Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How to Replace an AC Clutch Cycling Switch

open hood of car with tubes running into the air conditioning compressor

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 3: 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 3: 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 3: 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 3 of 3: 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 3: 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.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How Long Does a Fuel Filler Neck Last?
Getting gas from the pump to your gas tank is the only way to keep a car going. The fuel filler neck is a metal tube that is welded to the...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...


Related questions

Q: How do I use the maximum air conditioning?

The maximum air conditioning feature cools your vehicle at an even faster rate than the normal air conditioning. To turn on the maximum air conditioning, press the Max A/C button.

Q: How do I adjust the power liftgate?

The power liftgate has three modes: 1. OFF. In this mode, the power liftgate is deactivated, and the trunk can only be opened manually. 2. MAX. In this mode, the power liftgate is activated, and the trunk will open to...

Q: What does the A/C Off Due to High Engine Temp message mean?

The A/C Off Due to High Engine Temp message can appear on your driver information center (DIC). When the DIC displays this alert, it means that the coolant in the engine is too hot, and the engine is not able...