A/C ISSUES

2003 Honda CRV

Tiny

tom rabe

July, 17, 2011 AT 4:13 PM

Honda crv 2003 a/c; we have replaced the entire a/c system with a "set" of aftermarket components. At an ambient temp of 95 degrees F, the low side pressure at 900 rpm is 35psig, the high side pressure is 200 psig. The low side pressure at 3000 rpm is 15 psig.

The center vent blows 78 degree air, the right and left vents blow 70 degree air. I have replaced the cabin air filter. I have been "below" to observe the operation of the air control motor. The arm runs through its full range underneath and under the hood the heater control valve also travels its full range ( I disconnected it to check the range of motion in the valve)

I have also run the diagnostic prescribed by KHlow2008(expert) in response to a 2003 crv climate control question. No diagnostic code is is given after the test.

We have had mice in the car repeatedly. I removed a nest behind the radio and found acorn shells atop the cabin air filter when I replaced them.

We purchased this car in northeastern Ohio when we lived there. The need for a/c was far less frequent than where we now live. We really can't say how "good" the a/c was when we bought the car 5 years ago. This is the second time in the last 13 months that we have replaced the entire system. Last time it didn't seem very cold with the replacement system, sort of barely ok. This time it's a debate whether to run with the windows down or a/c on.

I cannot find a schematic of the ducting to determine if the mouse could have caused the problem.

The aftermarket parts provider says the pressures are adequate, not ideal. They will send a replacement compressor, but they don't think that will solve the problem.

My local "automotive consultant", the school system's bus garage supervisor tells me a/c systems are component balanced so its not likely that a Honda compressor would make a difference unless the other Honda components are "upsized" also. The nearest Honda dealer is 85 miles away. The aftermartket supplier maintains in their advertising that their compenents are better than oem and solve the problem of Honda's orignal design flaw. Just saying. .

KHlow2008 are you out there? Anyone? Thanks to all. The car seves our needs well minus the a/c headaches and expense.

TR

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9 Answers

Tiny

merlin2021

July, 17, 2011 AT 4:50 PM

The compressor should be cycling off with a reading of 15? Use a charging station to evacute and fill to proper levels. It sounds like you are too low on R134a.

Tiny

tom rabe

July, 17, 2011 AT 5:10 PM

Merlin2021
These readings were taken after an evacuation and refill of 134A. I am not a mechanic, did you note that the low and high side readings at 900 rpm were 35 and 200 respectively? I do not know the significance of the 3000 rpm low side reading being 15 psig, but I would hope the mechanic who took them and provided them to me to give to the parts supplier would have noted that that was the problem, if such was the case. He was the same mechanic who installed the parts I provided.
TR

Tiny

merlin2021

July, 17, 2011 AT 5:26 PM

Honda spec is 48 psi low side and 250 psi high side at 1500 rpm, 86 degree day 70% humidity level. That indicates a low charge.

Tiny

tom rabe

July, 17, 2011 AT 5:45 PM

The readings I posted were taken on a 95 degree day, not much choice of temperature here this time of year. The initial repair and recharge took place when temperatures were cooler and when and when I brought the car car back a few weeks later with my concerns the mechanic said he didn't like doing a/c when it was cool outside as it had been before. He checked the charge that day and added some refrigerant and looked for leaks. After that I called the parts suppliers and they said they needed the readings. My wife took the car back about 5 days after I did and got the readings at that time. I'm looking at a printout of the Honda a/c performance test (refer to service bulletin 96-012) that the mechanic gave me with the readings filled in. There is no reference to the 48 psig low side you mentioned. However there is a note to test civec and crv models 98 and later at 100 rpm's or slightly higher. And I cannot verify if that was done or it waas done at 900 rpms to acquire the 35 psig reading. I gave all these readings to the parts supplier and they made no special comment about the 15 psig at 3000 rpm's. It is possible they did not ask for that information, I reallly can't remember. Does any of this information affect your response? I'm not doubting anybody, I'd just like to have decent a/c. And after 2000.00 ( it broke 500 miles from home and couldn't be driven) It seems a reasonable desire.
Tom

Tiny

tom rabe

July, 17, 2011 AT 5:55 PM

I meant to type 1100 rpm's or slightly higher

Tiny

KHLow2008

July, 20, 2011 AT 4:09 PM

Hi Tom,

I would agree with Merlin that the presure readings does indicate the freon level is below what it should be.

From symptom description, I would say the the heater seems to be interfering with the A/C system.

If possible, I would like to know the following to reconfirm.

Low and high pressure reading at 1100 rpm.
Low and high pressure reading at 2500 rpm.
Low and high pressure reading when A/C is turned OFF.
Low and high pressure reading after 5 minutes after A/C is turned.
Is the condenser aftermarket as well?
Are the cooling fans working and the drawn air amount seems reasonable?

Are both heater hoses hot when A/C is in operations? Hope the heater valve is not faulty and allowing coolant to flow through even at closed position.

Tiny

tom rabe

July, 21, 2011 AT 12:24 AM

KHlow2008,
Thanks for your reply.
Today, the mechanic at the bus garage added a little r134A to my system, from the low pressure side. He used the gauge to raise the low side pressure from 15 to 35 lbs. This made no difference in the cooling from the a/c system. Before the refrigerant was added we clamped the incoming line to the heater core closed to make sure that was not the source of the problem, (we used a woodworking clamp with large rubber pads). There was no difference in the a/c output.
Then we had a lengthy discussion about how the system works and the most probable faulty component. He concluded by saying if it was his car he would replaced the expansion valve. He did not have gauges to check the high and low side pressures.
So I went to see the mechanic who installed the final part of the system, and who had installed the entire replacement system last time. (The system failed 500 miles from home, we rented a car, had the parts shipped to a repair shop there, and had them install only the compressor so I could drive the car home and finish the repairs here; b/c labor there was 85/hr and 45/hr here)
After taking the readings today, the mechanic here thought the system had blockage somewhere. During the course of that conversation it became apparent that he had not replaced the condensor b/c I never gave it to him. And I never gave it to him b/c the shop was closed when I picked up my car in Louisianna, and there was a box of parts in the back. I never realized the condensor, as large as it is was not there, just wasn't thinking about that.
So it turns out that everything was replaced except a fouled condensor, which is being shipped to me by the repair shop in Louisianna. "Yep, we got it right here", they said when I called today.
Shortly after the initial repairs were completed and the system was not cooling well, a pressure test had these readings; 95 degrees F, 1100 rpm L-35, H-200, 3000 rpm L-15, center vent 78 degrees.
Today 2.5 months later, and after added refrigerant w/o high side guage 95-99 degrees F, 1100 rpm L-40, H-350; 2500 rpm L-35, H-450; A/C off L- 90, H-250; 5 minutes after A/C on, at idle, L-45, H-298.
Condensor and new expansion valve on the way.
Do you think the original lack off cooling even right after the other components were replaced was due to a fouled condensor, or immediately fouled expansion valve?
The last time the system was replaced the cooling efficiency of the components was not very impressive ( same supplier), but better than this time b/4 it blew.
Seems odd to me that my 88 4runner w/no rear window freezes my wife out when this 2003 Honda can't, and it doesn't take much to make her cold, no pun intended.

The install mechanic surmised the expansion valve just got progressively more clogged this time.
I'm interested in your thoughts. Your response about the Air temp motor control was really thorough. I used that to check out those components earlier, along with the diagnostic test. I didn't do the electrical test, thankfully it wasn't necessary b/c I don't have that equipment or skill.
Again, Thanks for responding.
Tom

Tiny

tom rabe

July, 21, 2011 AT 2:09 AM

KHlow2008,
All new components were aftermarket from Discount A/C. Com
Tom

Tiny

KHLow2008

July, 21, 2011 AT 3:00 PM

Hi Tom,

The freon level is too high based on the last readings made.

Presenty the low pressure side is slightly too high and the high pressure side is very high. Anything above 300 psi for the high side under ay compressor speed condition would be deemed high.

Problem is not likely to be from the expansion valve as any clogging of it would cause the high pressure side to record extreme pressure whereas the low pressure side would drop to almost vacuum conditions.
The most likely problem lies with the condenser. It is not cooling sufficiently and could be due to partial clogging internally or there is insufficient air flow past the cooling fins.

Ensure the cooling fans are working in the correct direction, fans blades are in good working condition and not deformed. With A/C operating, use a hose to spray some water on the condenser to assist in cooling it and note if the cooling efficiency improves and low pressure is about 30 psi while high pressure is between 230 to 280 psi.

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