Sometimes AC works. Sometimes it doesn't. No one can figure out why...???? - Honda-Tech - Honda Forum Discussion


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Sometimes AC works. Sometimes it doesn't. No one can figure out why...????

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Old 07-10-2012, 09:59 AM   #1
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Default Sometimes AC works. Sometimes it doesn't. No one can figure out why...????

I have a 98 Civic DX 4dr and I'm having a problem that I can't seem to get fixed.

The AC works intermittently. Sometimes when you turn the car on, it blows cold and works just fine, and sometimes when you turn the car on, it just blows warm/hot air. I can't seem to find any rhyme or reason to when or why this happens. I think it will even start blowing warm sometimes after it's already been running for a while as well.

I've taken it to a few different shops and none of them can find a problem with it. Apparently, whenever I take it in, it always chooses to work. It isn't until I'm driving it on my own that it stops working.

I'm looking for ideas on how I can track down the problem. Are there things I can check when it's not working? Signs I can look for?

Please let me know if there is any other info that you need. Any help is appreciated.

WATYF
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:08 AM   #2
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Default Re: Sometimes AC works. Sometimes it doesn't. No one can figure out why...????

Check the AC clutch wiring. If it's loose, the clutch will randomly engage/disengage. Just turn on the AC and wiggle the wire around.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:20 AM   #3
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Default Re: Sometimes AC works. Sometimes it doesn't. No one can figure out why...????

Could you tell me where that is?

Sorry, I should have made it clear. I'm not very adept at this stuff, so I'll need brief explanations for most things. Thanks.

WATYF
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: Sometimes AC works. Sometimes it doesn't. No one can figure out why...????

Well im sure you are gonna have a ton more questions about various things so i would first recommend getting a repair manual for the car to help you out. The ac clutch is on the compressor which is located on the driver side of the car on the lower part of the motor. Its got a belt that goes around it.
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:49 AM   #5
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Default Re: Sometimes AC works. Sometimes it doesn't. No one can figure out why...????

Oh, sorry. I didn't mean that I don't know what a compressor is or anything like that. I just meant where exactly is that specific wiring found at (on the compressor). Is it just the main wiring harness that runs to it?

I'm not at home right now, so I don't have it in front of me. It may be obvious once I'm standing there, but I just figured I'd ask in case it's not.

Thanks for the input. I will check the wiring out when I get home.

WATYF
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: Sometimes AC works. Sometimes it doesn't. No one can figure out why...????

If the gap between the compressor pulley and armature plate is too wide, the clutch intermittently won't engage. Measure the gap. If too wide, reshim it to bring to spec.

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Old 07-10-2012, 02:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: Sometimes AC works. Sometimes it doesn't. No one can figure out why...????

how long are stock AC's supposed to last? especially one thats 14ish years old
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Old 07-11-2012, 04:53 AM   #8
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Default Re: Sometimes AC works. Sometimes it doesn't. No one can figure out why...????

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Originally Posted by WATYF View Post
Oh, sorry. I didn't mean that I don't know what a compressor is or anything like that. I just meant where exactly is that specific wiring found at (on the compressor).
Sure. There should be a single wire that runs almost all the way to the pulley. This engages/disengages the clutch. It almost appears to sit on the back of the pulley, but it stays stationary.
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Old 07-11-2012, 07:19 AM   #9
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Default Re: Sometimes AC works. Sometimes it doesn't. No one can figure out why...????

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Originally Posted by StreetsideStig View Post
There should be a single wire that runs almost all the way to the pulley
WATYF,
I just worked on mine yesterday and the day before. There are two wires on my 96 DX compressor, one red & one black that runs along the topside of the compressor to the pulley. Looking from the engine compartment you can see the two wires go in, that's the coil. Mine was nasty even though I blew ice cold air. I replaced it anyways. The kit at Autozone was between $98 and $108 depending on which AC model you had. My clutch plate was bent also and at high speeds, 80+ I would lose A/C. I also had only half of the ball bearings so I had a knock sound as well from the pulley wobbling. its not that hard to work on and you don't have to drain any refrigerant. I took mine off a second time yesterday night at 6:30pm to re shim the clutch (mine was scraping against the pulley) and I was test driving at 8pm. Good luck and definitely get the manual +1.
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Old 07-11-2012, 07:29 AM   #10
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its not that hard to work on and you don't have to drain any refrigerant. I took mine off a second time yesterday night at 6:30pm to re shim the clutch (mine was scraping against the pulley) and I was test driving at 8pm.
Most people don't realize that you can remove the old compressor clutch and install a new the clutch kit without removing the compressor and disconnecting the refrigerant lines. A lot of members would benefit by you describing exactly how you accomplished this.
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Old 07-15-2012, 08:30 AM   #11
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Default Re: Sometimes AC works. Sometimes it doesn't. No one can figure out why...????

Quote:
Originally Posted by WATYF View Post
Oh, sorry. I didn't mean that I don't know what a compressor is or anything like that. I just meant where exactly is that specific wiring found at (on the compressor). Is it just the main wiring harness that runs to it?

I'm not at home right now, so I don't have it in front of me. It may be obvious once I'm standing there, but I just figured I'd ask in case it's not.

Thanks for the input. I will check the wiring out when I get home.

WATYF
I have the same problem with my 96 civic lx. Replaced clutch relay still not working. let me know if you get it fixed. I also have a manual if you need one. It should work for your dx too.
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:36 AM   #12
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Default Re: Sometimes AC works. Sometimes it doesn't. No one can figure out why...????

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Most people don't realize that you can remove the old compressor clutch and install a new the clutch kit without removing the compressor and disconnecting the refrigerant lines. A lot of members would benefit by you describing exactly how you accomplished this.
1. Chock the rear tire.
2. Jack the front of the car up with a rolling floor jack.
3. Loosen the nut on the tension pulley. (Do not remove)
4. Loosen the bolt on the top of the tension pulley to
Give slack on the belt. When you have enough slide
Belt aside.
5. Lay on ground and remove bolt that holds plastic shield.
Rotate shield back away.
6. Remove four bolts that hold compressor to the block.
7. Get up and remove 2 bolts that hold heat shield for manifold.
Slide out of the way along the O2 wire.
8. Lift the compressor up out of the engine bay and lay it on top of
The drivers side radiator support. The clutch hold tool from
auto zone does not fit normal. I had to flip it and use the smaller
side. While improvising remove the nut from the clutch and
remove the clutch. When installing the new clutch check for free play.
9. On mine when I took it off it had one shim. When I put it back on the
one shim was not enough and there was a slight cyclical sound. 3 was
the magic number. Reinstall was the reverse of this.
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:51 AM   #13
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Default Re: Sometimes AC works. Sometimes it doesn't. No one can figure out why...????

Quote:
Originally Posted by MIBPreacher View Post
1. Chock the rear tire.
2. Jack the front of the car up with a rolling floor jack.
3. Loosen the nut on the tension pulley. (Do not remove)
4. Loosen the bolt on the top of the tension pulley to
Give slack on the belt. When you have enough slide
Belt aside.
5. Lay on ground and remove bolt that holds plastic shield.
Rotate shield back away.
6. Remove four bolts that hold compressor to the block.
7. Get up and remove 2 bolts that hold heat shield for manifold.
Slide out of the way along the O2 wire.
8. Lift the compressor up out of the engine bay and lay it on top of
The drivers side radiator support. The clutch hold tool from
auto zone does not fit normal. I had to flip it and use the smaller
side. While improvising remove the nut from the clutch and
remove the clutch. When installing the new clutch check for free play.
9. On mine when I took it off it had one shim. When I put it back on the
one shim was not enough and there was a slight cyclical sound. 3 was
the magic number. Reinstall was the reverse of this.
Thanks!
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Old 07-16-2012, 05:39 PM   #14
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Default Re: Sometimes AC works. Sometimes it doesn't. No one can figure out why...????

Quote:
Originally Posted by MIBPreacher View Post
1. Chock the rear tire.
2. Jack the front of the car up with a rolling floor jack.
3. Loosen the nut on the tension pulley. (Do not remove)
4. Loosen the bolt on the top of the tension pulley to
Give slack on the belt. When you have enough slide
Belt aside.
5. Lay on ground and remove bolt that holds plastic shield.
Rotate shield back away.
6. Remove four bolts that hold compressor to the block.
7. Get up and remove 2 bolts that hold heat shield for manifold.
Slide out of the way along the O2 wire.
8. Lift the compressor up out of the engine bay and lay it on top of
The drivers side radiator support. The clutch hold tool from
auto zone does not fit normal. I had to flip it and use the smaller
side. While improvising remove the nut from the clutch and
remove the clutch. When installing the new clutch check for free play.
9. On mine when I took it off it had one shim. When I put it back on the
one shim was not enough and there was a slight cyclical sound. 3 was
the magic number. Reinstall was the reverse of this.
thanks for sharing!
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