Intermittent air conditioner problem

Tiny
MEGSU
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 HONDA ACCORD
I have a strange problem with the air conditioner unit in my car. For the last one year, I have noticed that my air conditioner unit does not turn on at times. Let me clarify, it is not that the air conditioner unit does not properly cool or heat the car, but instead it just does not turn on. Sometimes, it will not turn on for multiple days, then all of a sudden it will work just fine.

I took the car to the Honda dealer and they kept the car for two days and with my luck, the unit performed perfectly the time it was there. They were unable to replicate the problem.

So, here are things I have noticed, chances for air conditioner coming on are likely much greater when my car is not left out in direct sunlight. Mostly, it seems to work most mornings, but my rides in the afternoon are usually without air conditioning. At times, I have noticed that if I leave the air conditioner control knob in the ON position and reach high speeds of 60-70 mph, that the unit will begin working.

So, in conclusion, this is a sporadic problem in which air conditioner work at times and other times it does not.

I look forward to your feedback.
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Sunday, June 13th, 2010 AT 8:06 AM

17 Replies

Tiny
HONDAOWNER78
  • MEMBER
Wow, I thought I was the only one who was having this problem!

I took my car to the dealership and had the exact same thing happen to me.

They flushed the Freon and recharged the air conditioner, all to no avail.

My thermostat control panel flashes on and off when it is "working", does yours too?

The dealership told me that I would most likely have to get another control panel (from the junk yard, no less) because they could not get their hands on one themselves.

I surely hope someone responds to this thread soon, we are roasting in our cars!

I have a 4 cylinder, automatic transmission if that is what you are asking.

I asked a co-worker (who is thankfully more in the know about auto related issues than I am, being an ASE certified mechanic himself) to help me take a look at the fuses and relays to see if either of those might be the issue, and there appeared to be nothing wrong with either of those things.

As far as the cooling fans are concerned, yes, they still operate, but they act as if they are just venting from the outside and blowing whatever temperature of air that it is outdoors.

Also, the lights on the air conditioner control panel completely black out when it happens.

Sometimes the lights on the air conditioner control panel blink on and off just before the air conditioner cuts out, too.

However, when I took it to the dealership where I normally get the vehicle serviced, they could not reproduce the problem, nor did were they able to generate an error code from the computer.

Does this sound like an electrical issue to you, or could it be that something like an air conditioner filter or possibly the air conditioner drainage line being plugged up might be causing the problem?

Any ideas you might have would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
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Thursday, June 17th, 2010 AT 11:37 PM
Tiny
MEGSU
  • MEMBER
Sorry, I could not provide timely a response as I was out of town. It seems like you have a lot more details than I do regarding the problem.

I really do not know if control panel lights are flashing as I do not know where it is. :) I am really a rookie here.

The only problem is that this car has been so good to me and still runs like a champ. I would hate to move onto another car due to this silly issue. It was a nightmare the other day when the unit did not work and I was unable to use the defrost.

To answer the question regarding cooling fans. They seem to work fine.
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Monday, July 12th, 2010 AT 8:01 PM
Tiny
DOCFIXIT
  • EXPERT
In the under hood fuse/relay box find the air conditioner relay swap it with one on the cooling fan relays and see if the air conditioner stays on.
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Tuesday, July 13th, 2010 AT 2:23 PM
Tiny
REDDB76
  • MEMBER
Any updates on this? My 2001 Accord is having these same problems.
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Thursday, August 2nd, 2012 AT 9:01 PM
Tiny
GABBY1976
  • MEMBER
I have the same problem, the LED lights blink then air conditioner shuts down. My compressor is fine and still blow the cool air when the light is back. I already changed air conditioner relay and low pressure switch but that is not working. If I adjust the temperature button to very low temperature. This problem can be fixed. My mechanic said my air conditioner thermostat may getting bad. Problem is where is air conditioner thermostat?
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Friday, September 12th, 2014 AT 7:30 AM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
I have seen where the climate controller goes out which is the main electronic component to the system. They short out from time to time. I would try to find a used one to save money.

Here are some diagrams (below) and guides to help us fix the problem.

There is a chance the engagement coil on the compressor has an intermittent short circuit which causes this problem, we have this video to show you how to replace it, the car is similar so you can get the idea.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pBoAA87gHI

Also you will need to vacuum down and recharge the unit, here is how

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9IvBziFUSo

Please let us know what happens so it will help others.

Cheers, Ken
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Sunday, April 10th, 2016 AT 6:14 PM
Tiny
CARTROUBLES2007
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 HONDA ACCORD
I own a four cylinder 2001 Honda Accord with 102,000 miles. Two years ago (Summer of 2005), the A/C stopped working, so I took it to a repair shop. The repair shop fixed the A/C and provided me with a bill that totaled close to $400.00. I did not care though, the A/C worked!

Move forward one year to the Summer of 2006. I attempted to use the A/C for the first time that year only to discover the A/C was not working again. Furious that the repair shop did not correct the problem (most likely a leak), I decided I would simply purchase a few cans of 134a and charge the system. My idea worked and I had A/C all summer.

Move forward again to the Spring of 2007. Once again, my A/C is not working. My Accord also reached 100,000 miles, so I decided to have both the timing belt and water pump replaced. (I did not allow the repair shop to touch the AC).

Once my vehicle was out of the shop, I drove the car home and charged the A/C system myself. The A/C appeared to be working fine while running in the driveway. However, I did not have the same success while driving it on the highway.

While operating my car on the road (A/C on), I noticed the car feels like it is slipping. At the same time, the cold air from the vents fades in and out. (Air force stays the same, only temperature is affected). When I turn my A/C off, the "slipping" stops. I checked the pressure of the A/C system and it appears to be within normal range.

In addition to this problem, the timing belt does not appear to be installed correctly. Every time I start my car, I hear a very quick but very loud screech coming from the engine. Is the timing belt loose or off track? Could an error with the timing belt contribute to the current A/C problems or should I be concerned with my compressor? Any help would be appreciated!
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Saturday, September 1st, 2018 AT 11:07 AM (Merged)
Tiny
KIN CHAN
  • MEMBER
This sounds like you have an AC compressor that is locking up which would explain the leak and the belt screech and the engine holding back. Here is a guide to help you get the job done you can get a new compressor form Amazon for $185.00 (Denso)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001UCGHUY/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=2carprcom-20&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B001UCGHUY&linkId=2073f0b06abd1f5ee93a24ebba068b64

Here is how you change it out.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/replace-air-conditioner-compressor

Please let us know what happens.

Cheers
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Saturday, September 1st, 2018 AT 11:07 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JAMES GREENE
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 HONDA ACCORD
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 191,400 MILES
I press the air control ( on the dash)--the light does not go on no cold air--the same with the heat--no light on no heat-- the fan blows but no air comes out of the dash vents or front window vents-- the air (not hot or cold comes out the floor vents---
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Saturday, September 1st, 2018 AT 11:07 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Have you checked the fuses yet? There are 2 fuse panels inside thecar, one passenger side (check fuse 13- 7.5 amp) then one drivers side (check fuses 3-7.5 amp & 6 -15 amp). Then in the underhood fuse panel check fuses 56-40 amp, 57, 58 are both 20 amp
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Saturday, September 1st, 2018 AT 11:07 AM (Merged)
Tiny
SRIESTERER
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 HONDA ACCORD
  • 3.3L
  • 4 CYL
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 167,000 MILES
Help. My car is overheating and it won't blow any hot air. It hasn't been blowing hot air for quite a while now. So I did a coolant flush and replace thermostat it still doesn't blowing hot air. Recently however it has been overheating. I noticed a hairline crack in the top of the radiator couple weeks ago and it was blowing steam out and overheating. The gage was on red for sbout s half mile as I drove it home. I put some quicksteel on the crack but the car wouldn't start. Two days later it did start though same sympt oil in the coolant and vice versa. I'm pretty sure the coolant is flowing because both radiator hoses are cold to start but the top gets warmer as the engine gets warmer. There are no abnormal leaks of coolant that I have found and no abnormal low levels either. The car is a 1998 Honda Accord.
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Saturday, September 1st, 2018 AT 11:07 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
If you have oil in the coolant and coolant in the oil, then you most likely have a bad head gasket. Check that first.
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Saturday, September 1st, 2018 AT 11:07 AM (Merged)
Tiny
SRIESTERER
  • MEMBER
Sorry but that post it took out some of my question. There is no oil in the coolant and vice versa. Also the night it overheated and I got home there was not much oil left in the tank. Not sure why.
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Saturday, September 1st, 2018 AT 11:07 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Do you mean there wasn't much COOLANT in the tank? If so, have you checked for leaks? When you replaced the thermostat, did you bleed the system so there are no air blocks?
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Saturday, September 1st, 2018 AT 11:07 AM (Merged)
Tiny
SRIESTERER
  • MEMBER
I change the thermostat the same time I flush the coolant so there was no coolant in the system. Is that what you're talking about
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Saturday, September 1st, 2018 AT 11:08 AM (Merged)
Tiny
SRIESTERER
  • MEMBER
How do you bleed the system? I've never r. Eally seen any leaks. Although the day after it overheated I had to add about a quart of coolant to it
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Saturday, September 1st, 2018 AT 11:08 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Sometimes when you drain the coolant and refill it, air gets into the system and causes blockages. As a result, it can cause the vehicle to overheat, the heater not to work. Some vehicles have a bleeder right on the thermostat housing to allow air to exit. Others have nothing. In those cases, I always loosen the return line from the heater core to see if any air comes out.
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Saturday, September 1st, 2018 AT 11:08 AM (Merged)

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