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Honda CR-V AC Compressor Problems



  • madams1madams1 Posts: 101
    Sorry that you have had this happen three times. With folks having multiple times being repaired it makes you wonder if the problem is the compressor or the workings around the compressor, electrical, etc. Surely they are not using the same compressor manufacturer.

    I have a 2003 with 78,000 miles that my wife drives and I am about to inherit since she is getting a brand new fit this weekend. With all of these problems, it makes me want to possibly sell it now and get something else.
  • stullichstullich Posts: 1
    Our 2004 CRV 71,000 miles also had the compressor implode, ruining the system. The Dealer in Chattanooga quoted $3600!! to replace the entire system. After finding this forum I contacted Honda of America to get a complaint filed then the dealer back. The service rep immediately confessed to knowing about the re-occurring problem and told the service manager would contact Honda to see what they may do for me. He ballparked half and half split so I told him I had a quote from a local independent for $1300. They called back a few hours later with 75%off around $850 dollars. Seemed like the first quote was inflated but what was I to do.
  • My 2002 CRV AC compressor stopped cooling 2 days ago, making a loud sound as though something fell off the car. Later that day I went to my Honda dealer that I have received service since I bought the car from another dealership (farther away). I was told the my compressor failed internally and that it would cost $2795 to repair the entire AC system since the failure contaminated the entire AC system. I asked the service rep for suggestions, and he said I should request relief from American Honda. I filled out a form, and stated that I had all service perfomed by the Honda dealer, and that I requested at least 50% off the cost to repair. I was notified by service rep today that American Honda would cover 75% of repair. and I would only pay $630. While I am happy that the price was reduced substantially, I sense something is not right. What do you think?
  • bctampabctampa Posts: 11
    bedil, wondering what city/dealership handled the a/c problem with 100% goodwill?

    I'm in the Tampa, FL area.
    trying to determine best situation for negotiation since "goodwill" varies tremendously

  • sudmitsudmit Posts: 2
    I have been going through many of the postings and it is not clear if American Honda sends the customer any statement explaining what the total repair cost was and how much Honda paid. I am surprised that a reputed company like Honda is dealing with this AC problem in such an unprofessional way. I suspect the dealer is trying to make as much as possible out of this situation. I would not believe their invoice statement.
    However with so many complaints I think a class action law suit is most appropriate.
  • bwtwswbwtwsw Posts: 4
    Our 2003 CRV air conditioner went out 7/22/08. Driving down the road the air went from nice and cold to hot air. Since it has 108k miles I was thinking it was a loose serpentine belt or the system needed charging. I changed the belt - no luck. In trying to charge the system I had trouble finding a pressure sensor so I "googled" and found these postings. My attention turned to the compressor. I found that my compressor is not working. After returning to this site and reading more postings we decided to call Honda America: they said that a regional case manager would contact us and the compressor would have to be checked at a Honda dealership. We called our dealership and scheduled service. We also told the dealership that we had called Honda America. I will post again as the situation develops. Thanks to all who have posted!
  • chb417chb417 Posts: 3
    On Sunday 7/20/08 my air conditioning was working fine on my 2005 CR-V the VIN begins with JHL. Then Monday I didn't have any air conditioning. I went to my mechanic on Tuesday. He thought maybe it was low on freon and when we put the gages on it, yep, low on freon. After drawing off anything in the system with the vacuum pump the compressor didn't come on and the clutch was sizzling hot! I went home and left my car with him. Later that afternoon Charles called me with extremely bad news. My air conditioning was kaput. He called Heritage Honda here in Rome, GA about parts, and Jason told him that it was a common problem with CR-Vs and that the whole system would have to be replaced. The parts would cost $1600.00.
    I started doing research online and found this website.

    Thanks to this website I knew what to do. I got all my paperwork from the car and called American Honda. I pled my case and true to the postings on this site, they gave me a case number but said it would be deleted until I went to the Honda dealer and had my car diagnosed by them. I immediately hung up and called, Jim the service director and told him what my mechanic said. He made me an appointment for Thursday morning, he said he would talk to his district service manager about what kind of help Honda could give me with this repair if indeed it was the compressor. It cost $96.38 to have it diagnosed.

    It was the compressor. I left with an estimate of $2500.00! I wasn't too worried because I had faith that Honda would see me through, but I didn't know to what degree yet. Julie, one of the service writers said she would talk to Jim and I would probably hear from them the next day. Not even two hours later, Julie called and said that Honda would pay 90% of the cost leaving us with only $250.00 to pay! Needless to say, my husband and I were very happy.

    Even though I don't use Heritage Honda for service since my car is well out of warranty at 60,362 miles, I couldn't be happier with their treatment to us. I told Honda we had family who had Hondas and that this was our first new Honda and that I had never had any trouble with our CR-V and that it had had impeccable maintenance service. My husband wanted to know if I had thrown a hissy fit with them I told him no, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. It's called a goodwill warranty!

    Next week Honda will repair my CR-V. They had to order one part that they didn't have in stock. I will post again after that happens and tell more of my experience.
    Thank you Edmonds and!
  • genhogenho Posts: 7
    You nailed it! Why should anybody be paying anything to Honda for repairing a KNOWN DEFECT? This is NOT normal 'wear and tear', people...Honda is CLEARLY aware that these compressors are defective, and yet many posting here seem giddy over the fact that they 'only' had to pay several hundred dollars to have their compressor issues resolved. Folks, that is several hundred dollars that would NOT have come out of your pocket IF Honda hadn't installed a defective part in the CR/V's in the first place. I am not implying that Honda knowingly installed defective parts, but once it became apparent that there WAS a recurring problem with the SAME part in the SAME model of vehicle; Honda was obligated to repair the vehicles ENTIRELY at their expense, IMHO. I believe most of us would agree that we have no problem paying for normal 'wear and tear' clutch wears out; I pay for it. My brakes wear out; I pay to replace them. This compressor issue is NOT the same, and I am of the opinion that customers should not have to bear the burden of ANY expense whatsoever. Simple as that.
  • fitisgofitisgo Posts: 40
    The AC compressor on my 03 CR-V (owned since new) failed in May 2008, approx 5 years after purchase, at 101K miles. I had a rebuilt compressor and a couple other related parts. installed by my local Honda Dealer (Omaha, NE). My total cost was $1,358. I sent a letter to Honda Customer Service in Torrance, CA, with supporting documentation, requesting a refund of $810 for the 3 key parts that were replaced. 7 days later they contacted me by phone and agreed to send me a check for the $810 I asked for (which made me wonder if I should have asked them to reimburse me the entire $1,358).

    I have since bought 3 new 2008 Fit Sports (one is my commuter) and am not driving the 03 CR-V very often, and will probably sell the vehicle in the next year or two, especially since we've had multiple severe weather/storms in the last 3 months and the car also got minor hail damage (no comprehensive insurance coverage, so repair cost, if done, is out-of-pocket). I am hoping the rebuilt compressor lasts that longer (and hopefully longer, for the sake of the next owner)

    From reading the many postings here on this problem, my understanding is that there has been a high % of AC compressor failures in 02/03/04 CR-Vs, likely caused by inferior quality Chinese parts at time of build, and the failures have occurred at greatly differing mileages (have seen reports of as little as 20K miles, and some lasting well over 100K miles before failure).

    If you are an affected CR-V owner, the key thing to recognize is that Honda shows no sign of issuing a recall (probably because having your AC fail is, in most parts of the country, not a life-threatening or safety issue). You have a very good chance of getting partial or perhaps even full reimbursement for the cost of repairs - IF YOU REPORT IT. So go ahead and document your problem and send the request to Honda Customer Service.

    I currently own 3 new Fits, an 03 Civic, and the 03 CR-V and they have all been outstanding vehicles. The AC compressor failure on the CR-V was the first unpleasant experience of ownership, and Honda is, based on my experience, doing a reasonable job of working with the affected owners to resolve problems to the customers' satisfaction.
  • bedilbedil Posts: 11
    Our dealership is in Anaheim, CA. I looked up the dealership and sent an email to the service manager first and told him about the problem and added the fact that I had purchase 4 Hondas from the dealership since 1987 and that most likely I wouldn't be purchasing another one. He left a message for me to call his cellphone because he thought he could help me out. I found this message board before I returned his call. When I called Honda America I asked for a case number. I was told I had to go to the dealership first. After I insisted I was given a case number. Try going to the service manager. Good luck! :)
  • genhogenho Posts: 7
    Honda certainly isn't consistent re: the issuance of case numbers. Some people get one BEFORE going to the dealership; others get one later. Hmmm...
  • madams1madams1 Posts: 101
    I agree with you, but I believe that most folks are so shocked by the cost of the repair that paying 25% or even half seems ok at the time. At the most, I believe that no one should have to pay more than the depreciated value of the compressor. The customer should not have to pay for any parts or labor for parts damaged by the compressor.
    I too wondered about the case number - Some get it on the front end and some after they have gone for the diagnosis.
  • cal_ravencal_raven Posts: 8
    Well, it cost me $1200 to get everything in the A/C system replaced, honda split it with me 50/50. I have 90K on it and its a 2002, but its pissing me off that so many people are having this same problem. I think I'll write a letter to Honda American stating that I not happy about the 50/50 split after talking to several dealerships, mechanics and this board and ask for more money back. I know it will be fruitless, but owners of honda CR-V need to be heard. I'm in Norfolk Va and Checkered flag honda knew all ABOUT this problem and were easy to work with.
  • genhogenho Posts: 7
    Not necessarily...some people have followed up their repairs with a polite but FIRM letter to Honda Corporate, and have received checks covering the balance of the 'tab'.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "You nailed it! Why should anybody be paying anything to Honda for repairing a KNOWN DEFECT? "

    Auto manufacturers warranty their cars for 3 years or 36K miles (sometimes more, and often 50K for transmission and engine). Once they are past that, they have no legal obligation to fix anything, with the exception of safety related items. A/C is not a safety item.

    There is a reason that warranties are limited!

    Honda is bending over backwards to help people out. I don't think any other manufacturer would do as much.
  • bctampabctampa Posts: 11
    Sherpasnacks - I'm going to have to deal with Honda in the next day or two for a 2004 cr-v a/c failure.
    I'm strengthening my case for demanding a full reimbursment and would appreciate your help.
    Do you have the names of the dealer and Honda America reps that told you the failures were restricted to certain VIN numbers?
    Do you have any info about "which" VIN's are affected.
    Would you please post the part number of the "new generation/upgraded" compressor (assuming it's listed and legible from your repair invoice) ?
    I'm still trying to decide when (not if) posting notice of the "Compressor Issue" from this forum (and others I've found as far away as Australia) at "The Consumerist - Shoppers bite back" ( ).
    It's a consumers rights/reporting/solution blog thats gaining more press daily.
    It's even posted as a "recommended site" at the NY Times "Freakonomics" blog.

    My decision to report will depend upon the need for "more persuasive leverage" with Honda.
    Honda should step up to avoid further tarnishing it's reportedly good reputation.
  • bctampabctampa Posts: 11
    "Auto manufacturers warranty their cars for 3 years or 36K miles (sometimes more, and often 50K for transmission and engine). Once they are past that, they have no legal obligation to fix anything, with the exception of safety related items. A/C is not a safety item.

    There is a reason that warranties are limited! "

    Seems something askew to this reasoning. Reminds me so much of the "Rules are Rules" mentality of myopic inflexibility.

    Honda presents itself as a corporation that pursues superior and evolving engineering.

    They would not knowingly utilize components or manufacturing processes that would result in a "good enough for the length of the warranty", a mistake to which other manufacturers prescribed.

    While failure to come forward with anything less than a notification of affected vehicles and/or 100% compensation may have to do with the politics of shareholders, the "goodwill" gained in monetary and character recognition would vastly outweigh the expenditure.

    Have you [ poster/member stevedebi ] not recognized the multiple declarations of
    long time purchasers who will not consider Honda for another purchase.
    Do you not intuit the geometric progression of taint that's set forth in the "unspoken others"?

    Stevedebi, the attitude and implicit message conveyed in your post is precisely what those of us facing this situation are currently having to oppose.
  • george115george115 Posts: 2
    We were vacationing in Florida when our 2003 CR-V's compressor grenaded at 41,000 miles. We took it to Coggin Honda in Orlando, Florida, where it was repaired for free. The service rep went to great lengths to investigate the problem (to include contacting a Honda dealer in South Carolina who had replaced the entire system at 16,925 following a similar event) and advocated for us with Honda America. They also gave us a free loaner car to use while they worked on our car.
  • momac2499momac2499 Posts: 10
    I am so glad to here someone that thinks the same as I do about this problem. Like I said in a couple of postings Honda is well aware of this situation and has done nothing to fix it. Most of the people posting on here have only had it happen to them once. It's happened to me 4 out of 6 years that it unexceptable from HONDA this is my 5th honda and I will never by another one. I think we should all get together and get a class action suit on them. I would start it up I just don't know where to begin. If anyone has any idea please get back with me.
  • emat24emat24 Posts: 1
    This whole situation with the AC compressor is unacceptable..

    Same boat for me: compressor blew on our '03 CR-V at 66,000 miles. Took it to my buddy first who is an expert mechanic and he saw that the compressor was fried. He told me that with the cost of the part and the 3 1/2 to 4 hours labor, it would run about $1000 to fix. I then found all the complaints online related to the same part, so contacted Honda America, who told me I would have to take it to my local dealer (in Princeton, NJ) to have it diagnosed and then they'd see how they could help. Naturally, they found the same problem and said that metal pieces had gotten into the system so the whole AC unit would have to be replaced -- compressor, condenser, evaporator, lines, etc -- at a cost of... $3,800.

    The repair manager I dealt with was helpful and using the case number I'd gotten from Honda America, said he'd contact my customer service manager handling the case. That rep got back to me, apologized for the problems and said that as a "good will" measure, Honda America would be willing to pay 75%. That's the same figure I've seen here a number of times on this thread.

    Here's the rub: at the cost I paid for the diagnostic at my local dealer, there's no way that the service department at Honda went any further than my friend the mechanic went -- seeing that the compressor itself was fried, so naturally the AC wouldn't work. Let's face it, if they're not being paid to do the extra work, they're not doing the extra work.. There's no way to determine if metal shavings have actually gotten into the intake and exhaust ports unless they actually disassemble the compressor. So while I've been offered 75% off the $3,800 price to replace the entire AC system, there's a chance that all that needs to be replaced is the compressor.

    The 25% price that I would have to eat after Honda America's "discount" would be, let's see.. about $950, plus tax, etc.. Or the cost of replacing a compressor.

    I plan to ask if they can disassemble the compressor in front of me to see for sure if there's any sign of metal contaminating the rest of the AC system. No doubt they'll balk, but it's worth a shot I guess.

    If not, I will certainly make sure that EVERY single part is written down on the repair order to make sure it's all charged out. And then I will take it to my friend to ensure that every single part in the AC system has indeed been replaced.

    In my situation, it just struck me as strange that both the service manager and the customer service manager from Honda America seemed to be playing good cop. But the way my situation shakes out, they would both be benefiting. The service folks get paid for their work (who knows if it needs more than the compressor at this stage?) and Honda America comes out looking like a good guy because they've gone to lengths to "help out" a customer who's car is out of warranty by offering to pay a hefty percentage of the repairs. Even though they said themselves the compressor shouldn't be blowing at 66,000 miles...

    There's definitely something wrong here and while it may seem that in some cases Honda America is "helping", I have to wonder if that's really been the case...

    My case is still developing, so we'll see what happens.
  • I have a 2003 Honda CRV that I purchased NEW in May 2003 with only 24 miles on it. I began to notice a moaning sound whenever the AC was on at around 9,000 miles or so. The Honda dealer said they did not hear any sounds or anything so they could not do anything. I kept hearing it for a long time then for some reason eventually the sounds I heard finally gradually just disappeared.

    I have been bringing my Honda religiously to the dealership and following the maintenance on my vehicle. I have had to replace the tires from my new car at 30,000 miles (on a new car can you believe it), replaced the battery at 45,975 miles on the car. I also began to notice a groaning/moaning sound whenever I backed my car up and the dealer said that was the rear differential fluid and I had to replace that per their suggestion at 50,264 and at the same time they said my transmission fluid needed flushing/replacing. So I did. Keep in mind I am following all the required and recommended maintenance on my CRV. I had no more problems except minor lightbulbs etc issues for a while until after i took my car to the dealership for the 90,000 mile maintenance.

    Then, 2 days after the 90,000 mile maintenance, we went on vacation. While we were on vacation in Florida, the A/C suddenly blew warm and while driving I heard a loud noise like I lost something at the bottom of my vehicle. Needless to say, we had no A/C on the long drive home to Georgia. I took the vehicle to the Honda dealer (92,000 miles now) and they said that my A/C clutch completely broke off and that the A/C locked up and the entire A/C system needed to be replaced. The cost: $3,356.84. I was furious. I did not feel I should pay for that. (6/2008) and took my vehicle to replace the entire A/C system with another professional mechanic for $1500 with all authentic Honda parts. He said he has NEVER seen the A/C clutch break off the way it did on my car. Then a few weeks later the check engine light comes on. I took the vehicle to the dealer again and they hooked their machine up and said they had to replace a part; so I did. I paid around $38.00 and the check engine light was off and I thought all was well.

    After leaving the dealership and going shopping, parked the car, came out and started it again and the check engine light comes back on again. Whatever the dealership did 2 hours prior did not work; so I paid for a part that did not need to be replaced. Of course the dealer was closed so I had to bring it in when I had time again. Well, the check engine light turned off. I called my maintenance guy at Honda immediately and he said the next time it came on to come in. I did and they said the same code came up (the one part I already replaced) and now the Oxygen sensor needed to be replaced and that was going to be $500 (this was a new one).

    I have followed ALL the recommended maintenance on the car and to have it have so many problems is outrageous. I have always held Honda with the utmost respect. My entire family owns many Hondas and this is a very huge disappointment. After hearing that the Oxygen sensor needed to be replaced this week, I figured I am not the only person with Honda issues and this let me to google Honda CRV issues and here I am.

    I am glad I found this website because I feel better I am not the only one having major problems especially the A/C locking up. Someone asked in another posting if there is a class action lawsuit against Honda; I am surprised there isn't one either with all the same complaints. With all the several same complaints on several websites on the A/C locking up, I am surprised Honda doesn't own up to this as a manufacturing issue and just repair it? I hope to get this resolved amicably when I call Honda America on Monday. I only wish I found this blog before getting the A/C repaired. Thanks everyone! Wish me luck and any suggestions??

  • kisseypookisseypoo Posts: 29
    I've had similar problems to you. A rear differential moaning and groaning. Fluid replaced by dealer. Two months later same problem. (See; search "Honda" then "Rear differential" Look for Post #98 which gives you the link to the Honda Service Bulletin.

    Then we also had an oxygen sensor fail. (I hadn't found this site at that time.)

    Now we're on our 3rd a/c compressor. See my posts #678, 670 and 679. Might give you some insight and/or answer some questions.

    Happy motoring?????
  • Thanks for responding. I just finished writing a letter to the head of our service department. I am giving him the opportunity to resolve this with us on the A.C issue before calling Honda corporate. were you able to get Honda to pay for any of your compressors and did they do the work for all three?

    Many people on the blogs are asking why there hasn'g been a class action lawsuit and I am beginning to wonder maybe we should start one if we can't get things resolved. We shall see. Write back!
  • drive62drive62 Posts: 637
    Since you've had problems with your Honda I'm sure you will buy a different make for your next purchase. Let us know how it goes.
  • drive62drive62 Posts: 637
    I think if someone can't spell the name of their vehicle they shouldn't get any assistance from Honda. ;)
  • :cry: Sorry to say that I had the same problem yesterday. After a loud noise - I thought my 2003 CRV with 75,000 was blowing up. I pulled off the road to find find that it was my air-conditioning. Having owned 5 reliable Hondas before this one - 4 Accords and 1 Civic, we decided to go with the CRV when we needed a utility type vehicle. Having it serviced regularly - I never thought I'd be facing a big bill like this.
    It makes me mad that there are so many of us out there - and that with this and all of the other Discussion Posts on the internet - Honda must know of the problem... :lemon: I will be calling them tomorrow and will see what they say. I thought I would be a Honda family forever - now I'm not so sure...
  • frieda723frieda723 Posts: 2
    Hello - We just bought a 2004 CRV and were wondering what part of Texas you are in and what dealership you went to - in case our compressor blows up as well. We are in the Dallas area -- many thanks, Frieda723
  • frieda723frieda723 Posts: 2
    In a previous post (sorry, do not remember which one) someone made mention that it has been found that only certain VIN's are having the compressor problem. Does anyone have this information? Is there a way to tell based on your VIN? We have a 2004 CRV. Many thanks --
  • chickie6chickie6 Posts: 1
    Phooey on Honda (to put it mildly)--I bought a 2003 CRV w/ 69,000 miles in the spring & air went out the end of June. Figured I was SOL (& $1400 for my mechanic to fix it). He called Honda about it & they told him whole system should be replaced for over $3000 due to metal fragment contamination & the company would be willing to help me get it fixed. I called Honda America & a nice person told me to take it to Honda dealer for diagnostics & Honda was being "very generous about this problem".
    In the meantime, I got online & found out that this is a common problem. So, when Honda America rep called & said they would pay 1/2 & I would be responsible for $1500 + taxes, I gave her some attitude--told her if it was a common problem, why didn't they own up to it & take full responsibility--that I would never had bought the car if I had known about it--that I was really disappointed w/Honda. Her reply--the internet is full of lies & most of the stories aren't true; that there isn't anything wrong w/the car--it was just a chance thing that the compressor went out. I asked if they replaced the compressor, was it guaranteed not to happen again? Her reply--no, it is a man made thing & there are no guarantees. I continued to vent & she got testy and said they were making the offer in good faith, didn't have to do it at all & would rescind the offer of 1/2 payment if I didn't want to go along with her story..I made an appt to get it fixed at dealer because my mechanic said they would use real Honda parts & he would use after market parts, but not sure what to do at this point. I've tried to go without the air but since it's been in the 90's & humidity is around 80-90%, I can't handle it. (getting migraines from the heat) You know,it wouldn't be so bad if the car was paid off, but I've still got 43 more payments on it. :cry:
  • kisseypookisseypoo Posts: 29
    I never asked for compensation for the 1st a/c repair or 1st rear differential problem. When the a/c failed for the second time, we contacted Honda America (after finding this website) and received a case number. We had to fax them documentation of what we'd paid for the second a/c labor and I wrote a long letter proclaiming my loyalty to Honda and our problems and asked not only for reimbursement on the failure of the 2nd a/c compressor, but also for the 2nd rear differential repair. (Forgot to ask for reimbursement for 1st a/c repair.) Honda America sent us a check for both the 2nd a/c and 2 rear differential repairs!

    Good luck in getting some satisfaction. Keep us posted.

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