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Honda Odyssey Grille Insert

stickguystickguy Posts: 34,072
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!

2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

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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 Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,743
    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: 3,241
    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: 20,225
    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: 34,072
    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!

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,789
    >since dealers claim it isn't warranty, and $650 - $850 to fix the AC on a

    Isn't it covered by comprehensive on your insurance? Just like a windshield.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • isellhondas wrote:

    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".

    This forum is supposed to be a magnet for people with problems...it's titled problems and solutions. Get over it. If you want to tout the all the good things about your beloved source of income, you are in the wrong forum trying to discount others' real world problems. You may want to spend a little more time over in the 'Dealer Tricks' forum. Your input would be a much more helpful there. p.s. I miss you over at the CRV forum. Steve
  • shannijshannij Posts: 4
    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

    I can assure this is not the case here. I live in Atlanta - decent roads and I absolutely do NOT tailgate - 71/2 months pg here and VERY careful with my driving. My previous car was 15 years old and you don't get to keep a car for that long being a reckless driver
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Yes, Steve, I can read the name of the forum.

    I'll stick with the rules of the forum and I'll withhold the response I would love to leave in response to your nasty comments.

    I said I didn't understand this and I don't.

    Other cars I've made a point to look at seem to be just as apt to sustain the same damage.

    I still think this would be a very freak occurance but I could be wrong...can you remember what I said..." I don't understand" ?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    I don't think I accused you of being a reckless driver.

    I still think this was a VERY isolated situation but if there is a "fix" to reduce this from happening I'm sure Honda will make the change.

    I hope they read these forums.
  • shannijshannij Posts: 4
    Well according to the GM of the dealership we bought the van from he is going to bring this to their attention. When we contacted Honda customer service we did forward some of the links - so hopefully they will do something and I hope that you are right in that this is a "freak" accident because i would hate it to happen again and have to pay $600 - $700 to have it repaired.
  • kjokjo Posts: 24
    isellhondas: I still think this was a VERY isolated situation but if there is a "fix" to reduce this from happening I'm sure Honda will make the change.

    This will be interesting to watch. On one hand , if they make a change on the 06's to the front and protect it better , are they then going to remedy all the 05 owners who are prone to stone damage or will they still charge them the 600 to 800 to repair the damage when it occurs? I saw this forum peppered with stories about the AC condensor getting damaged from stones and I looked at the front and by gosh, it's pretty un-protected when compared to the same area of a Sienna, which has a color coded grill covering the area of the ac condensor. There has already been enough mention of it here to know there is a problem, how about all the Ody owners that DON'T visit this forum and might have had the problem. Good luck Ody owners, I would hold Honda's feet to the fire on this one.
  • isell,

    Now that you emphasize the part about you not understanding, it all rings true. With respect to 'nasty,' comments, you better review your treatment (via words) of those that have problems with their Hondas before you start throwing any stones. Steve
  • i was talking with a friend of mine the other day. he told me that the salesman that he has been working with on an 06 ody told him that honda has redesigned the grill portion that allowed the rock AC problem by inserting a factory plastic protective screen in all models. does anyone know if this is true, or was the salesman just lobbying for the sale?

    thanks
  • domodomo Posts: 3
    Steve,

    I can't agree with you more. Isell is consistently doubting or questioning other owners when they have a problem. This site is for when Isellhondas becomes Iownhondas then maybe we can listen to him. I dealt with salesmen at the dealership I don't want to deal with them on the computer.
  • I politely disagree. Isell at least attempts to offer help at times. If you really want to go after someone, how about the people that come on and just flame about one problem they had 2 years ago. Or others who say they had a problem, Honda fixed it, and that since they had a problem "wouldn't buy another Honda". Or people who come on to rant about some "serious problem" they had that should prevent us all from trusting Honda but never say what the problem was. That's all just idiocy. At least when Isell is wrong, it's mainly from lack of knowledge vs dishonesty. And as far as that goes, the forum is free and no one is saying you have to actually care about what anyone says in a post (including this one).

    Finally, the post you are responding to is over a month old.

    YMMV I guess.
  • But here is the problem with your posts and their tone isell - they are dismissive without providing any point or value. There is no conclusion that I can draw but that you are defensive about your product. Providing constructive feedback would be good - but your posts feel purely dismissive.

    Simply posting a message to say 'I don't see a problem' feels 100% dismissive. It certainly does not provide any value. So what if you haven't encountered the problem? Wouldn't it be ridiculous if every person who DIDN'T experience a problem posted a message to say so - so why are you doing it?

    For example - you are sure to say that you don't see any misaligned upper glove boxes. We don't care if you haven't seen one (either because the box is aligned in the Ody's you have been in - or more likely because you have blinders on). It is a real problem in my Ody and in the two loaners that I have driven so don't dismiss it.

    Please think about what I have said because you could be a very useful resource to the members of this forum due to your exposure to the product. As it is your posts are a waste of space that I mostly ignore as automatically as I do banner ads at the top of a web page.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Fair enough.

    I'll agree, I do tend to get a bit defensive. I just hate seeing problems get over amplified in these forums. What is a "problem" to a very few is nothing to others.

    Using the glovebox example...I see, literally, dozens of Odysseys on a weekly basis. Until I read about this glovebox issue in these forums, I had never noticed a problem or heard of it from anyone.

    So, I started paying attention and looking at every glovebox on every Odyssey.

    I honestly couldn't see any with a problem. FINALLY, I sat on one that was slightly misaligned. I woudn't have even noticed it unless I was trying to find a problem. If it were my new Odyssey I wouldn't have had it fixed.

    You, on the other hand have seen this on three out of three Odysseys.

    I believe you, please try to believe me.

    I'm not trying to be "dismissive" I just try to tell the others that the sky really isn't falling.

    My hope is that people from Honda Corporate read these forums. I suspect they do. Maybe they will go into the factories and say..."We hear there is a glove box alignment problem on some of the Odysseys...let's get it fixed!"

    I'm sorry you consider my posts a "waste of space".
  • glutz1glutz1 Posts: 20
    I'm in the very frustrating position of facing the prob that other owners of new Odys are encountering; some sort of 'road debris' apparently put a hole in the AC condensor on our van and the dealer won't cover it under warranty. Estimated cost to repair is $750 (on a 9 week old $30K+ vehicle !!) and they need to order the replacement part, forcing a 2nd trip to the dealership.

    Has anyone had luck convincing Honda USA to foot the bill for a repair on what I can only view as a major design issue (I've never known of a similar failure that wasn't accident related, before my first Honda) ? Certainly if this vehicle isn't flawless going forward, it will be my first and last Honda......
  • fljoslinfljoslin Posts: 237
    I just installed a MrGrill on my 2006 EX-L. Nice looking Billet Aluminum grill but I did not want to use the nylon ties that were provided for the installation. I do not think that they would be strong enough and do not know how to use them with the bumper still attached to the vehicle. I purchased four 1/4" bolts which have one end shaped like a tea cup hook. For fences I believe. These were just a little wider than the gap in the billet so I had to drill holes for them. You can get smaller ones, but none were available at the time. The cup-hook part of the bolts is used to attach the new grill to the original horizontal divider on the bumper. I used nylon insert nuts to avoid them coming loose and cut the ends of the bolts off that protruded forward through the nuts after installation. I then covered the nuts and bolt ends in a black vinyl plastic compound (liquid electrical tape) to match the grill. Also, you must cut two notches out of the grill for the license plate holder. The directions tell you to cut the license plate holder, but in my opinion this would weaken it unacceptably. The bend in the new billet grill was much less that on the front of the Odyssey. When one end of the grill was installed flush, the other end of the grill was about 3-4" out. I managed to pull this in by tightening the bolts, but am not sure how I would have done this with the nylon ties.
    This was more work than I expected, but I now have a pretty good looking grill and really only got it for protection of the delicate equipment behind the front bumper. If you hit anything that can go through this grill, you will be visiting a body shop.
  • With the help of a friend, I installed the Mr Grille at the start of an 18,000 mile oddysey ;) this summer. I also had the problem of insufficient arc in the bend. We used some longer nylon ties, pulled the ends in, and they have held up without any problems. We had to actually go in from the front of the grille on the outside corners. Although the ends of the ties are visible, they don't stand out that much that people would necessarily notice. I had the a/c compressor ruined shortly after I bought the vehicle but the dealer, Desert Honda of Las Vegas, kindly picked up the $800 tab in the interest of customer relations. The service writer suggested using some kind of material to protect the a/c plumbing, and once I heard about Mr Grille, I ordered it right away.
    This grille was a "must have" before our major summer trip.
  • If you put a thermometer on the inlet and outlet of a transmission cooler after doing this "screen job", you would see that the delta "T" across the cooler is significantly decreased, as the airflow must be across and through your radiator and AC condenser. I have an aftermarket transmission cooler with temp sensors in front of the AC condenser, on the inlet and outlet of my transmission cooler, and tried the screen trick myself. But - I used window screening. I took off the screen when I saw what happened to the cooler temps.

    Is it wise to do this? I couldn't say, because the vehicle has additional cooling capacity built in.
  • sodawellssodawells Posts: 2
    I am new to this site but was told others have had this problem with 2005 Odysseys. I have had to replace my air condenser twice in 18 months due to "flying rocks". This is my third Honda so I'm not a Honda basher just wondering if the 2005 are lemons? Also sliding doors won't stay open, rear wheel bearings need replacing.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    You need a Mr Grille:
    http://mrgrille.com/MrGrille-Honda-Oddyssey-Page.html

    This will protect your A/C condenser. BTW they sell these on Ebay...
  • dsrtrat2dsrtrat2 Posts: 223
    There is also a DIY fix using rain gutter plastic screening and a bunch of dark colored cable ties. I did mine this way in about a half hour. Search these sites for a step by step process.
  • 4huffs4huffs Posts: 4
    Please provide us more info sodawells. How much was repair? did they show you "rock" dents?

    Our AC has been "punctured" twice in 6 weeks. Sounds like "honda will never admit a design flaw" b.s. to me.

    First time cost us 997.00. Second time I finally got them to charge for literal parts at cost only...$370.

    I am still fed up with it. 30-40K cars should not get "rock damage" other than dents and paint chips.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    I am new to this site but was told others have had this problem with 2005 Odysseys. I have had to replace my air condenser twice in 18 months due to "flying rocks". This is my third Honda so I'm not a Honda basher just wondering if the 2005 are lemons? Also sliding doors won't stay open, rear wheel bearings need replacing.

    FYI....I'm finding out this is common to other manufacturers. DCX has issue TBS for adding a protective shield to any minivan brought in for service. The service manager told me the condenser makers are using much thinner metal!! So they save money buying condensers but have to tool up and giveaway the shields!!!!
  • lucanuslucanus Posts: 4
    Just came back from the dealer yesterday, service tech explain to me that condenser has to be replace due to damage cause by rocks or sharp objects piercing the condenser.The estimated cost to replace was $786 + tax. I read a couple of threads having the same problem ,hopefully honda will look into this problem in the near future.
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    For what it's worth, your auto insurance (assuming you have Comprehensive and/or Collision coverage) should provide coverage for this event. Any projectile or obstacle that strikes the vehicle would be covered, beyond any deductible that may apply.
  • fred222fred222 Posts: 200
    Just came back from the dealer yesterday, service tech explain to me that condenser has to be replace due to damage cause by rocks or sharp objects piercing the condenser.

    I purchased a 2006 Odyssey EX-L in September. I read other reports like yours about rocks in the AC, but it seems that the costs were higher. Someone had to replace the entire AC. Because of this I purchased a grill for below the bumper. Cost about $80. I think that it looks pretty good and if a rock goes through this grill, I have bigger things to worry about than repairing the AC.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,743
    I believe the grill you are referring to is called, "Mr. Grill"
  • fred222fred222 Posts: 200
    I believe the grill you are referring to is called, "Mr. Grill"

    It was McGrill and I purchased it from e-bay. A pretty nice unit, but the installation is tricky. I certainly feel much happier when driving down the Freeway at speed.

    The decision to get this grill did not come just from reading the accounts of damage. When I first saw these vehicles I commented how exposed the AC was at the front of the vehicle, especially as low as it is.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    For other interested in solving this "issue", I installed some metal screen (painted black so it's basically invisible) on the upper and lower radiator openings. This also keeps birds/large bugs/leaves/rocks from getting into the radiators. I've done this to other bottom-breathing vehicles in the past to keep the radiators clean and dentless. I have about $7 in both upper and lower openings. I'm not a fan of the chrome look of the Mr. Grill anyway. All you need is 1/2 hour, some metal screen, small black zip ties, and a can of Rustoleum.

    I recently did my Dodge Ram with this as well because a bird met its maker and left a heckuva smelly mess down in my engine compartment. No more of that. My Tundra is next on the list.
  • sodawellssodawells Posts: 2
    Honda paid for the first of the A/C repairs. I live in CT and picked the car up in December so I had not run A/C for first 5 months. The second Summer A/C was out again, warranty doesn't cover, I paid $900 for new A/C plus $60 for nice grill screen.Honda dealer won't install grill screen. The last time I was at a Honda dealer there were 6 Odysseys waiting for A/C fixes. I wrote to Consumer Reports and they suggested I file reports with the FTC (860-713-6050 in CT) and National Highway Safety Commission (www.nhtsa.gov 888-327-4263) which I have done. American Honda Motor Co.(800-999-1009) says they don't know of this problem, my dealer and my regular mechanic are very aware and know exactly what was wrong, why it happened and how to solve it. Why hasn't Honda? [email protected]
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