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Troubleshooting Guide: My Air Conditioner Motor Won't Turn On

Views: 1     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-05-04      Origin: Site

Is your air conditioner not working properly? One of the most common problems is a motor that won't turn on. If your AC motor is not functioning, your air conditioner will not cool your home, and it can cause discomfort, especially during hot summer days. Fortunately, you can troubleshoot the problem and fix it in most cases without professional assistance. In this article, we'll provide you with a step-by-step guide to help you identify and solve the issue.

Understanding the Air Conditioner Motor

Before troubleshooting your AC motor, you need to understand its role and how it works. The air conditioner motor is responsible for providing the necessary power to turn the fan blades that push air through the unit's evaporator coils, which cool the air before it circulates throughout your home. The motor is typically located in the outdoor unit, and it requires a steady flow of electricity to operate.

Common Causes of a Motor That Won't Turn On

There are several reasons why your air conditioner motor won't turn on. The most common ones include:

1. Electrical Issues

If your air conditioner motor isn't receiving power, it won't turn on. The problem could be a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker. Check your electrical panel to see if any of the breakers have tripped, and reset them if necessary.

2. Faulty Capacitor

A capacitor is an essential component that provides the initial boost of energy needed to start the motor. If the capacitor is faulty, the motor won't have the necessary power to start.

3. Defective Motor

Over time, the motor can wear out or become damaged, preventing it from turning on.

4. Dirty or Clogged Air Filter

If your air filter is dirty or clogged, it can cause the motor to overheat and shut down.

How to Troubleshoot a Motor That Won't Turn On

Now that you know some of the common causes of a motor that won't turn on let's look at how to troubleshoot the issue:

1. Check Your Thermostat

The first step in troubleshooting your air conditioner motor is to check your thermostat. Make sure it's set to cool and that the temperature is set lower than the current room temperature.

2. Check the Electrical Panel

If the thermostat is working correctly, check the electrical panel to see if any of the breakers have tripped. Reset them if necessary.

3. Check the Capacitor

If the breaker is not the issue, the next step is to check the capacitor. Turn off the power to your AC unit and use a multimeter to test the capacitor. If it's faulty, you'll need to replace it.

4. Check the Motor

If the capacitor is functioning correctly, but the motor is still not turning on, the next step is to check the motor. Turn off the power to the unit and inspect the motor for any signs of damage or wear. If it's defective, you'll need to replace it.

5. Check the Air Filter

If the motor is still not turning on, the air filter may be the culprit. Check the filter and replace it if it's dirty or clogged.

When to Call a Professional

If you've followed these steps and your air conditioner motor still won't turn on, it's time to call a professional HVAC technician. They can identify the issue and repair or replace any damaged components.


A motor that won't turn on can be frustrating, especially during the hot summer months. By understanding the common causes of the issue and following the troubleshooting steps, you can often fix the problem without professional assistance. Remember to always prioritize safety and turn off the power to your unit before inspecting any components.


  1. What happens if I continue to use my air conditioner with a faulty motor? Continuing to use your air conditioner with a faulty motor can cause further damage to the unit and potentially cause a fire. It's essential to address the issue promptly.

  2. Can I replace the motor myself? While it's possible to replace the motor yourself, it's not recommended, especially if you're not experienced in HVAC repairs. A professional technician has the necessary knowledge and tools to complete the repair safely and correctly.

  3. How often should I replace my air filter? It's recommended to replace your air filter every one to three months, depending on usage and the type of filter.

  4. Can a dirty air filter cause other problems with my air conditioner? Yes, a dirty or clogged air filter can cause various problems, including reduced airflow, increased energy consumption, and system failure.

  5. How can I prevent issues with my air conditioner motor? Regular maintenance, such as cleaning or replacing air filters, checking and cleaning the outdoor unit, and scheduling annual tune-ups, can help prevent issues with your air conditioner motor and prolong the unit's lifespan.

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