Air works, no it doesn't

honda
accord
airconditioning

#1

I have a nice 1997 Accord wagon 4 cyl, dark green with dark tint. The AC was never great, but I had to replace everything these 2 years and the AC drops to 37 at the vent when it’s not hot out, but can’t maintain when it is hot. It was built in Canada, but lives in Florida. After 10 visits to the mechanic, he says it was made with a sedan AC, not wagon. Can I do something to give the AC extra oomph? My wife’s Town and Country freezes. Can I switch out a Chrysler AC or a bigger Honda?


#2

Find a shop that specializes in air conditioning. I don’t think Honda built a vehicle with inadequate air conditioning. I doubt that you could swap out the air conditioning system. The compressor, evaporator,condenser, etc. are all matched.


#3

My Subaru Legacy station wagon has the same problem. The AC, which is the same as a Legacy sedan, works correctly, but the additional interior volume and window area conspire against it on really hot days.

On those days I drive my '97 Accord coupe. Its AC cools the smaller interior just fine.

I don’t think there’s much you can do to improve the performance of your Honda’s AC. The dark color and dark windows soak up additional heat from the sun and work against the AC. The AC in the T&C was designed to cool a much larger interior.

You’d spend more money trying to improve the car’s AC performance than the vehicle is worth. I suggest you learn to live with it or trade your Honda for a newer car with a better AC system.


#4

I went to an AC shop and 7 other mechanics. Everything but the condenser has been changed. Honda wants $240 for an inspection and opinion. I’m looking for a cheap miracle.


#5

I’m afraid to say, I think you are right.
My next step is to change to a maximum infrared reflection tint.


#6

That might help. A little.

Painting the car, or at least the roof, white, would also help. Dark colors really soak up heat.


#7

I’m looking for a cheap miracle.
Here is a possibility that you might try. I got this idea from a commercial HVAC specialist which I will explain later. Go to WalMart or any auto parts store and get some fans that you can plug into the cigarette lighter or power outlets. Place two or three in strategic locations around your accord wagon. You can probably do this for less than $20.
The HVAC company that does the work at my house I recommended to my church a couple of years ago. The air conditioning unit seemed inadequate for the sanctuary. The owner of the company inspected the system and told me it was a problem of air flow rather than the capacity of the system. He redid the ductwork and had us install ceiling fans. This made a big difference. At any rate try to mount the fans as high as possible and have them push the air toward the floor.


#8

If you are not already running the A/C in recirculate mode doing so will help a lot.