On and off A.C

I have a 2001 Nissan Altima with a few miles on it.(217,734) The A.C. works great while it is on, but it will stop working then start back up. Out of frustration I will turn it off and on until it starts up again. It will run for a little bit then cut out again and I repeat the process. I have switched out the relays and checked the belts, all is well there. What do you think could be the problem?

Most AC systems have a pressure cut-off switch that will turn the compressor off to protect it when the refrigerant pressure gets too low (from leakage).

If you’ve never had the system recharged, your car is about the right age (10 years) to have leaked enough refrigerant for the system to stop working.

Since the pressure switch is an on-off switch, I imagine it’s possible that your system is right on the ragged edge of cut-off pressure. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Recharge with refrigerant and see if that takes care of the problem.

Sounds to me like the AC system needs a refrigerant recharge.

When the refrigerant gets too low (small leak somewhere) the system will shut down automatically to prevent damage to the compressor.

Take the car to a shop that does AC work and let them check it out.

Yup…you need a shot of 134A in your system…you have a slow leak in your system so buy the can that has seal conditioner or leak seal ability. After that your cycling A/C system will work as normal. It is supposed to cycle like that bec of the pressure sensors in the ac system.

You need a ittle shot of refrigerant…which you can do yourself. Auto Zone and the like sell the 134A refrigerant in a can with the correct adapter to hook into you LOW side of your A/C system…then run the car, turn on the ac system and charge it up…when you hear the system stop cycling then you have reached the correct refrig level…right after the cycling stops put a little mor refrig in the system and stop…the can will have a pressure gauge on it…so get it to the proper pressure an stop…bec you can over do it.

which you can do yourself.

Yes. And, no. I have seen newbies blow up their system by overfilling it. That gets really expensive in a hurry. If you don’t know what you are doing, it’s cheaper to pay someone to add some juice.

It could also be a failing clutch. If so, trying to add refrigerant will just make things worse. The problem needs to be properly diagnosed.