How to Bypass Subaru Outback AC Clutch Relay

If you’ve been noticing that your Subaru Outback’s air conditioning isn’t working properly, it may be due to a faulty AC clutch relay. This small but important component is responsible for engaging the AC compressor when the AC system is turned on. When it fails, the compressor won’t engage and the AC won’t work. Replacing the relay can be a costly repair, but fortunately, it’s possible to bypass the relay and get your AC working again without a replacement. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to bypass the Subaru Outback AC clutch relay and get your AC system back in action!

Key Takeaways

  • The AC clutch relay is responsible for engaging the AC compressor when the AC system is turned on.
  • A faulty AC clutch relay can cause the compressor to not engage and the AC system to not work.
  • Bypassing the AC clutch relay is a cost-effective solution that can restore your AC system’s functionality.

Before You Begin

Before attempting to bypass the AC clutch relay, it’s important to make sure that the system is properly charged with refrigerant. If the AC system is low on refrigerant, it may not work even if the clutch is engaged. You can check the refrigerant levels using an AC pressure gauge or by taking your car to a mechanic.

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Steps for Bypassing the AC Clutch Relay

Here’s how you can bypass the AC clutch relay in your Subaru Outback:

  1. Locate the AC clutch relay in your car’s fuse box. The relay is typically located in the engine compartment fuse box, but the exact location may vary depending on your Outback’s make and model year. Consult your owner’s manual or a professional mechanic if you’re unsure where to find the relay.
  2. Remove the AC clutch relay from the fuse box.
  3. Locate the two terminals on the relay that are connected to the AC compressor clutch. These are typically labeled "87" and "30" on the relay.
  4. Use a wire or paperclip to connect the two terminals together. This will bypass the relay and engage the AC compressor clutch.
  5. Start your car’s engine and turn on the AC system. Your AC should now be working properly. If the AC still isn’t working, it may be due to low refrigerant levels or other issues. Consult a professional mechanic for further diagnosis and repair.

That’s all there is to it! By following these simple steps, you can bypass the AC clutch relay in your Subaru Outback and get your AC system back in action.

FAQs

Is it safe to bypass the AC clutch relay?

Bypassing the AC clutch relay is a common DIY repair and is generally safe to do. However, it’s important to make sure that the system is properly charged with refrigerant before attempting to bypass the relay. If the system is low on refrigerant, it may not work properly even if the clutch is engaged. Additionally, bypassing the AC clutch relay may cause the compressor to engage even when the AC system is turned off, which can damage the compressor over time.

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Can I drive my car with a bypassed AC clutch relay?

It’s generally safe to drive your car with a bypassed AC clutch relay, but it’s important to address the underlying issue that caused the relay to fail in the first place. If the AC system isn’t working properly, there may be other issues that need to be addressed to ensure the system’s long-term functionality.

Can I replace the AC clutch relay myself?

Replacing the AC clutch relay is a relatively simple DIY repair that can be done with basic tools and some mechanical know-how. However, if you’re unsure of how to replace the relay or are experiencing other issues with your AC system, it’s best to consult a professional mechanic for diagnosis and repair.

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Peter Banks

With years of experience as a professional mechanic and Subaru specialist, Peter is one of the most respected members of our team. He's written several articles on Subaru maintenance and repair, and his advice and tips are always practical and helpful. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys cooking and trying out new recipes.

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