Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. Signs of a Bad or Failing AC Compressor Relay

Signs of a Bad or Failing AC Compressor Relay

AC Compressor relay

Almost every single electrical system on a car is powered through some kind of switch or electrical relay, and the AC system and compressor are no exception. The AC compressor relay is responsible for supplying power to the AC compressor and clutch. Without this relay, the AC compressor will not have power and the AC system will not function.

The AC compressor relay is no different then other electrical relays - its electrical contacts will eventually wear or burn out, and the relay must be replaced. When the AC compressor relay has failed or is beginning to fail, it will begin to display symptoms that indicate it may be time for it to be replaced.

1. Inconsistent cooling

The AC compressor is powered by the relay. If it is not functioning properly, then the AC system will not be able to produce cold air correctly. When a relay is starting to fail, it may give weakened or intermittent power to the compressor, which will result in weakened or intermittent function of the AC. The AC may function fine in one instance, and then shut off, or deliver inconsistent performance in another. This may be a potential sign that the relay may be going out.

2. AC compressor is not turning on

One of the most obvious signs that the AC relay may have a problem is that the compressor is not coming on at all. In most cases, when the AC is turned on you will be able to hear the compressor switch on. It will usually produce a familiar clicking noise from the clutch being activated. If when you turn it on you do not hear the clutch being turned on, then perhaps it may not be getting power, due to a failed relay.

3. No cold air

Another symptom that the AC relay has potentially failed is that there will be no cold air at all from the AC. If the relay fails, the compressor will not operate and the AC system will be unable to produce any cold air at all. While there are several reasons as to why an AC may stop producing cold air, a failed relay can be one of the most common.

If you are experiencing issues with your AC system and suspect that your AC relay has either failed or is beginning to fail, we recommend having it diagnosed by a professional technician. If your AC relay is found to be faulty, they will be able to replace the AC relay if necessary.

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

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Flexible Clutch Hose
Common signs include difficulty shifting, low clutch fluid, and feeling no resistance at the clutch pedal.
How to Find the Keyless Code on a Ford Explorer or Mercury Mountaineer
Many Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers were manufactured with an option known as the Ford keyless entry keypad. Some models refer to it as SecuriCode as well. It...
How to Get a Louisiana Driver's Permit
s licensing program. The first step in this program is to obtain...


Related questions

Q: My truck wont start when i insert the key and give it a turn

This is a very common problem related to starting on many cars. This is often times the result of a faulty starter relay. This is a relay that directs power from the battery to the starter allowing it to engage...

Q: Engine overheated now lots of fluid leaks

The engine in your Honda Pilot overheated and oil was getting into the coolant from the engine head gasket, cracked cylinder head, or crack in an engine oil galley. In order to diagnose the failure, first make sure the engine...

Q: My ac compressor belt doesn't grip it seized up on and off then it went up in smoken caught fire now is it the compressed itself

There are more problems here than just a seized pulley and a broken belt. You mention broke or burned plug wires and problems with spark plugs. I would recommend having a mechanic come and first check out why the belt...