Jeep Cherokee (XJ): Compressor clutch. Compressor clutch relay. Condenser

Compressor clutch


The compressor clutch assembly consists of a stationary electromagnetic coil, a hub bearing and pulley assembly, and a clutch plate (Fig. 2). The electromagnetic coil unit and the hub bearing and pulley assembly are each retained on the nose of the compressor front housing with snap rings. The clutch plate is keyed to the compressor shaft and secured with a nut. These components provide the means to engage and disengage the compressor from the engine serpentine accessory drive belt.

Fig. 2 Compressor Clutch - Typical
Fig. 2 Compressor Clutch - Typical

4 - COIL


When the clutch coil is energized, it magnetically draws the clutch into contact with the pulley and drives the compressor shaft. When the coil is not energized, the pulley freewheels on the clutch hub bearing, which is part of the pulley. The compressor clutch and coil are the only serviced parts on the compressor.

The compressor clutch engagement is controlled by several components: the heater-A/C mode control switch, the low pressure cycling clutch switch, the high pressure cut-off switch, the compressor clutch relay, and the Powertrain Control Module (PCM).

The PCM may delay compressor clutch engagement for up to thirty seconds. Refer to Group 14 - Fuel System for more information on the PCM controls.

Compressor clutch relay


The compressor clutch relay is a International Standards Organization (ISO) micro-relay. The terminal designations and functions are the same as a conventional ISO relay. However, the micro-relay terminal orientation (footprint) is different, the current capacity is lower, and the relay case dimensions are smaller than those of the conventional ISO relay.

The compressor clutch relay is located in the Power Distribution Center (PDC) in the engine compartment.

Refer to the PDC label for relay identification and location.


The compressor clutch relay is a electromechanical device that switches battery current to the compressor clutch coil when the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) grounds the coil side of the relay. The PCM responds to inputs from the heater-A/C mode control switch, the low pressure cycling clutch switch, and the high pressure cut-off switch. See Compressor Clutch Relay in the Diagnosis and Testing section of this group for more information.

The compressor clutch relay cannot be repaired and, if faulty or damaged, it must be replaced.



The condenser is located in the air flow in front of the engine cooling radiator. The condenser is a heat exchanger that allows the high-pressure refrigerant gas being discharged by the compressor to give up its heat to the air passing over the condenser fins.


When the refrigerant gas gives up its heat, it condenses.

When the refrigerant leaves the condenser, it has become a high-pressure liquid refrigerant. The volume of air flowing over the condenser fins is critical to the proper cooling performance of the air conditioning system. Therefore, it is important that there are no objects placed in front of the radiator grille openings in the front of the vehicle or foreign material on the condenser fins that might obstruct proper air flow. Also, any factory-installed air seals or shrouds must be properly reinstalled following radiator or condenser service.

The condenser cannot be repaired and, if faulty or damaged, it must be replaced.

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