AC Compressor Cycle On and Off Every 5 Seconds – Here’s How To Fix It?

If you are annoyed by the irregular AC compressor cycle of your car, this article would be a helpful read.

In cars, there are two types of AC systems: Expansion Valve with Receiver/Drier and Fixed Orifice Tube with Accumulator. But poor cooling in either of the AC is equally frustrating. Sometimes staying cool in hot and humid weather becomes a dream when your AC compression is malfunctioning.

If that has led you to question yourself about the AC compressor cycle on and off every 5 seconds you’ve landed on the right page.

The malfunctioning of a cycle means there is something wrong with it. Therefore, first, we shall figure out the reasons for AC compressor Cycle on and off every 5 seconds. Read on.

Reasons Why Compressor Cycle On and Off Every 5 Seconds

Why Compressor Cycle On and Off Every 5 Seconds

One of the common reasons for the AC compressor cycle being on and off is the poor pressure in the refrigerant. Both too much low and too much higher pressure within the refrigerant would cause the breakage in the AC compressor cycle.

For proper working, specific pressure should be under observation. Keep an eye on the pressure readings and their level. However, there are a few common reasons that prevent an AC compressor from working seamlessly. Let’s know one by one.


Leakage is one of the first things that may result in an AC compressor being on and off every 5 seconds. Try to solve this issue as soon as possible. If there is leakage while driving, find out if it’s from the AC system or somewhere else.

Generally, the AC compressor cycle is between 4-10 seconds after 15-20 seconds on average. Continuous leakage also results in further damage and wearing of the rubber parts.

Overheating of the engine

The overheating of the engine and hiked-up temperature can be the reason why the AC cycle is failing to maintain its cycles. Although engine overheating is not directly linked to the AC compressor when the air temperature gets hotter and that is why you will feel hot air from the AC vents. It would make the AC cycle turn on and off after a few seconds.

Also Read: Common Problems after Engine Replacement

Poor Refrigerant Charge

Poor charging of any gear is a BIG NO for its seamless working. For AC compressors being on and off after every 5 seconds the poor refrigerator charging can be another reason. 

If you don’t recharge it after a specific time it’s very obvious why it loses the performance during its performance. Also, if you overcharge, it will cause the AC system to continue cycling on and off every second.

Blockage in the expansion valve

If the expansion valve in the car is clogged, the AC cycle would have a hard time maintaining the coolness. The AC will not perform seamlessly if the ventilation is disturbed or clogged.

The result would be excessive temperature and overheating of the compressor.

In order to keep the AC compressor working fine, keep the impurities and dirt clean. There should not be any blockage in the valve.

Vandalize compressor clutch

The damaged and reshaped clutch in the AC system will not be able to operate the right way. So when it’s not in its original position and shape, it will cause the AC cycle to be on and off after every few seconds. 

The broken or damaged clutch will not let the compressor maintain pressure and heat is what you will experience in your car. Simply, replace the broken compressor to solve the problem.

Defective pressure switches

Defective and faulty pressure switches can result in poor ac compressor functionality. The A/C pressure switch is responsible for checking the pressure within the system. It features a diaphragm, a spring, and a switch. So if the switch is either faulty or gets damaged it will result in improper AC compressor cycles. Here’s how you find out whether the switch is faulty or not:

  • First of all, turn on the AC in full-blast mode.
  • Now pick one of the ends of the multimeter’s test and connect it to the wire of the AC pressure switch. And the other end to the ground.
  • Make sure to turn the multimeter to the Ohm setting and start the car by turning on its AC.
  • Now, the multimeter should read zero when the pressure switch is closed and AC is on. If the switch does read something different it indicates the replacement of the switch.

If you are still having a hard time in determining what causes the AC compressor cycle to on and off every second, take it to the professional for the best possible solution.


The AC compressor of the car is vulnerable to get blocked fuel to dirt and other issues like leakage. Therefore, carefully inspect the issue before opting for the replacement of any parts.

In this article we shed light on why the AC cycle is on and off after every 5 seconds. Depending on your car model and other specific parameters, you may come across with a reason we didn’t mention above. So consulting the mechanic always makes a wise move.

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