Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

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Browser
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Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by Browser » Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:08 pm

The A/C went out on my 2002 Honda CRV with 170K miles during a long trip. A search on the internet indicates that CRVs may be prone to this problem and might require the entire A/C system to be replaced. I'm scheduled to have it seen at a local garage now that I've finally reached my destination driving in the frying heat. Doing my homework in the meantime and just wondering if anyone has experienced this problem with their older CRV and what you can tell me about it. I'm concerned this could be an expensive proposition to repair. I've always thought my CRV was pretty bulletproof but now I'm wondering...
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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by nordlead » Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:15 pm

No manufacturer builds the perfect bulletproof car. Sometimes you get unlucky even with <insert amazing name brand here>.

As for cost, who knows. It could be the coolant is low (and therefore the clutch is no longer working), or it could be the compressor sized up. One fix costs $40, the other will cost ~$450 + labor (say 2 hours or so).

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by Browser » Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:35 pm

nordlead wrote:No manufacturer builds the perfect bulletproof car. Sometimes you get unlucky even with <insert amazing name brand here>.

As for cost, who knows. It could be the coolant is low (and therefore the clutch is no longer working), or it could be the compressor sized up. One fix costs $40, the other will cost ~$450 + labor (say 2 hours or so).
From what I read on the net, the compressor can fail and shoot debris through the whole A/C system. Apparently a known problem with this brand. Cost to repair in the vicinity of $3K. That's about what the car is worth at this point. Just wondering if anyone has encountered this and what their experience was.
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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:54 pm

Although cars last longer today than they used to, 170k is a lot of miles and the fact that anything on the car still works is amazing to me
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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by bottlecap » Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:27 pm

I know someone who got rid of theirs about 4 months ago because it it.

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by jdb » Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:43 pm

Two major repairs that cost probably more than old cars are worth regardless of make: transmission failure and A/C failure. Have had both occur in separate cases in high mileage and well liked cars and decided in both cases time to get new vehicle. Good luck.

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by Valdeselad » Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:12 pm

Browser wrote:
nordlead wrote:No manufacturer builds the perfect bulletproof car. Sometimes you get unlucky even with <insert amazing name brand here>.

As for cost, who knows. It could be the coolant is low (and therefore the clutch is no longer working), or it could be the compressor sized up. One fix costs $40, the other will cost ~$450 + labor (say 2 hours or so).
From what I read on the net, the compressor can fail and shoot debris through the whole A/C system. Apparently a known problem with this brand. Cost to repair in the vicinity of $3K. That's about what the car is worth at this point. Just wondering if anyone has encountered this and what their experience was.
Yes, I had this problem with a 2002 Acura I owned (the problem was across several models). Google "Honda Black Death" and you'll find out more than you ever wanted to know. Fortunately mine was fixed under warranty.

I would go to a Honda dealer and then corporate about this in an attempt to get them to pay for the (expensive) fix even out of warranty...this is a very common issue that is well known to Honda.

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by ryuns » Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:23 pm

A dead AC at 13 years old seems like a reasonable, though not amazing, timeline. The AC in my Civic died at about that age a couple years back. Started emitting some crazy grinding noises. They replaced the compressor, and did some extra work to clean (or at least check?) the system, citing the aforementioned issues of debris in the AC. Whole thing was in the $700 range, so maybe mine was debris free?
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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by Browser » Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:49 pm

Valdeselad wrote:
Browser wrote:
nordlead wrote:No manufacturer builds the perfect bulletproof car. Sometimes you get unlucky even with <insert amazing name brand here>.

As for cost, who knows. It could be the coolant is low (and therefore the clutch is no longer working), or it could be the compressor sized up. One fix costs $40, the other will cost ~$450 + labor (say 2 hours or so).
From what I read on the net, the compressor can fail and shoot debris through the whole A/C system. Apparently a known problem with this brand. Cost to repair in the vicinity of $3K. That's about what the car is worth at this point. Just wondering if anyone has encountered this and what their experience was.
Yes, I had this problem with a 2002 Acura I owned (the problem was across several models). Google "Honda Black Death" and you'll find out more than you ever wanted to know. Fortunately mine was fixed under warranty.

I would go to a Honda dealer and then corporate about this in an attempt to get them to pay for the (expensive) fix even out of warranty...this is a very common issue that is well known to Honda.
Yes, I see that "black death" is a very common problem. Now we have two coverups from Honda - the Takata airbags and the Keihin A/C compressor. So much for their reputation for reliability, eh?
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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by Busting Myths » Fri Jun 19, 2015 9:28 pm

Browser wrote:The A/C went out on my 2002 Honda CRV with 170K miles during a long trip. A search on the internet indicates that CRVs may be prone to this problem and might require the entire A/C system to be replaced. I'm scheduled to have it seen at a local garage now that I've finally reached my destination driving in the frying heat. Doing my homework in the meantime and just wondering if anyone has experienced this problem with their older CRV and what you can tell me about it. I'm concerned this could be an expensive proposition to repair. I've always thought my CRV was pretty bulletproof but now I'm wondering...
14 years and 170k miles...what more do you expect? Are you finally going to buy a new car or continue your car purchase odyssey?

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by tibbitts » Fri Jun 19, 2015 11:24 pm

A vehicle that lasts for 13 or 14 years and 170k and only now is developing a major issue doesn't owe you anything, even considering that vehicles are more reliable/durable now than in the past.

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by Dru » Fri Jun 19, 2015 11:28 pm

Yes, 2003 crv failed around 185k. I read about the Black Death but didn't ask the mechanic if that's what I was dealing with. I ignored it for a year because I was living in a mild climate, but got it repaired just before moving for a new job in an area with 6 months of 90+ degree weather (and also having a young child). The whole system was replaced, I think my cost was around 1500. Just sold it ( for more than that) when the family grew again, and I figure it was worth it because I doubt anyone here would have paid anywhere near what I got if there were no functional a/c. Definitely was not a fun expense, but if it's hot enough it's worth it.

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by tallgirl1204 » Sat Jun 20, 2015 12:04 am

Our AC compressor blew up on our 2002 Honda last year. Quite impressive-- explosion and smoke everywhere. I pulled over and my son and I ran away from the car until everything settled down.

I can't remember what the repair cost was, but it had only 110K on it and it's our daily driver so we paid the price and it's still running great.

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by fundseeker » Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:20 am

If that has been your only major problem in 170k miles, your Civic has been pretty bullet proof.

This may not apply in the OP's case, but here is a tip for Honda owners, and I know it applies to Odysseys and Acura MDXs. A common cause of A/C failure is a thermal fuse, and the part containing the fuse can be replaced by the owner for about $90, or if you are more handy, you can replace just the fuse (a small wire) for about $2, if you can do a little soldering. Details can be found on Odyssey and MDX forums.

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by Browser » Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:00 am

Going to the repair garage in about an hour to see what they say. Thanks for the info. I'll post when I get back. Looks like a compressor can be bought for about $150 on Amazon and a complete system repair kit from Ebay for $529. That gives me some reference points for cost. Don't know how much labor would be but I'm guesstimating no more than a couple hundred. I'm not sure if I also would have to pay to recharge the replaced system with freon but probably so. That might add another hundred or so to the bottom line. Thanks for the tip about the thermal fuse. I'll be sure to ask about that. There was a little noise when the A/C went out, sort of like the whirring of a small motor. No bang or clang, so I'm hoping the compressor didn't go. I might have it replaced even if it's still good to avoid the Black Death.
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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by gary11 » Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:26 am

My 2008 Honda CR-V had a Freon leak/ac failure after only 2 and half years..I think it failed in Summer of 2010. Fortunately it was within warranty period hence fix didn't cost me anything. Basically dealer replaced the system worth $800, I don't know the details of repair though. I remembered searching internet abut ac failures in CR-V and there were quite a few posts about ac being flaky in older CR-Vs.

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by Browser » Sat Jun 20, 2015 11:25 am

Looks like $1200 to repair a dead compressor and other parts if it has disintegrated. Garage was well aware of the "Black Death" problem. Probably won't do it, but I'm not sure how much that will knock off the resale or trade-in value of the vehicle.
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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by Frugal Al » Sat Jun 20, 2015 2:18 pm

Sorry about your A/C, Browser. As vehicles age things start to fail. What amazes me are the types of failures we see. Of course we know about some of the larger issues, such as their automatic transmissions in the 6 cylinder vehicles, and some of their bad cylinder blocks. But I never thought I'd see a self dimming rr view mirror leak fluid--about $100 bucks. Door lock actuators are another weak spot for aging Hondas--some people can't get their doors open, to the extent some are pushing for a class action suit, calling it a safety hazard. You've had a good run at 170k and 13 years or so, but it's painful for costly repairs on an aged vehicle that you're planning on getting rid of. If you could only find the right new vehicle--my problem too.

In addition to the compressor problems on older Hondas, most CR-V owners should be aware of the extended warranty on the 2007-2011 CR-V A/C compressor clutch--extended out to 7 years or 100k miles. I believe this is a design issue with heat from the exhaust plumbing causing overheating and failure of the clutch mechanism.

I'm sorry to say that my Honda loyalty has waned. I don't think they are bad vehicles, but they do not offer the compelling reliability they once did. And when they do have failures due to design/engineering, they tend to treat their customers like it's their fault (VCM oil depletion problems come to mind here). Of course Honda is not alone in this regard.

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by Browser » Sat Jun 20, 2015 2:44 pm

Frugal Al wrote:Sorry about your A/C, Browser. As vehicles age things start to fail. What amazes me are the types of failures we see. Of course we know about some of the larger issues, such as their automatic transmissions in the 6 cylinder vehicles, and some of their bad cylinder blocks. But I never thought I'd see a self dimming rr view mirror leak fluid--about $100 bucks. Door lock actuators are another weak spot for aging Hondas--some people can't get their doors open, to the extent some are pushing for a class action suit, calling it a safety hazard. You've had a good run at 170k and 13 years or so, but it's painful for costly repairs on an aged vehicle that you're planning on getting rid of. If you could only find the right new vehicle--my problem too.

In addition to the compressor problems on older Hondas, most CR-V owners should be aware of the extended warranty on the 2007-2011 CR-V A/C compressor clutch--extended out to 7 years or 100k miles. I believe this is a design issue with heat from the exhaust plumbing causing overheating and failure of the clutch mechanism.

I'm sorry to say that my Honda loyalty has waned. I don't think they are bad vehicles, but they do not offer the compelling reliability they once did. And when they do have failures due to design/engineering, they tend to treat their customers like it's their fault (VCM oil depletion problems come to mind here). Of course Honda is not alone in this regard.
I'm afraid I'm in the same boat. There was a time when I wouldn't have hesitated to buy another Honda but the warts are beginning to show up. I've been shopping new vehicles for some time and quite interested in the Acura RDX but I'm wavering since it's a Honda. But where else do you go? They all seem to have some major issues these days. But now I've arrived at Rock vs. Hard Place.
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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by void » Sat Jun 20, 2015 3:18 pm

Yes. CR-V 2003. 145k-ish mi, 4 years ago. We replaced system for 1800 (independent mechanic). Honda Dealer wanted 3100.

2 years later, multiple mechanics told us to sell because of the engine's condition. We sold to Carmax. Stalking the Carfax History Report, it was sold at auction but never went back on the road. I guess it was parted out?

We tried to get Honda of America to help for the AC, but got nothing. There were mailings from Honda for AC failure reimbursement after we sold, but we had too many miles to get a dime back if we even had the vehicle still.

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by westie » Sat Jun 20, 2015 4:11 pm

Frugal Al wrote:Sorry about your A/C, Browser. As vehicles age things start to fail. What amazes me are the types of failures we see. Of course we know about some of the larger issues, such as their automatic transmissions in the 6 cylinder vehicles, and some of their bad cylinder blocks. But I never thought I'd see a self dimming rr view mirror leak fluid--about $100 bucks. Door lock actuators are another weak spot for aging Hondas--some people can't get their doors open, to the extent some are pushing for a class action suit, calling it a safety hazard. You've had a good run at 170k and 13 years or so, but it's painful for costly repairs on an aged vehicle that you're planning on getting rid of. If you could only find the right new vehicle--my problem too.

In addition to the compressor problems on older Hondas, most CR-V owners should be aware of the extended warranty on the 2007-2011 CR-V A/C compressor clutch--extended out to 7 years or 100k miles. I believe this is a design issue with heat from the exhaust plumbing causing overheating and failure of the clutch mechanism.

I'm sorry to say that my Honda loyalty has waned. I don't think they are bad vehicles, but they do not offer the compelling reliability they once did. And when they do have failures due to design/engineering, they tend to treat their customers like it's their fault (VCM oil depletion problems come to mind here). Of course Honda is not alone in this regard.
Our 2009 CRV compressor clutch died about 6 months ago, this is another recurring problem for Honda. They fixed it under the warranty extension, cost $1000 otherwise.

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by Kenkat » Sat Jun 20, 2015 4:44 pm

Browser wrote:Looks like $1200 to repair a dead compressor and other parts if it has disintegrated. Garage was well aware of the "Black Death" problem. Probably won't do it, but I'm not sure how much that will knock off the resale or trade-in value of the vehicle.
My guess is that it knocks about $1200 off the resale value. Unfortunately, when a car breaks when you still own it, you take the hit right then, whether you repair it or not. The only exception would be where the car is worth significantly less than the repair cost.

Another way to look at this is if you go ahead and repair it for $1200 and drive it one more year without trouble, it's only $100/mo. That still cheaper than a newer model. A bit of a gamble hoping nothing else goes wrong, but at least it gives you time to find something on your terms.

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by Browser » Sun Jun 21, 2015 9:55 am

kenschmidt wrote:
Browser wrote:Looks like $1200 to repair a dead compressor and other parts if it has disintegrated. Garage was well aware of the "Black Death" problem. Probably won't do it, but I'm not sure how much that will knock off the resale or trade-in value of the vehicle.
My guess is that it knocks about $1200 off the resale value. Unfortunately, when a car breaks when you still own it, you take the hit right then, whether you repair it or not. The only exception would be where the car is worth significantly less than the repair cost.

Another way to look at this is if you go ahead and repair it for $1200 and drive it one more year without trouble, it's only $100/mo. That still cheaper than a newer model. A bit of a gamble hoping nothing else goes wrong, but at least it gives you time to find something on your terms.
I'm afraid you're probably right. Now, if the A/C had croaked in the winter maybe the dealer wouldn't try it out when trading. But, of course, who runs their A/C in the winter? Maybe I can find a buyer in Alaska...
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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by radiowave » Sun Jun 21, 2015 10:36 am

We had our 2004 CR-V compressor fail at ~40K miles, just past the warrantee, but the dealer only had us pay for labor. I'll be at 140K in a week or two and driving every day abt 35 miles to/from work. Still getting 25 MPG and only other maintenance has been routine maintenance, tires, batteries, etc. My goal is 200K.
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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by Browser » Sun Jun 21, 2015 7:06 pm

Frankly, I'd probably go ahead and have the A/C fixed because I'll probably take an equivalent $$ hit if I trade without fixing it. But the bind I'm in is that I could end up paying to fix it and have the A/C fail again. From what I read on the web, if the entire system isn't replaced to take care of the "black death" (the sludge and metal fragments that are probably in there after the compressor fails) the compressor can fail again within just a few weeks. What would you do?
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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by Mudpuppy » Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:24 am

Your choices are basically: (a) pay the $1200 to fix it, (b) live without AC, or (c) get another vehicle. And the resale/trade-in value of a 13+ year old CRV is already in the low thousands side, so I wouldn't let that affect your decision.

Only you can decide which one is best for you right now. First ask yourself if you can live without AC. If the answer is "no", then you have to decide between fixing the CRV or moving on to another vehicle.

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by supton » Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:33 am

Our 2001 Civic had its a/c die in 2009 or 2010. The dealership said it'd be $1,500 as the whole system needed to be replaced. Wife simply made do for one summer, then we traded it: I wanted her to be in a more safe car (abs, side airbags) so it seemed like a good time to upgrade.

I asked around and was told the diagnosis was likely correct (whole new system required). Just the way the brand was. That car did for some reason need a/c work every other year, starting while still under warranty.

Recently for fun I let a dealership give me an appraisal for trading in my car. I was honest and admitted that the a/c was dead. The 300+kmiles, check eninge line, airbag light--didn't care about that. But the bad a/c was what dropped the trade-in! [Wound up doing private sale instead.]

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by G12 » Mon Jun 22, 2015 6:38 pm

Browser wrote:Frankly, I'd probably go ahead and have the A/C fixed because I'll probably take an equivalent $$ hit if I trade without fixing it. But the bind I'm in is that I could end up paying to fix it and have the A/C fail again. From what I read on the web, if the entire system isn't replaced to take care of the "black death" (the sludge and metal fragments that are probably in there after the compressor fails) the compressor can fail again within just a few weeks. What would you do?
I think you have a right to be concerned. It has been quite a few years, but what you are describing happened to my wife's Honda Prelude. Independent shop replaced the compressor, we paid it lasted a few weeks, locked up and was done. The shop said they had "dried out" the systems, etc and it should not have happened. They replaced it again free of charge and it locked up again within 3-4 weeks at which point the shop said "no mas". That was the last Honda she owned. I would start looking for other vehicles if the AC is very important to you as I would not put $3k into the current vehicle.

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by Browser » Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:15 pm

I never dreamed fixing the A/C was one of the most expensive auto repairs there is. I'm wondering where it falls on the list of major $$ repairs -- right behind a rebuilt engine? It's only cool AIR for geez sake!

I understand that older, high-mileage vehicles will have stuff break. However, this experience has drawn attention to the poor design of the Keihin A/C compressor used by Honda (who owns Keihin), which is likely to implode when it fails, costing owners who are out of warranty quite of bit of money to repair. The compressor alone would probably run about $250 parts and maybe $200 labor to replace. But when it disintegrates you're looking at repair costs in the $1500 - $2000 range unless you're lucky enough to find a good independent mechanic who will charge lower labor rates. However, it's critical that the mechanic knows that you have to replace several components in the A/C system and not simply try to flush and clean the system. If that's all you do, then gunk is likely to circulate back to the replacement compressor and it will fail again in a short time. You can see from the posts in this thread that there are plenty of people who have encountered this way before I did. All this is an unreasonable burden on consumers, IMO. This has been the subject of a class action suit settled against Honda, so it's not a trivial matter. What are they putting in their cars being build today -- the same defective A/C compressor?
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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by munemaker » Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:21 pm

The A/C went bad on my 2009 CR-V at about 115,000 miles. I remembered this thread and wanted to document my experience.

The A/C would start blowing warm air when the outside temps were very warm. At first, it would happen only occasionally. As time passed, it happened more and more frequently and at lower temperatures. The shop I usually go to recommended a local independent mechanic who has experience with this.

He temporarily attached two under-the-hood test lights to the relays that control the A/C. He told me that when the A/C quit working to open the hood and note which lights were on. From that info, he concluded the A/C compressor was not working correctly. He changed the clutch and coil in the compressor with genuine Honda parts (the only place you can buy them, he said). He showed me how the clutch facing was completely worn off. It wasn't like the A/C compressor broke, but rather the clutch face just wore out. Trying to remember, I think he charged me about $700 which I was very glad to pay.

The mechanic who fixed it said this was the 12th one he had done, so he was very familiar with the condition and the fix. Apparently it is a common problem when the clutch lining wears off. I almost always keep the A/C in the "Automatic" mode, so I really never know how often it is cycling on and off. I am not upset about it. Parts don't last forever and things wear out.

Since the repair, I have put 42,000 miles on the car and the A/C has been working great. I am now around 157,000 miles. This CR-V has been one of the best cars I have ever owned.

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by bru » Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:09 pm

As you found in your search the 2nd generation CR-V (2002-2006) has a documented issue with its A/C. Many owners experienced the problem soon in to the vehicles life, others like you didn't have it happen until many years later. I'm pretty sure some people got Honda to pay for the repairs but at this point on ~14 year old vehicle those chances are slim. Although you can use the cars Blue Book value, etc. only you can decide if the expense of the fix is worth it.

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by sewmoore » Mon Aug 08, 2016 1:45 pm

I have a 2004 CRV, this is the third summer in a row I have had repairs done to my CRV. Like others, I loved my CRV, however, now it has about 160000 miles on it. My repair guy did give me discount on my compressor this time, however, he just called and now my condenser is having issues. So when all is said and done about $650 for parts and labor. I do not think I will be purchasing another CRV due to these AC problems. Anyone else found the site. carcomplaints.com, a great site to see the issues with any car you now own or are thinking of purchasing. Good luck with your AC.

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by radiowave » Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:53 pm

Our 2004 CR-V blew the compressor at about 60k miles. The dealer we brought the vehicle from covered the parts under warrantee and labor was in the $400 range. The only other non standard item that I had replaced was the oxygen sensor in the fuel system. Talking to the mechanic I may have been the cause by filling the tank too much. Overall, I've been really happy with the AWD model. 152K now and still going strong, 25-26 MPG, a/c still working well, just a really good, all around small SUV. My boglehead tendencies are pushing for 200K ;)
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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by jharkin » Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:41 am

radiowave wrote:Our 2004 CR-V blew the compressor at about 60k miles. The dealer we brought the vehicle from covered the parts under warrantee and labor was in the $400 range. The only other non standard item that I had replaced was the oxygen sensor in the fuel system. Talking to the mechanic I may have been the cause by filling the tank too much. Overall, I've been really happy with the AWD model. 152K now and still going strong, 25-26 MPG, a/c still working well, just a really good, all around small SUV. My boglehead tendencies are pushing for 200K ;)
There is no oxygen sensor in the fuel system. The Oxygen sensors are mounted in the exhaust where they determine how much uncombusted free oxygen is present in the exhaust stream. There are usually 2 sensors - one right after the manifold thats used as an input to the ECU fuel mixture contrls, and a second one after the catalytic converter that is used to verify the cat is functioning.

There is NO way that any amount of filling or not filling the gas tank can impact the O2 sensors. Sorry to say it, but if the car was not throwing a CEL the sensor was probably fine and the mechanic was making up stories to sell you unneded repairs.

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by jharkin » Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:48 am

Browser wrote: Yes, I see that "black death" is a very common problem. Now we have two coverups from Honda - the Takata airbags and the Keihin A/C compressor. So much for their reputation for reliability, eh?
The Takata airbag problem is also affecting over a dozen automatkers - also including Toyota, Mazda, Nissan, BMW and Ford.... not exactly a "Honda cover up" :oops:

We could bring up the Honda V6 transmissions too.

And how about Toyota unintended acceleration and frame rust.

And VW's deiselgate.

Tesla exploding batteries.

And what about GM ignition keys that kill people?

Or the Ford Explorer/Firestone fiasco.

Dont forget the Pinto's gas tank...



All manufacturers have histories. Some more than others. Honda is not perfect but on average they do better than most.

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by Mudpuppy » Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:19 pm

jharkin wrote:All manufacturers have histories. Some more than others. Honda is not perfect but on average they do better than most.
Reminds me of my younger days.... Before I went to grad school, I wrote programs and did database support for a specific dialer system used in telemarketing. Our firm was in the business of customer satisfaction surveys and one of the clients was Ford (both corporate and a slew of dealerships). The corporate campaigns were always an "interesting" mix of customer comments for the phone operators to record, mostly irrate comments since the corporate campaigns were typically retention campaigns (trying to win back people with issues with Ford vehicles).

Illogically, I still can't bring myself to buy a Ford, even though I logically know their quality is about the same as other manufacturers. But something about being awash in the complaints day after day has just triggered the illogical part of my brain to have a negative association, even though it's been ages since I had that job. I can imagine others having a similar response to the news of all the airbag recalls. Doesn't mean it's logical, but it is normal brain behavior to respond negatively to something with a lot of negative news.

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by munemaker » Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:28 pm

Browser wrote:Now we have two coverups from Honda - the Takata airbags and the Keihin A/C compressor. So much for their reputation for reliability, eh?
I don't know anything about the A/C compressor problem, but I would not call the Takata airbags a coverup. The problems with Takata air bags is widely publicized, especially for Hondas. Honda is stepping up and paying for rentals for people whose driver side air bag is prone to failure, even though they are not legally required to do so. For the passenger side, the passenger can ride in the back.

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by Tigermoose » Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:14 pm

My 2000 Honda CRV still has a great A/C with 225,000 miles on it. I hope this thing makes 300,000 and beyond.
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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by TheOscarGuy » Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:54 pm

jharkin wrote:
Browser wrote: Yes, I see that "black death" is a very common problem. Now we have two coverups from Honda - the Takata airbags and the Keihin A/C compressor. So much for their reputation for reliability, eh?
The Takata airbag problem is also affecting over a dozen automatkers - also including Toyota, Mazda, Nissan, BMW and Ford.... not exactly a "Honda cover up" :oops:

We could bring up the Honda V6 transmissions too.

And how about Toyota unintended acceleration and frame rust.

And VW's deiselgate.

Tesla exploding batteries.

And what about GM ignition keys that kill people?

Or the Ford Explorer/Firestone fiasco.

Dont forget the Pinto's gas tank...



All manufacturers have histories. Some more than others. Honda is not perfect but on average they do better than most.

Folks need to realize the thread is well over a year old. There is no point in responding to OPs questions/comments, they were most likely addressed one way or the other.

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by NHRATA01 » Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:34 pm

Browser wrote:I never dreamed fixing the A/C was one of the most expensive auto repairs there is. I'm wondering where it falls on the list of major $$ repairs -- right behind a rebuilt engine? It's only cool AIR for geez sake!
The evaporator is buried in the dash and on most cars necessitates dismantling the dash which can easily be 6 hours or so of labor. Condenser can also be difficult to get out as it's in front of the radiator. Lines and remaining componentry can also be somewhat of a challenge depending on how they're routed. Yeah it's a basic system, but it's buried in the car and not often easy to access.

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by radiowave » Tue Aug 09, 2016 6:54 pm

jharkin wrote:
radiowave wrote:Our 2004 CR-V blew the compressor at about 60k miles. The dealer we brought the vehicle from covered the parts under warrantee and labor was in the $400 range. The only other non standard item that I had replaced was the oxygen sensor in the fuel system. Talking to the mechanic I may have been the cause by filling the tank too much. Overall, I've been really happy with the AWD model. 152K now and still going strong, 25-26 MPG, a/c still working well, just a really good, all around small SUV. My boglehead tendencies are pushing for 200K ;)
There is no oxygen sensor in the fuel system. The Oxygen sensors are mounted in the exhaust where they determine how much uncombusted free oxygen is present in the exhaust stream. There are usually 2 sensors - one right after the manifold thats used as an input to the ECU fuel mixture contrls, and a second one after the catalytic converter that is used to verify the cat is functioning.

There is NO way that any amount of filling or not filling the gas tank can impact the O2 sensors. Sorry to say it, but if the car was not throwing a CEL the sensor was probably fine and the mechanic was making up stories to sell you unneded repairs.
I stand corrected . . . :)

thanks for the info, I guess I can go back to filling up to the top again.
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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by Ninnie » Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:22 pm

It's not just the CR-V. Honda's in general are prone to this problem.

Then again, you could argue that since Honda's last forever, of course the AC is going to eventually give out. Other manufacturers don't have this problem because their cars have long since been retired off the road.

Edit: And... I just got to the post pointing out this thread is over one year old. Oops!

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by whodidntante » Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:57 am

Honda CRVs may have a particular defect that bit you, but I would not be surprised if any car I own were to have an A/C or any other serious failure at such a high mileage. Cars wear out.

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by NHRATA01 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:15 am

radiowave wrote:
jharkin wrote:
radiowave wrote:Our 2004 CR-V blew the compressor at about 60k miles. The dealer we brought the vehicle from covered the parts under warrantee and labor was in the $400 range. The only other non standard item that I had replaced was the oxygen sensor in the fuel system. Talking to the mechanic I may have been the cause by filling the tank too much. Overall, I've been really happy with the AWD model. 152K now and still going strong, 25-26 MPG, a/c still working well, just a really good, all around small SUV. My boglehead tendencies are pushing for 200K ;)
There is no oxygen sensor in the fuel system. The Oxygen sensors are mounted in the exhaust where they determine how much uncombusted free oxygen is present in the exhaust stream. There are usually 2 sensors - one right after the manifold thats used as an input to the ECU fuel mixture contrls, and a second one after the catalytic converter that is used to verify the cat is functioning.

There is NO way that any amount of filling or not filling the gas tank can impact the O2 sensors. Sorry to say it, but if the car was not throwing a CEL the sensor was probably fine and the mechanic was making up stories to sell you unneded repairs.
I stand corrected . . . :)

thanks for the info, I guess I can go back to filling up to the top again.
Well, hold on, it sounds as if maybe there was some confused signals on what broke. Oxygen sensors can be considered a consumable part like a spark plug as they do have an operational life, so failing over 100K isn't out of the ordinary. Overfilling the tank won't cause it to fail correct, however overfilling the tank can damage the evaporation emissions components. The "EVAP" system collects the vapors that are present in the air space of the fuel tank, and then releases them into the engine to burn off. Overfilling the tank can lead to liquid being collected by the system which eventually damages the vapor collection canister. So it is not incorrect advice by the mechanic to not overfill, although it had zero to do with the O2 sensor failure.

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by LadyGeek » Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:52 pm

Discussions of dishonest behavior or bypassing the law is totally unacceptable. A post from 2015 was discussing dishonest behavior (forcing a failure to allow warranty coverage). Sorry for missing it the first time, that post and a follow-up reply were removed.

Before replying to someone, look at the post date. If the discussion is relevant to your situation, feel free to post in an old thread. There's no sense going through the same information again. Additionally, the members who posted in the old thread will have it show up under Your posts* so they'll be able to help again.

*In "Quick links" drop-down menu, top-left corner of the page.
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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by radiowave » Sat Aug 13, 2016 8:18 pm

NHRATA01 wrote: . . .
Well, hold on, it sounds as if maybe there was some confused signals on what broke. Oxygen sensors can be considered a consumable part like a spark plug as they do have an operational life, so failing over 100K isn't out of the ordinary. Overfilling the tank won't cause it to fail correct, however overfilling the tank can damage the evaporation emissions components. The "EVAP" system collects the vapors that are present in the air space of the fuel tank, and then releases them into the engine to burn off. Overfilling the tank can lead to liquid being collected by the system which eventually damages the vapor collection canister. So it is not incorrect advice by the mechanic to not overfill, although it had zero to do with the O2 sensor failure.
I now fill the tank to when it clicks off on then round up to $0.25. Because the 2004 CR-V only gets abt 300 mi per tanks, I used to fill it to get 325+ but as you said, that could have been the problem. I replaced the oxygen sensors twice in 151k miles so that seem like normal maintenance. Still really like the CR-V and pushing for 200k!
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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by bagelhead » Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:33 pm

Based on all of the problems described above and documented on the internet, what do you would if you currently have a 9 year old, 90,000 mile CR-V with no problems including the A/C?

Is the probability of A/C failure in the next 5 years < 20%, 20-80%, > 80%?

Assuming the A/C repair is between $700-3000 and the current residual value of the car is $7000-8000, would you keep driving or buy a different car?

I could imagine 3 scenarios:
- continue driving, A/C breaks = big loser
- continue driving, A/C works = big winner
- buy a different car = moderate loser (hedging one's bets)

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by bru » Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:11 pm

bagelhead wrote:Based on all of the problems described above and documented on the internet, what do you would if you currently have a 9 year old, 90,000 mile CR-V with no problems including the A/C?

Is the probability of A/C failure in the next 5 years < 20%, 20-80%, > 80%?

Assuming the A/C repair is between $700-3000 and the current residual value of the car is $7000-8000, would you keep driving or buy a different car?

I could imagine 3 scenarios:
- continue driving, A/C breaks = big loser
- continue driving, A/C works = big winner
- buy a different car = moderate loser (hedging one's bets)
If anyone here could predict the future I don't think they'd be focusing on the CR-V's A/C.

Since this was an old thread the original issue has been lost in the shuffle. The A/C issue was on the 2nd generation CR-V, which was MY 2002-2006. Does that mean the A/C on your 2007 (or 2008) will never fail? Who knows? Certainly not me. IIWM I would keep the CR-V for as long as it meets your needs. That's what I am doing with my 2002.

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by MrNewEngland » Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:14 pm

My friend has an old CRV and he loves making the joke that the only thing that ever broke on it was the odometer... at 225,000 miles... 10 years ago.

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Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Post by magicj » Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:24 am

Popped a compressor on my old Civic a couple years older than your CRV. Chances are it's your compressor.

Replace and enjoy another 50k+ out of it.

EDIT: Just realized I responded to a post from a year ago. Hope it got fixed by now!

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