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Honda CR-V AC Compressor Problems



  • I loved my car and thought it the best i had ever owned but this has left me very discouraged. I have replaced this system three times. The first time, it locked up but the car still ran. Was in very hot weather, so replaced it soon after, and then again within the month as THAT system also locked up. Less than two years later, did it again after a major failure on the freeway, miles from home, with my young grandson with me. We were stranded on I-40 for hours, after dark, in the middle of nowhere. So far, is making noise again but not sure if it is the system or what. Stay tuned. If indeed it is, i will trade it as I am tired of putting up with this and as a single woman with a lot of driving in dead zones, I'm not keen on major malfunctions and with the heat here, need air. I bought the Honda because I thought it would last, but this has not been the case.
  • I feel your pain! You buy a car at a premium price based on reliability, performance and reputation and end up with this. I wondered if each time you had your CRV AC fixed if you had it done at the dealer or was it aftermarket?

    I am considering aftermarket as so many people have had 2 and 3 time failures with the OEM replacement. This goes to show the huge problem that Honda will not fix. Not to long ago they did the same thing with the Odyssey when they had transmission problems.

    I really would like to know if any had good luck with aftermarket kits installed? It is about 1/2 the price.

  • I have bought my 2008 Honda CRV new/used which means nothing but new to me but a used vehicle from the Carlot in Texas where I live. I have made 3 payments on it and today while driving my kids somewhere air was working perfect as it always has and all of the sudden the ac started blowing hot air instead of cold! I couldn't believe it! We live in Texas it was 102 degrees and my oldest has terrible asthma. He had an asthma attack before I could get him home... A bad one! I cannot be without air and don't have money to put out on this issue. Anyone have any ideas of what can be done about this? Please help!
  • This has just happened to my 2007. I called Honda America anyway to report the problem demand help for repair, etc. I doubt they will help but it cant hurt to bring it to their attention. :(
  • I was not aware of the lawsuit and my compressor died at 86,000 on my 2002 CR v. Had it replaced with aftermarket (new compressor at my local mechanic. He has had to add gas twice since. Mystery leak somewhere and he added dye and found leaking schrader valve. After that the gas needed to be added to again. Other than that, I have towed the car for at least25,000 miles behind the coach and my wife left it idling and we towed 200 miles not only ONCE but she did it twice. So far no damage discovered. I hesitate to trade up because the roominess is gone from the new models.EXCELLENT AUTOMOBILE. I owned a n 87 Accord, 93 Legend and now the CR v and I still own the legend. I would never buy another brand.
  • So, "Only 2002-2004 qualify" for coverage, IF you filed with the lawsuit? IF Honda is settling with those that filed, isn't that some kind of defacto admission they screwed up? Are recalls with autos ONLY limited to life-threatening failures?

    As a 2001 owner, who unfortunately got a 2002 compressor, as I understand some of the later 2001's got fitted with that, I'm out no matter what. I had other pressing things to take care of and haven't followed this as close after fighting with Honda over this.

    And if a precedent is set, that the part is defective and Honda did (Did they?) compensate some owners, couldn't they be liable for, shouldn't they be liable, if pressed in a court of law, to treat everyone the same? :confuse:
  • My understanding after talking with Honda is that the recall items are only for safety issues and the AC is not a safety issue. This makes no sense because if you have a Black Death that blows up and causes other problems with the engine, I would say that this could be a safety issue especially if you are on the highway with a sudden loss of engine!!!! I think that it will take someone dying before they admit that this could lead to a safety issue.

    It really sucks for people like you and me that have older cars and the lawsuit did not cover us. I had to pay for a new AC whole system. I got them to reduce the amount from $3700 down to $1750. I still believe that paying $1750 out of pocket for a 2003 CRV with only 45600 miles is absolutely ridiculous. There is no way that an auto of my age should have a black death to the AC.

    Honda really has a problem. I will NEVER buy another Honda again.
    I am really surprised and dismayed with the customer service from a supposedly great reliable company.
  • vivianzvivianz Posts: 10
    Hiya all. I am the person who was the one to start this topic, the very first post over 6 years ago. I want you to know I received a settlement check today for $1094. It wasn't for even half of what I have spent to get the A/C repaired, but it is something. At the time I didn't go to the dealer to have it repaired, but to another mechanic. I couldn't afford the dealer. and then had to have it done the second time several years later. I am satisfied though, as previously I believed I would never receive a penny. My CR-V has about 110,000 miles on it, and believe it or not, I am looking at another CR-V.
  • texasrabbittexasrabbit Posts: 6
    edited October 2012
    Yes; yesterday I also received $2007 for the settlement. I rushed to the bank and deposited it at 5:59 p.m. It's was a great day for me.
    I fully recall the times - many years ago - when the a/c just simply stopped working, and then the man at the dealer acted like it was no big deal that a CRV with 59,000 miles would have a $3000 to $4000 a/c issue. I took it to another repair shop, and it costs over $3000 there, but I wasn't in the mood to let Honda do it.
    Now, after these years, this Honda has over 250,000 miles. The a/c has gone out several times, but I've found much less expensive ways to have it repaired. And like the last (and the first) post, I'm considering a new CRV.
  • gman06gman06 Posts: 11
    Well, do you have a good friend that you can call that might be able to talk you down off that ledge?
  • mobeemobee Posts: 13
    I see you eventually shut up and stopped harassing people with this problem (probably when you learned of our lawsuits). Well, just in case you sign on I wanted to let you know that despite your arrogance and disrespect insulting me to no end for complaining about Honda's handling of the situation my lawsuit was successful.

    Fortunately I didn't let you and the other Honda planted bullies affect my resolve. It took more than 4 years, but justice prevailed. Now I get to laugh while Honda pays millions extra they could have avoided by taking responsibility for their errors. I doubt they learned anything, but I hope they did.
  • kkoka1kkoka1 Posts: 3

    I just bought my CRV-EX from my neighbor 8 days ago. The AC imploded today. 92,000 miles on a 2002. The car is in beautiful shape except for this. I need a couple of questions answered if possible:

    1. It looks like the lawsuit is over. Can I still call Honda and ask for reimbursement?
    2. My mechanic is charging about $1800. He is working on it tomorrow and I don't know whether to have my mechanic do it or take it to a dealer.
    3. I don't want to replace with another unit that will just implode. Can someone send a link to a good kit that won't implode after replacement?
    4. Are there any safety issues with this? I read about one woman being stranded for hours. Does it affect other systems in this car when it self-destructs?

    Anything else you think I should know, please advise. I'm speechless. Just paid a lot of money out of pocket only to have this happen. Thought I did all my research--even took it to a mechanic before buying. I am so bummed.
  • This may not help you much, but I'll give it a try.
    1. No one would prevent you from calling Honda and asking for reimbursement. It's worth a try (but I wouldn't count on them helping). They are likely to tell you that 92,000 miles is a lot of mileage, and 2002 cars are ten years old. Good luck.
    2. The last three times I've repaired the a/c in my 2003 CRV, I have paid less than the $1800 that you mention. However, the first time, I paid much more. Mechanics vary in their prices a lot. In most parts of the country, it probably isn't even possible to find a deal much less than $1800. If you take the car to a dealer, I'll bet they will want well over $3000. Find an independant mechanic that you trust. I've found that mechanics from Asia tend to have much better prices.
    3. As far as I've been able to determine, there are no "kits" that will fix this problem. I 'look forward' to another a/c replacement in 50,000 mles (I just had it replaced recently, at 250,000 miles). It's just the price you pay, for owning an otherwise great vehicle.
    4. I don't know of any safety issues, other than that when the a/c goes out in Texas in the summer, you'll fry until you fix the problem. Wait... It does happen to disable the dashboard defrost blower flow, which could be a problem in the winter. This defrost issue can be easily overcome, but you'll have to research how to do this on the Internet, because it'slightly too technical for me to explain here.
  • 2000 CR-V: has anyone seen this?

    When I put the temp control on 'cold' the cabin reeks of anti-freeze. When it's on 'heat', no odor at all.

    A/C compressor exploded many years ago, was never replaced but the drive belt was cut off and the compressor is still there.

    There's obviously a leak somewhere but it's very tiny. No liquid on the ground, no wetness in the cabin, no appreciable loss in the radiator.
  • I was stranded for hours. The first time my system went out, my car ran fine. I live in the south, it is hot and humid, I work in an office, and need air, so I had it fixed. It went out again within the month, took it back and repaired with another new unit. After warranty expired, went out again, and this time, apparently it locked up and the belt broke, which drives the whole schmear. Yours might not do that. If you have a very reputable mechanic do the work, much cheaper than the dealer.
  • I have had THREE on my car, and when I took it to Honda, the cost kept going up....they would come back to the waiting area every little bit, say it needed something else, and it was thousands everytime, and I just sat there looking at the person. I finally just told them I was not going to have it repaired to stop the insanity. Eventually, it would have cost me as much as a new car! I hold my breath every time I turn it on. It has made it since repaired after the hours long freeway fiasco last summer.
  • Hmmmm. I suspect your neighbor knew something was up and maybe already did his research on the problem, thus the sale. I knew something was going on with mine for weeks before, but had no idea it was as bad as this. I actually thought maybe something was off with my transmission.

    Anyway, don't take it to the dealer!!! Numerous dealers, including the one we bought from and used for servicing, tried to rip us off. The lowest price was $1900, the highest was $3100. Of course, none of them had heard of any problems with the A/C (sarcasm) until I showed them pages upon pages printed from this forum and other places. I think I also got a TSB for them. Uh oh. Mouths suddenly closed as heads nodded as I spoke and exhibited. Then I would get a service manager involved, which changed to another tune. They would tell us it was a maintenance issue and the warranty was over 42k miles on car. Oh, they could give us a 10% discount, but they've never been able to get their district manager or Honda to give more. And with almost no warranty offered, they couldn't guarantee it wouldn't happen again. If a rapport was established you would find out they knew and their hands were tied by their management, dealer ownership and Honda.

    We went to our local trusty mechanic (they are pricey on small things but work hard for us on the big stuff). We paid $1700 and they threw in a few smaller items, like alignment, new cabin filter, oil change, etc. They also gave us a two year warranty! We have had to go back twice. I don't think they will want to do this again. The labor is what kills it on this. It is very time intensive. Good luck to you. We are in on the lawsuit, but they recently sent us a notice that they want a more detailed receipt of the parts used and what was done. The garage didn't put all that detail there, of course, so we have to go back. The most we hope we can recover is 30% and I guess they are going to make us crawl and grovel for even that. It is a safety issue, indeed. Over 100 degrees can give heatstroke, cause sleepiness, babies and young children can die and you can get severe burns from metal. Your groceries would unfreeze and spoilage would occur on meats and other things like potato salad. It can and will overheat your electronic devices. Yes, A/C is necessary. Don't sit in a moderate to cool climate and tell those in warm to hot climates there is no safety issue. Ever sat in 116 degree traffic jam with exhaust fumes making you literally ill. Heaven forbid you are pregnant or have an infant who cannot regulate their temperature.
  • rrubyyrrubyy Posts: 19
    YEP .. same story here .. 42k miles and 2 a/c blow ups / implosions within 60 days ... 2 months of haggling with Honda produced 1/2 reimbursement ... there will NEVER be another Honda product in my garage
  • zgreat1zgreat1 Posts: 11
    Just to share this "tip" from my mechanic. It seems honda (notice I drop the capital H... honda is really small when it comes to admitting their design flaws..after all what can one expect from a company that started by selling "decent" motorbikes!!!) sells 2 types of "replacement" a/c systems for the 2003 crv :lemon: (yes, I would make the font smaller if I could do should be ashamed of its badge and insignia for this model!!!).

    One system is the same as the original so you get MORE chances for revisits to the shop for MORE replacements. The other system is supposed to be an "updated" improved version...I guess a system that is LESS prone to further replacements. I was quoted a difference in price of approximately US$100 b/w the two systems. However, I have yet to replace my system...just FLAT out refuse to give honda more moola$ !!!! :P

    Good Luck! :mad:
  • kkoka1kkoka1 Posts: 3
    Hi, Everyone...

    Thank you to everyone who provided info. Need a bit more help.

    My mechanic (who we trust) fixed it. Unfortunately, now my SRS system just went out completely (no one will touch that except Honda because it deals with your airbag system AND my ABS Brake system light came on indicating another problem. So, I am sitting here waiting for Honda to tell me how many more thousands of dollars I am in for.

    It looks like I will not qualify for the litigation, although I am trying. Is it correct it is capped at 8 years? We are under the 96,000 miles, but it is a 2002 (duh!). I can't believe the lawsuit settled for the year thing. Any information on that??? What about those of us who have had previous owners who meticulously cared for the vehicle???????? Ughhhhh! We've only owned the car for 2 weeks, but know the original owner (who I truly believe didn't know about all this).

    Can anyone provide information on other stuff Honda is going to try to ask us for with regards to this? Thank you to desappointed29 for the heads up on the mechanic putting in a bunch of detail.

    Well...I'm off to this site to see if there is a class action against the SRS light, too. I am so discouraged. 10 days and $4,000 above and beyond the asking price. :cry:
  • Not to mention sitting on the side of the freeway for hours with an autistic child.....if it had been as hot as it has been here this summer, I dont know what we would have done. On the one hand, was over in late afternoon so not as hot as it could have been, on the other, we sat for hours in the middle of nowhere in the dark as it got later. At the last exit we passed, there was a woman murdered and her body left behind that gas station by a trucker. It was more than a little unnerving for a grandmother with her grandson. If/when it goes out again, I don't know what I will do. I have never had trouble with an air system like this, and I have had a lot of cars.
  • Not that pleased with Honda America. With a brand new 2012 CR-V they seem to be taking defensive line that AC and brakes may not be covered due to wear and tear and any abuse by drivers. AC not that cold, and brakes making a thumping noise. Dealer wants to charge $60 for a brake inspection at 18,000 miles. Not pleased with Honda service at all. They were a good company.
  • WHAT, raforan? They now try to weasel out with that disclaimer? To Honda: please explain in detail (written) what exactly constitutes wear and tear and any abuse by the driver? Do they mean I can't take a sledgehammer to the Honda symbol of the car in frustration?

    Raforan, dealer tries to stick us with diagnostic fees, too. We take it back to the local business I mentioned who charges us nothing to check out the brakes and air.
  • ktnrktnr Posts: 255
    According to
    "Your compressor failed for a reason. The number 1 reason is contamination in the system. Cleaning out this contamination is crucial to ensuring that the new compressor is not also contaminated. Always flush and evacuate before changing parts. Always use A/C system flush solvent. If it is not perfectly clean after the flush and vacuum, we recommend re-flushing the system."

    My Atlanta Honda dealer botched my A/C system repair by initially just installing a new compressor and running the system to note poor performance. Only then did they inspect the accumulator/drier (replacement of this part is REQUIRED by every compressor manufacturer as part of the warranty) and noted it was leaking desiccant balls and other black junk into the system. THEN they decided to flush only the evaporator line and replace the clogged dryer and also the contaminated condensor (the A/C radiator at the front of the car, often difficult to flush). This is noted right on my invoice! The invoice doesn't mention cleaning or replacing the expansion valve nor purging the other line - things any half-trained A/C technician would have done. Obviously, my new compressor now has it's oil flooded with seven years of accumulated black crud. So I just paid almost $2,000 for a brand new compressor which WILL fail prematurely.

    I have a case open with Honda corporate to see what they can do given that the repair ddn't follow the Honda's - or anyone's - service procedures. You have to watch your dealer closely to ensure they perform the A/C repair correctly. The warranty on the repair will be only 90-days labor / 12 -months parts so, if the new compressor fails again within a year, you get to hassle with them all over again on the labor. After a year, you're just out another $1,500-$1,800.
  • ktnrktnr Posts: 255
    Honda got back to me about the case I opened. I had faxed them Denso’s warranty on their compressors (requires system purging and dryer replacement or the warranty is immediately void) along with industry articles describing the importance of thoroughly cleaning A/C systems to avoid contaminating a new compressor. I faxed them a copy of the Honda Service Bulletin showing the easy and very inexpensive alternative to the dealer’s suggested $480 power steering pump rebuild to cure a minor noise issue. I explained how the Service Advisor switched from protesting AGAINST additional work that would be wise (but would have required him to come in on his day off OR split his commission with someone else) to pushing unnecessary and over-priced work the next day (once he was resigned to protecting his commission by coming in on his day off, the Service Advisor wanted to make it damned worth his while). I explained how the dealer tried to charge me 8.976111 shop hours (a plugged number they made up) before they backed off their “mistake” and cut the labor charge by 40%.

    Bottom line: Honda said repairing a contaminated A/C system just by replacing one part at a time was “proper”. The attempted over-charges and commission wrangling are solely between me and the dealership. Honda suggested I contact the dealership Service Manager again to see if he can explain what they had previously refused to explain. In a word, Honda offered me NOTHING.

    If you’re looking for Honda dealer service in downtown Atlanta, you’d be wise to go far North (Woodstock, Georgia) or far South (Morrow, Georgia) instead. Even then, ask in advance to insure that your Service Advisor will be working the next day too in case your car needs to stay overnight. If anyone quotes you a price over the phone, get their full name to avoid hassles over service prices and commissions. Better yet, find a small, local shop who works off their reputation and repeat customers.
  • I have interesting news for anyone denied a refund for the 2002-2004 Honda CRV compressor class action suit.
    This suit was settled November 2012.
    If you were denied a settlement amount and were told the reason was the mileage did not match the year EX: year 4/48,000 miles you were denied wrongly. The forward slash means OR not and. They are trying to interpret their own guidelines.
    I am appealing Alin Settlement Litlgation's ruling and if this happened to you then you should too!
  • I'm a 2002 Honda CRV owner - and just was told that my a/c compressor might have blown up ... wasn't even using the a/c - but they're looking to make sure it's Not black death

    WHAT WAS THE RESULT OF THE HONDA CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT REGARDING THIS IF HONDA DIDN'T FIX THE PROBLEM? and were they told to do recall's on all these vehicles to make sure it didn't happen again?? would like to know the exact lawsuit name/#

  • The lawsuit was over and done with, and a lot of disappointed people. No recalls. Mine has been fixed three times already. :cry:
  • kkoka1kkoka1 Posts: 3

    I looked into it, but it was such a joke I just gave up. For my year, they were going to give me such a small percentage back (IF THEY EVEN APPROVED IT) that it wasn't worth my time. I can't remember the website--it was a lawyer's website. They make you jump through 20,000 hoops and paperwork.

    I had better things to do with my time. So, the big Corporation won again. I just got it fixed and moved on with my life. Good luck though!
  • Yesterday I got a notice from Honda that the warranty has been extended on the A/C Compressor Clutch for 7 years/100,000 (whichever is first). I actually had the compressor replaced last week on my 2009 CR-V, 85,000 miles, at the cost of over $1,000. This notice said to mail in the notice with your repair bill for possible reimbursement. I have no idea how much, but I'm going to send it in.
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