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2001 Honda Civic A.C. problem


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DavidB4
New User

Jun 17, 2016, 1:15 PM

Post #1 of 7 (434 views)
2001 Honda Civic A.C. problem Sign In

I'm afraid I must join the horde of people on and off the internet seeking quick solutions for their A.C. problems.
I have a 2001 Honda Civic LX, which does come with A.C. I bought the car used, and at the time it did not work either. I am not extremely good with cars, but I'll do my best to explain what I know below. And assistance is greatly appreciated!

  1. When I turn on the AC, the output air remains the same temperature (needless to say)
  2. The condenser fan does turn on and remain running as long as the A.C. is turned on
  3. I cannot tell if the compressor clutch is engaging, but I can see the supply belt running properly
  4. Thinking it might need a recharge, I checked and found the low-pressure side to read at just under 100 PSI, which seems to be considerably higher than recommended. It was about 80 degrees Fahrenheit outdoors when I tested, though the engine was still warm
  5. As expected, the owner's manual was useless ("...should only be serviced by a qualified professional...") but the sticker just under the hood tells my it needs about 19 oz of coolant.





I know the compressor cut-off switch works in both directions (too low and too high) so should I bleed off some of the refrigerant? I don't even know if the low-pressure side is intended to carry gas or liquid, but the small amount that escaped while I was checking the pressure was gas.


Thank you for your time!


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jun 17, 2016, 1:39 PM

Post #2 of 7 (428 views)
Re: 2001 Honda Civic A.C. problem Sign In

This is not a job for you. AC repair requires years of experience to be able to recognize the issues that cause these problems. You have to totally understand both refrigeration and electrical circuits. It also requires some expensive equipment.

This is not something that you cannot afford to make mistakes. They will be very costly.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Jun 17, 2016, 1:44 PM

Post #3 of 7 (424 views)
Re: 2001 Honda Civic A.C. problem Sign In


Quote
As expected, the owner's manual was useless ("...should only be serviced by a qualified professional...") but the sticker just under the hood tells my it needs about 19 oz of coolant.


The owners manual is spot on. It shouldn't be considered useless information. Not unusual to see 100 psi of static pressure on the low side. You cannot go by pressures with those DIY cans. AC systems are charged by weight. The compressor should come on with the pressure in the system you have. You probably have some sort of electrical issue. Don't mess with the refrigerant until you can figure out why the compressor isn't engaging.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Jun 17, 2016, 1:46 PM)


DavidB4
New User

Jun 17, 2016, 2:18 PM

Post #4 of 7 (417 views)
Re: 2001 Honda Civic A.C. problem Sign In

With a car of its age and condition, I'm not planning to pay a mechanic to fix the A.C., so I thought I might as well give it a try. After all, the (hopefully) worse that can happen is that that I'll break the A.C. even more, and since it already doesn't work, who cares? I guess I'll just give up on it, then, if you don't think I should try anything.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jun 17, 2016, 2:33 PM

Post #5 of 7 (414 views)
Re: 2001 Honda Civic A.C. problem Sign In

Did I read you can't tell if a compressor is engaged or not? If not at a glance and obvious to you then you are IMO starting out with zero understanding of a system that is a science unto itself let alone diagnosing what it isn't cooling.


What you could try is checking the compressor's clutch air gap. If too large compressor wont engage and could be the only problem? You have to know what the clutch is and what part is magnetically pulled in to another which is what engages it and didn't know that.


If you do figure that much out do you own feeler gauges? NO by all odds. Tell you what - just fold the normal paper biz card hard and slide it in the gap. It should be difficult to fit in would be about the universal measurement of .020.


That's the trouble. That's one crude thing and hard to understand unless someone showed you just that once you'd get it.


Then a couple years of training later including experience with tools that cost mega thousands you could take A/C on or just pay for a silly 1/2 hour of checking it out.


The pressure you listed was clearly a decent "static" pressure for a just warm engine not hot, on a 80F ambient temp day.


That only tells you there's some "refrigerant" in the system. Even with a charge weight known of 19 just 1.9 ounces would read a static pressure equal to the chart posted up top in this section.


HT already said it's not worth it and could really wreck it by messing with it at all. System is down and unless noises or something fine to drive it and forget it.


There's no telling if this is a simple something or an involved repair with what you've posted so far so would behoove you to pay for at least a diagnosis - limit the time and cost as you wish just to know for sure for your own sake as it really could be almost nothing to fix.


There's just too much to know to fool with A/C and many other things from a zero base. It's not something most people would have a good grip on so don't take it personally - not intended just warned that being wrong is frequently a disaster. If you try the wrong thing you really could cause the system to disable the engine from running properly so get help is the suggestion or leave it alone,


T



DavidB4
New User

Jun 17, 2016, 2:52 PM

Post #6 of 7 (412 views)
Re: 2001 Honda Civic A.C. problem Sign In

You are correct that I can't tell if the clutch is engaging. The simple reason is that there is a cowling over it, so I can see the belt entering, but cannot see the clutch which I assume should be visible just outside of that. To take off the cowling, I would need to take apart 2/3 of the front end, which really could break something in my case. I actually do have a set of feeler gauges, but I don't think I could get them in there--I don't even see the gap.

There are no noises or other imminent cause for repair other than comfort. I'll keep in mind the option of paying some one to diagnose only, but unless it needs to be recharged, I probably would end up paying them to do it anyway.

I get it--I'm trying to play in a golf tournament with a stick and a wiffle ball. If there is nothing for me to try, I'll forget it and leave the (apparently new) A.C. system to be dead weight while the car rusts out around it. Unimpressed


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jun 17, 2016, 3:51 PM

Post #7 of 7 (405 views)
Re: 2001 Honda Civic A.C. problem Sign In


Quote
so I thought I might as well give it a try. After all, the (hopefully) worse that can happen is that that I'll break the A.C. even more, and since it already doesn't work, who cares?


That would be a very foolish move. You could turn what may only be a small electrical problem into a completely destroyed system. $100 in diagnostics could save you thousands in destroyed parts.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.







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