Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. Symptoms of a Bad or Failing AC Clutch Cycling Switch

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing AC Clutch Cycling Switch

clutch cycling switch

The AC clutch cycling switch is a very important component to a modern vehicle’s AC system. It is mounted in the low pressure side of the AC system and its purpose is to detect the flow of refrigerant in the system by measuring the pressure. When it is detected that the pressure has dropped below a certain threshold, the switch will activate allowing pressure from the high pressure side of the AC system to enter the low side and equalize the pressure. When the pressure returns to normal, the cycling switch will close. The pressure of the AC system fluctuates depending on several factors, such as the ambient temperature, age, and the amount of refrigerant in the system. This switch is designed to make sure that the pressure stays at a consistent level so that the AC can function correctly.

As this switch continuously cycles on and off, the AC system operates its electrical contacts which subjects the switch to a high amount of wear. Over time, the contacts wear out and the switch must be replaced for the AC to function. When the clutch switch has failed, it will usually produce a few simple symptoms to look out for.

1. Lack of cooling

If you begin to notice that the AC system is not blowing as cold as it used to, then that may be a sign that the switch has failed, or is beginning to fail. If the switch is not operating correctly, the AC system will not be pressurized correctly and will not work as efficiently in cooling the air. If you notice that the AC is no longer blowing the same cold air as it used to, you may want to consider looking at the switch.

2. No cooling at all

In more severe cases, where the switch has completely failed, your AC system will completely cease to blow cold air. Without the cycling switch to activate the compressor’s clutch, the AC system will not be pressurized correctly, and the system will be unable to produce any cold air as a result.

If you begin to notice that the AC system is no longer functioning as it used to, and you suspect that the clutch cycling switch may have a problem, consider having the switch tested and replaced if necessary. It is also important to be aware that when replacing the clutch cycling switch, the AC system will need to be refilled with the proper amount of oil and refrigerant for the AC system. However, this is something that any professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, should be able to take care of for you both quickly and precisely.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Still not sure about your car's issue?
Diagnose your car
What kind of issue are you experiencing?
Brakes are squeaking
Car is not starting
Car is overheating
Car is shaking (vibrating)
Fluids are leaking
Heating and A/C
Smoke or steam is coming out of the car
Warning light is on

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.


More related articles

Auto Safety Tips
Driving is more than a way to get from point A to point B. Owning and driving a car can also be a highly enjoyable experience. Whether a person is driving...
P0359 OBD-II Trouble Code: Ignition Coil I Primary/Secondary Circuit Malfunction
P0359 code definition The P0359 code indicates that a fault has been detected in one of the vehicle’s ignition coils, generally the number 9 coil. This code can also be associated...
P0477 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Pressure Control Valve Low
P0477 code means that the PCM has detected an abnormally low voltage reading often due to the exhaust back pressure control valve circuit.

Related questions

Q: How do I turn on the air conditioner?

To turn on the air conditioner, press the A/C button. An indicator will illuminate to confirm that the system is turned on. Then, rotate the temperature control dial to the level of coldness that you would prefer. Press the button...

Q: I have a 2005 Impala keeps overheating and air blows thru vents when the switch is off

It could be that there is a problem in the radiator. They are subject to buildup of minerals that lower their cooling capacity. One way to check if there might be a problem with the radiator is to turn the...

Q: AC fan only works on high

This is a common problem when the A/C blower motor resistor goes out. This is an inexpensive part to replace and is found under the dash near the A/C blower motor. This resistor controls the speed of the blower fan....