How To Free A Locked Up AC Compressor Clutch?

How to free a locked up AC compressor clutch? Following are the steps that can be taken:

  • The first step you need to do is pull the compressor and see if it is coming out quickly or not.
  • Do not bolt the new compressor; it is not an option as it causes severe problems.
  • Search for the condenser. If the condenser is on the frontal side, take out its lid.
  • If it is locked, you need to pull the lid, uncover it, and then change the compressor so that no dry air can pass.
  • It’s time to plug in the new compressor. Take the new compressor and attach it to the vacuum pump so the air system can be cleared up.
  • This is how to evacuate the curd from the system and combine everything.
  • Now, put the refrigerant in once everything is done.
  • Now you can enjoy the cold air.

How do I know if my AC compressor clutch is seized?

The main sign to know if the AC compressor clutch is seized is that it makes loud noises that show up while you apply the clutch and break. 

The noise of the car is not clear, and it feels like something is bad with the engine. 

It can get better once it is cooled, or sometimes it is better to replace it to avoid any incident. 

Another sign to know whether the clutch is seized is that it does not work on both ends. 

It is moving freely, and the pulley attached has stopped turning. It is better to avoid driving the car in this situation as it is dangerous. 

It can cause mechanical issues and damage the engine, resulting in an accident.

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What causes the AC compressor clutch to lock up?

Different reasons cause the AC compressor clutch to lock up:

Dirty coils

When dust and dirty oil keep blocking the compressor, the heat does not release properly and blocks the whole system, which causes the compressor to stop working and lock up the clutch. It can also overheat the engine.

Blocked suction lines

When the refrigerant lines are not working correctly, they will not let the heat be released. It causes the AC to heat up and will not provide cool air. If you cannot fix this problem, it will lead to damage to the whole system, and it will end up making the compressor a waste.

Oil lubricant

If you are not changing the lubricant with time and not taking care of it, it will cause the compressor issue and lock up the clutch. The proper lubricant will prevent this issue and save you a lot of money. If you are not using enough oil, the engine will decrease its value, and the compressor will release hot air.

Excessive refrigerant

if an unprofessional person fills up too much refrigerant in the compressor, it will also destroy its capability and ruin the vehicle. T will leave you with the option of replacing the compressor.

Low refrigerant

if the compressor has low refrigerant, it will create small cracks, providing the AC heat, and the compressor will start heating up. It is better to add the right amount of refrigerant to the compressor so it will not affect the vehicle and the engine remains the same.

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How do I free a seized AC compressor clutch?

If you feel the AC compressor is seized, you can free a seizure, which can be quickly done at home. The first thing you need to do is check the compressor. 

Try to pull and take it to put. If it comes easily, it’s magnificent; otherwise, you need a tool to take it out. Keep a check on the condenser and see where its location is. 

You can pull its cover easily. Take the lid off the condenser to move to the next step—plug in the new compressor. 

Attack the compressor and vacuum pump so that air can be passed decently. 

Once everything is attached, could you put it back and start the engine? You will get cool air again.

Can a locked compressor be fixed?

Yes, a locked compressor can be fixed. It is better to let it cool down for a while. It will get free mechanically. It has such a mechanism. 

The temperature decline will help it to perform typically again. It is better if you want to get it checked by a mechanic as it may have been facing some other issues. 

Sometimes the situation may get worse, leading to a compressor’s failure. It can be dangerous in that case. 

If the situation of the compressor is wrong and it is not settling with the temperature drop, it is better to consult an expert and get it changed to avoid further issues.

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Can you drive with a locked-up AC compressor? 

No, it is better not to drive with a locked-up AC compressor. It is very unsafe as the compressor and the car’s engine are operated by the same belt. 

If the compressor is seized, it cannot work correctly, automatically making the engine stop working. If the engine is not performing its duty well, it will cause severe accidents. 

The belt is operating both things equally. So do not drive the car if the AC compressor is seized. It will also leave a harmful impact on the engine. 

If the compressor is not working correctly, the load will be directly on the engine, which makes it weak. It is better to take care of all these things before driving your car in this situation.

How to start a stuck compressor?

The compressor is one of the essential things in a refrigerant. If it is not working correctly, it will ruin the whole system. 

You won’t get good cold air, and the engine will also decay. If your compressor is stuck, a few steps can help you start it. The first step is to turn off the power unit and the circuit break to cut off the power from it. 

Take a screwdriver or a wrench and reverse the compressor lead. If you see the lead labeled with S, it is the run lead; remove it. Attach the compressor to the position lead. 

Now turn on the power within five seconds. Replace the compressor with the original lead after turning off the power. 

After this step, turn the power on again, and your stuck compressor will start working again.

AC compressor pulley not spinning – Solution

If the AC compressor pulley is not spinning, there are different solutions. There might be different reasons, like if you have turned on the defroster of the AC. 

You can see some smoke in the car. It can also stop spinning the pulley. It is better to turn off the defroster to the AC. 

Changing the compressor and the clutch is better, but it can be costly. 

Another option is to unplug the harness. The last option can be to remove the compressor and install an AC compressor bypass pulley.

AC compressor locked up the broken belt

The engine and the compressor are attached to the same belt. Both have an impact on each other’s work. 

If the belt is not working correctly or is broken, it will affect the compressor and engine. There is a connection between all of them. It is better to change the compressor if it is having issues. 

Because it will affect the life of an engine and can also create issues in the belt. One of the reasons for the locked-up broken belt is that the compressor has stopped working. 

It is better to change that. It will increase the life of your vehicle.


In the article mentioned above, you have learned about the compressor of AC and what problems it can cause if it is not working correctly. 

There are different solutions to make it work without replacing it. It is better to keep checking on your vehicle and take proper services. 

Clean the compressor and always make sure that it is working. The compressor is attached to the clutch, and if it is not working correctly, it can cause issues to the engine. 

Make sure it is doing its job well.

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