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2008 Honda Pilot Air Conditioning Problems

piealotpiealot Posts: 6
edited March 2014 in Honda
Our air conditioning suddenly stopped, apparently on start-up recently. The compressor doesn't kick in at all, and the ventilation fan doesn't turn on either. No heat either. Serpentine belt is fine. The control console for heat and air conditioning all seems to look and function normally. Just no air flow or compressor action.

I checked the fuses in the main fuse panel and under the driver's dash and all are fine.

I also switched around the large relays (the ones which are identical) in the main fuse panel in case one was blown, with no results.

Any ideas?


  • leo41leo41 Posts: 4
    This same problem happenned to my '03 pilot and you can fix it yourself. The part that needs replaced a resistor located behind your glove box. I purchased from a local honda dealer and at the same time asked one of the mechanics on how to replace it. You have to remove your glove box to get to it easier. It's a little bit difficult but i was able to do it with a phillip head screwdriver (long and short one) and a rachet set. The mechanic told me it would be a good time to replace your in cabin air filters too and told me that if you don't replace them every 25,000 to 30,000 miles, it allows this transistor to overheat and fail. Once I replaced resistor part, the AC worked as good as new. The resistor cost me about $87.00. Hope this helps.
  • leo41leo41 Posts: 4
    Sorry for all the grammer mistakes--1st time posting.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,571
    Welcome to CarSpace. After posting, you may edit your post for 30 minutes. Just click the Edit link near your name in the post title.

    But we're all pretty fluent in chat typo around here. :shades:
  • piealotpiealot Posts: 6
    Hey Leo 41,
    Your reply is just what I was hoping for, a solution that was not obvious but works. I dropped down the glove box and I see a small black electrical relay box or something way over to the right by the side of the access opening. Could that be it? Looks like maybe a relay.
    Also I see a vertical black plastic removable panel to left of center of the opening which I suspect has the cabin air filter behind it. I'll have to remove a horizontal steel bar though first to get it out. And I see another foam air filter looking at me which is visible and I guess is the recirculating air filter.
    Any other tips?
    Thanks again.
  • leo41leo41 Posts: 4
    The piece I replaced was close to the back of the floor board. It had 4 screws to remove it and the cord that was attached to the resistor plugs in the stationary mount like lego's. The biggest pain was removing/replacing the 4 screws on the resistor and replacing the glove box. I would strongly suggest putting new cabin air filters in--it does make difference in the air quality. If a honda dealer/mechanic or someone from autozone can show you exactly where the piece is, that would be the way to go.
  • piealotpiealot Posts: 6
    Thankyou. I found the unit OK. It is on the bottom of the blower unit. I found the following link online if someone else has the same trouble:

    Q. My question has not been addressed.... The question is... I have a 2004 Honda EX Pilot. the a/c has stopped blowing. The blower works intermittently and when it blows it only blows out of the back unit. I have checked all fuses and they are all working. When the A/C kicks in it does blow cold air.

    Edited by Customer (name blocked for privacy) on June 29 2008 at 7:20pm

    A. Does the air blow out the front vents on high speed or full auto?
    Sounds like the power resistor for the front blower motor is bad.
    There is a way to test it to see if its definately bad.
    Here is how:
    1. Carefully release the lock tab on the No. 3 terminal (ORN/BLK) (A) in the 5P connector, then remove the terminal and insulate it from body ground.
    1. Reconnect the 5P connector to the power transistor.
    2. Supply 12 volts to the No. 3 cavity with a jumper wire.
    3. Turn the ignition switch ON (II), and check that the blower motor runs.
    o If the blower motor does not run, replace the power transistor.
    o If the blower motor runs, the power transistor is OK.

    I did this test and apparently the transistor is blown since the motor did not run.
  • piealotpiealot Posts: 6
    The part I changed (Front Air Blower Resistor) is made by the same Japanese manufacturer as the original (Denso) [umm not the brainiest company name] and is pretty much identical except that it has 4 cooling fins instead of two.

    For others of you with the same problem, O'Reilley's Auto Parts here in Minnesota shows the part on their computer and it was special ordered for $56 plus $7 shipping. Took 4 days. The new part is from BWD Engine Management Technology of NY state, part #RU 1044 "Resistor", says the box.

    O'Reilley's also has the pollen air filter for $20.

    Thanks, leo41.
  • powleypowley Posts: 1
    Honda service bulletin 03-048 relates to problem.
    Cause is Open circuit in the power transistor
    Looking for replacement for Power Transistor as local dealer does not stock it.
    Price is @$150.00
    Is there a place to buy?
  • Leo,

    I have a 2003 Honda Pilot. Although these symptoms similarly relate, I wanted to clarify. As with the other gentleman, my ac stopped blowing cold air on start up. The control panel appears to work fine and I can adjust what appears to be the back A/C only. No air is felt from the front vents regardless of the control settings selected. I was a little confused on the part that needed to be replaced as I only had three screws holding my unit in place. It sounds as if the part is the same one based on the description in these posts. Mine was visibly white on the side that can be viewed under the dash and had a integrated plug. I wanted to make sure with the symptoms I am seeing I will be replacing the correct part. I was reading the email below regarding how to test the blower to figure out if it is operational or not and that also lead to some confusion for me. Is there a way to test the transistor to find out if it is bad? Thanks, Chris
  • Hi Chris,
    Yes my original front blower resistor was whitish or beige- gray on the visible side as installed. It is sitting at the bottom of the ductwork facing downward, very close to the firewall in the passenger side foot area. And yes, I think there were three screws, not four.
    I unscrewed and popped down the resistor, used a VOM and did the test and mine failed the test. Then I bought the replacement resistor over the Internet (driving around for a few days without A/C or a glove compartment, and it worked great. But make sure to clean out the accessible ductwork of all dust and leaves and junk with a vacuum and replace the pollen filter too.

    Hope this helps.
  • kimh2kimh2 Posts: 1
    If anyone knows a trick to getting the front blower power transistor out of the plug, please help!
    There seems to be a clip on both sides holding the white plug into the black part of the transistor, and I can't get those clips loose at the same time.
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Posts: 1,207
    Check this out, with photos, trouble-shooting, self diagnosis steps and hope it helps ...
  • rossdrossd Posts: 5
    Have a 2003 Honda Pilot EX. Recently, the A/C stopped workinjg. The front and the rear blowers only blow ambient air. No cooling.The compressor (clutch) does not make a clicking sound when I turn on A/C. All other controls work fine. Have checked most fuses, They tested ok. Tried swapping some relays (under hood), but did not help. Any pointers will be appreciated.
  • 94acura94acura Posts: 12
    I had the same problem found last weekend. Only difference is that I can hear hissing sound from the passenger's side when I turn AC on. Mine is 2007 pilot with 37000 miles on and I am wondering if AC is covered by warranty.
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Posts: 1,207
    Check whether front condensor / piping leakage, got hit and punctured by road debris, especially the opening right at bumper area. It is about $750 to replace and considered to be accident thus warrant won't cover.

    I had the grille-insert installed to avoid such problems. ml#pic

  • rossdrossd Posts: 5
    Thanks a lot for your suggestion. Right on the money! It indeed was a damaged condenser. The shop also installed a screen in the front to prevent road debris damaging it again.
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Posts: 1,207
    I consider we inherited and pay for Honda's poor design.
  • Hello, I need some help from you guy expert. I took apart the dash of my honda pilot to replace a wire harness, I took off the ac condenser, well finilly I put everything back together, then I went to recharge my ac and now the ac doesn't kick on. I checked again for right connection, but everything seen to be install right, Anybody know if I needed to do something else before I recharge the AC?
  • 94acura, did you ever resolve this issue? I have the same situation on my 2008 Pilot where the passenger side (sounds like its coming from under the dash) has a hissing or leaking air type sound just when the heating/air is on. Just wondered what you found out.
  • 2006 Honda Pilot 45000 Mile

    Hi every one

    I think I'm having similar problem with mine too even thought it is little different.

    When I turn on my Heat the front vent are blowing on air no heat while the rear vent are blowing normal heat as wanted.

    I hope someone can give idea where to start.


    willwaal :confuse:
  • I have had my '08 Pilot for only two years and suddenly the air conditioner stopped working. It blows out semi cool air... not cold at all. What are my options, I am just at 34,000 miles. I took the car in to the dealer previously for this problem when it was still under warranty and now I am facing the same problem again. I am really upset that I may have to spend a whole lot of money to fix this problem in a car that I purchased new!
  • rossdrossd Posts: 5
    Yuor post does not have enough info. to come up with some suggestions. Assuming that everything works except the air being not cold enough, you may
    have insufficient amount of Freon in the system. Have you had the dealer checked for leaks in the A/C system yet?
  • willazwillaz Posts: 2
    I'm writing this message to warn others regarding my 2003 Honda Pilot a/c problem.
    My 2003 Pilot (86,000 miles) is at the dealer for service now. Loud fan noise when I start the engine with a/c on and on cold air coming out on all vents. When the suv is running, the noise is substantially lessened and cold air comes out nicely.
    It was diagnosed to have a failing a/c compressor that is spreading metal fragments to the entire a/c system. The service advisor told me that the entire a/c system has to be replaced and it will cost $5,100.00+tax. I was also told that if I had it fix much earlier, the damage would have been much less. I told him that I follow the maintenance schedule religiously and take it for service exclusively at their dealership. They should have noticed the problem and made the appropriate repair. But they did not. He also told me that this is a known problem on the CRV but not on the Pilot. There goes my plan for buying a CRV.
    I called Honda customer service and the guy that I talked was very pleasant but could not offer any assistance. He will not even transfer me to his manager because he said that nobody can help me even if I talk to an executive. I think I have no choice but to have the repair done at a Honda dealership otherwise we cannot use the car or sell it in it's current condition.
    With this experience, I don't think I'll buy another Honda ever again. I won't even recommend it to anybody. I'm very very very disappointed with Honda for using cheap parts.
    Do any of you know someone or a number that I can call at Honda to try to get financial assistance like a discount on parts, etc.?
    Good luck to all of us.
  • Did you get any where on this issue. I am facing the exact same thing. I had the AC fixed under warranty ten months ago and now that it is out of JUST warranty the AC has suddenly stopped working again.
  • lhammlhamm Posts: 1
    edited July 2010
    compressor went bad so replaced that now ac lines are freezing up compressor is not turning off.please help
  • Everything is working except air has progressively gotten less cool until it does not cool at all.
  • My A/C went out so i look on the internet and found this forums it help a lot ..So Thanks the symptoms where console was working.turns on for only a second then cut off back blower works but not getting cold ....So before i change it i unplugged the small wire harness off and tried it before i even unscrewed the old resistor and the ac came on so i change the resistor it looks like fins the old one had two fins the replacement had four didn't need to take the clove box apart don't know if its different for other Pilots hope this helps Thanks again.... Ohh yeah it works Great Now
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