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Honda CR-V AC Compressor Problems



  • crvdude1crvdude1 Posts: 47
    Was your mechanic using Honda OEM or aftermarket compressor? I can imagine the OEM is a defective product. But if the aftermarket one still failed, then it is probably a design fraud in the whole A/C system.

    The only way it is a safety recall is if you were driving in heavy rain/snow/icy conditions and all the windows fogged up and had a serious accident because your vision was impaired. BTW, the A/C system also work as a defroster. :lemon:
  • Good point but the first time it was replaced by Honda so i would ASSUME it was a Honda part; that time it lasted less than a year. The second time it was aftermarket and it lasted three years. So not so sure and now i do not know which one to put in based on this history!! I agree it is not a true safety issue but everytime it has been the summer. All i can say is consumers beware and be smart. (FYI - i was told this part from Honda is $900 - just the part)
  • crvdude1crvdude1 Posts: 47
    Contact the OEM/aftermarket manufacturer of the A/C compressor, ask them if they are aware of the issue and if their newer products will fix the issue. It looks like the aftermarket one is more durable according to your comment.

    The OEM A/C compressor (Keihin A150L) is discontinued. The replacement is Seltec compressor according to

    Hopefully this one will last longer.
  • berriberri Posts: 7,861
    IIRC there is a design problem so that when the CRV compressor blows it can contaminate other components like the evaporator, condenser, etc. If you don't rebuild the entire system the remaining contamination can quickly destroy the replacement compressor again. Pretty outrageous that Honda accepted something like this from their vendor and is apparently stiffing their customers now. IMO - They should make Denso step up and join Honda in at least covering half the cost of these apparent deficiencies on the 2nd gen CRV.
  • Just got a used 2004 CRV in Novmeber 2009. Took it in to the dealership to have the a/c looked at since first it was blowing hot air and than made a clunking noise when I turned it on. Found out that the A/C compressor came apart internally, literally disintergrated and has contaminated the entire system. Of course, low and behold it is not covered under any type of warranty. Nothing like living in Florida with a car that has no A/C
  • rrubyyrrubyy Posts: 19
    call Amerian Honda 800.999.1009. Request free repair; this is a usual and frequent occurence documented by this website. Also Google: 2004 Honda CRV problems for more documentation. They have set a precedence for repairing this problem on vehicles 2 and 3 times (on the same vehicle). I had 52,000 miles on mine this year when it blew out; had the work done at a non-Honda dealer service center; they reimbursed 50% of my cost. Good luck.
  • My 2003 Honda CR-V has had the black death A/C blowout twice. It seems to happen about every 75,000 miles, or sooner. Now I have 204,000 miles. Therefore, I expect this problem to happen any day.
    If there were one particular A/C element which causes this problem, it might be worth the cost to have that part replaced immediately.
    I'm reminded of an old Ford Escort I owned. The drive chain was due to be replaced at 100,000. I went 101,000, and wrecked the engine. That was my fault.
    Unfortunately, with this Honda CR-V A/C problem, Honda doesn't even warn us.
  • carol4011carol4011 Posts: 6
    I signed up for this and hopefully everyone else will. This is ridiculous. I just rented a car for vacation as my 2003 CRV AC blew at 61000 miles. That was 2 years ago and I refuse to put our money into something that is HONDA'S fault. They had similar problems with transmissions a few years ago. Come on everyone...let's make HONDA PAY
  • I watch these messages and, hopefully, I don't jinx myself but I own a 2004 and 2005 CRV, and my sister-in-law has a 2003. So far so good on all of them... our two cars are pretty low mileage 50K and 60K, but my sister-in-law's 2003 is up there.
  • My current mechanic has a theory that the reason these are failing so often is that the debris from the defective part(s) has spread throughout the cooling system itself. This very fine metallic dust must be blown out of the cooling system to avoid future problems. Again this is a theory and i have no real way of knowing if this was done in the previous two repairs as i am still trying to get the paperwork from the dealer. All thoughts welcome...and yes i have signed up for the legal action (approx one week ago and have not heard back from them....)
  • bill285bill285 Posts: 1
    My wife's 2001 Honda CRV AC wasn't working .She tookin=t the mecahnic that wusually works on our vehicles. He said the compressor had blown up and the entiresytem would need replacing.This was on Sat. He called todayand gave us the bad news.. the price. I have read on here that Honda might help with this repair.Is this true. The vehicle has 147,000 miles on it. I hate to have it fixed if it going to happen again in 30-50,000 miles. The mecahnic said it was going to be the most expensive ac repair he has ever done. If this is as common as it seems to be then HONDA should bear the cost , or at least some of it.
  • We bought a used 2004 CRV in mid may with 63K miles (we also have a 1999 with 213K and going strong) from a Honda dealership. 35 days after driving it off their lot, the ac compressor blew up. We took it back to the dealer and they said they would give us parts at cost, but, that we would still owe over $2,000. We called Honda America and was told that there is not a problem with these vehicles and that they would not do anything to help, talk to our dealership. Our service manager said that this is the very first time he has seen anything like this happen and that it is not a problem that he is aware of. Funny, he also knew that our compressor exploded and all they did was a visual inspection and that we would also need to replace the entire system. I did some further research and found that you can log complaints on the NHTSA site and found that in the past 3 years, 61% of ALL complaints on this vehicle are ALL compressor related. Log your complaint there and also join the class action suit ... Honda has really let me down.
  • jmc44jmc44 Posts: 1
    Sadly I have to add my vehicle to this very long list of a/c compressor failures. My CRV is a 2003 with 103,000 miles on it. Of the $3,000 cost to fix, Honda is going to kick in 25%, which is better than nothing, but not that great considering how many of these are failing and how expensive they are to replace. My dealership has been great throughout, but Honda corporate customer service leaves a lot to be desired. I was told that because of the high miles (don't they advertise that their cars will just go forever?) the only reason they're giving me anything is because I've had all my repairs done at the dealership. Otherwise, I'd get nothing. Here's a direct quote "eventually the owner of the vehicle has to take responsibility for repairs". Now, I bought it new, bought the extended warranty and financed it with them. None of which made a bit of difference. Oh, and while my dealer told me that 100% of these systems will eventually fail, corporate said it is a very small percentage, regardless of what I've read on the internet. So, I will fix it, and trade it for something other than a Honda. I guess this is a classic case of buyer beware. Lesson learned.
  • crvdude1crvdude1 Posts: 47
    edited June 2010
    Ask the dealer if they are putting in a Keihin or Seltec brand compressor.
    Keihin will eventually failed according to other people postings. Keihin has discontinued manufacturing the compressor. It seems Seltec is another choice.

    I just found this:

    Subject: Re: Keihin compressor exploded
    Date: August 01, 2003 at 08:50:51
    Posted by: M. Mack on via: or
    In Reply to: The message posted by David on July 30, 2003 at 18:49:08:

    If you can find two different oils in your sample, you may be able to show that one of them was not compatible with R-134A or that one oil was not compatible with the other.

    When the compressor failed, you lost an undetermined amount of oil that was mixed with refrigerant,therefore it is not realistic to prove how much oil was in the system before.

    Although I have never seen any published data of explosive limits, it is a fact that certain mixtures of R-134A & air have been known to explode. That is why technicians are warned not to leak test R-134A systems with air.

    My bet is either: 1) You had some air in your system due to the system being open to atmosphere (hard to prove though) and conditions were right for explosion, or 2) The system lost some refrigerant during the past year, sucked air, and conditions were right for explosion.

    And this :

    This bulletin clearly mentioned late 80's early 90's Keihin Hondas have A/C compressor issues.
  • oathoath Posts: 7
    There is a definite problem with the Honda ACs. I had the total AC system replaced in 8/2005 and fortunately it was under Warranty. Recently, in May I was told by the Dealership I had to replace the whole AC again for $2800. I took it for 2nd opinion to a reputable mechanic in Baltimore and the only thing that needed to be replaced was the compressor. I don't know what the mechanic did but the AC is working better than when I got the car brand new. I saved myself $1800.00. If you live in Maryland take your car to the Catonsville Car Care Center. They're excellent.
  • crvdude1crvdude1 Posts: 47
    I think a good local auto A/C specialist can tell you more about the issue then the dealership.
  • motoguy128motoguy128 Posts: 146
    I believe the "theory" of fine metal particles is correct. The original problem is a defective compressor. But once it fails, you need to replace all components including the suction and liquid lines... not just the coils and compressor.

    It's not like Honda makes these compressors. there's fundamentally nothing different than the A/C systme on any other car. Only that Honda's suppleir made a bad part, and the repair isn't being performed correctly... in that the contamination is left behind and kills the new compressor even if it's a good design.

    IMO, the original MFG should be responsible to pick up at least part of the cost of the repair, Honda another part of the costs and only a small part by the customer.

    Put it this way... if Honda had a defective part in the egnine that caused the engine to fail. Would you expect them to just replace the bad part? Heck no, they'd have ot give you a new or rebuilt engine.

    The matter is complicated because hte initial failure typically occur just outside the warranty period.
  • crvdude1crvdude1 Posts: 47
    This sounds like Honda's reliability back in the 70's. The car drop dead after 3 years of used. :cry:
  • amy7766amy7766 Posts: 1
    edited July 2010
    Driving yesterday in AZ's heat, I heard a slight rattle, then no more cool air. The Honda dealership told me that my compressor exploded sending shrapnel into the entire system. Whole thing had to be replaced for $2200. The car has been well maintained and just got a 40,000 mile check from the dealership last month. Does anyone know if this should have been detected by the dealership? I am so surprised by this. I previously owned a 2002 civic and didn't have to make one repair. After reading through some of this forum I've decided to pursue it with Honda. Just thought I'd add my story to the list to give others reason to pursue this problem with Honda. Also does anyone know if recalls are only for safety issues? Seems as though this is a wide enough spread problem to be recalled. Of course keeping in mind that most CRVs are probably without this problem.
  • oathoath Posts: 7
    I have a 2002 CRV and they said the same thing about mine the first time when it was still under warranty in 8/2005 at 56,000 miles. It happened again 4 weeks ago at 126,000 miles and they said they would have to replace the whole system again for $2800.00. This time I got smart and took it to a local well known mechanic in Baltimore and it only needed a compressor. I saved $1,800 and the mechanic told me in his 30 years in business he's never heard of replacing a whole AC system for the 2nd time within 5 years.
    This is the response I got from the Honda Lawsuit when I contacted them but since Honda didn't replace it I didn't think of keeping the compressor.

    Thank you for contacting us about the issues with your Honda. Unfortunately, it appears that many Honda's have had the same problem that you are experiencing. Apparently, Honda typically covers the cost of repair while the vehicle is under warranty, but will not once the warranty has expired. However, some owners have received "goodwill" contributions from Honda. Regardless, you should call American Honda’s customer service department at 1-800-999-1009 and open a claim.

    Additionally, if your vehicle is in the process of being repaired, you should ask to keep your compressor.

    In order for us to determine your eligibility to be part of this potential class action brought on behalf of Honda owners, please send, e-mail or fax me a copy of the service records related to this issue. Upon review of your documentation we will contact you to discuss your situation further.
  • carol4011carol4011 Posts: 6
    I feel bad for you but at least you know you are not alone. There are hundreds/thousands of us out here. My compressor blew at 61,00 and that was two years ago. I still have not fixed it as Honda said they would not repair it. I now have 81,000 miles. In my opinion we all need to get some media attention as that is what Honda will NOT approve of. It is ridiculous as I rent a car for vacation. I live in Ohio and I bet in the five years I had the AC I used it maybe 100 times...that is 20 times a year. Honda had a BIG problem with transmissions and fixed that so why not admit to this. Any one that can get their newspaper or TV station to help would be great. Good luck. There is a group of attorneys trying to handle a class action lawsuit.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,384
    >but since Honda didn't replace it I didn't think of keeping the compressor.

    The shop that repaired it might still have the compressor in their possession.

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

  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    " This time I got smart and took it to a local well known mechanic in Baltimore and it only needed a compressor. I saved $1,800 and the mechanic told me in his 30 years in business he's never heard of replacing a whole AC system for the 2nd time within 5 years. "

    Please keep us informed how it goes. When the compressor goes, it generally causes small metal fragments to be distributed throughout the entire system. This will cause the new compressor to fail prematurely. Did the mechanic check the entire system for metal fragments?
  • willowjwillowj Posts: 1
    Okay, mine is a 2004. The compressor blew up fall of 08. I waited until July last year to have it repaired. It was a $1200 job as opposed to the $2000 the dealer quoted.

    Just yesterday, in the 97-degree heat, I felt the power drain again. I made the comment, "this feels like it did just before the ac compressor blew up." Then the grinding noises. I turned off the ac and headed directly to the mechanic who replaced the compressor the first time.

    After reading all these posts, I knew I had to ask if maybe there was debris left in the system when the mechanic replaced the compressor the first time. I just called him. He replaced the entire system for that reason.

    My question is, now what?
    Does anyone have a fix to this?
    My mechanic is looking for a heat shield. I found ONE post suggesting a grille insert that solves the problem. That's only one post. I don't want to have to replace my ac every year. This time, my mechanic is trying to have the manufacturer replace the compressor at no charge. Does the fact that it didn't blow up this time mean there's no debris or do we replace the whole system again?

    I called the dealer that sold me the vehicle. The young man does not know of a fix.

    I really like my CRV. I had a 2001. drove it to 106K and never had a problem. Should have kept it.

    I would really appreciate it if anyone can help.
  • berriberri Posts: 7,861
    You probably want to dump it. As more and more of these failures occur word gets out (e.g. Consumer Reports now black dots it), so as time goes by its just going to hit your depreciation harder and harder. Keeping it is kind of like holding a bad stock, except you have to dump $2G or more on the A/C every few years to boot. I'd cut your losses and run.
  • belacquabelacqua Posts: 15
    My air went out yesterday (100 degrees in TN), My regular Honda mechanic said my 2002 CRV had a history of the AC compressor exploding and that I would have to take my car to the dealership. Having had too many bad experiences with dealerships, I found myself online and in this forum.

    Reading through many of these posts, I'm sensing only doom and gloom. I would like some opinions, so I don't waste time and money. I'm thinking--fix it; sell it.

    What specific actions are others taking? Really, I need some input!
  • oathoath Posts: 7
    Take it to a reliable mechanic, if the car is paid for, the car runs like a charm, keep it. I was told to get a new one because the AC broke for the 2nd time. I was smart this time and I took it to 2nd opinion. I saved $1,800.00 by going to 2nd opinion and I have no idea what the mechanic did but it's running better than when it was brand new. Now it's giving me 26 miles/gallon instead of the usual 23 miles/gallon.
  • zinc6824zinc6824 Posts: 9
    just got my issue fixed through a local mechanic for $800. This was the best deal i could find. The dealership wanted $2800 for the same job. If you plan to keep your car, you better shop around, no need to give Honda any more money.
  • maryohiomaryohio Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 CRV with 108,000 miles and yesterday the air conditioner went out (90 degrees out). I took it to an independent repair shop that I deal with. Today they told me it was the compressor - I don't have a price yet. Do you want me to send you the service records after I get it fixed?
  • belacquabelacqua Posts: 15
    My '02 CRV has about 70,000 miles, and I had planned to keep it forever. So, if I could get the issue fixed for under $1,000 and repair the problem that caused the explosion in the first place, the CRV would still be a "keeper." However, if this is a re-occurring problem, then I would have to weigh all the options. I have pretty much babied it, so except for the air, it's in excellent condition. In the South, though, it's pretty difficult having a car without air--even it runs well.

    So, does anyone know what the specific problem/design flaw is that causes the compressor to explode? I'm guessing that we are really not fixing the cause, even though we replace the whole system, since some people have had to replace theirs twice.
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