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Honda CR-V AC Compressor Problems



  • ecoelhoecoelho Posts: 1
    My car lasted a bit longer than most on this board, but the A/C compressor on our 2004 CRV finally blew up this weekend.

    After taking the car to the dealer, I was informed that there is a hole in the compressor and the entire A/C system needs to be replaced. The repair costs are $3500!!! Although I am the original owner of the vehicle and have done all my maintenance at the dealer( West Broad Honda in Richmond,VA), they are refusing to pay for any of the repairs and told me that it is not their problem.

    I opened a case with the Honda corporate office and am waiting for their response, but based on the other posts on this board, it looks like I will have to spend the next few weeks complaining to them.

    This is my fourth Honda vehicle and I've convinced at least five family members and co-workers to purchase Honda vehicles. I am extremely disappointed and frustrated by the way the dealer is handling this manufacturing defect and not taking any ownership in the products that they sell. I was planning on buying another car this year, but after this incident Honda is definitely off my list.

    File a complaint at the National Highway Traffic Safety website. Unless we all file complaints, Honda will not issue a recall:

    Also, this law firm is collecting information for a class action lawsuit. It looks legit and I provided them with my information:
  • Turned the AC on last friday for the first time this season in my '04 CR-V EX 4wd and it's dead. I'd found this thread over the winter and actually considered trading it in before it blew, but then I thought, why ask for trouble? Instead, trouble found me. I'm taking it in to the dealer tomorrow, but I'm prepared to argue for help from honda. We're original owners, and I don't think the mileage is too out of line for the age of the car. After having to replace the tires @ 50k, plus having a transmission sensor go bad last summer, this car is starting to get rather expensive.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    Saying that we hadn't seen too many complaints lately. I guess I was tempting fate, because here come two new ones!

    I still wonder if they haven't fixed the issue with the replacement compressors.

    Good luck to everyone who has posted...
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    Turned the AC on last friday for the first time this season in my '04 CR-V EX 4wd and it's dead.

    As per Owner's Manual, A/C system should be run for at least 10 minutes once a week in the winter months to circulate lubricant through the system.

    After having to replace the tires 50k,

    If those were original tires, consider your self very lucky. OEM Bridgestones bareley lasted 15,000 on my CR-V. But, the cost of tires should not be considered an out of the ordinary expense. Those are wear and tear items, like brakes, hoses, fluids, ect. that need to be replaced on a regular basis aka maintenance items.
  • I was just trying to make a point- we've had the A/C on from time to time in the Winter, but let's be serious here- who makes it a point to turn on their AC for 10 min a week in the dead of winter? And could you really blame this problem on that?
  • Just called the dealer- we had the full implosion, destroying the AC system. Dealer wants $3500 for the repair, and is unwilling to cover any of the cost. I've asked them to call Honda to see if they'll help. I'm not holding my breath. If they won't cover any of the cost, I'll never buy another Honda again.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    As per Owner's Manual, A/C system should be run for at least 10 minutes

    It's a little hard to search, but I don't see anything in the 2004 CR-V owner's manual about running the AC during the winter (page 99 and following).

    Maybe this is something new? Or something that only applies to Civics?

    I've always heard that A/C compressors come on (at least above 32°F) to dehumidify the air when you run the defroster so the oil gets circulated that way. If your winters are below zero for months, then running the A/C could help lube and condition the seals and hoses.
  • The dealer talked to the regional rep, and he's unwilling to cover any of the cost of repair for the AC system. I've started a ticket with American Honda, and they said they would get back to us within 48 hours. The dealer was actually pretty nice about it- they did not charge us for the diagnostic, and we had requested an oil change that they also did for free. We'll keep bringing our Accord there, but there's a good chance we'll have a RAV4 by the end of next month.

    Also, the dealer admitted that the regional honda guy had been covering much of the cost of these repairs (and that this problem is not rare), but that recently they've been denying claims for cars with over 75k miles. My question to that was "So, it's reasonable to expect most CR-V compressors to fail around 85k and take the rest of the AC system with it?", to which he admitted that its not really a mileage thing.
  • rich126rich126 Posts: 1
    Wanted to add my name to the expanding springtime compressor failures. 2004 CRV with 72000 miles. Just got back from the Honda dealer who diagnosed the problem as a locked compressor. They could find no evidence of "black death" contamination of the system, so only the compressor, some lines, and filter need replacing. Cost was quoted at $1200, but since we were considered "valued customers" (care purchased and serviced exclusively at that dealer), they are going to work with Honda for parts. My cost will be $500. I accepted that and they are ordering parts. My wife drives this car and loves it. Hopefully the replacement compressor will last for a few more years.
  • We've also done all our service at the dealer- maybe that will matter to the national rep. The dealer said it would, but then again, it did not matter to the regional rep. I'd take your deal hands down, drive it for a year, and then sell.

    I don't understand rejecting this repair for mileage reasons, since this is not a wear item. We were just "lucky" to have it last a bit longer. Maybe if it had failed sooner, it would not have taken the rest of the system with it.
  • 2122021220 Posts: 1
    Everytime you use your defroster your a/c compressor is on. This feature was added to most cars several years ago because people weren't turning on their a/c's for ten minutes a week. I experienced this problem with my a/c on my 2002 CRV. The car has 61000 miles. I had a 72 month 72000 mile extended warranty. Honda doen't care. However after pleading my case that this was the fifth vehicle purchased in the last 15 years from them, they are paying $1675 of the $3900 repair bill.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "Everytime you use your defroster your a/c compressor is on. This feature was added to most cars several years ago because people weren't turning on their a/c's for ten minutes a week. "

    I think it was implemented to ensure that dry air got to the windshield; this is more efficient at clearing the windows. It did not (specifically) have to do with A/C or compressors. It has been standard on all my cars since about 1996.
  • mobilitymobility Posts: 2
    Not even the fan comes on! Is this how the notorious catastrophic failure manifests itself? I would expect that at least it would work on heat mode/be able to blow hot air. (checked fuses, are ok)
  • beyondoilbeyondoil Posts: 15
    I don't think the fan has anything to do with the AC clutch which is the only thing on the compressor that requires electricity. Are you sure you checked the right fuses?

    Hopefully you will find one blown.

  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    Not even the fan comes on! Is this how the notorious catastrophic failure manifests itself? I would expect that at least it would work on heat mode/be able to blow hot air. (checked fuses, are ok)

    If you mean the cabin fan, it is a separate system that integrates the HVAC controls together.

    Set the fan to the highest setting and it should come on. If it does, then you have a blown transistor in the fan speed module.
  • mobilitymobility Posts: 2
    correct, got it fixed blown transistor, thanks
  • tman777tman777 Posts: 1
    Same thing happened to me Honda CRV. I asked what was worse case scenario. They said an implosion would cost about $3600. Guess what - implosion - paid about $130 for diagnosis. Unemployed - so no air this summer. I think Honda USA has a design flaw.
  • jpettibonejpettibone Posts: 51
    Sorry to hear. I agree that there is a flaw. We're currently still waiting to hear from American Honda to see if they will assist in the cost of the repairs, but I think I'm getting the run around. We called AH last tuesday to open a claim. The claim person waited two days to call to discuss the claim. He said he would check with the dealer and get back to me on monday. No call on monday, so on tuesday I called AH again. Claim agent was not available, but note in file said that the service manager at my dealer was out of town all week, and there was no one else at the dealer who could help. Bull-crap (pardon my french). Anyway, I called again today, finally got the right claim agent, and he gave me some double-talk about needing to check with the service manager to find out who along their chain of command denied assistance. They also feel that at 82k, we've gotten good life out of the part. Bull-crap again- when do these parts fail on other cars? They are not generally considered wear items. Plus, the majority of the damage is from the method of failure of the compressor, which I think is their fault too. We started looking for new cars today- we're done with honda. I do not expect any help at this point, and I can't believe Honda would do this based on their reputation.

    I also can't believe that more has not been made of this publicly. One would think that some light needs to be shined to get Honda to own up to this.
  • berriberri Posts: 7,583
    It takes awhile to build a reputation and also to wreck one. It seems Honda has recently had A/C and tranny problems, and I think they may have had a head gasket problem a bit ago on some Civics? Anyway, as Ford and Hyundai continue to improve if Honda doesn't get a better handle it will no longer be able to command those premium prices down the road. It just takes time.
  • pghjohnkpghjohnk Posts: 1
    I appreciate all the posts in this forum. I stumbled across this forum while searching for after market parts when I found my A/C had quit on me 2 weeks ago. I was quoted a price of $2700 to replace the whole system. After reading a number of posts here, I called Honda USA and received a case number. When I finally talked to a rep. I explained that this was my 4th Honda purchase since 1984, that my CR-V only had 75,000 miles and that I had read about numerous compressor problems on this site. After about a week I received a call from my dealership. The offer of $750 I felt was fair, especially in these times. I owe all you good folks a big Thank You since I would have had no idea how to frame my case without your words of advice. I would strongly recommend those who have future problems to contact Honda USA and to be patient. I feel I was treated fairly and even received a follow-up car from the Honda rep asking me if I had been treated well by my dealership. Again Thank You!
  • jpettibonejpettibone Posts: 51
    Well, the point is now moot, because we bought a 4 cyl. Toyota Highlander today. We got a very good trade on on an a/c less CRV- more than honda was willing to give, and the hit that we took was far less than the cost to repair. The Toyota dealer was quite familiar with this problem with CRVs and knew exactly what had happened as soon as he drove it.

    I might have been able to get over paying $3800 to fix the air if it was not for how Honda handled our case. To offer to assist people with 75k miles but not 85k on a non-wear item is simply arbitrary and designed to cut their losses. In addition, our case manager still has not called me since thursday two weeks ago, and our dealer claims that their service manager is out of town and there is no one else who can assist us. He does not return my calls, and honestly, what he says when I call him and catch him in his office is difficult to understand.

    I owned a 04 crv ex and a 06 accord ex-l. I did all my service at the dealer for both cars. I convinced two siblings to buy the new CRV. I somehow managed to buy just about the only lemon that Honda sells, and Honda was unwilling to help. I might buy a different type of honda again, but I won't buy a CRV, and I won't be going back to that dealer to service our other honda. They saved themselves $2500 in repair costs, and cost themselves a customer. And, I'll always have a bad thing to say when people mention Honda. I hope it was worth it.

    I really liked my CR-V's a shame it had to come to this.
  • berriberri Posts: 7,583
    The offer of $750 I felt was fair

    It beats nothing, but with what Honda charges for parts and service they still probably made a nice profit off you thanks to their apparantly deficient design.
  • jpettibonejpettibone Posts: 51
    It's an acceptable offer. I would have taken that if they had offered it to me, driven it for one more year, and then sold it. There are simply too many owners that have had this happen to them a second time, and I doubt you get much help at that point.

    One other aside- My sister-in-law's father owns two CR-Vs, a 2002 and a 2006, and he had the complete implosion happen to his 2002, but he did not realize it was a widespread issue. He bought the parts and had a friend install them for free, but he also was offered no assistance. He said he should have been suspicious when the dealer had all the required parts in stock. Indeed.
  • devoistdevoist Posts: 3
    a/c internally exploded, add me to long list of compressor failure issue. had local, (if you call local 2hrs. away) dealership check it out $2,800 to fix. my proplem with this whole issue of inferior a/c in crv is they want really admit they have problem. local dealership would not help had to get case # then they came back with price to fix it of $1,700 like they are doing me big favor. my entire family owns hondas my father 2, sister 1, one of my brothers owns 2, one of my brothers 1, and i own 3, a grand total of 9 in family. yet local dealership or american honda will not take care of faulty compressor problem so much for honda loyalty i guess. even though my honda has a little over 75,000 miles, i still feel like they should take care of bill,just purchased $32,000 accord from this dealership. doe's anyone have any idea how much of bill local dealer usually takes care of. and where do you go after seemingly exhausting every possible avenue to get help with this issue. would it do any good to write letter to american honda and does any one have an address for america honda corporate where said letter may get read. very disgruntled (maybe former) honda owner
  • vdoepkervdoepker Posts: 3
    Devoist - I had a somewhat similar situation to you. Compressor exploded, took it into dealership, got quote that was higher than the testicles on a giraffe, I was cranked off, called Honda America, got cold shoulder from their 800 number, got more cranked off, found this thread, cooled down for a couple days (not by running the non-functioning AC!), and then called the dealership back and got the problem properly dealt with after a second conversation with their service manager.

    For me the winning conversation went like this:
    Me - "I just called Honda America to discuss the AC failure of my CRV you looked at earlier this week. As a longtime customer of your dealership who has purchased more than one car here and a regular maintenance customer I am asking your help to 'go to bat' on this issue with Honda America and to be my advocate in my conversation with them. I'd like to setup a call later this week to discuss my AC failure with them and include you."

    Dealership (I am not making this up) - "Oh, what a coincidence. I have our rep from Honda American in the shop here today. Let me go ask her about your request and see what she says."

    Dealership after a 5 minute wait - "Good news! Honda has agreed to pickup the majority of the repair cost. Sorry for the confusion with your call in to their 800 number earlier. When can you bring your 03 CRV into the shop?"

    The moral of my story was that I had to try multiple times at the dealership, I seemed to get different answers depending on who was involved when it came to Honda America, and in the end I was able to get the whole mess fixed for less than $400.
  • devoistdevoist Posts: 3
    have not called back honda dealership since talking to regional rep. will call back tommorrow first thing to see if i can talk with someone else there you would think that between the cars me and my family have bought there plus the people we have sent there they could do better than $1,700. let you know what happens later thanks for the encouragement.
  • vectorman1vectorman1 Posts: 2
    Great site. Compressor locked up. Didn't think it was right with just 81k. I have own many other Hondas with no major problems. I found this problem confusing until I read most the posts at this site. Tomorrow I'll call the 800 number, then file my complaints with and
    I'll also talk with my local dealer Service Manager and see what happens. They quoted me $3000 to fix yesterday.
  • mberson1mberson1 Posts: 2
    The AC in my 2004 CRV went out with 70,000 miles. Contacted Honda as this seems to be an ongoing issue. Dealer quoted me $2,400 for the fix. Honda offered to pay 50% of that sum as a "charitable"contribution or something like that. Now, the question is where do I get $1,200? I must have AC due to a ongoing medical condition. Honda is escalating it internally. I'm not holding my breath though.
  • letsgopensletsgopens Posts: 1
    I am right there with you. My 2002 CR-V EX is at my local Honda dealer this morning awaiting the $100 diagnostic for exactly the same issue: We heard a bang from under the hood, then the A/C immediately stopped working. This group string is extremely helpful. I am going to follow the good advice listed here and work with their service manager for something: a reduction, goodwill offer, etc, etc. I really really love the car, and so does my wife. To keep things in perspective, we've owned two hondas for a combined 10 years, and this is literally the only repair job we've ever had to do. Everything else was normal maintenance. Everything. That being said, it's probably wise to start shopping for an 05+. Sounds like the compressors on those are from a different manufacturer, and have a design improvement. Like most everyone else, though, we're a product of the current economy, and are living on a shoestring budget till things get better. Basically, a trade-in is out of the question right now. Hopefully this repair will last us till then. I will definitely ask about this repair job's warranty.
  • beyondoilbeyondoil Posts: 15

    Good luck on your compressor issue with Honda. I just wanted to tell you that you would have the same problem with a 2004. I think you have to get a 2007 in order to avoid these problems.

    Someone actually put a compressor in a earlier version from a 2007 and you can do this but you have to change the lines. I think this would be a good idea as the lines can't cost that much.

    Daniel :shades:
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