Last post on Dec 03, 2013 at 9:42 AM
You are in the Honda CR-V
What is this discussion about?
Honda CR-V, Heating / Cooling, SUV
Aug 03, 2010 (8:47 am)
I have a 2003 crv that has 214K on it. in 2005 the ac went out and luckily I had the extended warranty so it was all paid for minus the $100 ded. in 2007 the ac went out again this time out of my pocket, $900 and now again in 2010 costing me another $2300 (10% dealer discount). I called Honda directly because the dealership told me Honda America would not do anything since there were so many miles on the vehicle. Honda America told me they would do nothing since again there are high miles on the car. I use this car for work, most are highway miles and they are trying to tell me the mileage is part of the problem. I countered that my daughter has a 2003 civic with 175K that has no AC problems and that they obviously recognize they have an issue with the AC based on the Service Bulliten put out in December. I have to say I am deeply disappointed with Honda at this point. This is my 3rd Honda and was planning on buying another. Any suggestions???
#1645 of 2218 Re: Let's press American Honda to not pull a BP on us!! [vinnie_the_kid]
Aug 03, 2010 (8:58 am)
The issue on this thread is not a part breaking on a car that is almost 10 years old, but about the same problem happening repeatedly.
Any eight or nine year old car is going to have problems, yes?
#1646 of 2218 Re: Let's press American Honda to not pull a BP on us!! [vinnie_the_kid]
Aug 03, 2010 (9:09 am)
This is probably one on the most helpful threads on the Honda CRV-A/C problems. Thank you! I kept "lurking" for some insight before I made a decision on my '02 Honda CRV, but for awhile I think it was not a very productive thread and had a negative vibe. Because I do agree that even though some people may consider A/C/ a "luxury", I think I learned by my first year in Arizona that no matter how tough I thought I was I could not survive months of 100+ degree weather, so alas 20 years later I will not risk my or my family's health without air. I knew in the back of my mind that this would not be an easy or cheap fix. Your post confirmed that. We had a friend who is a mechanic offer to install the new A/C system, but I had the feeling it would be a difficult and time consuming job and I would feel guilty if I asked him to do it. Our A/C failed twice, I just don't think I could handle a third, so this last weekend we went and shopped for an affordable vehicle. With payments under $200.00, a warranty (extended), and piece of mind to last at least 7 more years, well that is what worked for us. Might not work for anyone else. And I'm laughing while I type this because prior to our '02 Honda CRV we always traded in and bought a new vehicle after warranties expired, I thought this was the "keeper". One more laugh, my sister just bought a used '01 Honda CRV, I'm praying that '01 was a better year.
#1647 of 2218 Re: Let's press American Honda to not pull a BP on us!! [gimmestdtranny]
Aug 03, 2010 (10:35 am)
Thanks for your kind comments!
The hole that I cut out for direct air access to the compressor is located on the black bottom fascia that gets in your way each time you change your oil.
If you are standing at the front of the car and facing it, the compressor is located on the left hand side, at the very bottom of the engine. Once you crawl underneath the car, you will see that the fascia steps down a few inches, going front to back. I cut the black plastic right in front of the compressor with a utility knife; the plastic is soft and almost too easy to cut so be careful. You're not near any hoses or electrical wires. I'll see if I can get you some pictures. I think that if cut anywhere near the AC compressor, you'll get enough airflow to make a big difference in compressor temp.
Good question about the the crud that blocked the condenser. My mechanic said that he's only ever had one Honda have a bad evaporater. Here's what I know. There were no metal parts in the lines so the compressor didn't detonate (which DOES happen). The PAG oil was slightly yellow; it can turn black on really bad cases.
Since I realized the condenser was clogged, I figured what the heck, I hit it with 160psi right from the compressor. Absolutley nothing happened which suggests to me that the occlusion is solid, not some schmutz that broke free somewhere and lodged in the condenser. My story and I'm sticking to it is that the condenser started to corrode on the inside, possibly accelerated by lack of adequate air flow and once that got bad enough, it caused the compressor to fail.
#1648 of 2218 Re: Let's press American Honda to not pull a BP on us!! [vinnie_the_kid]
Aug 03, 2010 (10:44 am)
Very interesting post. I hope you stick around.
Being in the tool business for almost 20 years, Chicom was a brand I had never heard of so I "googled" it and found nothing?
Coming through Amazon at that price I'm guessing it is Chinese made and maybe a "universal" unit that fits other cars too?
Same brand name for the vacuum pump and coming from Harbor Freight at that price it has to be Chinese made.
For a piece of equipment that will be seldom used, the Chinese stuff can get the job done.
I disagree with you about the cooling part. a lot of cars have front licence plates that partically block air flow to the condensors and I just don't see heat being a contributing factor but I guess I could be wrong.
The delaerships fear comebacks and unhappy customers so thier approach is to not take any chances of contamination so they just replace EVERYTHING.
Yes, a failed A/C compressor ***can*** shoot off metal particles that ***can*** cause problems if not caught and it isn't really possible to flush everything out.
Dealerships just don't want to take the chance.
You took on a tough job and it sounds like your results paid off.
Your offer to help others was a great gesture on your part.
#1649 of 2218 Re: Let's press American Honda to not pull a BP on us!! [vinnie_the_kid]
Aug 03, 2010 (10:46 am)
I just don't agree with your "air flow" diagnosis. I don't think there would be that much of a temperature difference and I think Honda's engineers would know how to do things best.
But, again, I suppose I could be wrong?
#1650 of 2218 Re: Here's where my saga ends... [somadathonda]
Aug 03, 2010 (10:50 am)
I'm still having trouble understaning how anyone can be SO MAD at Honda because their eight year old 88,000 mile A/C compressor needed to be replaced?
If you use your defrost in the winter you are "using" your A/C compressor too.
Again, not a "defect" after all of those years and miles. Just one of those things that happens.
If your next vehicle won't be a Honda I hope you can find another make that never breaks!
#1651 of 2218 Another CR-V A/C casualty
Aug 03, 2010 (11:13 am)
Thanks to everyone posting their experiences to the board. I'll add my 2¢ worth since it will help build a database of information for this problem.
My 2003 CR-V (105,000 miles) air conditioning failed last week during a 100-degree heatwave in Virginia. I haven't had it to a shop yet, but based on the symptoms and descriptions here, I assume the compressor imploded.
I have spoken to service departments at five area Honda dealers, and I have gotten five fixes with a range of prices:
Dealer 1–usually replaces only the compressor and the filter in the receiver/dryer because "the filter catches all the contaminants". Estimate of $1,500.
Dealer 2–replaces the entire system because all components are contaminated. Estimate of $3,700.
Dealer 3–replaces everything but the evaporator in the passenger side. Estimate of $2,500.
Dealer 4–replaces everything including the evaporator, but not the hoses. Estimate $2,200.
Dealer 5–replaces the entire system. Estimate of $3800.
All of these dealers acknowledge this is a common repair, yet they don't agree on the proper repair, despite Honda's own Service Bulletin guidelines. And the two that replace the entire system seem to be significantly overcharging for the repair. The MSRP from Honda for all of the parts in the A/C system including Service Kit C, Clutch Set and Coil Set is about $2,000. Shopping online, I found I can purchase those same components from a Honda dealer for about $1400. That means that in addition to charging a sizeable markup on the parts, they are charging $1,700-1,800 for labor and refrigerant. The Service Bulletin calls for 5.8 hours repair time. One shop told me it's actually a 10-hour job, while another shop said the repair can be done in one day.
I have called and written to American Honda, and have been told that they cannot defray any costs because of the vehicle mileage. Yet I have seen posts here where they have offered assistance to owners with vehicles as high as 116,000 miles.
There seems to be no rhyme or reason to this problem other than Honda has a defect issue with the CR-V A/C system, refuses to publicly acknowledge it and is screwing its long-time customers and long-term reputation.
I really don't know what to do next.
#1652 of 2218 Re: Let's press American Honda to not pull a BP on us!! [isellhondas]
Aug 03, 2010 (11:31 am)
Thanks. Your experience in the tool business makes your compliment even more important to me. And believe me, I'm the kind of guy who can be VERY frank.
A couple of points. Sorry for the confusion on the tool name but you figured it out...Chinese Communist. Sorry!
As far as the paranoia about air flow through the front, I take my experience from 65-67 Chevy Corvettes with the big block (BB) engines, 396 or 427 cubic inch. When the first Vette BB-engined cars came off the line Chevy got a LOT of complaints about the cars overheating even though they beefed up the radiators. The factory applied a number of fixes and one of them was a new front license plate holder that moved the plate out from the front center (even though it was in low in the air stream) to 'way over on the driver's side. That and extra foam insulation to make sure all of the air pulled in from the fan went through the radiator and the attached shroud solved the BB overheating problems for that model run.
Unfortunately, the General launced a new body for '68 and kep the same frame/drive train which caused the problem to reapper again. They solved those problems during the first year but I've learned the hard way that you need to get ALL of the air ALL of the time over ALL of the coolers to ensure that you have no problems with overheating.
As I noted earlier, I did a belt-and-suspenders fix by adding that 10" pusher fan and with that puppy on, in 90* weather, I can comfortable put my hand on the condenser wheras the it was a bit too hot with just the factory setup. I'm sure it will be fine without the pusher because the engineers factored all of this in their original design. They just didn't count on the effect of the ravages of time.
I hope this helps.
#1653 of 2218 Re: Let's press American Honda to not pull a BP on us!! [vinnie_the_kid]
Aug 03, 2010 (12:12 pm)
I just hope that Chinese compressor holds up.
I think much of the reason for all of the unhappiness is the COST of fixing it.
I know I'm a dinosaur but back when I ran a shop, we actually fixed things. We overhauled compressors and freon didn't cost an arm and a leg like it does today.
We actually fixed some things for free if you can believe that and we would try to save our customers money if it was an older car or money was tight.
In the example someone stated above, one dealer wanted 1500.00 to fix it and seemed to have no fears that anything more would be necessary.
The other places wanted to replace the entire system just "in case".
The trouble is, some people are quick to blame problems on the shop that tried to save them money. They do the 1500.00 repair and sure enough, a loose piece of metal wrecks something and back comes an unhappy customer demanding the shop fix it for free. And they do. From that point forward, having learned an expensive and bitter lesson, they take a hard stance and refuse to do the job unless they fix everything!
Shop labor is 100.00 per hour and more and genuine replacement parts are very expensive. I was in California last month and one of the xenon headlights in my buddy's Mercedes burnt out. we pulled into the Mercedes dealer and waited two hours and he paid 320.00 parts and labor! for a lousy headlight!
Labor was 160.00/hr!
I don't blame people for being unhappy but things do break given enough time and miles.
And, I remember those Corvettes. Especially if they had A/C they would overheat in traffic situations.