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Honda Civic Climate Control System

morganscivicmorganscivic Posts: 6
edited June 3 in Honda
I am taking my '06 EX in for the second time today to have the A/C problem addressed. I've found that it blows hot upon acceleration. Definitely not pleasant on a hot day when what you want, and expect, is cool air! It's nice - in the relative sense - to know that someone else is experiencing this also.
I was also told I had a power steering fluid lead at my first oil change! The part is in, so hopefully that will be repaired.
I haven't had a Honda since the early 90's and I definitely expected more than what I've experienced so far. I paid for the top of the line Civic and never expected to have any problems so early on. :(


  • perezrperezr Posts: 7
    The AC blowing hot upon acceleration is not a problem, it is a feature! It is this way by design as AC takes a considerable amount of power from a small 4-cylinder engine.

    When accelerating briskly, the AC compressor is temporarily disengaged to give you full power for acceleration. The discharge air temperature does go up and "feels" hot, but is still cooler than ambient. Once acceleration is completed, the system returns to normal operation.

    You can prevent this from happening by accelerating more gently. Go try this and you'll see it in action for yourself.

    Perhaps you should've gone with the Si for a peppier takeoff! :P
  • kero1kero1 Posts: 154

    I am very surprised to hear about this feature when accelerating briskly the AC compressor turns off as I have merged on the highway pretty quickly with AC on and never noticed the compressor turn off.

    I actually turn the AC button off when getting on the highway now to get that little extra juice I need on LI.

    Is this fact about the compressor turning off when accelerating hard??
  • sheldo1sheldo1 Posts: 64
    Boy, if you think this is a feature I wonder if you would ever find anything wrong with your car. I personally think it is a poor design that will probably be changed in 2007. I think it was an "oops" on Honda's part.

    I have had numerous 4 cylinder cars and have never had warm (not cooler than ambient) air come out when accelerating.
  • The AC blowing hot upon acceleration is not a problem, it is a feature! It is this way by design as AC takes a considerable amount of power from a small 4-cylinder engine.

    Well, if it's a "feature", it's a damned poor one! Who wants to feel hot air in their face on a 100*+ day!? :sick: I'm very happy with my '06 EX except for this one major flaw. It's just not right.
  • Just point the vent away from your face until you've hit cruising speed.
  • Umm... ok. That still doesn't change the fact that Hot Air is blowing into the car through the Air Conditioning system. And, rather than paying attention to my driving, I'll be adjusting vents constantly.
    I've never heard of or experienced such a thing in any vehicle and it's simply not acceptable in a brand new 2006 car, no matter how my cylanders it has. :mad: :lemon:
  • hangaralf1hangaralf1 Posts: 107
    i haven't noticed the hot air upon hard acceleration. i suspect that this is because when i need that hard acceleration, i either turn it off or am too intent on getting up to speed and staying on the road when i have the pedal to the floor. it is only a 1.8 liter engine and with the ac on, acceleration will be compromised. If the ac actually disengages when trying to accelerate like that, Honda must figure your priority is in getting up to speed fast (rather than staying cool when doing it). If you don't like it, get something with a bigger engine and/or more torque. ( i used to have a volkswagen diesel that literally took 46 seconds to reach 60, and never made it to 60 with the ac on)

    i have noticed that ac blows colder when the engine rpms are up (like when you take it into 3 or 4k rpm and don't bother to shift up). and a lot less cool when you just idle - i have to rev the engine and maintain it there for a while to get cool air again.

    a "design characteristic" does not imply that it was "engineered in". to be sure, this engine miss is not engineered in and definitely not intended, but something that happens when it does as a result of something else - i've experienced it as well, and other than the brake handle digging in to my knee, my biggest complaint - I believe that it is a programming error or blip or bug or whatever - related to the fly-by-wire throttle. i will mention it to my dealer the next time i get there (which may be a while since they are some 4 hours away), and i'll let you know what they said.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    To be sure my "engineered in" comment for the engine miss was entirely tongue-in-cheek and in reply to the "design characteristic" comment uttered by some service weenie.
    Mine does blow less than cold air upon acceleration and not even at full throttle acceleration. At 140 hp the engine should deliver acceptable acceleration AND be able to power the AC compressor while doing it. It isn't that weak. I had a 1990 Taurus S.W. 3.0 V-6 that was rated at 140 hp (it had more torque though).
  • Hangaralf1, I'm not sure if you're responding to my comments about the AC blowing hot air upon acceleration. I never said anything about "hard acceleration". Given the price of a gallon of gas, my "stomping on it" days are long since gone. I'm talking about any sort of acceleration which results in the AC shutting down and providing nothing but HOT AIR. This, to me, is not acceptable in a top of the line Civic EX and another poster's suggestion that I adjust the vents away from me is nothing but absurd.

    At my most recent service (which there have been far too many of for my 7 month old car), they drained the AC in an attempt to fix this problem. They were unsuccessful and the problem remains. :mad:
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    Have never noticed this problem with my LX yet...maybe it's just your car...? "To me this is just not acceptable"...the dealership apparantly tried to fix "your problem" & it still works the same. Try another Honda dealership & see what happens. Maybe this is just a normal function of the gotta realize that it's just a small 4 cylinder engine after all.
    Anyone else having this particular a/c situation?

    The Sandman :) :)
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    If you mean blowing warm air while accelerating then returning to cold after reaching a more or less steady speed....yes me too and it is damned annoying. I do not think it is a problem specific to a particular car but a designed "feature" as someone here said. If so, it works as specified.
  • sheldo1sheldo1 Posts: 64
    I have the same problem. I agree that is is probably a design issue (or feature) and not a defect or part failure.

    I don't like this "feature".
  • roundtriproundtrip Posts: 105
    except that it doesn't blow hot, just noticeabley less cold.
    It's not too bad because my car does get chilly, and this just keeps me from having to adjust the temp. knob.
    Honda really has just done me a favor. :P
  • dentrekdentrek Posts: 8
    My new Civic air conditioning seemed to work great till the weather got above 85 degrees. Then I got to noticing that when in traffic or any time you excellerated it would blow hot air for sometimes 10 seconds. If the weather was above 90 degrees it would never cool the car in city traffic. I live in a smaller town that only takes 15 minutes to go from one side of town to the other side and it never cools the car. Sitting at red lights it never cools and when you throw in that it cuts the conpressor off every time you accellerate you will burn up.
    The dealer has looked at 3 times and we tell them about it ever time we go back to do normal service. They always say it is in specs. I don't know what else we can do at this point. Does anyone else seem to have the same problem that I do? :confuse: I have seen several messages close to mine.
  • bbr0wbbr0w Posts: 1
    I have had my 2006 Civic for four months now and I would have to say that the A/C is less than desirable. I have an appointment this week to have it looked at. I was also told by the local dealership that the A/C issue is normal; however, I find it very uncomfortable and now wished it was warmer out when I test drove the car.

    I had my wife go look at a used Landcruiser the other day and the Toyota dealership she was at had three 2006 Civics that had been traded in…
  • Just curious - for those that are posting their air conditioning units aren't up to snuff, what color is your car? I've had several black cars in the past and know from experience that dark cars are more difficult to keep cool. For this reason, I went with the alabaster silver civic. My 2006 EX sedan's AC works extremely well, to the point that on 90 degree plus days it somethimes gets too cold and I have to turn the AC down.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    Although my car isn't black I don't think what many of us are experiencing has to do with the color. It is a matter of the vent temperature temporarily going warm/hot/less cool upon certain acceleration moves. It will return to cold/coldish eventually. Further, I had the opportunity to ride in a 1994 Taurus last night when it was in the mid 90's here and that was a COLD ride. I do not think our Civic can hold an ice cube to that Fords AC performance...
  • Hockeyfool is correct. I've never been in a car where the AC has acted this way. If it was truly designed by Honda this way, it was a bad move and they should fix it for those that find this "feature" less than wonderful.
    I bought my '06 in January when it was cool. Had I known this was a "feature" of the car I most likely would not have bought it.
    My last car was an '01 Pontiac Grand Am GT. That car had an AWESOME AC system! The Civic doesn't come close. :(
  • It appears that the Civic wasn't the only Honda with this "feature" engineered into it. The Honda Fit owners are complaining about the very same thing.
  • Another model has the same situation?? This really is changing my whole view of Honda automobiles as a top-knotch, high-quality product.
    I had my first Honda in the early 90s and it treated me well. I've driven several different cars since then and at the suggestion of my SO - who's driven nothing but Hondas since the mid-80s - decided to go with the Honda EX w/ Nav because I liked it's sporty look and the fact that it really doesn't feel like a small car.
    This AC problem is a Big Deal to me because my own internal temperature generally runs warmer than the average bear. I like and depend on a cold air conditioning system. Anything less is unacceptable! :mad:
    Does anyone know what, if anything, would be accomplished by going to Honda corporate with this problem? Is there any recourse for those of us who are highly dissatisfied with this?
  • melsinctmelsinct Posts: 11
    I have had three Accords, my last one being an 02, and I now have just over 2K on my 06 Civic EX 4 dr. I find the AC to be just fine. It does take longer to cool down than the Accord, but I would assume that would be due to the large windshield. Once cooled down, I have no complaints about the AC and it has been in the 90s, flirting with 100 degrees F today.

    I have been getting just over 37 mpg on a regular basis, although I do drive mainly highway miles.

    My only issue so far with the Civic is a plastic piece covering the seatbelt on the driver's side has either popped out, or has been that way since I took delivery and I never noticed. I called the dealership, and they will obviously fix this for free. Other than that I am (so far) very satisfied with the ride in general and very pleased with the mileage.
  • mcap56mcap56 Posts: 48
    I find the A/C to be better than the 04 Ex I had. That wasn't the strongest. The current A/C won't freeze you out but it does an adequate job.

    Some general tips. I am sure you already know these but just in case......

    1. Run your a/C on max/recirc to start and open the sunroof a little to get all of the hot air out.

    2. Keep it on max/recirc.

    3. Park in the shade.

    4. Consider window tinting

    5. Consider wearing sandals and going with bilevel cooling in hot weather. Your feel dissapate a lot of heat and the Civic vents direct air right at them.

    Had you decided not to get the civic because of the A/C, you might have ended up with a Mazda3 where by all accounts, the A/C is worse.

  • I am in the same (good) situation as melsinct. My AC works very well once get past the inital cooling down. Yesterday was 96 F on the drive home and no problems. I'm also averaging around 37+/- mpg (auto).

    Just for information, I owned two 98' civics (1-ex, 1- hx), both black. The AC in both had a very hard time cooling the car, but I always attributed it to the cars being black which absorbs heat. My silver 2006 EX sedan AC has been very good. I also have not noticed the "blowing of hot air during acceleration" which I have been trying to pay attention too.
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 737
    mcap56 - Good points of advice, with one exception. At first, it is best to use outside, or fresh air with the sunroof or windows open, as the outside air can be cooler making it easier than trying to cool the superheated inside air via the recirc function. Once the inside starts to cool down, it is then better to switch to recirc and close the window for better cooling.

    You said " Had you decided not to get the civic because of the A/C, you might have ended up with a Mazda3 where by all accounts, the A/C is worse."

    All accounts? I have to disagree here. There are many Mazda 3 owners who have no issues with their A/C. In fact, my son owns a Mazda3 in Tucson, where we have 4 or 5 months over 100 degrees, and he is very comfortable with his A/C.

    I previously owned a 2001 Civic EX dark Blue, and I found the A/C to be weak, after the car sat in the sun all day. In city driving, it did take along time to cool the car. After me, my son then drove that Civic for 2 years before buying his 06 Mazda 3, and he states that the 3 cools better than the 2001 Civic.

    I believe that in trying to squeeze every last mpg out of these small cars, they have downsized the compressors and other parts of the AC system, to where it may be just marginal in many cases...perhaps undersized in desert conditions.

    Also, it has ben a design feature for MANY years to have a cutout function on the compressor for strong acceleration. I have had many cars over the years, even US made cars have had this...a throttle position switch that actually turns off the compressor under strong acceleration to aid the performance. It was able to be disconnected on many of my vehicles, but I don't know if this is possible today with the computers controlling so much in the cars, but it might be worth investigation for those of you who are bothered by this behaviour.
  • mcap56mcap56 Posts: 48
    Good points. After reading all of these last night, I tried to monitor the A/C in my civic. Just so you know, we are in the middle of a monster heat wave and the NYC temp is over 100. Humidity is really high also.

    I have to say that my car did a decent job of cooling. I put my hands to the vents during acceleration and I didn't really notice any major change. Perhaps it is an issue with your individual cars. Best bet is to act like you are interested in a purchase and take a test drive. Compare the two. Or, if someone you know has one, take it out and see what happens.

    Oh...and just so you don't get jealous...I have the idle vibration and perhaps the suspension issue. So, I am not blind to the shortcomings of the car.

  • jmeinekejmeineke Posts: 14
    Well I have had my car since July 6th and have noticed this problem almost daily. i live in Southern California and drive about 20 miles from Orange County to Los Angeles County for work. I always notice this because the car seems to need to be driven at constant speeds to stay cool. If I hit traffic or a stop light, the A/C will blow out ambient temperature, which in traffic going 5 mph and its 100 degrees is pretty darn hot. I am glad to see other people with the same problem, I left VW for similar problems and high maintenance costs. I guess we will just have to wait for Honda to give us an answer to whether they intended this, or its a defect. Either way their should be a TSB on it soon. I have seen so many Civics around here I feel like a fish in a school of fish. BTW, I have an 06 Civic Sedan EX with Nav. Maybe is our below average Stereo thats causing it :P, I want the one in the coupe.
  • sotonysotony Posts: 4
    I have not had the discussed problem--I've been very satisfied with the performance of my AC even in the recent heat wave. One thing I have noticed is that when the AC is set on anything but the highest cooling setting (regardless of "max"--I'm talking about the blue to red temperature knob), the temperature of air blowing out of the vents does seem to go up and down, but it doesn't seem to be related to temperature. I've been renting for the past 3 years, though, and I've noticed this on a lot of other cars too.

    I've always driven 4-cylinder cars and I've never noticed any problem with the engine not being able to supply enough power for the AC compressor. (including an '00 EX coupe)

    I do seem to remember reading somewhere (it might have been in the manual or on one of the Honda info pages about the redesign) that the compressor has two modes of operation to save energy under light loads but provide adequate cooling when necessary. Sorry but that's all I remember. I'll try to do some digging. But might it be that the cars experiencing these problems have some type of programming bug that is preventing the higher-energy mode from kicking in? Does anybody remember reading anything about this?

    Based on what I've said above, here's my two theories about what could be causing this problem:

    1-A flaw in the temperature control knob or its supporting systems that keeps it from registering that you want the coldest setting.

    2-A programming or electrical problem that stops the dual mode (?) compressor from getting out of its power-save mode.

    3-referring to another thread somewhere on the internets, road debris has damaged your unshielded compressor.
  • sotonysotony Posts: 4
    Sorry--need to correct something in the first paragraph on my post. " doesn't seem to be related to temperature" should read " doesn't seem to be related to acceleration."
  • stanazstanaz Posts: 2
    I've been driving my 2006 Civic for 6 mos. now (5100 miles) and I am pleased with the finish, exceptional handling, smoothness, and decent ride. I get about 39-40 on the road and about 33 in town so the mileage is very good as advertised. My only gripe is with the a/c. I live in Tucson and the a/c is barely adequate most of the time and poor at other times in the hot weather. All of my previous cars here (Subaru Legacies) and my present 2000 Toyota Avalon all cool really well under all conditions. I mentioned this to the dealer at the first oil change and they did test the a/c thoroughly. They said the performance test showed normal operation, no problems, and correct temperature output. The 2 mechanics who worked on the car both did say that Honda was never really known to have great a/c and that in hot climates it usually just barely did the job. There were no fixes and no specific tips they could offer since i was operating the a/c correctly. I had a 1988 Honda years ago which was fine. The very large glass area in the new Honda heats up the car quite a bit too so I guess this is something to live with in the hot weather. All of the cars good points help mitigate this problem.
  • playplay Posts: 38
    I also live in Tucson, It does get hot (but not five months of 100+ temperatures as an earlier poster claimed), and Tucson WILL will reveal any shortcomings in an A/C system. We are talking about outside temperature here, but more relevant is solar radiation.

    Most people out here in AZ use high quality window tints to deal with the solar gain. They work well. However, when you are headed toward the West or have an overhead sun, the 06 Civic's A/c will struggle as the front windshield makes for an excellent greenhouse.

    I suppose that if Honda engineered their A/C for the most extreme conditions, it would be oversized and impractical the rest of the time. With the population growth in the Southwest, perhaps Honda should consider a Desert option that would consist of an Eglass windshield and ventilated seatbacks, which are terrific.

    I think its interesting that Honda offers heated seats on many models, but not one Honda offers the ventilated seatbacks. I know roughly the size of desert communities such as Palm Springs, Las Vegas and Tucson/Phoenix. Is Fargo, ND really that big?
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