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AC Primer -- 96 Legacy wagon

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I'm helping a friend with her '96 Legacy Wagon.


The AC Belt had broken off some time ago, and I replaced that. I put my AC Guages on the car and it had only 10 lbs or so of refrigerant in the system.


I had a can of R-134A at the house, so I put gut some more refrigerant in the system -- held the can upside down with the engine not running to hopefully get enough refrigerant in the system to engage the low pressure switch and fill the rest of the way the 'normal' way )being sucked in through low pressure port with the can held upright. This is how I usually get the first can in when I do AC work, so I don't think it should cause issues.


Anyway, the AC system now has 70 lbs of pressure (80f degrees ambient), which I'm thinking should be enough trigger the low pressure switch and engage the clutch.


However, no clutch action. And, hence, no AC.


What's the proper diagnostic approach? is it as simple as jumping the AC low pressure switch wires to engage the clutch, If so, where's the switch, and which wires? There seems to be a bunch or wires leading into the accumulator (dryer) is that the location of the low pressure switch?


Sorry about all the questions and my Subaru ignorance. First time working on this car. My friend needs working AC for when she babysits, although subjection the kids to the quieting effects of heat exhaustion is probably tempting at times.


Also, I saw talk of an AC relay. Where would this bad boy be?


Your wisdom is most appreciated,



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check for power at the ac compressor clutch, then work back from there.


I don't know the exact location of the low pressure switch, but if you follow the larger diameter ac lines coming out of the compressor, thats the low pressure line. just follow it around and you are bound to find the switch eventually.


ac relay is in the underhood fuse box by the battery. the lid should be labeled to indicate what is what.

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