Honda CRV overheating in high temps with AC on

I have a 1997 Honda CRV. We have had a massive heat wave in Oregon (temps 98 and above) and if I am not driving on a highway or somewhere where air is moving over the engine, my temp gauge keeps rising when I have the AC on. My husband seems to think the temps are just too much for the AC unit to handle - to keep such a large cabin cool. We were going to replace the thermostat but can’t get to it so we’d have to take it to a repair shop. The coolant level is fine. As soon as I turn the AC off, the temp goes down. The engine only gets hot while sitting in traffic or after it has been in the hot sun for awhile and I try to turn the AC on to cool it down. Should I just take it to a garage and replace the thermostat?

Yes also put new anti-freeze in but make SURE you use correct kind.
Do not let repair guy use another kind and say it is ok, wrong kind will jell and clog up.

Take it to a garage, but don’t tell them to change the thermostat. Instead, tell them what your symptoms are and let the tech diagnose it. You’ll likely save lots of money, and maybe your engine, in the long run.

There are a number of possible causes. One is a cooling fan not functioning, in this case perhaps the one that’s supposed to go on to pull air through the condensor when you turn the AC on. Could be the fan, coud be the relay. Another is a marginal cooling system overall, such as a radiator that needs replacement. Another is a bad cooling fan that noramlly goes on when the engine gets hot regardless of your AC system…or its sensor. Yes, a bad T-stat is an other possibility.

Let the shop do a proper job. Let them figure out what isn’t working.

Hi, I am living in Middle East with very high temperature and I had exactly the same problem yesterday with my Honda CRV. The engine was overheating, then the AC stopped by itself and engine temperature went to normal. Then the AC turn on again by itself and engine overheat and so on. Do you remember what was the solution for your car or if anyone has an answer for me. Thanks in advance.

go to repair shop