How an Air Conditioner Clutch Works

steering wheel

Regular maintenance of an air conditioner clutch affects the efficiency and long life of a vehicle’s air conditioning system. Understanding how the clutch works shows how important this component is to the entire system.

Air Conditioning Compressor

The air conditioner clutch is a component within the compressor, the main element in your vehicle’s air conditioning system. The compressor uses an electromagnetic clutch which engages or disengages its pulley. This allows for the compressor to be shut off while the vehicle engine is running.

Electromagnetic Clutch

The type of clutch in a vehicle’s air conditioner is electromagnetic. The air conditioner clutch is engaged when electrical current flows through a magnetic coil. When the current is stopped, the clutch will disengage and the air conditioner will be shut off.

Yearly Check Up

It is important to do at least a yearly check up of your vehicle’s air conditioning system. Any defect in the system or in the clutch itself can lead to damage within the compressor and all other components of the air conditioning system which include the condenser, thermal expansion valve, evaporator and accumulator.