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AC Question for the experts

I have been experiencing repeated air conditioning failures with my 2016 Civic EX-T. Since July of 2018 the car has been back to the dealer six times for AC failure and blowing warm air. The most recent being last week.

However my question is about their original diagnosis. Did they miss the leak?

When I got the car back the service order states: “inspected system for leaks No leaks detected. Recovered system. System was low by .125KGS. Also had 30% humidity in system”.


I’m sure they missed the leak, but that would not be unusual. The leaks can be so small that they simply don’t have the time to detect the leak in a single visit. They should put a dye in the system and the next time it fails, they can find the leak with a black light and/or special glasses.

The expansion valve may be faulty.

An erratic expansion valve can cause erratic operation of the AC system

This can sometimes be hard to detect because, the expansion valve has to malfunction while the refrigerant gauges are connected.


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Does the AC work now ? If it fails again ask the dealer if they would consider an independent diagnostic just to confirm what they found . If you have a shop work on it then they can refuse to do anything for free.

There is either a leak or a failed component. I’d start looking for a highly-regarded independent a/c shop, then do as @VOLVO_V70 suggests.

Thanks all!

It has failed five times since then. They have replaced the compressor twice, the condenser and 3 O-rings, The receiver pipe and an O-Ring on combination pipe, It was working when I drove it home two days ago but I have no confidence that it will not fail during the heat of summer since that has been it’s pattern

They did all this without doing a dye test first? BTW, I had an AC that did this once, it was the schrader valve leaking. Part cost about a $1.25.

Sounds like a lot of WAGing. A 2016 Civic should not be plagued with that many leaks nor should it need 2 compressor replacements unless the car has a quarter million miles on it or whatever.

I have no idea how they diagnosed a leak or inspected for one. Pulling a vacuum and watching the gauge set is the easiest method of determining whether or not the system has a leak along with the use of an electronic refrigerant detector. I’m not really a fan of the dye method myself.

If the system was low and had moisture in it then there is a leak or someone has been doing a poor job of evacuating the system before recharging. Since the compressor was replaced twice I would hope the accumulator was also replaced.

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September of 2018, a Schrader valve and receiver pipe were replaced