Mechanics

AIR CONDITIONER - DOES NOT WORK WITH AMBIENT TEMPERATURE ABOVE 85 DEGREES

2005 Honda Civic Hybrid • 150,000 miles

The Air Conditioning system works well when sitting in the driveway with 40 degree air being blown out of the vents. When driving with the ambient air temperature below 75 degrees it still blows at 40 degrees. However; if the ambient temperature is above 80 degrees (give or take) the blowing air will be at 75/80 degrees or higher.

If I shut off the air conditioner for about 10 minutes or more it will again start blowing at 40 degrees for a little while and then blow "hot" air again.

Compressor appears to be kicking in appropriately, the blower motor is not a problem. There are no DTC or MIL codes showing. I have not specifically manually tested the ambient air temperature sensor or interior sensor yet; however, it seems unlikely since it does work for a while and always works when the outside ambient air temperature is less than 80 degrees or so.

Thanks.
Avatar
Johnscivic
May 28, 2012.




Have a pro check this out. You may have what is called freezing up and that means there is water in system. Not alot, but the system will need to be discharged, swept with freon, and recharged. It may need a new drier as well.

Hmac300
May 28, 2012.
Thank you for your reply.

Are you thinking the a/c pressure switch is kicking in because it thinks the refrigerant is below 196 kPa or above 3,140 kPa? Could be a faulty pressure switch as well in that case.

1. How would a "pro" check this out besides evacuating and recharging the system?
2. How can I test the a/c pressure switch?
3. Can I get a temperature reading for the refrigerant?
4. How can I test the drier?

Thanks.

Tiny
Johnscivic
May 28, 2012.
You can't testtemp changes only with gauges. A k"pro does this by experience and you can't test the drier, when this happens it is like to much moisture actually that causes this and whay I said is about the only way to fix it. When a system is evacuated, it brings it down to a vacuum of 27" merc or so and boils the moisture out, but the drier will need replacing because it's not functioning any longer. And don't think to put heat on the pipes will cure it, it's dangerous to do that as well as won't work. Unless you know someone who has a vacuum pump and can mechanically do this then you'll have to go to a pro.

Hmac300
May 28, 2012.
The exact same thing starting happening to my Honda Civic Hybrid 2005 last year while driving through over 100 Oklahoma summer heat. It was awful. The AC works mostly while idling, but not when it's hot out or at higher speeds. It really confused the first two shops I took it to, and what they did (recharging, checking for leaks, flushing) didn't do a thing. I just left it with some AC specialists, and they found that something was wrong with the clutch that was causing it to not engage properly. They have ordered the new parts (has to be reinstalled with a new compressor) and I having it installed next week. It will cost about 1400 dollars. I will let you know how that goes. I'm pretty disappointed with this car. It's a disaster waiting to happen. So much has gone wrong with it already. I was also told that the problem with the clutch was specific to this hybrid model and that even the Honda dealers are annoyed by this problem car. I'm sorry I don't have more details, but I will write more when I do.

Hi stefanieholimandurbin,

Turns out the spacer between the clutch plates was leaving to wide a gap which caused the compressor not to engage in my case. If you can, before you spend $1,400, tell a competent mechanic to remove the spacer and see if that works.

Tiny
Johnscivic
Aug 8, 2012.
That will do it, unfortunately in your case you got a person who just changes parts. The clutch thing doesn 't happen very often

Hmac300
Aug 8, 2012.
Same thing! Love the car--other than the A/C problem. Husband and mechanic both accused me of "punching the wrong buttons" because the air was hot. I punched NO buttons until the A/C felt like a hairdryer! We've paid over $300 in 3 separate servicings to have it flushed and tweaked with no improvement. The problem is that it has to run for about 20 minutes before the hot air starts up again. Sometimes I can turn it off, and back on again while still driving (5-10 minutes) and it regains its cool for a bit. Mechanics do their thing and when they "test" it, of course, it's "fixed." They'd need to drive it 20 minutes to see the problem! Thanks for the tip about the spacer. The mechanic last suggested changing the clutch.
AD

Tiny
Stutzjan
Aug 24, 2012.

AD