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Nissan Altima AC Compressor Clutch

The Nissan Altima A/C compressor clutch runs your compressor when your car supplies power to the clutch. This is an electromagnetic clutch that supplies Freon throughout your automobile's cooling system when engaged. It comprises three main components: the magnetic coil, the pulley, and the hub.

How do you test the A/C compressor clutch’s coil?

Perform a test of the A/C compressor clutch in your Nissan Altima to see if you need a new one. It is done in four steps:

  • Disconnect the 12-volt connector that's attached to the clutch before testing.
  • Use a multimeter to get a reading on the unit.
  • Check your Altima’s owner’s manual to find the suggested ohms level. In general, most readings are between two and five ohms. A reading of zero ohms indicates that there's a short in the compressor.
How do you engage the air conditioner compressor clutch?

Your Altima’s air conditioner should engage automatically when power is supplied to it. If it isn't blowing out cold air, there could be a number of issues in your A/C compressor. In some cases, the impact may lie elsewhere in the engine or power supply line to the unit. Some of the possible issues to check include:

  • a blown fuse
  • bad clutch coil,
  • poor or improper grounding of the compressor clutch, or
  • low pressure lockout.
Why does the compressor clutch engage and disengage?

To work properly, the unit needs a steady and consistent supply of power. If the unit engages and disengages, there's probably a short somewhere in the power supply. If power to the compressor is steady, there may be a problem with the parts in the unit itself. Above-normal cabin temperature could be a sign of a failing compressor. A loud or noisy compressor is another sign that it needs replacing.

What is a compressor clutch coil or loop?

The loop on your compressor clutch is comprised of fine wiring wrapped into a tight loop. When power passes through the loop, it creates a powerful magnetic field. This magnetic field pulls the hub into contact with the unit's pulley. When all of the parts are working, the compressor makes it possible for your vehicle's cooling system to work properly.

How do you run voltage tests on your compressor clutch?

Testing the unit for voltage can indicate whether or not the parts are receiving power. You can check the voltage on your compressor using these steps:

  • Remove the plug from your clutch.
  • Turn on your vehicle's cooling system, and set it to the coldest setting to ensure that the compressor is activated.
  • Set your DVOM to the 20-volt setting, and check for voltage at the clutch harness connector.