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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my ac compressor clutch always appears engaged, even with the ac off. I was told that I have an internal clutch, which is why it appears engaged from the outside. Is there any truth to this or is the compressor bad? I can’t find any related info on the forum or web, and I’m trying to diagnose my failing ac at idle.

2012 optima ex 2.4L
 

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2011 Kia Optima
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Assume your speaking of the 2011 and newer, but there is no clutch, internal nor external, but there is an electronic control valve at the rear of the compressor and in layman's terms, it's job is to increase/decrease piston displacement depending on demand. As you have found, the a/c internals are turning all the time, even when the a/c is off.

Want more info look up variable displacement compressor as there are some unique features not found on the external clutch compressor.
 

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So my ac compressor clutch always appears engaged, even with the ac off. I was told that I have an internal clutch, which is why it appears engaged from the outside. Is there any truth to this or is the compressor bad? I can’t find any related info on the forum or web, and I’m trying to diagnose my failing ac at idle.

2012 optima ex 2.4L
I have a 2012 optima ex as well and it also appears to be engaged which sounds like is normal. I am having cooling issues and went through all the fuses and they were all good, so I am assuming maybe a recharge in order. I did find that the low pressure fill connector appears smaller than the male connectors on american made. question is, Is that because it's an R-134a AC system?
 

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2011 Kia Optima
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I have a 2012 optima ex as well and it also appears to be engaged which sounds like is normal. I am having cooling issues and went through all the fuses and they were all good, so I am assuming maybe a recharge in order. I did find that the low pressure fill connector appears smaller than the male connectors on american made. question is, Is that because it's an R-134a AC system?
Check the pressures first, but 99% of the time the problem is the electronic control valve at the rear side of the compressor.
When the valve starts to go south, cooling is delayed at startup, maybe a few minutes to sometimes 15 minutes or longer, no cold air at idle, no air at all, etc, but when it works cold as could be. If the valve is the problem, most shops want to replace the entire compressor, but just the valve can be replaced. However, whether replacing the valve or complete compressor, the system needs to be discharged, part installed, evacuated then charged.
The service valves are different between R-12 & R-134a.
 
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