

  • Warning: Be sure to put on protective glasses and gloves before working on your vehicle.

removing the electrical connector with fingers

Step 2: Remove the switch electrical connector. This is usually a tab that you can push in to remove easily.

unscrewing the switch

Step 4: Remove the switch. Using a wrench or socket, unscrew the switch from the A/C line, finishing with your fingers.

  • Note: In most cases, it is not necessary to evacuate the A/C system refrigerant for clutch cycling switch removal. This is because the switch is mounted on a schrader valve. If you have any doubt as to the design of your system, consult the factory repair information before switch removal.

Part 2 of 2: Install the A/C clutch cycling switch

Material Needed

  • Wrench

installing the new switch

Step 1: Install the new switch. Screw the new switch in by hand, then tighten it until it's snug using a ratchet or wrench.

reinstalling the electrical connector

Step 2: Reinstall the electrical connector. Do exactly the opposite of what you did before.

Step 2: Reinstall the negative battery cable. Reinstall the negative battery cable and tighten it down.

Step 4: Test the A/C. Test the A/C to see if it’s working.

If not, you should have your A/C system inspected by a trained professional.

Hopefully, if your AC was not working, then it is now. Even though this is a straightforward job, you may want someone else to do the dirty work for you. In that case, the team at YourMechanic offers expert clutch cycling switch replacement and would be happy to come to your home or place of business to perform the job for you.


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Oreste

12 years of experience
111 reviews
Oreste
12 years of experience
Nissan Sentra - AC is not working - Miami, Florida
Oreste is extremely knowledgeable and professional. He fixed my car quickly and knew exactly what I was asking about and made me felt confident I was getting excellent service. He is a pleasure to work with and I highly recommend him!
Mini Cooper - AC is not working - Miami, Florida
Excellent mechanic , he know all abou the Minicooper engines , he fixed the fail and check all , he did a great job

Joe

41 years of experience
704 reviews
Joe
41 years of experience
BMW 740i - AC is not working - Saint Petersburg, Florida
Great guy. Knows his stuff and easy to work with. Very friendly and helpful. Knows BMW and that’s important to me. Highly recommend.
Honda Odyssey - AC is not working - Tampa, Florida
As expected - Joe was great. Insightful, helpful and explained everything. Will book again without hesitation.

Brian

21 years of experience
238 reviews
Brian
21 years of experience
Honda Odyssey - AC is not working - Jacksonville, Florida
Very knowledgeable and courteous. He was able to quickly diagnose the problem and tell us how to fix it! Thanks Brian!!
Nissan Rogue - AC is not working - Jacksonville, Florida
Amazing service!!! Brian was timely, professional, informative, and this service is just SO convenient. This was my 2nd time booking with Brian via Yourmechanic.com and it wont be my last!!

Benji

20 years of experience
62 reviews
Benji
20 years of experience
Jeep Grand Cherokee - AC is not working - Paradise Valley, Arizona
Benji was beyond professional and handled our issue with speed. Super efficient and went above and beyond!
Land Rover Range Rover - AC is not working - Scottsdale, Arizona
Very knowledgeable! On time, kind, Courteous. Definitely a master technician. Identified the issue Immediately and resolved quickly! A pleasure to work with.

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