SOLVED: Evaporator freezing 2013 Honda Civic Hybrid

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blackwood
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SOLVED: Evaporator freezing 2013 Honda Civic Hybrid

Post by blackwood »

Good morning!

My wife has been complaining about her air conditioner not working on the way home from work. It's about 95 degrees outside lately and she drives 45 minutes home.

I can see the compressor clutch spinning, and the fan spinning at the same time it does, it seems to turn on and off maybe every minute when idling. I assumed she needed more refrigerant and added a small can, it seemed to maybe work a little better for a day, but then went back to being warm. I noticed a big puddle building under where the evaporator is. I added UV dye thinking it was maybe a leak, but the dye isn't coming out anywhere, no dye in the big puddle under the evaporator.

So I got some gauges and let the car sit over night. When I took these readings the temp outside was around 80, humidity about 70%. The 'off all night' reading was when the car was off and had been sitting all night. The 'compressor on' reading was when the clutch/fan were spinning, 'compressor off' was when they weren't spinning.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and any help or tips are greatly appreciated. I don't know anything about this stuff, but I'm leaning towards just being low on refrigerant still, or maybe a stuck expansion valve.

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Last edited by blackwood on Tue Jun 28, 2022 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
blackwood
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Re: Evaporator freezing 2013 Honda Civic Hybrid

Post by blackwood »

Temps at the vent while running it this morning cooled to about 45, so it seems to work great at first in the morning.

Also, the cabin air filter is only about a year old, and it doesn't look dirty or clogged at all.
tbirdtbird
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Re: Evaporator freezing 2013 Honda Civic Hybrid

Post by tbirdtbird »

You are low on charge. Topping off is a process that does not work. You need the exact amount of charge called for by the under hood sticker.
Have an AC shop (not a muffler/brake shop) recover, vacuum, and charge by weight. You already have dye, so that is good for future testing.
An electronic sniffer can be less frustrating to find leaks, tho.

Try to find a shop that displays the MACS sign....those guys are the true AC specialists.
Hopefully the can that you added did not have sealer. Never use sealer

PS thank you for getting the gauge set and showing us readings
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JohnHere
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Re: Evaporator freezing 2013 Honda Civic Hybrid

Post by JohnHere »

tbirdtbird has offered some excellent advice. I agree that it's low on charge, probably due to normal seasonal losses.

For your info, here are the specs for your car, unless the under-hood decal says differently: 15.0 ounces net weight of R-134a and 8.1 fluid ounces of Hybrid Oil.
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blackwood
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Re: Evaporator freezing 2013 Honda Civic Hybrid

Post by blackwood »

Spent the last hour calling local shops and they are all booked up until next week, is there really no way for me to top it off?
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JohnHere
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Re: Evaporator freezing 2013 Honda Civic Hybrid

Post by JohnHere »

Unfortunately, the Manifold Gauge Set won't tell us how much refrigerant is currently in the system or how much to add. That's mainly why the pros don't recommend "topping off."

Moreover, since this is a small-capacity system to begin with (it holds less than one-pound of refrigerant), it's also very easy to overcharge it.

Overcharging is serious business. If you charge it too much or the wrong way, it could lead to over-pressurization damage to the system and severe personal injury—especially to your eyes and hands—due to a burst hose or exploding refrigerant can.

The correct way to charge it is to recover the refrigerant that's in it now or have that done (conforming to U. S. EPA regulations), evacuate the empty system, and re-charge it to the exact weight of refrigerant into a well-held vacuum. That's the best-practices recommendation. However, it's your car, and you are free to service it as you wish.
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blackwood
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Re: Evaporator freezing 2013 Honda Civic Hybrid

Post by blackwood »

Thank you guys so much for the help!
tbirdtbird
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Re: Evaporator freezing 2013 Honda Civic Hybrid

Post by tbirdtbird »

?
so what did you end up doing, I wonder....
When considering your next auto A/C purchase, please consider the site that supports you: www.ACKits.com
blackwood
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Re: Evaporator freezing 2013 Honda Civic Hybrid

Post by blackwood »

Added some refrigerant and it's running great, even on long drives!
tbirdtbird
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Re: Evaporator freezing 2013 Honda Civic Hybrid

Post by tbirdtbird »

Glad you got it working
When considering your next auto A/C purchase, please consider the site that supports you: www.ACKits.com
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