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Honda CR-V AC Compressor Problems

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Comments

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,778
    You sure seem to anger quickly but you are absoultly correct.

    You were NOT the poster who said losing an AC pump could cause a car to go into a skid and somehow I didn't read your other post.

    I wasn't putting words into your mouth, I simply responded to the wrong poster and for that, I apologize.

    Still such anger?

    Your other post definatly cleared things up and I don't know how I missed it.

    If a compressor fails, it **can** fail suddenly and without warning but in most cases a failing compressor will give warning. They will usually make a lot of noise fefore they sieze.

    But if it were to suddenly sieze it could snap the belt and result in a loss of power steering. Highly unlikely put I guess someone who was unable to react to the loss of power assist could have a problem.

    But, this would be true with any make and model of car.

    Sorry for the confusion. It wasn't intentional.
  • crvdude1crvdude1 Posts: 47
    Honda has a website to share your experiences of your Honda automobile.

    http://automobiles.honda.com/mile-makers/submission.aspx

    Here you go! You can show off the exploded a/c compressor.
  • tapone1tapone1 Posts: 8
    Faxed the one dealer that looked at my car (closer to home) my service history from the dealer closer to my work. Not holding out too much hope as yesterday the service mgr hinted that it may be "a couple hundred bucks".

    I understand that no car company is going to be perfect, I just happen to like the Subaru more than any car out there....until I drove a TSX at lunch.

    Saga continues...
  • smalltalksmalltalk Posts: 5
    I have a new ac compressor and brakes. today I started the suv and the brake light came on, door locks stopped working and ac blowing hot air. what could be the problem?
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,811
    "b) I have actually re-programmed the de-fogger to have manual over ride over the compressor engagement. Simply because A/C is not always needed. Winter air is usually dried by the formation of snow crystals."

    Just wondering, but on my 2003 the "de-programming" actually just turned off the AC light, not the compressor. Was that changed for the Gen 3?
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,811
    "I have a new ac compressor and brakes. today I started the suv and the brake light came on, door locks stopped working and ac blowing hot air. what could be the problem? "

    Well, most repairs carry a 1 year warranty, so if it is your A/C compressor blowing up, make sure they fix the entire system, not just replace the compressor.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,778
    edited July 2010
    It sounds like an electrical problem that probably doesn't have anything to do with the A/C compressor and certainly not the brakes.

    It could be something simple to track down and fix.
  • beyondoilbeyondoil Posts: 15
    Why don't you check all the fuses. Maybe there's a fuse for the fan that also works with the door locks but I don't think so.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,794
    Really? On my '02, it turned off the light and the compressor.... Did you close your eyes and click your heels together, three times? ;)

    I used this method: A/C and Defroster programming

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • tapone1tapone1 Posts: 8
    edited August 2010
    American Honda to the rescue! Still more money than I care to put into the car, but they made a nice offer. Considered it, then decided to trade the CRV in anyways. Spent the afternoon at the Subaru dealership and finally decided on a price...only to find out that their inventory system was screwed up and guess what?!?! They sold the car I just "bought" two days ago!!! Their Subaru inventory lot was over a mile a way (and yes, I would have completely checked out the car including driving it before I did the final signature for it). Looks like I getting the CRV fixed since my new car bug was killed! Besides, I have to let the Honda dealership know on Monday, and with the Legacys selling as well as they are, there simply is no comparable car in inventory in my local area.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    Hey, ya gotta believe in fate, eh? Must not have meant to be, and you have TONS more moola left in your pocket and likely tons more life left in your CRV. Might as well be you that benefits from it :)
  • My compressor on my '02 failed at 44,000 miles back in '06. I do believe this is a safety issue because when my AC failed a part went flying off the car in the middle of traffic. I think it was the AC clutch. Yes, parts fail....but how many people have them just fall off a 3-year-old vehicle while driving down the street? I have seen others posting on the net with the same experience. This is a hazard and not your normal part failure. Along with the loss of the defogger, I do think it is a safety concern.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,778
    Things tend to work out for the best.

    Subarus are good cars but they have had more than their share of problems.
  • belacquabelacqua Posts: 15
    The first dealership that looked at my '02 CR-V (88,000 mi.) said the problem was the entire A/C system, no help from American Honda, and $3,000 to fix, and it took them a week to call me back and tell me. (But I didn't pay that $100 for them to assess the system ; I may have just walked out.)

    The second dealership that looked at my car said it wasn't the whole system that was contaminated, but to fix it is $2,000. No help from American Honda this time either--although I have a '97 Honda Civic with over 300,000 miles AND I bought a new Honda Element EX. The optimist would say I saved $1,000. :) The pessimist would say, I spent $23,000 (that includes the $2,000 repair.) :( I think I may have the CR-V already sold.

    This has been one big headache, but I do love the new Element, and I believe I got an exceptional deal on the Element EX. I still will write some letters to American Honda and the 1st dealership :P ; they haven't heard the last from me yet. I will go on websites that mention these dealerships by name and rate them telling of my harrowing experience with the first. :mad:

    However, I am curious if anyone else out there is getting any "goodwill warranty" help these days with the A/C issue.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,778
    edited August 2010
    Again, please don't blame the dealership. They don't make the call.
  • zgreat1zgreat1 Posts: 11
    Depending upon where you live, you may be able to find some reputable honda specialist auto-shops (most of the mechanics of these shops in my area seem to have worked for many years with some local dealership and then branch out on their own since they know they can "undercut" the dealerships on their labor and parts prices) to replace your system for around $1,600. MAKE SURE the shop provide you a detailed pricing for the different parts (compressor, condenser, etc.) for the entire system. ALSO, MAKE SURE they back flush the entire system and NOT just some of the components.

    MOST IMPORTANT, file a complaint with the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) by first sending an email to Contact NHTSA on their website:
    NHTSA Contact
    You should receive a "case number" email within a week and a toll-free number 1-888-327-4236 to file a complaint. You will need to provide the time and mileage when the a/c system in your CR-V failed. You may opt out of providing your VIN. You will be asked for a contact telephone number and a mailing address to receive a copy of your complaint. NHTSA "promises" to investigate your complaint within a 48-hour window and contact you to follow up. (I filed mine today. So I will let you know what they say within the next couple of days.)You could file a complaint without first sending the email, but I suggest you do so you can receive a case number (to go along with the complaint) with a detailed summary of why you believe American Honda should be responsible for the replacement of a defective system due to the design of the a/c system in the CR-V. And also state your case why you believe driving without a/c is a SAFETY HAZARD.

    I urge all of you who have suffered the injustice of driving a CR-V in 100+F heat without a proper functioning a/c due to no fault of yours to contact NHTSA. STATE YOUR CASE to make them realize that driving w/o an a/c is a SAFETY HAZARD especially in areas that have extreme hot and cold weather AND when the well-being of young children, the aged and the sick are the unfortunate PASSENGERS involved.

    We all need to keep on pressing American Honda to NOT let them pull a BP on us. THANK YOU!!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,778
    edited August 2010
    " due to no fault of yours"

    Than whose fault? Does it have to be someone's "fault" when a component that is way out of warranty on an eight year old car with lots of miles finally fails?

    " Let's press American Honda to NOT let them pull a BP on us"

    Am I the only one here who thinks that was totally over the top?
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,797
    I urge all of you who have suffered the injustice of driving a CR-V in 100+F heat without a proper functioning a/c due to no fault of yours to contact NHTSA. STATE YOUR CASE to make them realize that driving w/o an a/c is a SAFETY HAZARD especially in areas that have extreme hot and cold weather AND when the well-being of young children, the aged and the sick are the unfortunate PASSENGERS involved.

    We all need to keep on pressing American Honda to NOT let them pull a BP on us. THANK YOU!!


    Even if EVERY ONE of the CR-V A/C compressors failed there would not be nearly as many people affected as have been by the gulf oil spill. And the ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT of a measly 1-2% of failed A/C compressors is no where near the environmental impact of the oil spill, not even 1/1,000,000th of that.

    BP is paying over $20,000,000,000 for the clean up. What is it pulling over you?
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,797
    "b) I have actually re-programmed the de-fogger to have manual over ride over the compressor engagement. Simply because A/C is not always needed. Winter air is usually dried by the formation of snow crystals."

    Just wondering, but on my 2003 the "de-programming" actually just turned off the AC light, not the compressor. Was that changed for the Gen 3?


    Not sure if the procedure applies to Gen 3....
  • My New England driven Honda Element, 2003, 88k, a/c compressor just died.

    I live in New England! I use a/c 3 months out of the year! This is not acceptable to me. SO MAD! Thinking my next vehicle will not be Honda.

    I can accept a defect, but I cannot accept how they are not owning up to it. This disgusts me.
  • io8iheio8ihe Posts: 1
    Just spent a half hour reading through these posts and now scared to death. Bought an 05 in May with 53000 miles. A/C seems to be working great now, but couldn't possibly afford a $3000 dollar repair should something go wrong.

    Any specific maintenance or care that could be done to prevent the problem? Taking my car in for its 60k maintenance soon. Theoretically, using the A/C less frequently would make it less likely it would break, right?
  • :sick: Honda CR-V 2002 door locks stop working, ac blowing hot and brake light stays on ... diagnosis replacement of a multiplex fuse box under front dashboard $600 to repair, of the 600 which included installation of 175. Had gotten door locks and chime fixed a few months ago and it was 200 dollars but of course it was noted that this was different. Dealer did the work
  • I have a 2002 Honda CR-V with 160500 miles and only recently experienced issues. Had the compressor replaced once under warrenty but recently had to have it replaced and the dealer wanted to charge 2100 well got a verygood mechanic and he fixed it with a new compressor 700 dollars. Things happen when it is paid for so just save for a rainy day in case something happens if you do not want a car note. I am trying really hard to avoid the new or slightly used new loan syndrome. Try not to worry unless something does go wrong
  • Honda CR-V 2002 door locks stop working, ac blowing hot and brake light stays on ... diagnosis replacement of a multiplex fuse box under front dashboard $600 to repair, of the 600 which included installation of 175. Had gotten door locks and chime fixed a few months ago and it was 200 dollars but of course it was noted that this was different. Dealer did the work :sick:
  • vinnie_the_kidvinnie_the_kid Posts: 9
    edited August 2010
    Hello there,

    I've gotten such useful information from this forum that I decided to stop being a lurker and finally add some of my thoughts.

    I have an '02 CR-V and the AC system just failed on us. Of course, it was during the recent hot spell and we had one hell of a ride home when the system shut down for good.

    I admire anyone who has the persistence to try and make Honda cough up the bucks to help defray the costs of the fix, especially for such an old vehicle. Since I am cheap (I prefer to view myself as being fiscally conservative), I view a Honda fix as the expensive way to go because one gets a discount for a wildly expensively priced fix which results in more money for Honda.

    While I am no expert, I am dumb enough to rip anything out of my cars to try and fix it myself and thought I'd pass on my results for your consideration. My car's system died at ~77K miles. About two years ago I noticed that the AC was starting to blow warmer on really hot days. I bought a set of Chicom gauges from Harbor Freight and found the pressures to be OK. What I did notice is that the dealer mounted the front license plate (THANK you New Jersey) smack dab in the middle of the air flow to the condenser and radiator. I moved the license plate mount to the far left side of the "bumper" and I immediately noted a substantial drop in the vent temperature, especially at idle. Obviously a bad design by both Honda and the dealers.

    But it was now obvious that the lack of cooling had a long term detrimental effect on the AC system and this year it just died. I have the shop manual and ran the diagnostics and found there are no error codes but that the electric clutch for the AC compressor was shot. Honda wants $800 for a new compressor but I order a brand new Chicom unit for $199 from Amazom. Perfect fit.

    I also bought two new hardlines from Majestic Honda in Providence Rhode Island (best dealer prices that I could find). They were almost 40% less than my local Honda dealer. While I had the system apart, I tried to shoot compressed air through the condenser to see if it was blocked...and it was. Note that this is the first time that I ever worked on an AC system and used the shop manual and Internet as a guide to what I should do.

    I just laughed when Honda told me their price for a condenser and bought a brand new Chicom unit of the 'net for about half the price. It came with a new drier unit installed and just needed ~ 2 ounces of PAG oil to get it ready for installation. Note that if you have a Japan-manufactured car, you can buy a knock off condenser. If your VIN doe NOT beginwith "J", then your car was made in Great Britain and you are then screwed because that is a different design and the replacement condenser can only be ordered from the factory. Understand that this work took me almost two weeks of my time just to figure out everthing that was wrong with my car..

    I assembled the AC system in the reverse order of disassembly and it continued to take me a long time. Reasons include the plastic pop out pins that hold the front fascia together were mostly breaking like crazy so I used a lot of wire ties hidden wherever possible as a substitute. But it's much more robust now. The bottom pins were so bad that I retained the lower fascia much more solidly by using three self tapping screws and fender washers to distribute the load. The front frame member runs right above the lower part of the front bumper so its easy to grab good metal for self tapping screws.

    The final fix was to add a 10" pusher fan to the front of the condenser so that it will always have very good airflow. That turns out to be overengineered (which I do all the time) and I could have easily stepped down to an 8" fan and saved a few bucks. More is better in this case but the 10" fan sounds like an F16 spooling up for take off. I'll refine that in the early fall.

    I bought a Chicom AC vacuum pump from Harbor Freight and pumped the system for 90 minutes. It held a vacuum and had to be as dry as a bone. I added one 12 oz. can of R134a and the compressor electric clutch came on at just about a half can, which is a very good sign. One can provides about 320 grams of R134a and the shop manual (this is from memory) gives a system capacity range of about 340-520 grams so I'm at the bottom end. I prefer that but wil bring it up to specs when I'm totally confident it all works as designed; no need to over pressure at any point. I clearly understand that the most important criterion is pressure, not weight of coolant.

    My bottom line cost is ~$600 (without the cost of the vacuum pump) plus a LOT of my time. The diagnosis appears to be that the condenser failed over time (perhaps due to inadequate cooling) and then took the compressor with it. It was a BEAR to get to the compressor and I'm sure the Honda dealer knows all the shortcuts; I did the brute force approach to just remove everything that got in the way. I have a lift and that was of no added value for this job; it's just tough all around. So far, so good >knock on wood<.

    If anyone wants my help to do this themselves, I live in the Trenton New Jersey area and just send me mail at kid_again@hotmail.com and we can chat. I LOVE to see THE MAN lose money wherver possible.

    Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread before I started my project.

    Oh, BTW, there are class action suits against a number of manufacturers for AC system failures so this is NOT unique to Honda nor to CR-Vs. I forgot to mention that I also cut holes in the underbody cladding to ensure the air is caught and forced right onto the AC compressor which is located on the bottom of the engine, left front as you look at the car from the front. For those purists who say that this will cause the serpentine belt to slip if water gets up there, I humbly suggest that they refer to a 40 year old practice of having all sorts of belts, including serps, being located directly in the line of the air flow under the car with absolutely no impact on performance/longevity.

    I hope this LONG response helps.

    I think I still have a picture of the torn down front end if anyone wants a good laugh.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    Absolutely GREAT post! Thanks much for sharing.

    Were the air holes to allow cooling air on the compressor? I didn't know that was advantageous. Cool.

    I also didn't know that as the condenser becomes plugged (altho not sure what plugged it on the inside, i presume compressor debris when it imploded) it puts more strain on the compressor, but makes sense. So bugs and bent fins and obstructions, all would add to less efficiency from the condenser, thereby putting more strain on compressor.

    Way to go to get to the bottom of it and solve the fix yourself. :thumbup:
  • I have a 2003 crv that has 214K on it. in 2005 the ac went out and luckily I had the extended warranty so it was all paid for minus the $100 ded. in 2007 the ac went out again this time out of my pocket, $900 and now again in 2010 costing me another $2300 (10% dealer discount). I called Honda directly because the dealership told me Honda America would not do anything since there were so many miles on the vehicle. Honda America told me they would do nothing since again there are high miles on the car. I use this car for work, most are highway miles and they are trying to tell me the mileage is part of the problem. I countered that my daughter has a 2003 civic with 175K that has no AC problems and that they obviously recognize they have an issue with the AC based on the Service Bulliten put out in December. I have to say I am deeply disappointed with Honda at this point. This is my 3rd Honda and was planning on buying another. Any suggestions???
  • alana50alana50 Posts: 12
    The issue on this thread is not a part breaking on a car that is almost 10 years old, but about the same problem happening repeatedly.
    Any eight or nine year old car is going to have problems, yes?
  • This is probably one on the most helpful threads on the Honda CRV-A/C problems. Thank you! I kept "lurking" for some insight before I made a decision on my '02 Honda CRV, but for awhile I think it was not a very productive thread and had a negative vibe. Because I do agree that even though some people may consider A/C/ a "luxury", I think I learned by my first year in Arizona that no matter how tough I thought I was I could not survive months of 100+ degree weather, so alas 20 years later I will not risk my or my family's health without air. I knew in the back of my mind that this would not be an easy or cheap fix. Your post confirmed that. We had a friend who is a mechanic offer to install the new A/C system, but I had the feeling it would be a difficult and time consuming job and I would feel guilty if I asked him to do it. Our A/C failed twice, I just don't think I could handle a third, so this last weekend we went and shopped for an affordable vehicle. With payments under $200.00, a warranty (extended), and piece of mind to last at least 7 more years, well that is what worked for us. Might not work for anyone else. And I'm laughing while I type this because prior to our '02 Honda CRV we always traded in and bought a new vehicle after warranties expired, I thought this was the "keeper". One more laugh, my sister just bought a used '01 Honda CRV, I'm praying that '01 was a better year.
  • vinnie_the_kidvinnie_the_kid Posts: 9
    edited August 2010
    Thanks for your kind comments!

    The hole that I cut out for direct air access to the compressor is located on the black bottom fascia that gets in your way each time you change your oil.

    If you are standing at the front of the car and facing it, the compressor is located on the left hand side, at the very bottom of the engine. Once you crawl underneath the car, you will see that the fascia steps down a few inches, going front to back. I cut the black plastic right in front of the compressor with a utility knife; the plastic is soft and almost too easy to cut so be careful. You're not near any hoses or electrical wires. I'll see if I can get you some pictures. I think that if cut anywhere near the AC compressor, you'll get enough airflow to make a big difference in compressor temp.

    Good question about the the crud that blocked the condenser. My mechanic said that he's only ever had one Honda have a bad evaporater. Here's what I know. There were no metal parts in the lines so the compressor didn't detonate (which DOES happen). The PAG oil was slightly yellow; it can turn black on really bad cases.

    Since I realized the condenser was clogged, I figured what the heck, I hit it with 160psi right from the compressor. Absolutley nothing happened which suggests to me that the occlusion is solid, not some schmutz that broke free somewhere and lodged in the condenser. My story and I'm sticking to it is that the condenser started to corrode on the inside, possibly accelerated by lack of adequate air flow and once that got bad enough, it caused the compressor to fail.
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