2012 Honda Civic Only cools when driving

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83Indian
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2012 Honda Civic Only cools when driving

Post by 83Indian »

This year the Texas temps were over 100 for several weeks and my daughters 2012 honda civic started to not cool sporadically. I took it to a trusted repair shop and was found to be low on Freon. After recharging, lasted about 2 weeks. Took it back and they recommended to replace the ac compressor, condenser, dryer, expansion valve etc.. Got a second opinion, same advise. So I had the work done everything replaced and once again at idle or just in park ac barely cools if any at all. Car had 188K miles and I am not mad about replacing the system, I just think it should work all the time. When I contacted the repair place, I was told this is typical for these small cars but my problem is I drove that car for 4 years and this was never the case. All my other cars (2013 Honda Pilot, 98 Toyota Camry) do not have this problem. I'm in over $2k at this point and just want this work right.
tbirdtbird
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Location: Texas

Re: 2012 Honda Civic Only cools when driving

Post by tbirdtbird »

I feel your pain, I'm in north Texas and we were at 107 for nearly all of July. Have to say, tho, that as a northerner originally, I have never had to shovel any heat here.

"my daughters 2012 honda civic started to not cool sporadically."
Have to wonder what this meant. Cooled at speed only? For any given trip, it cooled on and off? Lots of ways to interpret this. It sounds like the AC shop guys had a boat payment to make. IMO, shops that automatically replace everything from the firewall forward lack actual diagnostic skill. Beware.

We need lots more info to assist.
Are you able to lay hands on a decent manifold gauge set? Are you comfortable doing some mechanical work on the car, at least with guidance from us? We need under these conditions,
With car at 1500 RPM, doors open, max cool, max fan, ambient, and obtain a vent thermometer and provide that temp.
We need under those conditions,
Low side psi, hi side psi, vent temp, get a hand held infrared IR Temp gun and get temps of the pipe into and out of the condenser (these will only work when aimed at a dull black surface).
When AC is working, with hood up, look to see that the AC clutch is operating, ie not just the pulley rotating, but also the center hub of the compressor. The air gap may be wrong, the clutch coil may be shot, etc.
Does any of your paperwork state how much R134 was added by weight? Did they find and fix the leak?
What does the underhood sticker say for refrigerant and oil capacity of the system?
Did the shop add an dye to be able to check for leaks?
What type of fan draws air thru the condenser? Clutched fan with viscous fluid coupling? Or electric fans?
Do you have a cabin air filter (check the owners manual) If so when was the last time it was changed,
Try to answer as many of the questions as you can.

My first guess is that there is not enough air movement across the condenser at low speed, since cooling evidently improves at speed. This could well be just an issue with the fans. Run a continuous mist from a garden hose at the condenser and see if your idle/low speed cooling improves.

FWIW this is NOT typical of small cars.
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Cusser
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Re: 2012 Honda Civic Only cools when driving

Post by Cusser »

83Indian wrote: Mon Aug 29, 2022 8:26 pm Honda Civic Only cools when driving
This screams of poor air flow over the condenser, like an electric fan not working properly (correct speed, correct direction of install, lack of plastic shrouding to direct the air).

83Indian wrote: Mon Aug 29, 2022 8:26 pm When I contacted the repair place, I was told this is typical for these small cars but my problem is I drove that car for 4 years and this was never the case. All my other cars (2013 Honda Pilot, 98 Toyota Camry) do not have this problem. I'm in over $2k at this point and just want this work right.
I'd dispute the charges with the credit card company. Shop should've found and fixed the leak, evacuated and charged, not shotgun and replace "everything".

And BS saying that small vehicles all have such issue. I'm in Phoenix, 11F here today, hotter than where you live.
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JohnHere
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Re: 2012 Honda Civic Only cools when driving

Post by JohnHere »

Although the compressor was probably tired anyway, especially if it's the original with 188,000 miles on it, your current problem sounds like a condensing issue to me, too.
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83Indian
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Re: 2012 Honda Civic Only cools when driving

Post by 83Indian »

Thanks for the replies. I am going to check the cooling fan and relay to make sure its turning on when the AC is engaged and producing enough cooling for the condenser. Also will monitor and make sure the fan stays running while the compressor is engaged. This seems to me the most logical step to check next considering all the other components with exception of the evaporator were replaced. I will update you all once I get the car back from my daughter to test.
tbirdtbird
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Location: Texas

Re: 2012 Honda Civic Only cools when driving

Post by tbirdtbird »

You are on the right track for sure.
I have seen the fan clutch of mechanical fans wear out, and we have seen electric fan motors weaken with time, as well as relays going bad.
Be sure there is no debris such as leaves, dead bugs etc between your condenser and radiator.
Getting infrared temp gun readings on the condenser pipes would be interesting at idle and fast idle in the driveway.
You should see a temp difference of at least 25F, actually 30F for a system in tip top shape.
You will see a 30F temp drop across the condenser for your outdoor unit for your home HVAC, else your home AC would be crap.

We see condenser issues on here all the time.

We appreciate any feedback later. It helps us and helps the next poster.
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83Indian
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Re: 2012 Honda Civic Only cools when driving

Post by 83Indian »

Well finally got this fixed. The issue was the replacement compressor was bad. They replaced all the components again for free and works like a champ now. Did notice after my daughter visited a slight rattle under the dash sounds like blower motor. Still blows cold.
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JohnHere
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Re: 2012 Honda Civic Only cools when driving

Post by JohnHere »

Was the first replacement compressor new or rebuilt? If the latter, they are known to be trouble prone.
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tbirdtbird
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Re: 2012 Honda Civic Only cools when driving

Post by tbirdtbird »

Glad it is fixed, thanks for the follow-up
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83Indian
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Re: 2012 Honda Civic Only cools when driving

Post by 83Indian »

JohnHere wrote: Mon Oct 10, 2022 2:45 pm Was the first replacement compressor new or rebuilt? If the latter, they are known to be trouble prone.
Was a new one. The repair shop said they had expanded their supplier list and this was from a new supplier. Thankfully I have a 3 year warranty on this compressor.
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