Originally Posted by Chris95GC
I meant to say the refrigerant pressure is normal when the compressor is running, and very high when it is off.
from what ave been reading, it may be a bad switch or sensor somewhere, or it may be a clogged orifice tube. any other ideas? how would I check these?
Well, clogged orifice tube means trouble so you want to hope that's not the case. Since the A/C is a sealed system usually the only thing that can clog the tube is metal particles from your compressor.
You've found the switch that's being tripped. That switch is in series with the only other switch in the system, meaning that if another switch was causing the problem, jumping the clutch cycle switch still wouldn't work.
There are only two switches in the system, the clutch cycle switch (on the dryer) and the high pressure cut off switch (on the hard lines just after the compressor).
If the clutch cycle switch was deflective you would be able to tell by jumping it, if the A/C cools as normal that was the issue (or low refrigerant). If it doesn't cool as usually it's most likely not defective.
It's probably best to head on over to Auto AC Forum
and post in there with your symptoms. Again, with out the pressure readings it's mostly guess work.
My guess is, low refrigerant due to a leak. I would assume the leak would be the evaporator core because that's just what seems to happen to these things. I've replaced mine about a year ago. If you put dye in your system, you can usually smell it in the passenger compartment if it's leaking there. Unfortunately you can't see the dye in there because it's all sealed up.
You can always try adding a can of R-134a and see if it kicks back on again, it'll probably last a week, maybe longer.