Air Conditioning 2013 Civic AC Failure

AC stopped working. Re-filled refrigerant and it started working again. Checked hoses, and it does not appear that there is any leaks. Switched the Horn and the AC Compressor clutch relay to ensure that they are both working, and that did not solve it. When I turn on the AC, there is no change in RPMS of the car… not even a subtle one.

What could be causing it to not work? I know it may just have a bad compressor, but I am trying to save the worst for last.

By what method did you check the hoses?


There does not appear (nor feel) to be any oil residues on any of the hoses I can get my hands on. Nothing at all, they are all spotless dry

If the system needed refrigerant then it’s leaking somewhere. The most common suspects are the compressor seals or the service valve ports.

A 2013 is a bit young to have a compressor leak but anything is possible. The best way to check for leaks is with an electronic sniffer.

You might check the bottom of the compressor near the compressor clutch. Compressor seal leakage usually causes that area to be a bit oily.

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Seems AC compressor clutch is not engaging. Pressure sensor failure is a common problem.

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by what method did you determine that your vehicle needed an a/c recharge? how did you recharge it, and how are you sure you got the correct amount of refrigerant in?

If you used proper tools- awesome. If not, A/C systems are not much for the DIY’er. You may need to find a shop and let them evacuate the system, and pull a vacuum on it to check for leaks. Then they can recharge to the proper amount and be sure that the correct amount is in your car.

Why would a shop go thru all that?

If there’s still refrigerant in the system, all that needs to be done is check for leaks with a refrigerant sniffer.


because OP added refrigerant to the system and is still having issues.

after a leak is found, “all that” is going to have to be done to properly charge the system.

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What if a Schrader valve is found to be leaking?

Do you evacuate the system, replace the valve, pull a vacuum, and recharge the system?


if I am replacing the valve- yes. Having refrigerant and oil shoot up at me under pressure isn’t what I call fun.

Trying to tighten the valve core is also an option, but still with an unknown system- with a novice previously working on it with who knows what kind of tools- yes. I would evacuate the system and make sure the job is done right.

I’m not just looking for leaks, I trying to make the a/c preform as designed.


This tool is used to replace the valve core.

If you pull a vacuum on the system and the pressure doesn’t hold, it means there’s a leak. The problem is, it doesn’t tell you where the leak is.

So now, you have to recharge the system with a refrigerant that contains a dye, or refill the system and then use a refrigerant sniffer to locate the leak.

I can tell you have no experience in AC repair.


my ignorance of that tool (which looks pretty cool,) doesn’t equate to ignorance of a/c repair- and my 20+ years of doing a/c repair verifies that. I’ve just apparently not had the overwhelming need for a tool like that.

anywho- You got me on the valve core leak. Good for you. I’ll go put some aloe on that wicked burn.
(I see what you are nitpicking at me for now. I said vacuum then look for leaks. You are correct- check for leaks with the refrigerant in the system.)

But, my original point still stands. OP has added refrigerant to their system, and still has an issue. From where we are- we don’t know if too little refrigerant is now in the system (leak,) or too much (now overcharged.)

My post #7 said that after a leak is found- “All that is going to have to be done.” I stand by that. If you want it fixed correctly, then the proper steps need to be taken.

Carry on with your nitpicking, and thanks for the tip on a tool that I don’t have!