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Old 06-16-2019, 02:45 AM   #1
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Car A/C compressor clutch not engaging?


Hi, my car (Honda Fit 2010) A/C's reading 93 PSI on the low side and 100 on the high side when car's off. Then when car engine's started (AC off), low side drops to 85 PSI and high side to 90 PSI. Switching AC button has no effect on pressure, and I could see compressor not spinning.


Some background: intermittent A/C in 2016/2017, added freon using a low side only gauge in 2017, filled up from 25 to 35 PSI in 70 F temp, A/C worked again for a year. Became intermittent again in 2018 (only worked on colder days, or when car was cold started), low side read 45 PSI when it worked, so I did not add freon. I changed the clutch relay switch to no effect. Now in 2019, it does not work at all unless it's raining with temps in the 50s F.


What could be my problem? is my compressor bad? but then why would it work in rainy cold weather?

Last edited by ElectricIQ; 06-16-2019 at 02:51 AM.
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Old 06-16-2019, 08:06 AM   #2
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Re: Car A/C compressor clutch not engaging?


Any noise out of the compressor prior to this? Have you checked the book for high and low side values and ranges?



Voltage to the clutch?
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Old 06-16-2019, 12:43 PM   #3
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Re: Car A/C compressor clutch not engaging?


Did not notice any noise. It just stopped working after the winter (except on rainy cold days). I think ~100 PSI on both sides indicates compressor not engaging (but it does on those days?)... could this be a sensor issue?
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Old 06-16-2019, 01:24 PM   #4
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Re: Car A/C compressor clutch not engaging?


Same pressure on both sides means the system has equalized. The compressor comimg on lowers the low pressure side, raises the hi pressure side and cycling from low to high cools the car interior. Try jumping the low pressure switch. If it is defective the compressor won't come on. Same with the high pressure switch, but it rarely goes bad. Try sending 12v straight to the clutch, see if it engages.
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:47 AM   #5
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Re: Car A/C compressor clutch not engaging?


You can also try jumping the relay to try to energize the clutch to test it.

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Originally Posted by Bigplanz View Post
Same pressure on both sides means the system has equalized. The compressor comimg on lowers the low pressure side, raises the hi pressure side and cycling from low to high cools the car interior. Try jumping the low pressure switch. If it is defective the compressor won't come on. Same with the high pressure switch, but it rarely goes bad. Try sending 12v straight to the clutch, see if it engages.
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Old 06-17-2019, 11:33 AM   #6
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Re: Car A/C compressor clutch not engaging?


Quote:
What could be my problem? is my compressor bad? but then why would it work in rainy cold weather?
Most likely you have the Defroster turned on during that cold rainy weather.

Having AC air mixed with heater air for defrosting, helps dry the air/defrost quicker/reduce or eliminate condensation on the inside of the windows.
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:45 PM   #7
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Re: Car A/C compressor clutch not engaging?


Almost sounds like too much air gap between clutch and hub. A cheap way to check this is, engine running, A/C on and take a piece of wood and tap the clutch. If it's too much air gag, it should engage. Be careful as it can screw up and you'll have a piece of wood flying around the belt area. Check for voltage at clutch connector. The gap should be around .020
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:28 PM   #8
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Re: Car A/C compressor clutch not engaging?


It might be a simple shim on the clutch. My CRZ compressor was not engaging and I removed a shim and all is good again. It was 15 minute job. YouTube is your friend.
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Old 06-18-2019, 12:59 AM   #9
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Re: Car A/C compressor clutch not engaging?


Thank you all, good ideas. I will do more testing.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:09 AM   #10
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Re: Car A/C compressor clutch not engaging?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Oso954 View Post
Most likely you have the Defroster turned on during that cold rainy weather.

Having AC air mixed with heater air for defrosting, helps dry the air/defrost quicker/reduce or eliminate condensation on the inside of the windows.
But if the compressor isn't working during dry weather, it shouldn't be working during wet weather. If the compressor isn't engaging, there is no "AC air" to mix with heater air.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:26 AM   #11
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Re: Car A/C compressor clutch not engaging?


LOL... sounds like what we had to do with my college roommate's VW bug... bang on the starter solenoid to get it to engage. Usually worked like a charm but maybe not so much when trying to make a getaway from a motel with a garbage can of ice for a kegger... and the maid running after us. ;-/ Those were the days.

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Almost sounds like too much air gap between clutch and hub. A cheap way to check this is, engine running, A/C on and take a piece of wood and tap the clutch. If it's too much air gag, it should engage. Be careful as it can screw up and you'll have a piece of wood flying around the belt area. Check for voltage at clutch connector. The gap should be around .020
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Old 07-28-2019, 09:00 PM   #12
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Re: Car A/C compressor clutch not engaging?


Thank you all, finally found the root cause and fixed it today, thanks to this guy:



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Old 07-28-2019, 09:24 PM   #13
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Re: Car A/C compressor clutch not engaging?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brainbucket View Post
Almost sounds like too much air gap between clutch and hub. A cheap way to check this is, engine running, A/C on and take a piece of wood and tap the clutch. If it's too much air gag, it should engage. Be careful as it can screw up and you'll have a piece of wood flying around the belt area. Check for voltage at clutch connector. The gap should be around .020
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tymbo View Post
It might be a simple shim on the clutch. My CRZ compressor was not engaging and I removed a shim and all is good again. It was 15 minute job. YouTube is your friend.

When I first read these, they only made half sense to me, and it turned out to be exactly what was wrong with mine, thanks!!
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