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Honda Odyssey Grille Insert

stickguystickguy Posts: 14,161
this is a big topic of discussion on the "other" Ody board. There have been a few people that have had the same problem with th condensor getting popped. Frankly, if you look at the design, the delicate AC peieces are very exposed to rocks or debris getting kicked up. IMO, Honda should have made some provision for protection.

A number of posters did a home made solution using gutter guard or other screening. There is also a company the makes a custom billet aluminum grill ti fill in the lower opening. Looks pretty sharp. I think the company is called "rm. grille", or something close to that.

of course, there is no definitive answer about blocking airflow, but I guess if the temp doesn't rise, and the AC stays cold, shouldn't be a problem. besides, you can sit parked with the AC on without a problem, and there sure ain't no airflow then!

2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

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Comments

  • cknappcknapp Posts: 3
    I picked up a roll of "Gutter Guard" nylon mesh at Home Depot, in the gutters/building materials department. This is about 5" wide. Once attached (as described below), the only rocks that will damage your condenser will be huge ones that will also damage the whole lower grille.

    I cut a strip about 40" in length (32" opening plus 2-4" on each side). You feed this through the opening in the lower grille. Then, I took some small black cable ties, bent them till they held about a 60 degree bend, then reached in behing the mesh and fed the cable ties through the mesh, wrapping them around the black plastic uprigths of the grille. You'll need someone with small hands to do this! Idea: hire some teen car nut in your neighborhood to do the work if you can't.

    The total cost was about $4 for the mesh and a few cable ties. It will take you about an hour. I spent at least an extra half hour on figuring out if there were other, easier ways of reaching behind the front grille (answer: not without taking apart many black plastic fasteners).

    I had considered the Mr. Grille lower grille (about $85 with shipping at eBay Motors, or a little higher at mrgrille.com). I decided I did not want such a big piece out on the front side of the grille, even if I spray painted black the brushed aluminum bars.

    Bottom line: getting piece of mind can be cheap and quick.
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    Being creative is the name of the game!

    Congrats!

    I did the same for all 5 of my family vehicles - have been doing so for the past 25 years of car ownership. All insects and stones are blocked - never had a problem.

    It saves you money as well.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    LOL...some of you Ody owners are to funny. Having to use "gutter guard" and old window screens to protect your vehicles vital components. And, you're STILL happy about it. :confuse:
    Some say you are passionate about your vehicles...but another word could be obsessed. ;) Still...I admire your loyalty.
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    Preventive measures(like PM) taken early reduces the likelihood of later catastrophic occurences. These are independent of the make of vehicles.

    Our 5 family vehicles(Maxima, CTS-V, Ody, Lincoln, Accord) are all so equipped to deal better with whatever mother nature(including flying stones) throws at them.

    I call it not leaving home without "protection', NOT the latex rubber kind that comes first to your mind! :)
  • pallidinpallidin Posts: 7
    I have been on the webb looking for the Odyssey condenser protector at both Ebay Motors and MrGrille but could not find anything that looked like it would protect that lower area of the grill. Could you please post the actual URL's. Thanks
  • avarkeyavarkey Posts: 15
    Where exactly is the opening in the lower grille to feed the gutter guard ? Is it on the left/right/top or bottom side of the grille ?
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    Access to the lower grill is by removing the upper grille. Probably not necessary, but if you're paranoid it's not hard or expensive to do. I drive a lot of gravel roads and generally end up making some kind of mod to all my vehicles to handle this stuff. I have a steel plate under my VW diesel so I can bounce off of rocks, deer, whatever happens to be in the road....

    Had a DC owner come up to me at the gas station the other day and asking a million questions about my ody. I'm not that enthusiastic about a minivan, but he sure seemed to be chomping to get into a new Ody. I've got relatives with DC vans and they seem to be pretty good. I don't want one, at least not in the current well worn design.
  • jjtrindcjjtrindc Posts: 24
    Yikes, sorry to hear that this has happened once again. I would print out all the threads on this. If you want more info, email me and I will point you to others. I strongly urge you to open a case file with Honda USA and show them all the documentation. They may not do anything now, but if enough people complain then perhaps they will make it right down the road. In the meantime, you may want to consider getting the Mr. Grille or some other type of protection so it doesn't happen again!
  • ichafatichafat Posts: 5
    I installed a Mr Grille insert on my new 2005 Ody after reading about the all too common AC compressor leaks. I think it improves the looks of the front end significantly. When I took the Ody in for XM radio installation, the service technician wanted to know I got it because they have seen two or three Odys with this problem.
  • rsblaskirsblaski Posts: 68
    It is really a shame that this problem exists.
    We had our '05 Ody Touring for about 4-5 weeks when our condensor caught a stone. Our dealer, Desert Honda in Las Vegas, not only repaired it, but provided a rental (free of charge) for the two days it took to get one and istall it.
    I was never told this was not a warranty issue until I picked it up and the service writer told me the dealer picked up the repair cost in the spirit of good customer relations.
    We just got back from a six thousand + mile adventure, and thanks to jjtrindc, I had ordered a Mr. Grille product before we left. They sent the product to a friend's house in Wisconsin which was our first stop.
    We had a little trouble getting the ends secured (I don't think the radius was sufficient) but after lots of grunts finally got it tied down.
    My thought is that for $90, I get lifetime insurance against an $800 repair bill.
    Once again, thanks to jjrindc for pointing me in the direction of Mr. Grille. :shades:
  • odytkoodytko Posts: 3
    I'm sorry you are having this experience. We've had a tough time working with corporate Honda on a different issue (shimmy at 65-75 mph). How did you know that you had a leak in your AC compressor? We hit road debris last week and are leaking a lot of fluid. The fan is a lot lounder and cycles more now. Thanks.
  • glutz1glutz1 Posts: 20
    Be/c the refrigerant is allowed to leak out of the system as a result of the hole, the AC stops working, so you'll know if you also experience this prob.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    And I will get one if I get a new 2006 Odyssey EX. ;) ...unless Honda has changed either the lower grille of the Odyssey or the location of the Air Conditioning Condenser.

    http://mrgrille.com/MrGrille-Honda-Oddyssey-Page.html
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Really Spiffy!!!!!!! Just need to be careful about getting enough air flow for cooling.
  • Hi all. I'm new here. I'm in the process of purchasing an '05 Odyssey EX-L.

    I was wondering if someone could tell me what the heck is with the condenser/rock chip issue & why people are buying the extra grilles? Is this a problem only for people who travel on dirt/gravel roads? Or is it a common problem for people who drive in the city on paved roads?

    Also, what is the best cargo liner for the rear (3rd row down) area? Is the Honda one best? What about Weathertech???

    TIA!!!!
  • rsblaskirsblaski Posts: 68
    I was lucky in one sense.
    I had my 05 Touring for about a month when I noticed I wasn't getting any cool air.
    I took it into the dealer, Desert Honda, Las Vegas and they provided me with a free loaner.
    They called two days later and told me the car was ready. When I went in to pick it up, the service writer told me that a rock had cracked the a/c condenser. He said that it was an $800 repair that was not covered under warranty, but in the interest of customer relations, the dealership was picking up the tab. :blush:
    I then read about protective lower grilles, but could not find any for the '05.
    I then read a message on this board regarding Mr. Grille.
    Before leaving on a long trip, I ordered one and with the help of a friend got it installed.
    For less than $100, I am now assured that I won't get "hit" with an $800 condenser replacement.
    By the way, I have no idea where or when the condenser got hit, although I don't remember using any dirt/gravel roads.
  • socalawdsocalawd Posts: 542
    Man that thing looks Boss. I want one you know I gotta protect my A/C. At least that's what I'm telling the wife!! ;)
  • Thanks!

    Someone on another forum suggested I try heavy duty mesh behind the existing grill and air vent, so I think I'll try that to start. If I can see it, though, I'll definitely go with the Mr. Grill look. Thanks for your perspective.

    :)
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,597
    Granted, these forums are a magnet for people with problems. Someone will talk about some freak thing that happened and pretty soon, two more people will chime in...:"Me Too".

    When I first read about this A/C "problem", I made an effort of getting down and looking under the front of a new Odyssey to see what the exposure of this A/C part is. Yes, I can see how a flying rock or debris could break that metal line. I think it would take a VERY hard hit at just the right angle though.

    But, after looking at a lot of other Hondas and non-hondas, they too have the potential fot this to happen.

    Anything ***can*** happen to any car. I just think this would be such an oddball, remote thing it wouldn't be worth even thinking about.

    UNLESS...you happen to live in an area with lots of rocks on the road or you drive on gravel roads. If you like to tailgate at high speeds, you would also greatly increase the chances of this happening.

    In another forum someone mentioned a company called, I think called Mr. Grill who sells aftermarket screens. If someone is concerned that may be the thing to do or else, jury rig something yourself as others have done.

    I do think if Honda Corporate is reading this they might want to have someone think about re-routing the lines maybe.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,161
    Yes, the opening is very exposed. It is a crap shoot, but for some reason, the ody seems to be susceptible to damage to the condensor line.

    On the other thread, there are at least 6 people who ahave posted (in addition to the edmunds-only ones) with the same problem, one of whom is actually a Honda service writer!

    Mr grille is a hot item. I believe it is about $85. It actually looks pretty sharp, and makes a noticeable difference to the front end (it's billet aluminum).

    Others have done a budget fix using various gutter guard materials and zip ties for about $3 that also looks fine, certainly better than the gaping opening that comes standard. The hardest part is taking off the upper grill so you can get behind the lower one.

    To me, if we know about 10 instances (from the forums) there have to be more. ANd it is a big deal since dealers claim it isn't warranty, and $650 - $850 to fix the AC on a nearly new van is a nasty big chunk of change.

    Not a good design. If Honda had just but a tighter grid or some sort of honeycomb down there, we wouldn't be having this discussion!

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

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