2008 Honda Civic AC/Defroster Problems

First time poster - I apologize for the long post.

I wanted to ask around and get some feedback before taking the car into a shop.
I have a 2008 Honda Civic with 63K Miles.

I am having problems with the AC/Defroster. AC blows cool but not super cold air when driving.
However when stopped or in stop and go traffic, at best I get best cool air.

There is a noticeable higher pitched whooshing/blowing sound when the compressor engages - imagine a jet engine spooling up for takeoff.

The Defroster does work well enough to clear the windshield.

To date, it has not blown warm or hot air.

In addition:

  • I have checked the compressor/clutch and it does engage when the AC is turned on.
  • I have not seen any issues with the Belts locking up, fraying etc…
  • Both Radiator and Condenser Fans run. Have checked for debris etc…
  • Condenser does drain.
  • No water in the car from a plugged drain.
  • Noise is Not present when only the Fan/Vent is running.
  • No OBD2 Codes were generated.
  • Checked the AC Pressure late last summer. With an outdoor temp of about 90+ Degrees. The Low Port showed roughly 37 PSI. High port showed about 160 PSI. I believe but I am not sure that these numbers were low.
  • Recharged the System at when it was about 90+ degrees. System would not pressurize past 38-40 PSI on the low side even after using nearly an entire can (unfortunately I did not have access to a high port gauge when I recharged the system).

This did make any difference.

Thanks in advance for any ideas!


A dirty cabin air filter will prevent the a/c system to work at its peak…change it if your car has one.
If the A/C light is blinking like in my Corolla, the a/c needs a recharge or it indicates a system malfunction. You won’t get an OBD2 code with an A/C malfonction.

My impression OP is you’ve done all the common sense things already. Suggest to take it to an AC specialist shop. Don’t try to solve this problem by overcharging the system.

Check the coolant level before driving this vehicle again. The heater won’t blow hot if the coolant is low and operating with a low coolant level can result in engine damage.

The A/C would probably be colder if the refrigerant level was correct, adding a can is the wrong approach, plus or minus 2-3 ounces of refrigerant can cause performance problems. The preferred method would be to reclaim the refrigerant, evacuate the system, then charge to correct amount.

Hi All

Thank you for the replies and ideas. In regards to some of the posts:

  • The heater does blow hot air and appears to work correctly
  • I have not checked the coolant level however the temp gauge does not indicate any overheating
  • I did change the cabin air filter and checked for any obstructions, junk etc…
  • Civics do not have an AC specific warning light. There is the generic check engine light. But that has not come on