Symptoms of a Bad or Failing AC Pressure Switch

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The AC pressure switch is a safety switch that is mounted on both the high and low sides of the air conditioning system. It monitors the pressure of the refrigerant on its respective side of the system. There is a high side pressure switch, and low side pressure switch, and they both serve to monitor the system for pressure faults that can damage the compressor.

When the pressure is too low, the compressor risks damage due to running with low oil. When it is too high, the compressor is at risk of overheating and becoming damaged. Depending on which side of the system the sensor is mounted in, when the pressure rises too high or drops too low, the switch will turn off the compressor to prevent damage from occurring. As the pressure switches serve to protect the compressor and rest of the system from damage, they play an important role for the proper function and service life of an AC system, so they should be replaced if they are causing problems. When they begin to fail they will usually display a few symptoms that will alert the driver of a potential problem.

1. AC system cutting on and off rapidly

Repeatedly cycling on and off is part of the normal operation of an AC system. There are periods where the AC is turned off, such as when the proper temperature has been reached, and the pressure is adequate. However, if the system is cycling on and off very frequently or more rapidly than normal, it could be a sign that the cycling switch is not functioning properly.

2. Unable to cool the car

If either of the AC pressure switches fails, then the system will have a difficult time maintaining the pressure required to function properly. If the pressure is not right, then the AC system will not be able to produce the cold air required to adequately cool the cabin. You may notice that the cabin takes longer than usual to reach the correct temperature, or may not even be able to reach the correct temperature at all.

3. Compressor not coming on

As the pressure switches control the on/off function of the AC compressor, a switch failure can prevent the AC compressor from functioning at all. The compressor is what pumps refrigerant through the entire system. If it is not functioning, then the system can not operate, and will be unable to produce cold air.

Because the AC pressure switches play such a vital role in ensuring the proper operation and service life of the AC system, any problems with them should be addressed immediately to ensure the integrity of the system. If you suspect that one of your AC switches is bad or failing, have it diagnosed by a professional technician from YourMechanic. If necessary, they will be able to replace your AC pressure switch so that you can ensure the system remains functioning correctly.


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Oreste

12 years of experience
117 reviews
Oreste
12 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

41 years of experience
709 reviews
Joe
41 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

21 years of experience
247 reviews
Brian
21 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

20 years of experience
71 reviews
Benji
20 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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