ac compresser not engaging

Keith Cahalan

Asked by Jun 02, 2016 at 09:56 AM about the 2001 Subaru Outback Base Wagon

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2001 Subaru outback 2.5 engine  and when I turn on my ac and let it run the ac compressor will not engage I was going to recharge the system but do not want to pay 35 or 40 dollars for one of the recharged kits if it won't do any good. I read some where that IF the ac is low on refrigerant the compressor will not engage . any idea would be welcome

8 Answers


You need to have the proper amount of refrigerant in the system for it to turn on and the only way to find that out is to see or add refrigerant...

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
Kelly Mayo

unless you have a low pressure switch...try and jump it...and or replace

Keith Cahalan

thanks I work at autozone so will pick up a can of ac pro and give it a shot


Check the gap. It should be like .010-.013 or so. Anymore than .030" and it won't engage or it will only engage for a minute or so. My 04 is like this and there is a YouTube video on spacing the clutch with small wire verses spending 750 to replace the compressor.

Keith Cahalan

thanks I will check that also and I too saw the video on the spacers

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

If adding a can of 134 works only temporarilty try to be eco- conscious and have the system auto-purged, dyed, and tested to repair the leak, eh?

Keith Cahalan

if it still doesn't work I am not going to spend a lot of money trying to fix it. it is onnly hot here for a month or so during the year so can live with it


When I had that problem and knew the refrigerant wasn't low, I found out that my antifreeze was low in my radiator. When I got that to the proper level, it worked fine.

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