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How much oil should be in the new compressor...confused????

uunfews on Wed November 04, 2009 3:31 AM User is offline

Year: 2001
Make: Honda
Model: Civic
Engine Size: 1.7
Refrigerant Type: r134a
Ambient Temp: na
Pressure Low: na
Pressure High: na
Country of Origin: United States

Excerpt from Honda Factory Service Manual

"For compressor replacement, subtract the volume of oil drained from the removed compressor from 130 ml (4 1/3 fl oz, 4.6 lmp oz) and drain the calculated volume of oil from the new compressor: 130 ml (4 1/3 fl oz, 4.6 lmp oz) – Volume of removed compressor = Volume to drain from new compressor.

NOTE: Even if no oil is drained from the removed compressor, do not drain more than 50 ml (1 2/3 fl oz, 1.8 lmp oz) from the new compressor."

Hi All,

Please read the factory excerpt above and give me some advice on how much oil to put back into the new compressor. I am confused from reading the factory service manual as to how much oil to put back into the system.

I drained a total of 32mL from my old compressor. My new compressor came prefilled with 130mL of oil from the factory. So does that mean the new compressor will get 32mL put back in??? The confusion starts with the Note. If I follow the Note instruction then (130-32=88mL) 88mL is too much to be drained since 50mL is the maximum allowed and therefore the new compressor to be installed should get 80mL and not 32mL. Or do they mean 80mL only if the compressor is completly dry which would not apply in my case???

Newbie wanting to learn how to fix his 01 Civic AC in this freaking hot Dallas TX area.

HECAT on Wed November 04, 2009 9:13 AM User is offline

Confusing and risky.

"Oil Balancing" is an OE prescribed method that is based upon the assumption that the system is clean and the proper refrigerant charge and oil load existed; basically a virgin system as most probably seen by a dealer for warranty service. That is what OE prescribed service procedures are written for, is it not?. This assumes that when the refrigerant is recovered, the oils within the refrigeration/lubrication loop will remain in specific quantities within the system components; so you can then replace an item and add back the amount that should be in that one item. Read further into your Honda procedures and you will see that if the oils are dirty or possible contamination exists, this procedure is foregone and the entire system must be replaced. Again, the OE prescribed solution for what is considered will be a rare occurrence under warranty.

No doubt it works, I have never tried it, seems too risky for me; and I rarely work on late models under warranty. Someone will be along with some more clarity on what has worked for them. I always drain what is considered "shipping oil" from a new compressor and distribute a full fresh oil load between the compressor and the other clean and dry (flushed) or new components.


HECAT: You support the Forum when you consider for your a/c parts.


mk378 on Wed November 04, 2009 10:14 AM User is offline

Since you don't know the history of this car, you can't know how much oil remains in the other parts, or that it is clean, dry, and the proper type. That you were unable to get the pressure below zero by condensing the refrigerant into a container suggests the system was contaminated with air or other non-condensable gas.

Like HECAT said, the only way to be sure is to flush or replace everything and start new. Proper oil charge is especially vital on a scroll compressor system, too much is bad.

With compressor noise, even though you don't see any metal flakes, the condenser may still have debris in it and a new one would be a good insurance.

Edited: Wed November 04, 2009 at 10:18 AM by mk378

NickD on Wed November 04, 2009 10:52 AM User is offline

Never liked that about Honda manuals, especially if the old compressor seized or developed a leak that lost a lot of system oil. I have no idea what they were thinking if they were even thinking when they wrote that. Has to be a reason for replacing a compressor. With the older Honda manuals, really had to guess what the system capacity was by adding replacing this or that all together. Came up with about 5 1/2 to 6 ounces.

Last Honda in the family was new in 1993, we quit buying them because for one thing, I had to drive 140 miles down to Madison to buy parts, the local dealers would screw me to death like wanting 350 bucks for a blower motor. And besides, were looking more and more like our domestic cars each and every model year. Would only use Honda brake, AT, PS, and MVAC fluids, anything else would cause leaks. Never got a good answer on that, but was very good friend with a Honda mechanic and he said the same thing. And had to repair a bunch of leaks when my relatives used something else even though the manual never specified that.

If you had a compressor failure, have to replace the receiver, and definitely check out the TXV for debris, do a thorough flush on the system, may even consider replacing the condenser, a dog to flush, and add the full system capacity of oil if you want your new compressor to last.

uunfews on Wed November 04, 2009 2:54 PM User is offline

Tough choice for me indeed. I think I am going to start with 32mL and start up the compressor when all done. Then if it makes any racketing noise I can always inject more oil to get it up to 80mL. This may also confirm my noise is due to lack of oil. Might cause some short term damage but I hate to redo thing over if I overfilled the system with oil.

Newbie wanting to learn how to fix his 01 Civic AC in this freaking hot Dallas TX area.

NickD on Thu November 05, 2009 8:41 AM User is offline

32 ml translates into about 1 fluid ounce or we just say ounces, not even worth it. Would you also put in just 3/4 quart of oil in your engine after a rebuilt? About the same thing. You already opened your system and exposed it to moist air, your receiver is saturated. You do it right, and you do it once, no playing around permitted.

iceman2555 on Thu November 05, 2009 5:53 PM User is offlineView users profile

Adding lubricant to a repaired system should not be so confusing. Two factors pay a major part in any successfully AC repair, amount of refrigerant and the correct amount, type and condition of lubricants.
It is always best to totally clean a failed system prior to installing replacement parts....flush the evap core thoroughly, this is a major location for lubricant settlements. It is necessary to remove the evap from this vehicle to accomplish this task. The TXV should be removed and the evap thoroughly cleaned. A suggestion would be the installation of a new TXV at this time.
Once the system is cleaned, then the factory spec'd lubricant charge should be introduced into the system. The replacement compressor should be drained and the captured lubricant discarded. Introduce app 25-30 % of total system capacity into the compressor. For this vehicle, app 2 oz is sufficient. After adding the lubricant to the SUCTION side of the compressor, then place the compressor in an inverted position on the work bench for app 10 minutes, this will allow for pre lubrication of the shaft seal (aids in reduction of shaft seal leakage) and also will pre lube the entire bearing assemblies in the compressor front section. There are app 60 different bearings located in this area. If one waits until the compressor is noisy to add additional is already too late.
Also, with this vehicle, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to replace the condenser as part of the repair. This vehicle uses a scroll design compressor and these units are famous for the amount of debris produced when they fail. Failure to replace the condenser will, with a very high degree of certainty, result in an additional failure.
Of course, the Rec/Drier/Filter should be replaced as part of the repair. The system should be evac and recharged to OE specs.
Good luck!

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
Thomas Jefferson

uunfews on Sun November 08, 2009 5:06 AM User is offline

Best educated much oil would you add given the confusing instructions from Honda factory service manual with a compressor and drier replacement?

I know I am taking a risk in not flushing the system but I am going on my gut that the system is clean basing on what I observed.

I have replaced the drier with a new one. I was asking whether I might have saturated it during the leak locating stage. I also weighted the new drier after opening it from the sealed packaging and weighted it again for the last and final installation. There was no addl' weight increase so I am making an educated and common sense that no water was absorbed here.

Newbie wanting to learn how to fix his 01 Civic AC in this freaking hot Dallas TX area.

Edited: Sun November 08, 2009 at 5:09 AM by uunfews

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