Question about 2002 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

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I have a 2002 C320, and my A/C compressor sometimes doesn't turn on. I have to switch the A/C on and off several times before it turns on, or sometimes it turns on by itself after 30 mins or more. When it's on, the A/C works well and the air is cold. I checked it out at the mechanic with a Star scanner and no error came up.

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There is a possibility that there is not enough gas pressure in the system. The a/c compressor will protect itself by not allowing connection if the pressure is low. When the vehicle has run for a few minutes, and engine compartment gets hot, a/c gas pressure increases, allowing the compressor to turn on. With the engine turned off, test the a/c compressor clutch by applying 12 volts to the contacts. You should hear a click of the clutch engaging, and if not, the clutch is acting erratically.

Posted on Aug 21, 2010

  • mtaleb75 Aug 21, 2010

    The gas pressure is perfectly fine. Once I took it to a workshop when the compressor turned off, and the guy applied a voltage to a wire connected to the compressor, and it didn't turn on.

    He told me only a scanner could identify the problem. That didn't work either!

  • Carlos Jaen Aug 23, 2010

    Dear mtaleb75: Your last comment is really useful. If applying voltage to the compressor didnt make it start, the problem is obvious, simple and cheap: the compressor clutch has stopped working. The clutch is a separate unit from the compressor itself, and it can be replaced without touching the compressor, or losing the freon. These units last a lot longer than compressors, and many a/c workshops salvage them from damaged compressors.

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