Hi, I have a 2002 Civic LX. A/C worked until a few months ago. It would stay on for about ten minutes and then stopping blowing cold air; it would come back on and then go off again at it’s own whim. Bought it to local Goodyear - told them the problem - they charged me about $130 to evacuate and recharge, looked for leafs but told me they saw no problems with the A/C, the condenser was fine, etc. A few days later, same problems started. Runs great for about ten minutes and then does its own thing. I am going to bring to to a different Goodyear, as it’s under warranty (though Goodyear is being a bit difficult about that since they are franchised) but I want to get a sense from any Car Talk fans if they’ve had similar experiences and know what the problem could be. I don’t want to get robbed by Goodyear and if this is something I could fix myself, I will. Thanks for reading.
I’d imagine that the problem is that none of the Goodyear locations that you visit has anyone who really knows anything about A/C systems. What they will have is the machine that will evacuate the system, put it under vacuum to see whether or not the vacuum holds (as a leak check), and then refill the system, probably by refrigerant weight while the machine also monitors the high & low side pressures.
A couple/few people at the Goodyear shops will probably know how to operate that machine. But that doesn’t mean that they know how to check an A/C system.
So…what you probably want to do is find a locally owned, independent shop that specializes in A/C systems and take the car there.
The on again off again AC performance might be caused from a defective evaporator expansion valve. This valve controls the amout of refrigerant that enters the evaporator. I’ve replaced a lot of defective expansion valves on Honda’s for the same problem.