How to Replace an Air Conditioning Compressor Relay

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Relays are used in many circuits throughout your vehicle. One such circuit is that of the A/C compressor. The compressor has a belt driven clutch which is cycled on and off to keep your A/C blowing cool. Power is supplied to this clutch through a relay.

A relay is a simple device composed of a coil and set of contacts. When current passes through the coil, a magnetic field is formed. This field draws the contacts together and completes the circuit.

The electronic control module monitors the status of sensors in your vehicle to determine if the conditions are correct for A/C operation. If these conditions are met, the module will energize the A/C relay coil when the A/C button is pushed. This allows power to flow through the relay to the compressor clutch, turning your A/C on.

Part 1 of 2: Locate your A/C relay

Material Needed

  • Owner’s manual

layout of the AC system

Step 1: Locate the A/C relay. The A/C relay is typically found in the underhood fuse box.

Consult your owner’s manual for the exact location.

Part 2 of 2: Replace your A/C relay

Materials Needed

  • Pliers
  • Protective gloves
  • Safety glasses

hand removing the relay

Step 1: Remove the relay. Remove the A/C relay by pulling it straight up and out.

If it is difficult to grasp, you can gently use pliers to remove it.

  • Warning: Be sure to wear safety goggles and gloves at all times.

Step 2: Purchase the new relay. Note the year, make, model and engine size of your vehicle and take the relay with you to your local parts store.

Having the old relay and the vehicle information will enable the parts store to supply you with the correct, new relay.

installing the new relay

Step 3: Install the new relay. Install the new relay by aligning its terminals with the slots in the fuse box and carefully push it in.

turning on the AC

Step 4: Test the A/C. Test the A/C to see if it’s working. If it is, then you have successfully replaced the compressor relay.

Th A/C compressor relay is a small part that plays a big role, as with many parts in your car. Luckily, it is an easy fix if one goes bad, and hopefully replacing it will get your car’s system back to working condition. If your A/C is still not working, you should have your A/C system inspected by a trained professional.


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Oreste

13 years of experience
138 reviews
Oreste
13 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

42 years of experience
725 reviews
Joe
42 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

22 years of experience
292 reviews
Brian
22 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

21 years of experience
103 reviews
Benji
21 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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