1996 Honda Accord A/C problem with battery light comig on.

Tiny
HT
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 HONDA ACCORD
1996 Honda Accord 6 cyl Automatic 95000 miles

Is there any connection between

1) the battery light coming on;
2) the a/c blowing warm air;
3) and the a/c clutch coil needing to be replaced.
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Sunday, May 25th, 2008 AT 3:18 PM

11 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi there,

They can be related because AC and alternator utilises the same belt and pulley. A broken or badly slipping belt will cause the problem.

Without any recharging of the battery, the voltage might drop too low for the AC coil to operate.

Check for a faulty pulley if the belt is not broken. The pulley has a rubber damper ring which might have come detached so the pulley is freewheeling on the inner power steering pulley.
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Monday, May 26th, 2008 AT 7:56 AM
Tiny
HT
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Hi KHL: Thank you for your response!

My alternator belt had been changed at my 90,000 mile maintenance.

Actually, my battery light only went on when I was stopped or slowing down to approximately 20 mph. Then turned off when I accelerated.

Unfortunately, what happened is they said my alternator needed to be replaced which-- SURPRISE --
did not fix the a/c problem.

Is the rubber damper ring also called a "shim"?
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Monday, May 26th, 2008 AT 12:34 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
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Hi,

No, it is not a shim. The damper and the pulley should be in 1 complete piece.

Too bad after replacing the alternator and the AC still don't work. Btw is the alternator working well now?

Guess you need to fork out more $$$ for the AC coil or compressor whichever is at fault.
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Monday, May 26th, 2008 AT 2:05 PM
Tiny
HT
  • MEMBER
Hello, again.

So far I GUESS the alternator is working since the battery light is off. However, now I am wondering if it needed to be replaced.

The SAD story is that after they replaced the alternator, they told me I had to take the car to an a/c specialist.

SHEEP that I am, I went. Baaaaaaaa!

They replaced the a/c clutch coil.

Wait... It gets better. They call to say my car is fixed.

I picked up the car and started to drive it home. But the a/c was still blowing warm air! I turned around went back to service repair shop and they said that the mechanic put in a "shim" between the coil and the (?) That was too thick and he needed to replace it with a thinner one.

ONE hour or so later, I get my car back and the a/c works fine.

Can you PLEASE (I'm begging here... ) Give me an idea as to what this "magic" shim was that miraculously made the a/c blow cold air?

Thanks for your help. My sanity is at stake.
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Monday, May 26th, 2008 AT 2:58 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi,

From what you described, probably the magnetic clutch contact was worn so it was refaced a shim was needed to keep the specified clearance.

By adding too thick a shim, the clutch was too far away to be attracted by the coil so they readjusted by replacing with a thinner shim.
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Monday, May 26th, 2008 AT 3:12 PM
Tiny
HT
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Hello, KHL: Thank you for your GREAT and SPEEDY responses.

I must COMMEND you on your ability to clearly articulate your answers in such a way that even I, a blithering/blathering/babbling NOVICE regarding car mechanics, can understand.

So, it isn't the "chicken or the egg" problem?

What likely came first? Did the coil need to be replaced?

Or was it the magnetic clutch contact that was worn and had it been fixed first the coil would not have needed to be replaced?

Was it just coincidental that the alternator went "bad?"
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Monday, May 26th, 2008 AT 3:37 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi again

Glad that I have been of help.

Chicken or egg is true.

The clutch locks when the compressor is required to work and unlocks when the desired cooling temp is attained or during hard acceleration.

When the clutch engages, it tends to slip before it fully engages and over a long period of time, the wear will create a bigger clearance gap between the plates. This will result in in partial engagement of the clutch and heats builds up when slippage occurs. This will fry the coil.

Fixing the clutch might have protected the coil but then again it could have been the other way round. The strength of the coil diminishes due to old age, poor wire connector contact or oil getting between the coil slowly shorting it. This will cause improper clutch contact.

The alternator failure should be just coincidence because even if the coil is shorted, the fuse will blow protecting the alternator, unless you have installed very high amp fuse which will cause the alternator to give way before the fuse blows.

Just remembered, maybe the alternator was not producing enough current so the coil got affected.
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Tuesday, May 27th, 2008 AT 8:29 AM
Tiny
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Hello, KH:

Again, thank you for your helpful responses.

Now that I think about it, the a/c was not blowing cool air several days BEFORE the battery light went on.

If the alternator and the a/c probems are related, is it, more likely than not, that the battery light would have come on at the same time as the a/c problem?

The battery was not replaced -- only the alternator.
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Tuesday, May 27th, 2008 AT 4:38 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Even if related, the damage to the alternator might only slowly build up until it gives way thus the delay.

If the battery is ok, there is no need for it to be replaced.

The new alternator will charge it back after some running of the engine.
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Wednesday, May 28th, 2008 AT 8:30 AM
Tiny
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Hello, KHL:

Thanks for your time and help.

You've been great.
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Wednesday, May 28th, 2008 AT 12:44 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
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You are welcomed.

Glad that we have been of assistance.

Happy motoring.
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Thursday, May 29th, 2008 AT 9:33 AM

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