What is the AC Compressor Relay all about?
In order to operate, your air conditioning system needs to compress refrigerant to pressurize it. The compressor is both electronic and belt-driven. The AC compressor relay controls the supply of electricity.
The AC compressor relay acts as a control, turning the compressor on and off when necessary. It may be located close to the compressor (under the battery tray, for instance), but it may also be located in the under-hood fuse box, or somewhere else depending on the make and model in question. However, like all other relays, this one is subject to wear and tear, and eventual failure over time.
Keep in mind:
- The AC compressor relay is not inspected during normal maintenance, but a serious malfunction will be noticeable during AC system recharges or other similar work.
- Without a working relay, the AC compressor will not operate.
How it's done:
- The AC compressor relay is verified to see if it needs to be replaced
- The defective AC compressor relay is removed
- The new AC compressor relay is installed
- The AC compressor relay is tested for operation
- The vehicle is tested to ensure proper operation of the AC compressor relay
The AC compressor relay is an integral part of the system. Without an operable relay, electricity cannot be sent to the compressor, and it will not function despite having a good belt, good clutch and other components. If your compressor does not function, have one of our expert mechanics diagnose the system and replace the AC compressor relay if required.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the AC Compressor Relay?
- Compressor will not turn on
- AC system doesn’t blow cold air
How important is this service?
Having a functional AC compressor relay is essential to air conditioner operation. While the blower motor will still circulate air in the cabin, that air will not be cold because the compressor isn’t pressurizing refrigerant. This isn’t critical for vehicle operation, but it does affect driver and passenger comfort and the ability to clear foggy windows. If the AC compressor relay has been diagnosed as faulty, have it replaced as soon as you can.