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AC Compressor Not Turning On? Subaru Outback : Troubleshoot Now!


If the AC compressor in your Subaru Outback is not turning on, there may be a problem with the electrical system or a malfunctioning compressor. This can result in a lack of cold air in your vehicle.

Subaru Outback Ac Woes: Troubleshoot Now!

Is your Subaru Outback’s AC compressor not turning on? Don’t fret! You can troubleshoot the issue yourself before taking your car to a professional. Start by checking your car’s AC system thoroughly. Inspect for any visible leaks or loose connections in the refrigerant lines. Additionally, check the AC fuse and ensure it hasn’t blown. If everything seems fine, it’s time to move on to some DIY troubleshooting tips. Clean or replace the AC filter to enhance airflow. Verify that the AC condenser fan is functioning properly and not obstructed. Lastly, examine the AC compressor clutch for any damage or wear. By following these steps, you can narrow down the potential causes of your Subaru Outback AC compressor issues and possibly fix the problem without professional help.

Recognizing Ac Compressor Failure Signs

Recognize signs of AC compressor failure in your Subaru Outback. Learn to identify if your AC compressor is not turning on and take action before it leads to major issues with your vehicle’s cooling system. Trust the experts to keep your car running smoothly.

When your Subaru Outback’s AC compressor is not turning on, it can be a sign of potential failure. Here are some common signs to look out for:

  • Strange Noises When AC Is On If you hear grinding, squealing, or clunking noises when you turn on the AC, it may indicate a problem with the compressor.
  • AC Blowing Warm Air: When the compressor fails, the AC may blow warm or hot air instead of cool air. This can be a clear indication that the compressor is not functioning properly.
  • Compressor Clutch Not Engaging: The compressor clutch is responsible for engaging and disengaging the compressor. If it fails to engage, it can be a sign of compressor failure.

If you notice any of these signs, it is important to have your AC system inspected by a professional technician. They can diagnose the specific issue and recommend the necessary repairs to get your AC compressor working again.

Quick Checks Before Deep Dive

Quick Checks Before Deep Dive

To troubleshoot the issue of your Subaru Outback’s AC compressor not turning on, you can perform a few quick checks before taking a deep dive into the problem. These checks will help you identify any potential underlying causes.

Start by inspecting the AC controls inside your vehicle. Ensure the AC switch is turned on and set to the desired temperature. Check for any signs of damage or malfunctioning in the control panel.

Check the integrity of the compressor belt. A worn-out or broken belt can prevent the AC compressor from functioning properly. Inspect the belt for cracks, fraying, or signs of wear and tear. Replace the belt if necessary.

Pressure Level Ideal Reading Diagnostic
Low Pressure Below recommended range Possible refrigerant leak or insufficient charge
High Pressure Above recommended range Possible blockage or overcharged system
Normal Pressure Within recommended range AC system functioning correctly


Using an AC pressure gauge, check the pressure levels in the system. If the pressure is too low or too high, it could indicate a problem with the refrigerant charge or a blockage in the system. Consult a professional technician for further diagnosis and repair.

Electrical Troubleshooting Steps

Start by locating the AC compressor relay in the fuse box or under the hood. With the engine off, use a multimeter to test the relay.

  • Set the multimeter to continuity mode.
  • Remove the relay and insert the red lead of the multimeter into one of the relay socket’s terminals.
  • Connect the black lead of the multimeter to the negative battery terminal.
  • If there is continuity, the relay is functioning properly. If not, replace the relay.

Inspect the fuse related to the AC compressor and ensure it is not blown. If it is, replace it with a new fuse of the correct amperage rating.

Next, check the wiring connections. Look for any loose or damaged wires connected to the AC compressor and repair or replace them as needed. Ensure all connections are secure.

If the previous steps do not solve the issue, it may be a problem with the AC clutch. Start by visually inspecting the clutch for any signs of damage or wear.

Manually spin the AC clutch pulley while the engine is off. If it spins freely, the clutch may be seized and needs replacement.

If the clutch seems fine, use a multimeter to test the clutch coil for continuity. If there is no continuity, the coil is faulty and requires replacement.

Under The Hood Inspections

Under the Hood, Inspections offers expert analysis for Subaru Outback AC compressors that are not turning on. Our thorough inspections identify the root cause and provide effective solutions for optimal performance.

Examine the refrigerant charge to diagnose an AC compressor issue in your Subaru Outback. Ensure that the refrigerant level meets the manufacturer’s specifications. Low refrigerant levels can prevent the AC compressor from turning on. If the refrigerant charge is sufficient, assess the compressor clutch. Check if it engages and disengages properly when the AC is turned on and off. A faulty clutch may prevent the compressor from functioning. Additionally, inspect the AC components for any visible damage. Look for leaks, loose connections, or worn-out belts that could impact the compressor’s functionality. If any damage is detected, repairs or replacements might be necessary.

When To Seek Professional Help

Subaru Outback owners experiencing issues with their AC compressors should consider seeking professional help if the problem persists after attempting DIY fixes. While trying and fixing the issue yourself may be tempting, specialized equipment is often required to diagnose and repair AC compressor problems accurately.

Attempting to fix the issue without the necessary tools and expertise can lead to misdiagnosing the problem, further damaging the AC system. Additionally, misdiagnosing the case can be costly, as it may lead to unnecessary repairs or replacement of parts that were not the root cause of the problem.

Therefore, if you have been unsuccessful in resolving the AC compressor issue, it is advisable to consult a professional mechanic or AC specialist with experience working on Subaru Outback vehicles. They will have the necessary knowledge and equipment to accurately diagnose and fix the problem, ensuring your AC system functions properly and efficiently.

Preventive Measures For Future

Routine AC system maintenance prevents issues like the Subaru Outback AC compressor from turning on. Regularly servicing your AC system can help identify and address potential problems before they become major. Here are a few key preventive measures to consider:

  • Early Signs to Watch For: Pay attention to any unusual noises, weak airflow, or inconsistent cooling from your AC system. These may indicate underlying issues that require professional attention.
  • Importance of Professional AC Servicing: Engaging a professional AC technician for regular servicing ensures that your system is thoroughly inspected, cleaned, and optimized for efficient performance. They can also detect and fix any minor faults that may lead to major breakdowns later on.

Frequently Asked Questions For Subaru Outback: Ac Compressor Not Turning On

Faq 1: Why Is The AC compressor In My Subaru Outback Not Turning On?

The AC compressor in your Subaru Outback may not turn on due to a faulty compressor clutch, low refrigerant, a malfunctioning pressure sensor, or issues with the electrical system. It is best to have a professional inspect and diagnose the problem for an accurate solution.

Faq 2: How Can I Troubleshoot The AC Compressor In My Subaru Outback?

To troubleshoot the AC compressor issue, you can start by checking the fuse and relay, ensuring proper refrigerant levels, inspecting the compressor clutch, and testing the pressure sensor. If you are unsure or unable to diagnose the problem, it is recommended to consult a qualified mechanic for assistance.

Faq 3: What Are The Signs Of A Malfunctioning AC Compressor In A Subaru Outback?

Some signs of a malfunctioning AC compressor in a Subaru Outback include weak airflow from the vents, warm air instead of cool air, unusual noises such as grinding or squealing, and an AC system that doesn’t turn on.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is advisable to have your vehicle inspected by a professional technician.


If your Subaru Outback‘s AC compressor is not turning on, it is crucial to address the issue promptly. Failing to do so can lead to discomfort during hot weather and potentially affect the performance of other components. Identifying the underlying cause and seeking professional assistance is crucial in resolving this problem.

Remember to perform regular maintenance and inspections to ensure the overall efficiency of your vehicle’s air conditioning system.

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