2011 Honda CR-V A/C Issue

Hey everyone. I have a 2011 Honda CR-V EX. I know these cars are notorious for bad ac compressors but usually only in the special edition models or so I was told. Well I was on a trip a couple of days ago and my car hesitated as I was running the ac and about to get on the highway and then ac stopped working. Just blowing out hot air. I assume since the serpentine belt is part of the loop, that means at least the clutch is working. My question is, is it safe to drive my vehicle knowing the ac compressor could potentially be bad or would this potentially cause damage to my engine? If it had a seperate ac belt I wouldn’t worry but it doesn’t. At least not to my knowledge. It has also started rattling or ticking since this happened. Please let me know as I need to drive about 200 miles this weekend. Thank you


Air conditioning compressors can fail in two ways.

The compressor itself can fail internally.

Or the compressor clutch bearing can fail.

If it fails internally, and the AC isn’t on. no damage can occur.

But if it is on, it can take out the serpentine belt.

But to prevent this, the plug to the compressor clutch is unplugged.

If the clutch bearing fails, it can take out the serpentine belt whether or not the AC is on.

So you need to find out what’s causing the noise you hear.



Basically you are saying until I figure that out I shouldn’t drive it?

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If don’t mind getting stranded because the belt broke, you can drive it.


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Unplug the A/C clutch and see if the problem goes away.

fyi, the belt turns the A/C compressor pulley. But that pulley may or may not turn the A/C compressor. For the pulley to turn the compressor, and create cool air in the process, the A/C clutch must be on. The clutch only turns on when there’s a need for cooler air in the cabin. Part of the diagnosis your shop will do is determining if the noise coincides with the A/C clutch on, or is not related to the A/C clutch.

From what I’m seeing a 2011 CRV uses a serpentine belt. Don’t know for certain the A/C pulley is part of that same loop on your car, but I presume it is. The serpentine belt is at the front of the engine (engine front is near the right front fender). Snakes around this way and that way over several pulleys (hence the name “serpentine”). Serpentine accessory belts usually have a tensioner somewhere in the loop, while normal accessory belts generally don’t.