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Civic AC is driving me nuts!

omesk on Sun May 31, 2009 10:49 PM User is offline

Year: 2000
Make: Honda
Model: Civic
Engine Size: 1.6

I have a 2000 Civic EX and the air conditioner is driving me nuts. I have had the car for about 1.5 years and last summer I noticed that on days when the temp was above 80 degrees, the air conditioner blew cold air only when I was driving above 50mph. At speeds below 50mph, the AC blew cold air for a few seconds and then warm air for a few minutes and this would repeat until I got back up to above 50mph.

I tolerated this last summer but decided to address it before the hot weather starts this year. So I saw a few different mechanics who diagnosed the issue differently. First I tried to evacuate and recharge the freon. That didn't work. So last week I paid $1200 and replaced the compressor.

The weather wasn't too hot until today and I noticed that the same problem is happening again. I also notice that when the temperature cools off a bit (to about 75 or below), the AC consistently blows cold air. Obviously, I would prefer for the AC to blow cold air when its hot outside, no matter how fast I'm driving as it does when its cooler outside.

The AC is clearly capable of generating cold air, but does anyone have any idea why it refuses to do so when its hot outside? Is there some kind of temperature sensor in the system that may be defective? I want to have some idea of what may be going on before I take the car back to the place that replaced the compressor.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Chick on Sun May 31, 2009 11:01 PM User is offlineView users profile

Make sure the condenser fan is working properly when the AC is on, when it blows warm air, make sure the compressor is engaged..let us know what you find..

Email: Chick


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chris142 on Mon June 01, 2009 12:01 AM User is offline

Those condensors really take a beating in those cars. Check for rock damage to the bottom half of the condensor. You may need to replace it if it's really bad.

Also make sure that your heater control valve is not leaking hot water into the heater.

omesk on Mon June 01, 2009 1:27 AM User is offline

Thanks for the replies.

I have seen the condensor fan turning sporadically, but I wouldn't be able to tell if it's functioning appropriately, but I will have that and the condensor and the heater control valve looked at.

mk378 on Mon June 01, 2009 9:23 AM User is offline

Condenser fan should simply run constantly at full speed whenever the compressor is engaged. That model does not have elaborate pressure or temperature controls that vary fan operation.

The heater control valve is on the firewall on the engine side, connected to the heater hoses. When you move the dash control from hot to cold, a mechanical cable pushes the lever on the valve from open to closed. Make sure that the valve moves all the way closed when set to cold. If you can push it further by hand, unclip the outer cable housing and pull it toward the valve to make it close further. Then reattach the clip.

Edited: Mon June 01, 2009 at 9:24 AM by mk378

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