Achieve a Cozy Ride: Changing an Automotive A/C Switch
Your car's A/C switch takes care of providing and cutting off power to the air compressor of the air conditioning system. Its pressure level needs to be kept to at least 25 psi. Any pressure level below 25 psi can make the air compressor shut off. This can, in turn, make the A/C system freeze up due to the damaged A/C switch. When this happens, the best solution is to replace the A/C switch.
Here's a step-by-step replacement guide to help you in changing the A/C switch of your car:
Difficulty level: Moderate
Tools you'll need:
- Air conditioning gauge set
- Air conditioning recovery machine
- Vacuum pump
- Owner's manual
- Replacement A/C switch
Step 1: Firs things first; Remove the refrigerant in your car's air conditioning system. Make sure you don't allow the refrigerant to get released into the air, since this contributes to greenhouse gases.
Step 2: Connect the hoses of the recovery machine to the air conditioning ports of your vehicle. Look for the low-pressure and high-pressure ports. Identify the low-pressure port by tracing the larger hose coming from the compressor up to the accumulator near the firewall. And to get the high-pressure port, trace the smaller hose from the back of the compressor.
Step 3: Observe the air conditioning gauge to see how much refrigerant is left. The refrigerant level should indicate zero or empty in the gauge.
Step 4: Consult your owner's manual to find the exact location of the air compressor pressure switch. Once you have located the switch, detach it by unscrewing the bolts that secure it in place. Remove the rubber O-ring where the switch is attached. Then, replace it with the new O-ring that came with your replacement A/C switch.
Step 5: Grab the air conditioning gauge set again, and link it to the low- and high-pressure ports. Attach the vacuum pump of the gauge set and turn it on. You might also need to turn on the service valves of the gauge set to drain all of the moisture in the system. This process usually takes up to an hour.
Step 6: After you have drained all of the moisture from the air conditioning system, close the service valves of the gauge set. Take out the vacuum pump that's attached to it as well. Get the can tap that comes with the gauge set. Install this can tap and attach a can of refrigerant to it.
Step 7: To re-apply the refrigerant, open the can and open the service valve on the gauge set. Continue adding refrigerant and replacing the can, until the air conditioning system becomes full. You can also refer to your owner's manual to check the right amount of refrigerant needed to make the system work.
Step 8: Once the system becomes full, remove all of the hoses and close all of the valves. Turn off the engine and leave it turned off for a while before testing. After 15 minutes or so, start the car and turn the air conditioning on maximum. Check to see if the A/C switch is now working.