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Honda CR-V AC Compressor Problems



  • For all those that said "You will never buy another Honda" Read below...

    In part it reads......

    "my RAV4 with 67,000 miles just broke down on the PA Turnpike while driving home from vacation. Got towed to the closest Toyota dealer and they say the Transfer Case is the tune of $4,400.

    i am the original owner and the only one who has ever touched this car is the dealer i purchased it from. it's had all recommended maintainance & service. the dealer is shrugging their shoulders.

    i called Toyota customer service and after researching the cars service history and reviewing the estimate they have offered to pay half of the parts cost, which is $1300. which leaves me with over $3,000 to pay to fix a car i planned to run forever...

    i am very very disappointed in the car and Toyota's unwillingness to stand behind it and help a customer who's clearly experiencing a very unusual catastrophic mechanical failure.

    i was a loyal customer, but after this exerience i am sad to say no more toyotas for me "

    Every car. And I mean every car owner from any manufacture will have issues and one or more will say, " Never again will I buy another, Honda, Toyota, Mazda, etc, etc, etc.
  • sgpsgp Posts: 13
    Are there hundreds or thousands of RAV4 transfer cases failing like the CRV air compressors are self destructing is this an isolated incident?
  • Reason for the post is to tell those that think Honda is in general a bad car when in fact its reported to be better than Toyota if one would do the home work is just stretching it too far.

    Yes, there is an issue with the air compressor but making a blanked statement that Never Again will they buy a Honda or any car for that matter is over looking the fact that other manufacture have issues as well, some are serious and that includes Toyota's.

    Just go to and check on which manufacture has the better product and you will find Honda is listed near the top over Toyoto's.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    Honda has expensive part. I will go to Toyota after this.

    Toyota parts are not cheaper.

    In reality, no parts are cheap when buying form the dealer. It is like paying MSRP for the car, and I am sure most people negotiate, rather than just pay the sticker.

    You can buy OEM Honda parts for 1/3 from a number of on-line Honda dealers. One even advertizes on this site. Many local dealers will price match or beat on-line prices to earn one's business.

    Read about Toyota engines sludging up, too. I guess it is horse and carriage for you from now on. Clydesdales or Mules?
  • berriberri Posts: 7,749
    These posts just show you that one of these days people are going to wake up and realize its dumb to pay a premium price for a Honda, Toyota, etc. The newer D3 are catching up, so you don't need to get ripped off by the dealers or overpriced sticker prices any more.
  • peter76peter76 Posts: 6
    Honda CR-V oxygen sensor about $270 vs. Toyato RAV4 about $110. Honda CR-V compressor about $560 vs Toyato RAV4 about $350, plus Honda put the receiver/drier together with the condensor for A/C system, so you have to replace the compessor + condesor whenever you get compressor locked up. Do not tell me Honda did not make such stupid design on opurpose! is based on the survey for new car in 90 days period! Honda is not honest to its customer and the customer has the right to SAY NO! NO HONDA ANYMORE!
  • shima1shima1 Posts: 19
  • berriberri Posts: 7,749
    D3 = Detroit 3 (Ford, GM, Chrsyler/Mopar)
  • Thank you Carol for the information.

    I have a 2002 CRV that has just blew up it's third! compressor in as many years...
    Got off the phone with Lindsey at Honda Corporate office to get the ball rolling, she was NOT very helpful except to tell me it will be two days before I get a reply form the case worker, and NOT to expect any help! Wow! Nice customer service...

    Another local owner had just paid for replacement of entire A/C system, got a check for $700 from Honda for parts but still cost some $3000 plus labor for system to be replaced, and for how long till it blows up again?

    Any other owners out there, lets hear how you dealt with this obvious defective part issue!!

    Thanks all,

  • shima1shima1 Posts: 19
    Still wondering if anyone has installed this compressor.

    2002-2004 Honda CR-V - Spectra A/C Compressor
  • Got a new compressor with a 2 year warranty and a new condensor but didn't want to take a chance so I sold it but I did warn the buyer of this problem. So it sounds like it would be a good idea to use a new condensor when replacing the AC compressor but maybe all the " too small" condensors should be replaced before the compressor goes bad. :)
  • madams1madams1 Posts: 101
    Hey beyondoil, thinking of replacing the compressor and other recommended parts on my 2003 CRV with 90K. Honda dealer told me it would have 12k or 1 year warranty. Just curious, where did not get yours done? Is it true that the dryer and condensor are one part on the CRV's.

    What is holding me back from replacing the necessary parts is the reports on this site and that so many that are being replaced are failing again.

    Look forward to your input.
  • Well it sounds like the condensor flues are too small and this allows the compressor to pump liquid freon which destroys it very quickly. I have read that some people have changed the compressors with those from a 07 CRV but maybe the problem isn't with the compressor but the condensor.

    I got mine done in Greenbrae California at the Mill Valley Radiator Shop. The people working there are very fair, very honest and very capable.

    The dryer is not part of the condensor. It is a tube that is filled with dessicant. It's primary function is to remove all moisture from the system. Moisture is not good for the system and it is important to have as much of it as possible removed. The dryer is considered to be a throw away item and every time the freon is drained from the system, the dryer should be replaced.

    I wish I knew more about AC systems.
  • madams1madams1 Posts: 101
    Beyondoil, thanks for the reply. Sure was honest of you to fix before selling.

    So on the replacement is the condensor an 'improved' version of the old one?

    So if I do replace, I need to get the compressor, condensor and dryer done at a minimum.

    Due to recent economic conditions in my household, I have to keep it for 2 more years at least.
  • I don't know enough about the condensor. It is like a radiator and it exists in front of your normal radiator. So maybe the "flues" in the older ones are smaller? You would have to talk to a radiator person to find that out. The compressor I bought on e bay did have a 2 year warranty while the ones Honda sold were only 1 year. I took apart the old compressor and it had a bad seal and did not blow apart. It had a spiral chamber inside so the freon gas gets compressed by going down the spiral chamber. It was an advanced design on how to make an efficient compressor. Older ones used pistons.
  • i have been another victim of honda crv compresser nightmare...mine is $4000, and had a goodwill offer of 1500 but couldnt save the reat in time and 30 day limit ran out and the offer is no longer offered...i am very dissappointed in Honda and i think with all these complaints...we nee to take this to legal counsel.
    email me at
  • I have a 2006 CR-V and up until recently it has been one of my favorite vehicles and fully intended to buy another brand new one in a couple of years. Now however my entire AC system is bad. Took it to Ray Price Honda, where by the way my family has purchased 3 Honda's. They originally told me it was the clutch on the AC and then called me and said it was also the compressor at which time I complained that this should not be happening - they agreed to courtesy warrant the compressor $540. My car was suppose to be done yesterday ready for me to pick it up today. Guess what???? Today I got a call that when the AC went it apparently blew apart contaminating the entire system. They said they did some research and found this has been a problem in several CR-V's and therefore they would split the cost and I would need to pay $1,100. I totally and completely feel that this is a Honda problem and it is not right that I have to pay a dime for this repair. They keep telling me because I have 72,000 miles on it they don't have to pay anything. It is clear by the many post on here this has nothing to do with mileage rather it is faulty equipment originally installed in these vehicles to start with.

    At this point I will be contacting Honda directly, however since I bought the vehicle from Ray Price in East Stroudsburg, PA they should really be taking care of this and they should be fighting with Honda to get their money reimbursed. I also am really afraid to keep this vehicle now, as how do I know this will not do the same thing again, as I have read in several post. I really thought Honda's were good vehicles thus why we have continued to drive them. We still have a 1997 Honda Civic we purchased new and it now has nearly 300,000 miles on it. By the way the AC on it didn't go out until around 200,000 miles at which time we choose not to repair it. Nor did I expect Honda to take care of it. The CR-V however is completely different considering it is only 3 years old this Sept. and only has 72,000.

    Very Frustrated and feeling like I am being abused by a dealership who should be standing behind their product by doing the right thing - getting Honda to own up to the issue they have with these AC systems. :cry:
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    They keep telling me because I have 72,000 miles on it they don't have to pay anything.

    On the other hand, you did get almost five years of use out of the system so it's not completely unreasonable for them to balk at paying the full cost of replacement. Nevertheless, you may want to try a different approach such as having them pay for the parts and splitting the cost of labor with you rather than a flat 50-50 split of the total cost.

    Also, you may want to consider writing up some comments in our Dealer Ratings and Reviews.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • madams1madams1 Posts: 101
    BTW,he only got 3 years use out of the a/c based on his post.

    Tidester, a lot of folks probably do not mind much paying for a new compressor and the normal parts that go along with getting a new compressor, but paying for all of the other parts and not to mention the labor when the system implodes. Also, some folks are probably questioning whether to replace give the horror stories about it happening twice and even three times.

    I am still pondering switching out my system before it happens since I plan to keep the vehicle another 2 years or so. Mine is an 03 with 90,000 miles. I went to the Honda dealer to get an estimate and he gave me two: One is with the system still working and two with the system not working. The second estimate was a question mark since he stated that the price range could be 2-3 thousand depending on the damage. By the way I did not have to pay for the estimate since mine is still working.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    Honda CR-V oxygen sensor about $270 vs. Toyato RAV4 about $110. Honda CR-V compressor about $560 vs Toyato RAV4 about $350, plus Honda put the receiver/drier together with the condensor for A/C system, so you have to replace the compessor + condesor whenever you get compressor locked up. Do not tell me Honda did not make such stupid design on opurpose! is based on the survey for new car in 90 days period! Honda is not honest to its customer and the customer has the right to SAY NO! NO HONDA ANYMORE!

    Show me where you are getting those prices for Toyota OEM parts?

    Part listed below are for 2005 Honda CR-V EX, Japan made.

    Primary O2 sensor $187.51 Honda OEM part

    Secondary O2 seconds $187.51 Honda OEM part

    Compressor and Harness $375.53 Honda OEM part.Compressor and Harness $375.53 Honda OEM part

    In the words of Cuba Gooding Jr.: "Show me the money!"

    As to condenser and dryer being together... That is the most ridiculous statement I have ever heard. It is on par with Blondes planning on landing on the sun at night. :surprise:
  • madams1madams1 Posts: 101
    I forgot to say in my reply that the estimate for replacing mine while still working is 1,361.00 plus tax for compressor, clutch, coil, receiver/dryer and labor. If I replace the condensor also that adds 390.00 for a total of 1,752.00 plus tax. I am going to get another estimate from a shop that certifies in Honda/Acura(not a dealer) and see how close the estimates are. The one from honda dealer only comes with 1 year or 12,000 mile warranty.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    BTW,he only got 3 years use out of the a/c based on his post.

    That may be true though I based my estimate on the fact that the '06 model came out in late '05 and we're about to enter the '10 model year so it would be close to 5 years - if he was a early buyer. Be that as it may, the owner did get some significant usage out of the system.

    As to "collateral damage," I don't think there is a counterargument and I agree with your analysis.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • kvezkvez Posts: 1
    I don't care if a Honda has 200,000 miles on it. AC compressors should not go out as frequently as they have been on these CRVs. My 2004 CRV just went out last week. The car has been at the dealer all weekend, and told us today they contacted Honda America. They will "goodwill" warranty the job (compressor, hoses, etc.) for about 1600.00 (versus 4,000 +++). Comes with a 36,000/3 year warranty on the job. Other than that's a nice chunk of change, I am more upset that Honda is WELL AWARE of this problem. It's not the dealer's fault, so I will let them do the work. But, we are certainly sending some nasty-grams to the Honda Corp. I am sure they will care less, but I plan on joining whatever class action suit that has momentum. I am sure something will eventually come of this. Upsetting to say the least.
  • lorraylorray Posts: 6
    Hello, I totally agree as it shouldn't go out at 75,000 or 200,000 like I have. This is the second compressor that has gone out in my 2002 Honda CR-V. My first one went out at about 75,000. I don't have the money to fix it at this point. It makes me so mad that everyone is dealing with this same problem.
  • amspalamspal Posts: 2
    I bought a new Honda CRV in May 2004. My very first new car. I received the title (finally!) in June and 2 weeks later the compressor blew. I am furious. I called American Honda twice and both of the customer service drones that I spoke to treated me with complete disrespect, as if the problem is something that I incurred. Today I contacted my local news station, ABC 6, to seek help from their "6 On Your Side" reporter, hoping that perhaps he will do a story on this issue. If anyone else lives in the Columbus, Ohio area, and has experienced this problem, please do the same. I simply cannot think of anything else to do. We obviously need to make some waves to get someone to listen. It figures that the automakers whom we have perceived to be reliable, are not even willing to acknowledge our concerns. "Pissed;" that would be the one word to sum up how I feel.
  • jo27jo27 Posts: 7
    How ironic is this! I too bought my 2004 Honda CRV in may of 2004. It was paid off on 6/15/09.. and I'm still waiting for the title and guess what? My compressor went this weekend. I had been cranking the air the past few weeks with the hazy hot days of summer in CT, and Sunday night noticed that I wasn't getting cool air. Spent the morning at the Honda Dealer yesterday, with hopes that I only needed some coolant and expecting after the system was tested that it would only be about $200. Much to my surprise, I needed a new compressor, new compressor clutch, seals, etc...The dealer gave me a loaner til today when they got the parts. Out the door it cost me $1486 (after a 10% discount from the dealer)... The vehicle has about 89k miles so now I'm good for another 90k! Good luck.
  • Your problem sounds exactly like mine. 2004 CRV LX, meticulously maintained, 46000 miles. The air conditioner just stopped working. No noise, no warning. I went to the dealer from whom I purchased the vehicle. After the diagnostic, I received the expected response. ( I say expected because I had been through this routine before with other manufacturers. It's like they're reading from a teleprompter.) "b>You are out of the warranty period and most likely American Honda b>will not help. If you had all servicing done here, you might be more likely to get assistance." The estimate was for almost $2000. I was told that a leaking condenser was the problem even though the car had been fully serviced just days before and there was no evidence of any leak on my garage floor. I contacted American Honda and they gave me a case number. They were very courteous and responded within 48 hours. The dealership called me shortly thereafter and said I would receive some consideration but far less than what I consider a fair amount.(again as expected). I will now call American Honda to continue the arduous and inevitable "haggling" process. I will not give up! I will doggedly and fastidiously pursue every available avenue towards a just and equitable resolution. There really is no reason why decent, responsible people should be subjected to such indignity and inconvenience but that's the way it is. If each and every one of us follows through and persevere, perhaps justice will prevail. This just plain wrong !!!
  • alana50alana50 Posts: 12
    The AC was worked April last year, which is understandable on a nine year old car- stuff happens. When the problem happened in April this year I was not happy, but the shop manager where my car is serviced decided to replace parts at cost since it had been 14 months since they were installed the first time, but they did labor for free.When my husband drove the car off the shop property, it stopped working again so they had to keep the vehicle overnight on Saturday and Sunday, replacing the parts again- twice between Friday and Monday.
    Last week the AC went out again- that's less than a month later. When I took it in, they had two other Hondas (all red, coincidentally) with the same issue.
    I called American Honda and was told that they had NO records of AC parts problems and that the mechanics probably don't know what they're doing. I asked the service rep to take the time to look on, which I doubt she did. She told me that they have to wait till dealerships report that there are issues with the parts.
    I called the two dealerships in town and both told me that they have seen NO ACs with bad parts. I explained that there are many stories on Edmunds and I was told that the folks on this list must not be using dealerships for their work.
    I have now joined the class action suit against Honda, not because of the problem, but because of the careless attitude toward their customers and because the evidence shows that small shop that works on my car is loosing so much money due to bad parts. AND I've had to pay for rentals because we are a one car family.
  • amspalamspal Posts: 2
    When I spoke to American Honda yesterday (which turns out to have been a complete and utter waste of my time) the woman I spoke to first said that they haven't had any such complaints about the AC. So I asked her why so many people would feel the need to fabricate carbon-copy stories of this problem and post it on forums such as this. She ended the call with, "We have heard of some issues, but American Honda is not claiming any default at this point." They are well aware of what is going on. "Informed," you are right; we must continue to fight this anyway we can.
  • jc5462jc5462 Posts: 2
    We have a 2006 CRV and the compressor blew up internally. Whole system needs replacement to the cost of $3565.13. Technician explained that there would be fragments inbedded in the rubber hoses and if they replaced the compressor the fragments could work loose and damage the new compressor. We live in Southern Arizona so AC is important. Car has 51600 miles and is just outside of the warranty period. Called Honda America and got a case number and just waiting to hear back.
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