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2005 Accord Intermittant Compressor Issue

BigWave on Sun August 19, 2012 1:56 PM User is offline

Year: 2005
Make: Honda
Model: Accord
Engine Size: 3.0
Refrigerant Type: R134
Ambient Temp: 95
Pressure Low: 35
Pressure High: 260
Country of Origin: United States

intermittent cooling issue. When first start, cooling is great. After driving a while, cooling cuts off (like the compressor stopped). Have had it come back after pressing the AC On/Off switch (sometimes). Other times it comes back on its own (like after 10 minutes) or not at all. I replaced the Compressor relay (a known part problem), but symptoms have not changed. I have now checked the field coil on the clutch. It reads 5.7 at 80 degrees. The manual states it should be 3.9-4.3 at 68 degrees. If it starts going out, does it read higher (did I measure it right)?

So If it is the field coil, I can try replacing it by itself, but all articles I have seen says you pretty much have to remove the compressor to work on it (is this true - it is a tight spot). And then it is usually just better to replace the whole thing. At 7 years and 87Kmiles, this may be a good choice. So this brings up a few questions:

(1) Does a new compressor include the field coil and clutch installed?
(2) If I replace an essentially "good" compressor, do I need to replace the filter/drier and condenser, as would be done with a compressor failure? Then it seems a simple coil/clutch replacement becomes an entire A/C overhaul.
Also, I don't see the expansion valve. Would this need to be replaced?

AutoCool on Sun August 19, 2012 2:39 PM User is offline

Hi, have you checked the gap between the pulley face and the hub face? It sounds like it may just be a case of too much gap. Typically the compressor clutch will engage when the components are cool, but fail to engage when warm due to metal expansion and increase in gap. Get a feeler gauge and measure the clutch gap. Very easy to adjust on a Denso compressor. The gap is maintained/adjusted by simple shims of different thicknesses. Check that before you worry about swapping the compressor or expansion valve.

BigWave on Sun August 19, 2012 5:22 PM User is offline

It looks like it could be over gap. I measured with my thickest feel gauge at 0.635/0.686. The manual has a spec of 0.35 - 0.6. This was without power. With power the gap was 0.

So I may need to replace the coil as well as reshim the pressure plate.

Both look to be impossible to do on the car. I could barely get in there to measure.


BigWave on Fri August 24, 2012 6:21 PM User is offline

Looked at a new compressor. The coil reading is the same as mine. The gap is in the spec in the book. Also found instructions on removing the fenderwell to get to it from the side.
Long story short, I removed the clutch. Now here is the problem:

The gap was above .63mm (highest gap measure I had. When I pulled the clutch, it only had one washer, and it is 1.2. I have ordered a shim kit, but the book says they only come in .1, .3 and .5.
If I get three that add to .8, do I just put all three in instead of the 1.2? That will give me a .4 change putting me in spec. Just wondering why this washer/shim is bigger than the three in the tech manual.
I guess I find out tomorrow?

If not, where can I get shims? Autozone, O'Reilly did not have, and Dealer had to order it.

mk378 on Fri August 24, 2012 9:06 PM User is offline

Take the one washer out and reassemble and see what you have. You can set it closer to the pulley as long as it doesn't drag when off. It's hard to measure on a used unit because there will be grooves worn into the plate and pulley but you're measuring with a flat gauge.

BigWave on Sat August 25, 2012 6:00 PM User is offline

The kit had all 3 shims .1, .3, and .5. I used all 3 to get 0.8mm total. It gave me a 0.4mm change. My new gap is now about 0.4. Initial test is good (goes on and off on command).

Will drive around and see if it is a success.

Thanks for the help!

BigWave on Sat September 08, 2012 1:05 PM User is offline

So I ran 2 weeks and all looked okay. Then all of a sudden no more A/C. Fans were coming on but the clutch stopped engaging.
I checked the Ohms again and nothing. Before I had around 5.7. I verified ground/reading by checking the battery ground.

So I assume the field coil has gone out. I can turn the clutch by hand. Is my compressor okay, or could it have gone bad? I am going to install a new compressor, as the cluthch/field coil cost from dealer (only source) is more than a complete unit. But do I need to worry about contamination from a bad compressor?

Key Question: How do I verify the compressor did not fail and contaminate the a/c lines? I want to have all needed parts to install at once, in case I need to replace the receiver or condenser, or try to flush/replace lines.

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