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A/C Clutch Guides





Having a faulty air-conditioning (A/C) system in your car will put you and your passengers through a tough time. There are many causes of A/C system failure, and one of the most common is a broken A/C clutch.The clutch works closely with the A/C compressor, which is run by a drive belt connected to the engine. A sensor monitors the refrigerant's temperature or pressure level and switches an electric motor on to pump hot refrigerant into the condenser.The A/C clutch is responsible for engaging the compressor pulley with the motor to run the compressor. It's just like the transmission's clutch pedal, only it's automatically operated by a sensor. Over time, the clutch can experience damage and fail to engage the compressor.Don't worry, though-you can still beat the heat by replacing the broken clutch with a new one. Carparts offers high-quality replacement A/C clutches for your vehicle.


• We have A/C clutches that withstand high heat and pressure for a long time.

• We offer A/C clutches compatible with all kinds of A/C systems.

• Our clutches are easy to install-perfect for DIY projects.

A/C Clutch: Keep Cool-Get it Right

Air conditioning has got to be one of the most amazing and best loved innovations in the field of automobiles. To have yours break down seems like such a minor thing until the heat starts setting in-then it becomes such a huge frustration. That's why, when shopping for parts that keep you're A/C going, it pays off in spades to be informed and to shop smart.

Not all compressors are created equally

Things are fairly standard across the board-there's little variance in terms of functioning from one A/C system to another. The problem lies in the fact that there is a lot of difference in terms of the sizes and shapes of these systems and their components from one vehicle to another.

Among those components, the clutch is most vulnerable. The clutch is an electro-magnetic "door" that lies in front of the air conditioner and is slaved to commands from the A/C system as a whole. Again, functioning is consistent, size isn't. So it absolutely helps to use your own clutch as a reference.

Picking the right clutch

Honestly, it boils down to fit. Apart from using your own car's clutch and information from your owner's manual as a guide, it also is smart shopping to take advantage of matching software that a lot of online retailers embed into their sites.

These are simple to use. Just input the year, make, and model of your car as you search for an A/C clutch and it should return results that are more or less a guaranteed fit. It bears mentioning: be careful still. Do not be complacent. These range in prices between $50 and $70 for a reliable replacement-so be smart about things, and you can avoid a lot of heartache!

Fixing a Busted A/C Clutch

What motorist does not love their air conditioning unit? What motorist does not hate it when it breaks down? This last bit is most especially true of the a/c clutch-it's slightly more vulnerable than the rest of the components. With this guide, a couple of tools, and a little effort, you can make sure you're a/c clutch is up and running again in no time when it breaks down. This task isn't really difficult--you can actually finish the job within an hour or less.

Difficulty level: Moderate

Stuff you'll need:

  • New A/C clutch
  • Your vehicle's owner's manual
  • 3/8-inch drive ratchet
  • 3/8-inch drive socket set
  • Feeler gauge
  • Wrench set
  • Snap-ring pliers

Step 1: Disengage your battery and allow for half an hour to pass before you start working on anything under the hood.

Step 2: Take the air conditioning accessory belt out with the appropriate-sized wrench from your wrench set.

Step 3: Disconnect the connector on your compressor's magnetic coil.

Step 4: Use the correct-sized socket to remove the 6 mm bolt in the center of the A/C clutch.

Step 5: Remove the clutch with a light tug.

*NOTE* Carefully note the spacers on the shaft behind it-these allow for proper gapping, so make sure that you store them safely.

Step 6: Remove the snap-ring that you will find on the shaft securing the pulley, then slide if off the shaft.

Step 7: Clean the shaft and all other parts well before installing them-this ensures your air is clean and free-flowing!

Step 8: Put in the new pulley, and engage the snap-ring with its beveled edge facing outwards.

*CAUTION* Perform the following steps very carefully. A mistake in installation could damage your air conditioning in the long run.

Step 9: Re-install one spacer on the compressor shaft.

Step 10: Install the new clutch, and then re-fasten the 6 mm bolt securely.

Step 11: Ensure proper clearance using the feeler gauge-if clearance is insufficient, remove the clutch plate and add in another spacer.

Step 12: Check the air gap to ensure that the clutch will engage properly.

*CAUTION* If this gap is inaccurate, your clutch might wear out more quickly!

Step 13: Reconnect connector to the electromagnetic coil.

Step 14: Re-connect the battery, start your vehicle up, and test out the air conditioning system!

General tips:

  1. Always play it safe. At the very least, deck yourself out in the bare basics in safety: goggles, gloves, and closed-toed shoes.
  2. If there are any discrepancies between this guide and your manual, the manual takes precedence.

Helpful Automotive Resources

Car A/C Not Cooling? 5 Reasons Why
August 05, 2020
Car A/C Not Cooling? 5 Reasons WhyIf your vehicle’s air conditioning system isn’t working properly, it’s definitely an inconvenience⁠—especially if you’re driving around during the summer when temperatures can get extremely unbearable. 
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