Air Conditioner problem on Honda Odyssey


#1

Hey gang my aunt has a 01 Honda Odyssey with 125K on it, and the AC is not working. I think the problem is the compressor, but I wanted to get your opinions. When you turn on the AC the clutch for the compressor will click on, however when I look I dont think the compressor is spining. There are 3 hubs, the outer hub that the belt goes around a middle hub which is the clutch hub, and the inner hub which I guess is the compressor hub. When I engage the AC unit I can see the clutch hub engage and start spinning, but the inner hub still stands still. I did not think this was possable with out making noise, but it does this with out any squealing or any thing… Any other ideas??


#2

Most modern automotive AC systems have a safety cut-out to prevent the compressor from operating if there is insufficient refrigerant in the system. This is to prevent damage to the compressor. Perhaps there is not enough refrigerant in the system, and that’s why the compressor does not engage.

It could, of course, be some other problem.

I suggest you tell your aunt to take her vehicle to a shop that specializes in automotive AC systems. There are probably several in her local phone book. These places are the experts. They have the equipment and expertise to correctly diagnose and repair whatever might be wrong with the AC.


#3

True but you almost have to morgage your house to walk in the door. For some reason AC=Money. The charge seems OK from what I can tell, I just dont want her getting riped off when she walks in the door


#4

Is the condenser coil clean? Do the condenser fans turn on when the A/C is on? What are the pressures?

It’s pretty common to blame the compressor when the A/C doesn’t work. But compressors are pretty reliable and it’s actually pretty rare for it to be the problem. Something else is probably the problem and if the compressor is bad, it almost certainly failed from another fault in the system.


#5

How do you know that the charge is okay? What was the pressure when you measured it with a gauge?

If you didn’t, then there’s no way to tell if the refrigerant charge is adequate or not.

It sounds like the system is very low on refrigerant, most likely due to a leak. Take it in to a shop for a diagnosis. This should cost you, AT MOST, twenty dollars. Some shops will even diagnose for free (in anticipation of a costly repair.) If the refrigerant is low, you can try recharging it and seeing if it’ll hold the charge. When the shop recharges the system they’ll add a special dye that will show up under UV light if it leaks out. So if it stops working again, take it back and the shop can find and fix the leak.

Repairing a leak is generally expensive because of certain components that have to be replaced if exposed to the open atmosphere, the cost of whatever component is leaking, labor (which is getting insanely costly) and the use of specialized equipment to service an A/C system. And oh yeah, R134a refrigerant is about 30 dollars per pound. Most systems use around 2 lbs or more. In an Odyssey’s case, probably more.

-Matt


#6

The front center part of the clutch assembly should be turning with the belt pulley if the A/C is on. It can also turn quietly if the clutch bearing is good.

More than likely the system pressure is low since the vehicle is 12 years old. Refrigerant leakage over time (entirely normal) has probably lowered the system enough that a low pressure switch will not close and activate the compressor.

As usual, ignore Star’s irrelevant posts about HVAC and anything else since it does not pertain to automotive A/Cs.
A dirty condenser it is not.
The first step should be connecting the gauges and see what’s going on.


#7

I put one of those cheap-o low side gauges on the car. It read over 100 PSI, and the reading did not change at all when the clutch engaged. Like I said I can phiscally see/hear the AC clutch engage when the AC is turned on. The clutch hub does spin, but the center hub does not… That is why I think the compressor it self is bad.


#8

I put one of those cheap-o low side gauges on the car. It read over 100 PSI, and the reading did not change at all when the clutch engaged. Like I said I can phiscally see/hear the AC clutch engage when the AC is turned on. The clutch hub does spin, but the center hub does not… That is why I think the compressor it self is bad.


#9

With the engine off of course, grasp the center section of the clutch assembly and try to turn it. You should be able to turn it freely by hand.

If the compressor turns freely and since you state you can hear and see the clutch engaging this means either the clutch face is worn out and slipping, or a woodruff key has sheared on the compressor shaft.
If the key has not sheared then you should be able to feel a slight pulsing or pumping in the center section when you turn it by hand.

Of course if the key is sheared this could mean a wiped compressor.


#10

A leak is not normal. A leak is a leak, and it needs to be fixed.

As for the dirty condenser, it is surprisingly common for a tech to arrive at a “no cool” call and find the condenser coil almost completely blocked with debris.

BTW, R134a is about $8 for 12oz the last time I bought some for a refrigeration system.


#11

As usual, Star is off on another Trek again in regards to A/C info.

It’s obvious that he is less than clueless about automotive A/Cs and simply cannot comprehend they’re not a hermetically sealed system like a home central unit or a refrigerator.

Look at this comment about a housecall and having a dirty condenser coil. Ridiculous.


#12

Automotive A/C shops around here charge between 20-40 dollars for a pound of r134a, service charges included. I took the mean.

100psi on the low side is astronomical. The A/C is not switching on. If you can hear the clutch click then I would suggest OK445’s theory. The A/C is trying to switch on but for some reason isn’t. The pressure switches are recognizing this and cutting in the failsafes.

Might be good to let a shop handle this one.

-Matt