A/C clutch not engaging

Tiny
PAUL A. BEVARD
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 CHRYSLER CONCORDE
  • 3.2L
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 230,000 MILES
The A/C clutch burned out. Like the center of clutch where the rubber part is at about a year ago. I replaced it with a used one and now the clutch won't engage. I read different things on how to engage the clutch but not sure if I'm doing it right. Thought that it might be low on Freon so I hooked up a bottle on the low side like you are supposed to do. The have reads all the way to the red so I'm thinking that something else might be wrong or how can I get the clutch to engage so I can check if that is working? I would appreciate your input. I need cold air in the car when I'm driving to help me breath. Thank you
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Thursday, August 15th, 2019 AT 2:24 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
94 TRANSAM
  • MECHANIC
  • 680 POSTS
Hi Paul, thank you for using 2CarPros.

If I am reading your post right that you have readings into the red, meaning the red section of the pressure gauge then your issue may be too much gas in the system and it is triggering the high pressure switch to shut the system down.

The resolution will be to recover some of the gas to bring it back into operating pressures.

Rich.
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Thursday, August 15th, 2019 AT 7:17 PM
Tiny
PAUL A. BEVARD
  • MEMBER
  • 4 POSTS
Thanks Rich. I will give that a try. Also if the clutch won't engage is there a way I can manually engage it? If I let some pressure out and it won't engage. Like I said in my post the other clutch rubber part like melted and I found on at our local pick n pull and replaced it. The A/C did work good until that happen and now nothing. Much help needed. I've never worked on A/C units before so this will be a new one for me. Thanks again
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Friday, August 16th, 2019 AT 8:38 AM
Tiny
94 TRANSAM
  • MECHANIC
  • 680 POSTS
An A/C clutch is just an electromagnet, There 2 wires on the plug, power in and a ground. Applying 12 volts the the positive side of the coil will electrify the magnetic field and that grabs the steel disc on the clutch and forces it to rotate with the motor.

Doing this is a valid test, but be aware if there are any issues with the system that the safety features are keeping the clutch from engaging and you manually engage it the system pressure may go through the roof and explode with great force. Make sure your static gas pressures are good (both high and low) and you have no pinched lines anywhere.

If you put 12 volt to the coil and the clutch does not engage then the coil needs to be replaced.

Rich
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Friday, August 16th, 2019 AT 6:27 PM
Tiny
PAUL A. BEVARD
  • MEMBER
  • 4 POSTS
Thanks Rich. I'll give all the information a try. I'll get back to you in awhile.
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Saturday, August 17th, 2019 AT 7:59 AM
Tiny
KEN L
  • MASTER CERTIFIED MECHANIC
  • 42,235 POSTS
If I can jump in here. the low side gauge could be in the red because the system is not working (compressor operation). Here is an air conditioner wiring diagrams so you can see how the system works and to check for power at fuses #17, 23 and 21:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-a-car-fuse

This guide can help as well:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/car-air-conditioner-not-working-or-is-weak

Check out the diagrams (below). Please let us know what you find. We are interested to see what it is.
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Tuesday, August 20th, 2019 AT 10:33 AM

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