The mysterious self-fixing AC



Honda Accord, 2003, EX, coupe, 126K miles. Owned since brand new.

For about 2 years, the AC in this car would just not blow cold air. Days before we would decide to take it in, the AC would work again.

Fan blows fine, but no cold air.

This just happened acually. For about a week, no AC. Fan would blow fine and at all the different speeds, but no cold air. Then today I turn it on and find it is blowing cold air again!

What is this a sign of and can I fix said issue on my own? I don’t mind doing minor car work, but anything that involves going to buy 5 new tools and taking 7 hours is out in my book.


It sounds like an electrical problem to me. I had this problem on a Ford Maverick. Cleaning the contacts in the dashboard switch cleared up the problem. There is also a low pressure switch on the compressor. It could be defective cutting off power to the compressor clutch.


Along with electrical problems, a defective expansion valve can cause the same problem.



All of that would be awesomely helpful if I knew what a / where to find a expansion valve or where to find the contacts in the dashboard switch to clean, but Ill check the Haynes manual, thanks.


Certainly check out the electrical stuff yourself. You can’t actually work on the system components (e.g. expansion valve) yourself without specialized training and - just as much to the point - specialized equipment.


Also have them check the “clutch cycling switch”… which is a pressure sensor that cuts out the AC compressor when the pressure gets too low. If it occasionally sticks, it will do this.