How to Replace an Air Compressor Cycling Switch

engine air compressor
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 25-50
What You'll Need
New Cycling Switch
Repair Manual
Ratchet and Socket Set
Open End Wrench
Refrigerant Oil
Drop Light
What You'll Need
New Cycling Switch
Repair Manual
Ratchet and Socket Set
Open End Wrench
Refrigerant Oil
Drop Light

One of the parts of the air conditioner that is most likely to fail is the cycling switch.

This switch works to keep the air conditioner full of the refrigerant it needs, in order to keep the AC blowing cold air.

For an efficiently working air conditioner, if the cycling switch fails, you need to replace it.

Here are some steps you can take to replace the cycling switch.

Depending on the type of car you have some of the steps may be different. Always refer to your car's specific repair manual before doing any work.

Step 1 - Become Familiar with Repair Manual

It is important to be familiar with the engine compartment of your particular vehicle.

Read the repair manual so you can pick out the various parts. This is especially true for the air conditioning system in your vehicle.

Step 2 - Locate Air Compressor Unit

ac compressor in an engine

Using the repair manual, locate the air compressor unit for your vehicle.

Replacing the cycling switch is very easy, and you do not need to remove the compressor or the entire air conditioning unit.

Most of the time, the air conditioner is located near the front of the engine, but check with your specific manual for your make and model.

Step 3 - Locate Cycling Switch

Place a drop light over the area where you are working.

Look on the top of the accumulator for the cycling switch. It will be located directly on the top of the unit.

Step 4 - Disconnect Wiring Harness

Before removing the cycling switch from the accumulator, make sure you have disconnected the wiring harness first. Most of the time it is clipped into place with a small tab.

Pry this tab carefully to release the pressure and remove the wire.

Step 5 - Remove Cycling Switch

Easily remove the cycling switch, by simply unscrewing it from the top of the accumulator.

Use an open ended wrench to loosen the switch first, and then continue to remove it with your fingers.

This will help you keep the threading intact on the unit, as well as make sure that you do not drop any debris into the accumulator.

Step 6 - Install New Cycling Switch

car engine

Clean the area where the cycling switch goes, Lightly oil the O-ring in the switch and set the new switch onto the threads.

Begin screwing it into the unit, keeping the switch straight. Finish tightening it with an open-ended wrench.

Be careful not to overtighten the part, or it will warp the threads.

Step 7 - Connect Wire

After the cycling switch is installed, you need to check out the wire connector on both the part and the wiring harness.

It is easily bent and if the wires are installed onto the switch without checking it, the part will not work properly. If the connector is bent, you can use a pair of pliers to bend it back into position.

Snap the wiring harness back onto the switch, and test the air conditioner.