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Honda CR-V AC Compressor Problems



  • murphydogmurphydog SeattlePosts: 689 are only playing with fire here - come on back to the frontlines forums.

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,600
    Yeah, and I knew better when I jumped in.
  • zgreat1zgreat1 Posts: 11
    edited August 2010
    Thank you. It is stressful and vexing enough for those of us to have to deal with an a/c system that American Honda (AH) knows is a poorly-designed and "bordering" defective system :lemon: and yet we as loyal customers (at least before we had to deal with this a/c issue) mostly get the short end of the stick :mad: from AH. Those of us who have to work for a living to support our young ones and elderly would all want AH to own up to protect the well-being of our loved ones and ours :sick: to suffer the driving/riding without a/c in 100+F heat (105+F heat indices) AND to not continually get personal and disrespectful "insults to injuries" from those whose agendas are blatantly OBVIOUS!

    Thanks again, tidester, for intervening!!
  • Hmm-well my daughter and son in laws 2003 CR-V just blew the compressor according to the dealer and my son in laws father had the same exact problem, same year car and their best friends ALSO has the same exact thing happen. Way too many occurrences to be a coincidence but the dealer today quoted $3400 to do the whole replacement!!!--WOW---the gave us the name of someone in Headquarters to contact and they are relaying it to the District person so we are waiting to see what they offer for help as they say. She has 106K on the car. also, they were suppossed to fix the tumbler on the lock today and instead they replaced the actuator solenoid and window channel which there was nothing wrong with it so they fixed the lock fianlly-no one seems to listen to what they are told to do. The service agent didi write down it was the lock cyclinder itself and goods thign we checked it BEFORE we left the dealer. ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!
  • well that is great they stepped up and helped out wiht an obvious problem. I know of three people right now wiht 2003's that have the same exact problem happen to them-the compressor blew on ALL of them. Too much of a coincidence to be just luck from the same year and not bought at the same location either. All parts from the same factory i would bele :lemon: ive. oh well-
  • belacquabelacqua Posts: 15
    '02 CR-V Ex--88,000 miles, well-maintained, AC went out early July, picked up my car yesterday--I originally took my car to a dealer in Knoxville, TN, where I live. I don't believe they did anything more than eyeball it, if that. Took them a week to get back to me and said it was the whole system (@ $3,000) and no good-will warranty.

    I drove to a dealership in Marietta, GA, (where I bought an Element EX), and left my car with them. The service rep, before the day was over, called and said it might just be a damaged condenser (and showed me the damage). Furthermore, he said that with luck maybe all I needed was a new condenser and freon, but he wouldn't know for sure until they fixed that.

    The next day he called with the news that it was more than the condenser, but not the whole AC system--the compressor was blown, and the car would need a new compressor, clutch, coil. (This dealer also was not going to extend a good-will warranty). At this point I had the option to pay for the compressor and freon and take my car somewhere else to complete the work. I left it, of course, because I was tired of the whole ordeal and by this time just wanted it done.

    Here are the charges:
    134 Freon--$35.80
    Clutch SE--$229.80
    Coil Set--$96.36
    TOTAL= $2004.41

    What have I learned?

    1.) I was told that dealers are allotted so many dollars per month for good-will warranties; therefore, although the dealers act as if you are being turned down by AH, it indeed begins there at the dealership. That's why, if you are NOT loyal to their service department (where most of their money is made), they shrug you off. And it has nothing to do with purchasing a car, only service.

    2.) The purpose of the SB describing the problem and fix with the A, B, or C kit makes it easier for many dealer's just to say (without really looking at your particular situation), "you need the C kit"--which is the whole system-- again without really accessing your problem--and that is the $3,000+ job. Don't accept an overall assessment; make the dealer break it down by components.

    3.) Knowing what I know now, I would take my car to an independent auto repair shop that fixes A/Cs, never dealing with Honda and the resulting grief and despair I incurred. I added my name to the class action suit, but I don't expect anything to become of that--certainly not any compensatory dollars.

    4.) Lastly, I'm not going to cut off my nose to spite my face. I bought a new Element EX and will sell the CR-V. I believe that Toyota will have to improve their warranties considering their bad press (like Audi first, then BMW and Porche.) and Honda will have to follow suit...eventually.

    OK, overall, I think Honda's business practices suck. I think car dealerships in general suck. I hope everyone else dealing with this problem has better outcomes than mine.
  • I have a Honda CR-V 1999. I just replaced the Compressor with a rebuilt compressor and dryer. It worked fine the first two days and then it started fluctuating in temperature between 100° and 84° as I drive it down the road. It will fluctuate to 84° when its standing still and when Im going 65mph down the road. It will also go to 100° under the same conditions. I did not replace the expansion valve. We do see the clutch engaging and it looks like it is working properly when we have it sitting still and it will not disengage when we start it up. It's only after we start going down the road. Do you think replacing the expansion valve might solve the problem?
  • I went back to the dealer that I purchased the vehicle from to have them give me their assessment of the damages/costs. They did quote $2400--which was several hundred dollars cheaper. Plus, I asked the service advisor for a goodwill repair based on what I have read here and on other sites. He did acknowledge that there were problems with compressor since 2002. I was told that if they do agree to help me out, they will sell me the parts at cost, plus cover 25% of the bill. My family and I have purchased 4 Hondas and serviced them at this location over the last 15 years. Thanks to everyone for sharing information and experiences. We'll see what happens. I should get an answer on Monday.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    Is it icing up? If so, try to confirm you have the correct qty of freon. Too much will cause as many malfunctions in operation as too little. It doesn't have to be exact, but see that it is within the range of grams as stated in your OM.

    You did a very thorough evacuation right? If your compressor grenaded, then usually comp, condenser and drier are affected. Did you confirm no shrapnel went up the lines to the evaporator?
  • alana50alana50 Posts: 12
    Three times my 2000 CRV was in the shop in the last two years to have the condenser replaced. The vehicle was 8 years old (128K miles) the first time it broke and I realized the first time that things break after awhile, but not three times in the two subsequent years.
    When the AC began clunking on Monday I knew what to expect. This time instead of taking the vehicle to my local mechanic, I went to the dealership. They diagnosed (for only $60 instead of the normal $125) that the car had a bad case of the Black Death, and quoted just over $4K to repair the entire system. They asked American Honda for assistance but because the car is so old, Honda America understandably would not give me any assistance. However the local shop got the price down to $3147. (The parts alone came to $2065). The local shop, according to their invoice had replaced the parts (compressor, clutch, condenser, and freon each time and belts once); the dealership did the same plus replaced numerous pipes and hoses. The dealership mechanic told me that there shards probably from the first time the condenser went out; he said they get caught in the pipes and hoses then recycle through to damage the replacement parts. So each time after the first 'fix' that the AC had problems, and it appears that the shards had broken loose from the old pipes and hoses and recontaminated the system. Though the small shop told me about the black death, they did not replace all the hoses and pipes, or at least did not put it on the invoice, and charged me about half what the dealership charged. They also used after market parts, which I assume are probably fine normally if the shards were not in the closed system.
    So, now the car's been fixed at the dealership. I have piece of mind that the problem is fixed and I will drive the Texas summers comfortably for the next 171K miles. What I have learned from this is that there are some things one MUST go to the dealership for.
  • My 2004 CRV can be added to the Black Death list. I have 80000 miles on it and the AC went out a few weeks ago. I heard a loud noise while driving on the highway and then it began blowing hot air. At first I was hopeful that it just needed freon, but no such luck. The whole system needed to be replaced to the tune of $3200. The dealer contacted Honda and they agreed to pay 60% of the cost. I was still out over $1300 with tax. I am upset that a recall has not been done, since apparently this is fairly common. I was told that I have 3yrs/36000mile warrenty on the new ac system, so I am crossing my fingers that I do not have the same issue down the road.
  • alana50alana50 Posts: 12
    Apparently Ford FX and Ford FS also have the same type of compressor issues resulting in Black Death.
  • jim442jim442 Posts: 6
    Hi isellhondas,
    After reading a lot of your postings that state that the older, higher mileage CRVs failures are normal, I was just wondering what you consider premature. Should 36 K miles be the ultimate point where Honda says no more repairs are covered ?
    This is not a rip towards you, I really would like to hear your opinion on what a buyer should expect from Honda. I agree that 8-10 year old cars with 100k are no longer elgible for free replacement. ( sure that won't be popular to some)
    In my case, the failure happened at just under 4 years and just over 48 K. Was mine premature ? Do you think Honda should cover a portion ? If so how much ?
    We buy Hondas for their "dependable" reputation, are we suckers to expect more than 36K of reliability. My wife has 4 yr/50K standard warranty on her 5 series, if she keeps it, I will be buying a warranty. With a Honda, I was foolish enough to pass on the extended warranty based on Honda's image. Funny how it works, thought I would be in the BMW sevice department more than Hondas.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    I wonder if posters who have done this repair could post the brand and model number of the replacement compressors? Hopefully that info is on their bill.

    Are we allowed to post links here? I was reading about Black Death from a site called Polar Bear. Seems some models were replaced and the old ones (in Nissan and Isuzu) used two identical types, but the newer ones have an aluminum part instead of steel. The old steel ones were too hardy and lasted too long. I am guessing this decision to use aluminum was not for saving weight, it is more about ensuring the part fails and lands u back at the dealer for repairs. It should be criminal though to use a part they KNOW will take out the rest of the system when that one part fails.

    If i find replacement units that have a better history of longevity, I will post them. Hopefully I get the straight poop tho when I ask.
  • itioner-defects-update1-.html

    March 31, 2010, 9:22 PM EDT
    More From Businessweek

    * Honda Must Defend Suit Over Air Conditioner Defects (Update1)

    By David Voreacos

    April 1 (Bloomberg) -- Honda Motor Co.’s U.S. unit must defend a lawsuit claiming it knowingly sold cars with defective air conditioners and refused to pay for repair costs, a judge ruled.

    U.S. District Judge Katharine Hayden said yesterday in Newark, New Jersey, that motorist Jon Alin may proceed with claims that American Honda Motor Co. engaged in fraud and breached warranties over Hondas and Acuras sold or leased between 2000 and 2009.

    Hayden granted Honda’s request to dismiss two of the eight counts in the complaint, filed under the Class Action Fairness Act. Alin claims that after he leased a 2006 Odyssey, the air conditioner stopped working and a Honda technician told him he was “experiencing a common problem,” according to the opinion.

    “A fair reading of the complaint establishes that Alin has alleged that Honda affirmatively acted in concealing a flaw in its vehicles,” Hayden ruled in a 28-page opinion. Alin alleges “Honda implemented its warranty policy with the intent that it would not honor it when damages stemming from the defective A/C systems arose,” according to the ruling.

    Hayden said Alin adequately stated claims that Honda breached an express warranty and a duty of good faith and fair dealing, and that it violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and committed common law fraud. She dismissed claims of breach of implied warranty and unjust enrichment.

    With the ruling, the case will proceed to pre-trial gathering of evidence, or discovery.

    Chris Martin, a spokesman for Tokyo-based Honda, declined to comment on the litigation.

    The case is Jon Alin v. American Honda Motor Co., 08-cv- 4825, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Newark).

    Honda fell 0.5 percent to 3,285 yen as of 10:17 a.m. in Tokyo.

    --Editors: Mary Romano, Ian Rowley, Chana Schoenberger

    To contact the reporters on this story: David Voreacos in Newark, New Jersey at

    To contact the editor responsible for this story: David E. Rovella at
  • begoniabegonia Posts: 1
    I have been reading the posts in this forum and thought I should contribute my experience just as documentation. I have 52,000 miles on my 2007 CR-V. It is the family car. I also drive from Buffalo, NY to NYC several times a year and go down to Virginia once a year. My compressor clutch went out during the July 4th heat wave while I was driving back to Buffalo from Virginia. When my local dealership said the part was on back order until August 20th I started looking into why that should be and found this forum. Yes this might be the hottest summer in many years but it is not as though my AC gets that much use. When you think about how short the summer season is in Western NY it seems strange that my compressor clutch went bad. I agree with many others on this site. Honda is not getting a vote of confidence from me. This was my first Honda...and it may be my last! And the dealership never hinted that this was a problem that Honda has seen all too many times.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    I also drive from Buffalo, NY to NYC several times a year

    Hey, I am an NYC transplant in Buffalo, Amherst to be prescise. Have been living here since 2004. Visit family in and around NYC on the regular basis. CR-V is great for those 5.5 hour drives!!!

    We too drive to DC once a year!!!

    Summers are short indeed in Buffalo, which I like. But, A/C is also on when the defogger is on. Which is pretty much anytime from October through April. If I don't need the defogger, I am usually on the bike :-)

    I have had good luck getting work done at Don Davis on the boulevard. they usually don't charge full labor charge for work that takes them less than the book rate, and I get nice 25% discount on parts from the parts counter. We bought 2 CR-V's from them since 2005.

    I used to buy from Ray Laks, but they closed their internet parts sales department ( Tim has resurfaced at Honda of Peoria, still working out of West Seneca. I may give him a call next time.

    Good to see another Buffalonian on here.
  • 1074j1074j Posts: 1
    I'm now on my 4th(!) A/C compressor in a 2003 CR-V. First crapped out at about 8K miles, under warranty and repaired at the dealer. Second time at around 50K miles and was repaired using parts from the dealer by my mechanic, and now again at 76K miles. Last one was a worst case as my wife and kids were driving across southwestern Arizona to San Diego, in July, during the day. Clutch seized and broke the belt and the CR-V overheated and needed to be towed 45 miles to a small repair shop in Wellton AZ. Let's see if any one can beat that one!

    I talked to the dealer recently and they pretty much said that there is nothing they can do unless it fails again as they could give me a 'discount'. Does any one know of contact information of someone at North American Honda who might be able to reimburse me for some of my repeated repair costs? Thanks.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    edited August 2010
    " My compressor clutch went out during the July 4th heat wave while I was driving back to Buffalo from Virginia. "

    I'm not sure that the problem being discussed in this forum is frequent (or exists at all) on the Gen 3 (2007 and later). I think they redesigned the A/C system for Gen 3. Yours is most likely just a simple parts failure. Still, I'm sorry to hear of the problem. Keep us informed!

    Also, you DO use your A/C compressor - whenever you turn on the defrosters. So it has been in use.
  • belacquabelacqua Posts: 15
    Compressor: FP number--38810 PNB-006 Unit Price: $547.28

    Is that useful?
  • Only if that is a brand new part, and not one in stock, that ALSO has the black death...Honda has already bought all of those. :-D I HAD to go to Honda because of that. Luckily I have a great mechanic who warned me of that, so I didn't do the same as many others on this board, who replaced their part, like I did, and then had to replace it again due to the faulty part....Just FYI...I see at least one message per day on this very specific forum, and I have to tell you, it is absolutely DISGUSTING!! No that didn't help ME.....hopefully this part you are putting out there was manufactured POST this issue, rather than one "in stock"....thanks though...
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    Yes, good to have that part number out there, thanks. I think if owners were to post all their replacement part numbers and brands of compressor, (and price) here, then we might see a pattern of whether or not and even where in the country and if they are still liquidating the faulty part on unsuspecting customers. The reality is, that as expensive as the compressor is, it is actually only a sixth the cost of fixing the system when it fails again on a yearly basis for some. So in my opinion, there is an extra onus on Honda that if a customer undertakes the responsibility to invest TWICE the amt to replace the system, (and worse, for those you have had to do it annually!) then at least they should be ensuring that the new compressor is not saddled with the same darn issues as the old part. And obviously not market it as exactly the old part. Aside from the moral issue, that would be criminal.
  • 2004crv2004crv Posts: 6
    I have a 2004 CRV with 66,000 mi on it and yesterday in heavy I-55 traffic outside St.Louis we where returning from a day at Six Flags. I thought we had a tire blowing out and almost lost control of the car.
    Took it to the Honda of Illinois dealer in Springfield, IL today and was told the AC compressor blew up and it would cost $3194 to repair it. He said he had to call a rep and would be giving me a call later today to see if they can do anything with it.
    These cars are dangerous and defective!
  • 2004crv2004crv Posts: 6
    Add on to my above post:
    I have no idea why the AC blowing up would make the car respond like the tire was blowing out and the dealer didn't comment on it when I told him what happened. I had one other problem with this car once I steered the car so that the passenger side wheels where off the road in gravel to go around a highway construction site and when the wheels entered the gravel the transmission popped itself into nuteral.
    I have the two wheel drive version of the CRV.
    Still waiting for a call from my dealer.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    edited August 2010
    Was it making any noise prior? I think we should have a deliberate listen to it with hood up from time to time. Ask one of the kids or neighbour to listen also. This way you help eliminate becoming conditioned to its sound if it is changing (getting louder).

    I think if you do this and all of a sudden in a few days u realize it is getting way louder than usual, then pull the fuse to the clutch. In this way it will help prevent extra debris from clogging the system and u might get away with just new compressor, condenser and drier. Blow the lines out. Evap might be ok. Is hard to know of course.
    But the sooner you quit using compressor if you realize it is getting noisy, the less it will cost you for sure.

    Post the brand and part number of comp when you get it replaced - please see post #1743 and #1740.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    auto or standard?
  • 2004crv2004crv Posts: 6
    edited August 2010
    It's a Automatic and it wasn't making any noise prior to the AC unit blowing up. It was a quite car almost like a sewing machine under the hood.
    The dealer said they would be giving me a call today it's only been 4 hours since I took it in still no word.
    Of the 66,000 miles on it the AC was probably only used a fraction of that as in Illinois summer isn't year round.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    The compressor cycles on when defrost is chosen if ambient temperature is mild enough to let it come on (around 20 to 25 or warmer, is a guess) This is a good thing as it circulates the oil in the freon to help keep parts lubed in off-season.
    Even floor/def combo I think will cause it to come on, then u can turn it off by button.

    Odd that it made no unusual noise prior to failure. This is yet again something that not all posters are reporting. Too bad we couldn't get a chart so that all the usual helpful or clues info could be filled in on a case by case basis.
  • 2004crv2004crv Posts: 6
    I just cant beleave that it cost almost half the blue book value of the car to repair the defective AC!
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