Symptoms of a Bad or Failing AC Control Switch

The AC control switch is a very important component of the AC system. It is the physical switch that allows the user to turn on and change the settings of the AC system from inside of the vehicle. It is usually a custom panel with knobs and buttons that allow the user to control the functions of the AC system, such as setting, temperature, and intensity of the fans. Aside from allowing the user manual control over the AC system, the switch can also sometimes serve to control and regulate certain functions automatically.

The AC control switch is basically the user’s control surface for the AC system. When there is a problem with the switch, it can cause all sorts of problems and quickly take away from the functionality of the AC system, so it should be inspected as soon as possible. Same as with most components, there will usually be a few warning signs that will help inform the driver if the AC control switch has failed, or is beginning to fail.

1. Overheating AC parts

One of the first signs that the AC control switch may be having a problem is that certain parts of the AC may overheat. The AC control switch is essentially an electronic circuit board with knobs and switches. In certain cases, the switch may short circuit or develop a resistance problem, which may cause the switch itself to overheat. It may become hot to the touch and begin to malfunction or not function at all.

The switch also distributes power to other AC components. Therefore, a problem with the switch may cause other components to overheat, due to excessive power or heat. Usually when a switch is hot to the touch, it has malfunctioned and needs to be replaced.

2. Certain settings not working or working intermittently

As the AC control switch is an electrical switch, it contains electrical contracts and knobs that can wear and break. A broken knob or completely worn out electrical contact inside of the switch may cause one or more of the settings not to work, or to work intermittently. Usually, the switch must be replaced if this occurs.

3. AC compressor not coming on

Another symptom that may present itself when the AC control switch has failed, is the compressor not coming on. The AC control switch is what powers and controls the AC compressor, as well as the entire system. If it is not working properly, then the AC compressor may not come on, which will prevent the AC from blowing cold air.

In most cases a bad or failing AC control switch will display noticeable symptoms that hint that there is a problem with the switch. If you suspect that your switch has failed, have it diagnosed by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic. They will be able to inspect your system and replace your AC control switch if necessary.


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Ben

41 years of experience
1245 reviews
Ben
41 years of experience
Volkswagen Beetle - Heating AC - Houston, Texas
i am well satisfied with Mr Smith working on my car(s). He replaced the Jaguar fuel pump like an expert, and then he diagnosed the VW bug ac compressor and fixed it on the spot. I would recommend him to anyone with a car issue
Nissan Altima - Heating AC - Houston, Texas
Incredibly nice and took the time to show me the problem, including comparison pictures between my unit and what a new unit should look like.

Peter

43 years of experience
1321 reviews
Peter
43 years of experience
Saab 9-3 - Heating AC - Phoenix, Arizona
He knows what he's doing. Very polite and explained everything. I would no doubt use him again. I highly recommend him.
Mazda Miata - Heating AC - Peoria, Arizona
We are so thrilled to have found Peter as our new mechanic. He is very thorough and knowledgeable. He is also friendly, professional, and extremely honest. He explained to us exactly what services were needed on our vehicle to repair the air conditioner and provided us with an written estimate of the cost. He literally saved us thousands of dollars in repair costs. A local major competitor quoted us a repair cost of a minimum of $1,400 and said that the cost would go up to $2,400 if they discovered an additional part was required. Peter charged us only $202, plus performed the work at our home. The air conditioner in our 2004 Mazda Miata has honestly never worked so great--it always blew out warm air. We just assumed it was how that particular car was manufactured. We would highly recommend Peter to anyone who is in need of an experienced and honest mechanic.

Matthew

12 years of experience
183 reviews
Matthew
12 years of experience
Acura MDX - Heating AC - Indianapolis, Indiana
Matt was courteous and on time. Unfortunately he was not able to repair or alleviate my problem. I would use Matt again.
Ford Explorer Sport Trac - Heating AC - Indianapolis, Indiana
Matthew was very experienceed I feel He found the problem almost right away.

Charles

27 years of experience
17 reviews
Charles
27 years of experience
Jeep Grand Cherokee - Heating AC Inspection - Van Nuys, California
Charles called the day before the appointment to touch base and answer any questions. The next day Charles was on time with a great attitude, explained exactly what was going on and we talked about our next step and confirmed our appointment to actually do the work the following week. All good.

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