Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

97 Honda Accord Air Condition not charging

I drive a 97 Honda Accord EX with vTec, it was previously in a slight car accident which bumped in my front bumper toward the drivers side. Since then the A/C hasn’t worked, even when i press the ac button on no sign of it occurs, i know there is no leak, there is pressure in the High valve, the belts are fine. But when charging from an ac charge kit bought from Autozone, it doesn’t take it in. I heard its because the compressor is not working or my sesnor is broken. What do you think I should do?

…But since after the accident the bumper, hood, and headlights have been replaced. in case of any confussion. Thanks

I’m not a fan of A/C recharge kits with charging hoses; especially in the hands of a DIYer. Someone proficient with A/C work can do a sort of tolerable job of making this work.

There’s not enough info known to make much of a guess as we do not know if this is an electrical glitch caused by the collision (wiring damage, short leading to a blown fuse, etc.) or whether the pressure that does exist is enough to operate any system pressure switches, etc.

Even if the electrical end of things is fine, both the high and low side pressures really need to be known.
On a fully charged system when the A/C is not being used the static pressure should stabilize and be the same on both high and low sides. This is generally around 115-120 PSI. ( varies based on certain factors)
Wished I could be of more help but there’s just too many unknowns.

thank you, but if it helps i’m thinking the compressor had something to do with it since it wasn’t working when i car was running with the ac on, so i’m guessing its a compressor problem???

Well, the compressor could be inoperative due to low system pressure or an electrical fault.
This is just my opinion, but every time I mess around with auto electrics the first thing I do is check every single fuse, fuse link, etc.; even ones that are not related to what I’m working on. Weed out even the faintest possibility of one fuse affecting something that you may not think it applies to.

I’ll see if I can take a look at a wiring schematic and post back tomorrow.

If you want AC that bad then I’m just going to say what ok4450 is thinking but is being too polite about - take the thing to a shop. AC systems are complicated and you don’t just refill them like you refill the windshield washer fluid. Even if you manage to get it charged you still have a leak somewhere that needs to be fixed. Do you even know whether the system will hold any refrigerant at all?

Its pretty clear that this is beyond what you should be trying to do.

I actually just read your post again. How do you know that there is no leak? And much more importantly, if there is no leak then why are you trying to charge the thing? This is a closed system - the only reason it would need to be charged is if it leaks. This just reinforces my belief that you should not be messing with it.

About the only thing I’d say you could do is find the electrical connector for the compressor clutch - inspect it and check it for proper voltage. IF you don’t have a leak THEN the system is charged and your problem would be electrical.

How do you know there’s pressure on the high side? These store bought recharge kits only connect to the low side.


I would like to thank you ok4450, it was a simple fuse break on the condenser fan, I went to autozone bought a 15A fuse and replaced it, couldn’t be better, but it was leaked so i did have to charge it with the remains of my charge kit lol

but thanks agian, i greatly appreciate it

Thank you for keeping us informed. Often we never get any followups here and never know if anything posted has helped or not.

There is some thing else to keep in mind since the system charge was low. (meaning it will get low again at some point)
With refrigerant loss there is always some refrigerant oil loss so when doing any future A/C recharges try to use a can of refrigerant that also has refrig. oil and a conditioner in it.

This will not only replenish oil that has leaked from the system but may help slow down compressor shaft seal leaks, which are the main cause of refrigerant losses. Hope that helps.

In retrospect let me add this. Since this car got tapped in the front and the condenser fan fuse was blown you need to make sure the fan is not damaged in some way.

If the fan was tweaked a bit (bent blade dragging, etc.) then it’s possible the fuse could have blown due to the current draw of the fan motor being higher than normal.
With the engine off (cold engine) and the A/C off, use your fingertip to spin the fan blades. They should rotate easily. If not, either the fan blade is dragging or the fan motor is failing. This means a fuse could pop again sometime.

Ok excellant, i was actually considering the fact that i might have leaked some of the oil, but just a quick question. What is the substance that comes out of the high pressure, because i have a feeling that it might be low. So would that be the refrig. oil?

And since I have been grateful for your help, I’d like to ask one more question regarding my vehicle. At the time of the accident my air bags deployed, so i simply changed the driver and passenger air bags, and while trying to remove the module the key was twisted but car wasn’t on, and right when I forcefully unscrewed a bit of the module the new set of air bags suprisinlgy deployed.

This has left me with a new set of air bags screwed in, but not plugged. An air bag module with a screw barely tight, and an SRS light illuminated on my dash. What do you suggest I do? Replace the Module and plug the air bags, then follow the steps to reseting the system from a youtube video I’ve seen?

Thank you agian

The substance that hisses out of the service port that you cannot see will be refrigerant. Any substance you see that foams or bubbles out will be refrigerant oil.
Unless they’re really bad, most refrigerant oil leaks will occur in the lower parts of the system and this can happen even while the car is parked.

Oil will settle in the lower extremeties and still being under pressure, it will ooze out a few molecules at a time. Eventually it adds up.
Look at the bottom of the air compressor near the clutch pulley. If it’s grimy and/or oily there then it’s likely due to a shaft seal leak.
Also look for any oily or grimy areas on the A/C condenser as these can easily become damaged during a collision.

I’m kind of antsy about doling out advice on the SRS as this can be pretty dangerous and rather than go through it I would advise reading through this link for all of the details.

Hope some of that helps anyway.

If you buy a refrigerant with oil in it, get the PAG oil, not the ester oil.