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Honda CR-V AC Compressor Problems



  • My A/C on my 2002 CR-V went out last fall with maybe 60,000 miles on it and being short on money I didn't have the money to just get it inspected. Well, this weekend I had a nice Free A/C check coupon and took it in to the Honda dealer thinking I could get a confirmation that the air compressor needed replacement. I had previously had a mechanic at a car repair shop look at it free of charge and he had said the compressor needed replacement and it would cost $900. Well, the Honda service rep comes to me and says,"This coupon just covers checking of external checks. The technician says that we need to flush and recharge the freon to see if it's working. That will be $160" $160 just to find out what's wrong? I proceeded to inform him that I had taken the cr-v to a car shop in which they showed me that the clutch and compressor was not kicking on when you turn on the a/c. So why do I need to pay $160 for you to do unnecessary labor if the compressor is not even coming on?

    Long story short, what did you all have to pay to just get that confirmation of a compressor failure? Am I just being too paranoid of getting ripped off?
  • I went through this in the summer. I have an '04 CRV, 43k miles at the time, outside of the warranty. I was anxiety-ridden when I read on the internet about how much it cost to fix. I found this site, and it saved me. If I had to outline the path to success, it would be:
    1) Call Honda America Corporate and get a case #. State your case simply and diplomatically. Your tone can make or break the deal.
    2) Write a letter, stating the situation, but start off with how much you value being a Honda customer. If you have bought Hondas before, tell them so. Tell them how you are grooming your kids to be Honda customers. If you get your car serviced at a Honda dealership, say so. (By the way, your "history" with Honda - former purchases, service record, etc will factor into their decision). But after you butter them up, tell them how disappointed you are that this would happen to a Honda vehicle, but that you are confident that they will maintain their reputation by helping you with this. Diplomatically point out that you have reviewed, and that you were suprised to see so many posts of people with similar problems, so you are "assuming that this a defect in the manufacturing". State again how you hope to continue to be a Hoda customer....
    3) Send the letter to the VP of Services at your dealership (can be found on their web-site), and another copy to your case manager at Corporate, who will have been appointed to you by this time.
    4) Hope for the best. The results I have read on this problem have been varied: full payment, partial payment, no payment at all. But if you follow those steps, I think your chances will be increased.
    FYI, Honda paid mine in full..
    Good luck.
  • I work for a Honda Dealer, and the only way to repair it right the first time is to replace the entire system, compressor assy, condensor, Receiver drier, evaporator, expansion valve, all hoses and hard lines. Otherwise it will just keep breaking.
  • dtstofdtstof Posts: 61
    Why would all those parts have to be replaced for a mechanical breakdown of the compressor? What sort of contamination would take place in the other parts that couldn't be flushed out?
  • gatsby2gatsby2 Posts: 2
    My 1997 CRV has 167,000 miles on it and a few months ago the a/c went out on it. Smoke was rising from under my hood after I pulled over, and after it cooled off I pulled out a belt that had shredded under the car. A Honda parts dept. told me it would be about $550.00 for the compressor plus labor. When I went to that dealership's service desk, they told me it would cost $3,000-$4,000 for the repair, as the metal fragments most likely got through the whole thing and ruined it.
    I received another estimate from a repair shop who said it would cost around $1,100.-$1,700.00. I am the original owner of the car and I don't want a new one--it still looks great and runs great; except the a/c problem now. Any advice? My VIN # does start with J. Do you think anything could be done from Honda corporate? Thank you! ">
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    Wow, 11 years!!! If this is the only problem with the vehicle, just pay someone to fix it. I think the problem described here is more pertinent to the 2nd generation of the CR-V's. You have the original Gen 1 vehicle.

    But, it does not burt to call Honda and see what they can do for the original owner. Although, they would probably would like to see more money out you more often than once every 11 years. lol
  • gatsby2gatsby2 Posts: 2
    Yeah, I have had really good luck with it over the years. Actually, I decided to take it into a repair company in Denver today, and am awaiting their final verdict. It should be a lot less than the Honda dealership though. Thanks!
  • Are you positive the expansion valve needs to be changed? I talked to my contact who's handling the repair for me and he said everything BUT the expansion valve needs to be replaced. He says everything else gets contaminated. Thanks in advance
  • I have replaced my compressor almost 5 times within the last 3 years. I was going to the Honda dealership to replace the unit. After the 2 nd time I told them I was using Honda because they should know if they were putting a valid part in my car. I was very angry because I was paying them top dollar. I went to a mechanic and I am still having problems. After the compressor broke again I started asking questions. First of all my mechanic told me they were putting in a brand new Sanden and gave me the model number. So I called Sanden and asked for the proper model number that they use. The model number that Sanden gave me was not the same model number my mechanic gave me. I am pissed off and did some more research. Sanden told me that they had a plant in other countries and that is why it did not have the same model number. I did some research online and found out that Compressors from Sanden could come from China. I am very angry and the next time my mechanic needs to change the compressor I will tell him that I will get the part from Sanden directly. I am expecting that this compressor will cease also, Plus it is not lowering the temperture in my car enough to have me feel comfortable. After this experience I plan on checking every part to make sure it does not come from China.
  • kisseypookisseypoo Posts: 29
    If you're posting because your a/c compressor or rear differential have failed (maybe even repeatedly like ours), perhaps reading my posts #669 and 679 can save you going through a zillion posts to determine how to get resolution.

    Good luck!
  • bob57bob57 Posts: 302
    Well, at least you didn't have to talk to the Chinese rep - that would have raised the blood pressure...
    Many years ago we used to call everything made in Japan "junk". Now look what's happening...
  • wreeniewreenie Posts: 1
    I agree w/you re: A/C not working is a safety issue., especially if you happen to be in FL w/out A/C is a health safety related issue which I will mention to American Honda when I call them tomorrow. I got home from the E.R. a few hours ago due to an asthma attack because my A/C is not working. It's just too hot here in FL to be driving around w/out A/C. We'll see what happens...
  • I have had problems with my A/C every year for as long as I have owned the vehicle. It is an 03 CRV. The last time was two years ago that the compressor went and Honda will not cover anything on it now because it is over warranty. Not happy with HOnda at all.
  • kisseypookisseypoo Posts: 29
    Check my post #679. We got satisfaction from Honda Customer Care, not the local Honda dealer. The number is listed in your CRV manual. But read my post for the approach to getting satisfactory resolution. It may be difficult to get results for something that happened two years ago unless you're having another problem now. We asked for compensation for something that had happened previously while we were trying to resolve the current problem and we were successful. Your approach when dealing with Honda Customer Care is important. They want to you remain with Honda and be a loyal, satisfied customer.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    I agree w/you re: A/C not working is a safety issue., especially if you happen to be in FL w/out A/C is a health safety related issue which I will mention to American Honda when I call them tomorrow. I got home from the E.R. a few hours ago due to an asthma attack because my A/C is not working. It's just too hot here in FL to be driving around w/out A/C. We'll see what happens...

    I have asthma, and I would never ever in my life think of living in FL. Why would you do that to your self? This is a big country, I am sure you can find whatever is keeping you in FL elsewhere.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    This is a big country, I am sure you can find whatever is keeping you in FL elsewhere.

    I think it is a bit presumptuous to suggest that is an option for everyone.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    So, I got a call from my father in law last Friday. It seems that their HVAC started putting out black smoke and sounding like a wrecked pinball machine. The left it at the dealer for service, and guess what? The compressor failed. He has around 66K miles.

    It is a late mode 2001 (purchased Sept 2001), so I think it was one of the "bad" batch.

    He has the 7 year / 100K warranty, so it is covered.
  • I received a call from Honda Canada, they will cover $450 and the dealer will cover $450 of the repairs of a $3000 job. Not impressed. This was never fixed properly the 1st or 2nd time round. Anybody else out there in Canada had this problem? :lemon:
  • I am looking into buying a used CR-V. The reviews on them are awesome except this A/C problem. I can't afford a new one or even a newer used model. I am probably looking at 2002 or older models. I test drove a 2000 tonight however the timing belt needs to be replaced. I checked into it and it would cost $600.00 at the dealer. This is a private party sale. I don't really want to get into this.

    My question is, if I buy a used one from a dealer and pay for an extra warranty is this A/C issue going to be covered if it occurs?
  • jcanaverajcanavera Posts: 11
    Well I have a 2002 and the A/C compressor on it blew. Cost $1,600 to replace. Honda paid half and I paid the other. The car at the time had 88,000 miles on it and was out of warranty. I had bought it used from a Honda dealer. I think Honda would have picked up a bigger portion of the repair if I had contacted Honda earlier. The dealer said there was no assistance from Honda available so I paid for the entire repair. After contacting Honda personally, I found that they would give my case consideration, with the payment of half the cost in a check to me. If you get them involved before the repair, they will pick up more costs since their labor rate with a dealer is lower than to me.

    Factor or negotiate the timing belt into your sale. Keep in mind that most service facilities replacing the water pump with the belt since the pump is readily accessible at belt replacement time. I wouldn't avoid the car just because this work has to be done.

  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    I test drove a 2000 tonight however the timing belt needs to be replaced. I checked into it and it would cost $600.00 at the dealer. This is a private party sale. I don't really want to get into this.

    Timing belt replacement is part of regular maintenance. If you avoid buying vehicle solely because they need to be maintained, I have some news for you. They all require oil changes, filter changes, fluid replacements, and a miriad of other items checked or replaced on the regular basis.

    The A/C problem is only affecting Gen 2 CR-V (2002-2004) and possibly some Gen 2.5 (2005 - 2006).

    Gen 1 (1997-1998) and Gen 1.5 (1999-2001) are not affected by the A/C problem.
  • wlttxwlttx Posts: 3
    By the way, my 2001 HAS been affected by the air conditioning problem (and I've been talking back and forth with them for almost 2 years now--still nothing. I couldn't afford to fix it then, couldn't even afford the mandatory "take it to the dealer to verify" charge, and still can't afford to fix it now). It's still a safety issue (de-fogging windows,...) and a potential health issue (Texas=hot)
  • phisherphisher Posts: 175
    If you know the timeing belt needs to be changed and it costs $600 try and get the seller to pay for this or at least use this in negations. You should at least be able to get them to eat 1/2 of the cost. Unless a car has a timeing chain the belt will have to be replaced at some point, and if you don't and it breaks it could be alot more than $600.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "The A/C problem is only affecting Gen 2 CR-V (2002-2004) and possibly some Gen 2.5 (2005 - 2006).

    Gen 1 (1997-1998) and Gen 1.5 (1999-2001) are not affected by the A/C problem."

    My father-in-law's Gen 1 blew the compressor last month.
  • drive62drive62 Posts: 637
    I still remember the letter to the local auto writers column a year or two ago. A Volvo owner's AC compressor had blown about a month after his warranty was up. Volvo said "sorry" and he had to pay.

    Like any mechanical part an AC compressor can go bad. Honda has been more than benevelont (replacing it for an owner who bought the vehicle used!!).

    My father-in-law's Gen 1 blew the compressor last month.

    And it was at least seven year's old. When does the statute run out in your mind?
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "And it was at least seven year's old. When does the statute run out in your mind?"

    Nope, it wasn't 7 years old, it was still under the 7/100K extended warranty - so no cost to my father-in-law to repair.

    A blanket statement had been made that the problem does not apply to Gen 1. My post was point out that compressor failure DOES happen to Gen 1.

    While a part can go bad, what happened caused metal parts to go all over the A/C system. Sound familiar?
  • ldp2ldp2 Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Honda CRV that I purchased from an individual. It had 35K miles when I purchased it two years ago. With no prior warning or strange sounds, a loud "pop" was heard while driving it. My daughter, who was driving, thought a tire had blown out. She pulled over to check, and noticed the a/c was now blowing warm air. I took to a local repair facility that specializes in Hondas. The repairman said he had seen this type of problem before and the compressor had literally exploded. He pulled a large piece of metal out from under the hood. He quoted a minimum of $1300 to replace the entire a/c system, as metal shavings had been sucked into the hoses. I searched the internet for similar problems with the CRV and found this site. I called Honda Customer Service and was given a "case number" and told to take it to the local dealer for a diagnosis. I did, and the diagnosis was correct. Honda replaced the entire a/c system and paid 80% of the repairs. My portion was $457. I asked Honda how the percentage of payment was determined, and they said it was based on the year of the vehicle and mileage. This a/c system is warrantied for 12 months. I am so glad I found this site. I could have been out of pocket way more than $457.
  • life_is2life_is2 Posts: 5
  • bengalscotbengalscot Posts: 1
    I experienced the compressor failure (02 Crv with 101,000 miles) in July 07. I took it to First Team Honda, Chesapeake, VA, as well as contacting Honda Customer Service regarding Goodwill warranty replacement. Honda ending up paying for all parts and I paid for labor ($440). Just a couple of days ago, compressor blew again, this time blowing metal shards throughout system, basically requiring a total rebuild of AC system (about $2k). Honda is going to cover all under the 12 month/12,000 mile parts warranty, with no hassle. The service manager at First Team is awesome!!
  • robjdrobjd Posts: 2
    I hope this finds you all well, in good spirit and having a good day.

    I too have recently experienced the catastrophic compressor failure that seems to have plagued numerous other CR-V owners. My wife has a 2003 CR-V with 72K miles and a few days ago it suddenly stopped blowing cold air and begin blowing warm air instead. I called Honda America first and started a case number and then took it to a dealership to have it diagnosed. As with many others, the compressor had seized before shattering and destroying the entire A/C system. I have been quoted a replacement cost of $3600 which, with the special breaks from Honda America, will be discounted down to approximately $2500. I have also been made an offer for them to pick up 75% of the tab so that I would pay only $671 to have the air conditioner back in working order.

    While this may seem generous on the surface, it in fact is an attempt by Honda to get their customers to pay for their design flaw while at the same time denying the FACT that it is a design flaw. A system where one component (in this case the compressor) destroys the entire system is a flawed design. The fact that this type of failure is almost unheard of--except for the CR-V--is further proof that the design is flawed. My point is simple; this is not an issue of normal "wear and tear" where the manufacturer and consumer share the liability based on age and mileage; this is clearly a design error. There is NOTHING that the consumer could do, through proper maintenance, etc. to avoid the problem and for many it has been a recurring problem.

    I have spoken to someone at Honda America already since the 75% offer was made and tried to kindly share with them that the problem was really 100% their fault so they should really feel 100% responsible for the repair. Why would they wish to punish their customers for trusting in their products? Not only does that not make sense, it is unjust and unfair.

    If anyone has been successful in being fully and fairly compensated for their CR-V compressor failure please let me know. Unless people are willing to fight for what is just and fair, others will suffer. Hopefully Honda will come to this understanding soon and do the right thing. Time will tell.

    Peace be upon you all,
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