Engine Size: 2.0L
Refrigerant Type: R134
Country of Origin: United States
Brief history - second owner Prelude with 132,000 miles. I want to keep the car (paid for, great MPG), but the AC has never worked consistently in hot weather. I've had the local service station and an AC-only shop examine the AC system. The AC shop said a new compressor was necessary ($1400, half the car's current value). That was two years ago. Now, I'm thinking of spending some decent money on the AC problem. Previous owner replaced the original compressor (2004? for $1000) and converted to R134.
When I park in the shade (parking garage) and the outside temp is under 90F, the system works fine and blows cold for hours (well, at least during a 1:45 commute home). When it's hotter than 90F (parked in the shade or out in the open), the AC comes on cool (for 5-10 seconds) and then turns warm. Sometimes I get the red LED "warning" light on the AC button. Sometimes when I cycle the AC button on/off, the system will cool for a few minutes and then peter out. As far as I can tell, the system is adequately charge with refrigerant.
I believe my issue is related to some type of switch/sensor in the AC that is impacted by the outside temp. Something is telling the AC system to turn off or something. I don't want to spend $1400 on a new compressor and still have the problem. I wouldn't mind tackling the repair job myself, but if the compressor needs replacement, then I'll send it to the shop (the PS pump, alternator, belts, etc dont' sound like fun).
Any suggestions on troubleshooting the switches/sensors/controll systems? I'm thinking it's electrical, not mechanical.
Sounds like it could be shutting down on high head pressure because the system can't shed enough heat via the condenser. Hard to say without pressure readings. Does it do this if you're running down the highway at 70 mph, or only when it's hot and you're sitting in traffic? I'm guessing this car has electric radiator fans....are they running when the A/C is on?
Well, I turn on the AC when I head home from work for the day, so my car has been sitting for 9 hours or so. I tried it this morning after the car had been parked overnight and somewhat cooled off - and it failed to get cool and the red LED "service" light appeared on the button.
Any idea on course of action?
Read this: http://en.allexperts.com/q/Honda-Repair-814/1988-Honda-Prelude-Air.htm
Edited: Sun May 18, 2008 at 1:00 AM by Automotive Air Conditioning Information Moderator
Thanks for the link. I did the crankshaft pulley test as described in the other post. I didn't detect any problems with the pulley. Today, it's in the low 70s and the AC is working very well. Visually, everything looks to be in order.
Any other ideas?
Sounds like the clutch is slipping when the head pressures increases in warmer weather. You might need a new clutch, you might need to check the clutch gap.
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