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Dodge Ram 1500 A/C Compressor Clutches

The A/C compressor clutch is a significant part of the Ram A/C system. When the power builds up in the clutch, it turns the compressor. If the Dodge Ram 1500 A/C compressor clutch isnt working correctly, other parts will not engage.

How does the Dodge A/C compressor clutch work?

Magnetics control the clutch. When the electromagnet is turned on, it creates a magnetic field. Both the air conditioning rotor and the fan belt rotor are made of iron, so the magnetic field pulls them toward each other. The friction build-up between the two makes the air conditioner rotor in the truck turn.

What are the symptoms of a failing A/C clutch?

Aside from hoses, the clutch has the next highest rate of failure in the A/C system. Observation and examination of the vehicles clutch can be helpful in diagnosing problems. This can also help determine whether it falls under warranty consideration. The most frequent Ram 1500 clutch-related failures include:

  • Burnt hub, pulley and/or coil: Inadequate coil voltage can cause overheating, and the loss of lubrication under high pressure will cause the clutch to slip. The high temperatures that ensue will quickly destroy the truck clutch.
  • Bearing failure: This is a major problem. The bearing itself is never the culprit. If there is a system failure, the heat build-up will cause the bearing parts to melt.
  • Misaligned belt or use of the wrong clutch: The Ram clutch can fail if your trucks pulley is misaligned or if the clutch is mounted improperly. Sometimes, misalignment can be traced to a cracked hose, bad switch, blower motor or loose mount bracket on your truck. Excessive wear is an indication.
  • Faulty lead wire: If the wire that leads to the field coil is faulty, the clutch will fail. In most cases, this can be seen during installation or during a clutch build.

How do you inspect an A/C compressor clutch?

A simple inspection of the Ram 1500 clutch could identify leaks and other problems with the clutch. For example, there can be refrigerant leaks and oil leaks that could cause the clutch to slip.Start up the Rams engine and turn on the A/C. If the compressor doesnt engage, turn off the Rams engine and disengage the power wire to the clutch. If applying 12 volts to the terminal doesnt build up power, the ground resistance and coil resistance should be checked. If the clutch finally engages and gives off a loud noise, there is a good chance the vehicles rotor or hub should be replaced. Replacement parts can be found at a certified Dodge Ram dealer.