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How to Fix an Air Conditioner Relay Switch in a Ford Explorer

by Cayden Conor

The air conditioner relay on a Ford Explorer is located in the relay box near the driver’s-side fender well. The air conditioner uses high-amperage wiring, which could be dangerous if wired into the cab of the Explorer. Instead, the air conditioner uses a relay--a remote switch. The wiring from the air conditioner control switch inside the vehicle carries less than 20 amps and grounds the relay to activate the air compressor. The wiring on the other side of the relay handles about 300 amps.

Step 1

Open the cover of the relay box under the hood of the Ford Explorer by pressing the plastic retainers in and lifting the cover off the relays. The cover of the relay box has a diagram showing which relay is the fan relay.

Step 2

Pull the fan relay out of the box using the pliers.

Insert the new relay, making sure you orient it properly so the “legs” fit into the proper cavities. The relay can only be inserted one way, so do not force it if it will not snap into place.

Items you will need

  • Pliers

About the Author

Cayden Conor has been writing since 1996. She has been published on several websites and in the winter 1996 issue of "QECE." Conor specializes in home and garden, dogs, legal, automotive and business subjects, with years of hands-on experience in these areas. She has an Associate of Science (paralegal) from Manchester Community College and studied computer science, criminology and education at University of Tampa.

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Photo Credits

  • 12 volt relais, relay image by Sascha Zlatkov from