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Honda CR-V AC Compressor Problems

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Comments

  • berriberri Posts: 4,206
    "Do you expect cars to never break or have problems?"

    Do you expect companies with pretty obvious defective designs to fail to stand up to it?

    This used to be a strong point for Honda. Now they will end up like Toyota down the road losing their ability to get a premium margin on their product. They are both repeating the errors GM made in the past.

    Say Mr. Honda, take a look at some of the more common Honda blogs here. Let's see:

    CRV A/C
    CRV differentials
    V6 transaxles
    VCM oil consumption

    These are all major issues with potentially big dollar repair bills. Maybe some of the new Ford and GM isn't all that bad these days? Keep it up and it may not be all that long before Honda finds itself like Toyota falling in surveys and reviews. Those Toyota sales people never thought it could happen to them either.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,753
    First of all, I officially retired from the car business last month so I really don't have a dog in this fight.

    One day, a couple of years ago, I had a customer tell me that she had heard that CRV's have massive, widespread AC compressor problems.

    Now, granted, I was in sales but because of mhy extensive automotive background I communicated all of the time with the guys in our shop. I immediatly went out and asked the Service Advisors, a few technicians and even our Honda Rep.

    Believe me if you want, but all I got were puzzled looks! Thjey all agreed that they had no idea where the bad press was coming from and they said that, yes, from time to time, on a high mileage CRV, an AC pump could fail but CRV's weren't any better or worse than any other Honda. I believe the CRV shares the same compressor with Accords and Elements.

    A couple of months later, I asked the same question and received the same answer. You have to remember that forums like this one attract the people with problems like a magnet.

    I guess my question is just how long do people expect a A/C compressor to last?

    I don't think a failure at 100,000 miles is a "defective design" Do you?

    As far as the other things you brought up.

    CRV differentials - If the dual pump fluid is changed every 30,000 miles, there won't be a problem. I think the owner's manual should state this instead of the 60K they reccomend.

    V-6 transaxles? do you mean the automatic transmissions?

    Yes, on a few years, especially on Odysseys a higher failure rate than one would expect from a Honda product. Most were fine (if not abused and maintained) but quite a few weren't. to Honda's credit, they went WAY beyond their warranty program to make things right.

    VCM oil consumption - never heard of this.

    My only point is ANY car will wear out and have problems from time to time. People expect Hondas to be perfect and run forever and when they fall short, it's a bIG deal!

    " Maybe some of the new Ford and GM isn't all that bad these days"

    Maybe...I guess time will tell. I give a lot of credit to Ford for the progress they have made. GM doesn't impress me.

    Lastly, you are dead right! Honda can't rest on their laurels. There is intense competition out there and they have to stay on top of their game.
  • gctbgctb Posts: 3
    update 2007 CRV, Honda does not stock the parts to fix the 2007 CRV AC issues, so I cannot fix my car. Buyer Beware of HONDA, no support, no parts, no call backs. I thought auto companies must supply parts by law for 15 years, NOT HONDA, DOT BUY HONDA. I have rported this issue to BBB, Consumer affairs and fox news. Honda 800-999-1009 ex 117742 good luck they could care less until the layers come out to play!
  • berriberri Posts: 4,206
    Congratulations on your retirement. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

    I agree that after 100K it should normally be the buyers nickel. Problem is that most of these posts on CRV A/C are below 100K. I think Honda is making a mistake on this matter. As a Honda owner, I'm also a bit troubled by the apparent inconsistent response Honda is giving customers on this issue. Honda customer focus was a big driver in why I purchased and paid a premium for the two I own.

    There are blogs on the oil consumption problem. Seems to be latter model Odys.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,753
    Not too long ago, it was unheard of for a car to go 100,000 miles without major work being done. I guess now it's expected that a car should be trouble free for at least that long.

    I honestly believe that these AC problems are being hugely overblown in forums like this.

    Life isn't always fair. If the A/C blows in our CRV, I sure won't be happy but I won't wring my hands and blame Honda.

    As far as being consistant, I know Honda bends over backwards for loyal customers. If a person takes theirHonda to Quickie Lubes and skips reccommended services they won't be as receptive as they would be for a loyal customer who uses their dealer and as a result has complete records of taking good care of theri car.

    I don't blame them for that. It's just smart to take care of loyal customers in any business!

    I have watched Honda time after time go way beyond what they have to do to keep a customer happy.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,753
    There is no "law" about how long a car manufacturer has to stock parts and you are dead wrong to state that Honda doesn't stock parts for a three year old CRV.

    Did you mean a 1997?
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,866
    The last time I looked into the parts issue (several years ago now), there were some warranty regulations floating around that indicated that a car manufacturer would have to stock necessary parts in order to service warranty claims. Never found anything more than that.

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  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,239
    It could be worse... If you had a 2003-2005 Land Rover Freelander, you can't even get engine replacements..

    It turns out... most of them need one, eventually.... :surprise:

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,753
    As troublesome as Land Rovers are, NOTHING is worse than a Freelander!

    Didn't know that about the engines. I guess a bad engine would total the car?
  • macawpamacawpa Posts: 3
    We are not talking merely one component failure here. We are talking about one or more component failure(s) I believe in most if not all instances that results in the entire AC System having to be replaced.
    I for one, had no serious complaint about compressor failure at 68,000 miles on my CRV. I also told my Service Advisor that if the problem went no further, proceed with compressor replacement. I was called back and told metal shavings were in entire AC system, all having to be replaced at a cost of $4,500 to which I said 'No'. Enough said?
    I had to take up the fight with Honda America. I will have had my car in the shop for 12 days (update - won't be done until Monday now). I was offered no loaner or courtesy car. Service Advisor at the dealer told me there is no Service Bulletin which is wrong whether they lied or did not know as there is. I work for a company that imports products from our factory in Japan for resale to a ginormous customer here in the U.S. Have we encountered defective components? - yes. Have we corrected problem immediately upon recognition at no cost to the customer? - yes. Is that being done here? - no. The posts date back to at least 2007. Honda America did take care of me with this car and instance of issue to my satisfaction. I had hoped to keep this CRV for several years yet but now will always fear reoccurence of issue and will likely sell within a year or two.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,753
    I don't blame you for being unhappy. I would be too although 4500.00 sounds absoultly NUTS for a repair like that.

    Wnen ANY A/C compressor fails internally, metal fragments can go through thje system. I don't think the entire system would need to be replaced but as a precaution they probably don't want to take the chance.

    I remember back when I ran a large shop, it seemed that every time I tried to save a customer money it would backfire and I would end up eating a job.

    shops get hardened in that manner. People don'[t remember that the shop tried to save them money. Thye just know the job went bad.

    I don't know...I don't know that I would call an A/C compressor that lasted 68,000 miles as being "defective".
  • macawpamacawpa Posts: 3
    Simply the failure of the component is not my issue. It is the symptom of the failure - metal shavings contaminating the whole A/C system resulting in exhorbitant repair bill. I saw the shavings myself within line and filter. I have encountered previous instances of simple compressor failure with no extenuating symptoms and proceeded with repair at a reasonable cost.
    Thanks WZLY99 for posting Service Bulletin Link !
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,866
    Oh c'mon Isell. 68,000 miles is barely broken in for any car component. This isn't the 60's anymore when we all dumped cars when they turned three years old.

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,753
    edited July 2010
    My point was that when an A/C compressor fails internally it'll blow metal particles throughout the system. This is true of ANY car or even a home unit.

    If it just loses a bearing or quits pumping this probably won't happen.

    I just don't believe the enrire system would need to be replaced.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,753
    Steve, I believe it's matter of averages.

    Let's suppose the AVERAGE A/c compressor is good for 140,000 miles.

    Some will fail at 250,000 miles and on the other end, a few may fail at 65,000 miles.

    It's just life, luck and the hand we are dealt.

    If a person drives 300,000 miles and never replaces a compressor, they don't come here and express their happiness but when it fails before they think it should then it becomes a real problem and a "defective" part.

    Hondas aren't unique to this problem. this can happen to any car that has air conditioning.

    And, you're right. In the 60's most cars were shot around 80,000 miles but people expected them to be. Now, we expect our cars to last forever!
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,866
    Let's suppose the AVERAGE A/c compressor is good for 140,000 miles.

    Don't say that - I just rolled over 141k on my van and the hot weather really isn't here yet. :D

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,753
    OK, let's make that 240,000 miles! :)
  • berriberri Posts: 4,206
    "Let's suppose the AVERAGE A/c compressor is good for 140,000 miles.

    Some will fail at 250,000 miles and on the other end, a few may fail at 65,000 miles.

    It's just life, luck and the hand we are dealt."

    In today's ISO world of quality control, that by definition would be a bad design. It is not the 60's and quality should be much more consistent than that. In fact +/- 10% is generally no longer considered anywhere near "acceptable quality" in today's manufacturing world.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    In fact +/- 10% is generally no longer considered anywhere near "acceptable quality" in today's manufacturing world.

    The problem is that the amount of use, abuse and driver habits impose +/- 50% or more on wear and tear characteristics. Theoretically, I suppose you could get to +/- 10% in the real world but I don't think most would be willing to pay the price. :)

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  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,271
    Honda's past reputation was built on the idea that their manufacturing had very little room for deviation from the mean. The cars, no matter what you thought of the design, were built of parts precisely manufacturered. People even seemed to accept that as still true through the transmissions and failed more frequently.

    There's absolutely no way owners should accept that the AC compressor designed, built, and installed by Honda is anything less.

    That Honda has had a failure rate on these and didn't change the design or engineering, is bad. Charging customers an outrageous cost for parts is also bad, even out of warranty. Honda should be replacing these at a nominal cost to the end customer.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,239
    But, when I sold my '02 CR-V in 2008.... the chances of a $3000 repair bill were part of my motivation..

    CR-V compressor failures are not happening at any sort of "normal" rate.. My CR-V gave me 6.5 years and 106K miles of exceptional service.. but, I thought it was time to take my money off the table.. (great resale value was another bonus!).

    If you read this forum, and you've already replaced your compressor once... then, I'm not sure why you are holding on to your vehicle... As the affected cars get older and older, Honda will be much less likely to assist in the repair costs, as you can see by reading back a few years (whether that seems fair or not).

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,753
    Except Honda didn't design or build those A/C compressors. They buy them from a quality company that builds them. That same company builds compressors for other makes and models too.

    I contend that the failure rates aren't any higher than any other cars they were installed on. W don't hear complaints about Accords and Elements and they use the same compressors.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,239
    I contend that the failure rates aren't any higher than any other cars they were installed on.

    don't hear complaints about Accords and Elements and they use the same compressors.


    These two consecutive statements seem contradictory to me... Or, at least, the second one doesn't support the first one... :confuse:

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,753
    OK, I'll try to clarify it.

    From everything I hear, CRV's do not have a higher failure rate than any other Honda. They really don't fail very often.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,206
    "The problem is that the amount of use, abuse and driver habits impose +/- 50% or more on wear and tear characteristics."

    I agree with you that driver traits and habits can impact the drive train, but A/C - all you do is turn it on or off, so how does driving habits affect this? If Isell is correct and other vehicles using the same unit aren't having problems, then it seems to me that two good engineering departments, Honda and Denso, ought to be able to isolate what differences or modifications are peculiar to the CRV, or its A/C installation and solve it. And I also agree with another post that Honda should lean on its dealers to stop the price gouging on this issue.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,753
    edited July 2010
    I don't want to sound like a broken record here but CRV's DO NOT have a higher A/C compressor failure rate than other Hondas according to several techs and Service Advisors and our local Honda Rep.

    I just got back from having our 2003 CRV smog tested and now even I'm nervous about losing my A/C! Not really.

    Yes, it passed! The guy who tested it said..." It's a Honda. They always pass!"

    As far as costs, I agree. Shop labor rates start at over 100.00/hr. now and the parts are expensive. I was in so. Calif with a buddy last month. His Mercedes needed a headlight bulb replaced...309.00 at the dealer!

    It took a Xexon bulb and the labor rate was 160.00/hr.!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,753
    Except, a person in Phoenix is going to use their A/C a whole lot more than I am in Seattle!
  • wzly99wzly99 Posts: 6
    "I don't want to sound like a broken record here but CRV's DO NOT have a higher A/C compressor failure rate than other Hondas according to several techs and Service Advisors and our local Honda Rep."

    I obviously don't have access to the numbers regarding what percentage of '02-'04 CR-Vs have this type of catastrophic A/C failure (I wish I did!!!), and I doubt Honda would be keen to release those data. But I find it difficult to imagine that owners of Accords, Elements and Civics would be any less prone to complaining/discussing $3000+ A/C system replacements online than CR-V owners. I would also venture to guess that there were more Civics and Accords sold during those years than CR-Vs. In a quick Google search for "A/C compressor problems" for any of those other models I don't see a single hit describing this type of failure, i.e., compressor seizes and sends debris throughout entire A/C system necessitating a complete system replacement. At the very least, there are not multiple threads on multiple different auto-related forums with several hundred (or more) posts over the last five years.

    Perhaps, as I think others have hypothesized, it is not a design/manufacturing flaw in the compressor itself, but the way it is designed or installed within the CR-V specifically that makes it prone to failure. Whatever the cause is, I find it extremely hard to believe that "...CRV's DO NOT have a higher A/C compressor failure rate than other Hondas..." Or at least, if the overall failure rate is comparable to other Hondas, the type of failure (and associated expense!) for the CR-V appears to be a clear outlier.

    If anyone (including Honda) can provide actual data that suggest otherwise, I'll happily eat my words. And perhaps not try to sell my '04 CR-V as soon as possible.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,206
    CRV has black dots in Consumer reports for their 2002-04 A/C. The Honda shop I use says they see more A/C issues on these than other vehicles. I'm thinking Honda cut back on customer support because it was getting too expensive.

    I was just out in the Emerald City and then Portland. Nice area although it gets rather cloudy and wet in winter. I expect you hit the defrost which turns on the A/C more than you realize.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,753
    edited July 2010
    I just know what the guys in the shop told me and they would have no reason to lie about it. If I open the hood on a CRV and then an Element and then an Accord 4 cyl, the layout looks the same.

    In "problems" forums there is always a dogpile effect. If several people started complaining about compressor failures in Accords I think you would see a lot of "me too" postings.

    So, out of fear, you sell your perfectly good CRV. Then what? What would you buy then and how would you not know that that car would show up in a "problems" forum as being besiged by some horrible malady?

    Be very glad you bought a CRV. Few cars, if any, have the great resale value they have. Just think if you had bought a domestic or a Korean car instead that you felt compelled to sell out of fear?

    I do wish you well...seriously.
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