Honda Civic 2010 sedan A/C problem

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  #1  
Old 05-19-19, 09:55 AM
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Honda Civic 2010 sedan A/C problem

Wonder if anyone can share some tips. Air conditioning was working fine (blowing comfortably cold air) till yesterday morning. Then when turning on A/C, as driving, it felt like things weren't kicking in when I'd press the A/C button and no cold air, didn't think I heard a click.

Today, under the hood, I DO hear the relay & the fan turns on, but the compressor doesn't spin (the inner part).

We have a 2013 honda civic and I can see the center of that car's compressor rotates when A/C gets turned on.

There's 1 relay for the A/C, right? I swapped that 1 relay that clicks when turning on the A/C between cars. Both cars stay the same (2013 works, 2010 doesn't).

Freon can be an issue?, but they don't use a sight glass like years ago?

Any fuses or something else I can check without gauges? If it's a fuse inline with the relay, I assume that's OK, since the relay works. Is there another relay or fuse? And if there's a fuse and it blew... do you just replace and see if problem occurs or do you try troubleshooting why the fuse blew even if the system starts working and keeps running?

THANKS!
 
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  #2  
Old 05-19-19, 10:10 AM
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The cycling would indicate a low charge.
Might be best to have your mechanic check the refrigerant level in the system.
 
  #3  
Old 05-19-19, 11:05 AM
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cycling? Sorry, I don't think I mentioned that.

The clutch isn't engaging. the fan does start spinning when I turn on the AC.

From a honda formum, someone said it would seem that the freon level is OK since the 2nd radiator fan is spinning. It wouldn;t spin if freon was low?

I checked the fuses in the engine and under dash. All OK.

on the problem 2010 civic the engine fuse box has a relay wiht the snowflake.

The 2013 civic that's working has 2 relays - 1 with snowflake and 1 with snowflake and a box. other sites say the snowflake relay is the clutch.

Regardless, I took relays from the 2013 and put in the 2010 for both spots at the same time. still have problem.

I checked voltage on the fuse box with fuse removed on 2 leads - I get 15v with ac on. With ac off, it drops to 10V?! I'd think it would go to zero? THese are the 2 leads to the coil of the relay (based on me using ohm meter on relay - 2 are open and 2 have resistance (a coil).

I tried jumpering the 2 contacts on fuse box which are the switch part of the relay... nothing happens. But also too... no voltage on those leads in fuse box...in a circuit waiting to be closed, the voltage across the open switch would be 15v?

Looking at wiring going to compressor, it's a 3 lead harness - red, black and green.

Still thinking freon? And that's not something I can do myself, right? (without a gauge).
 
  #4  
Old 05-19-19, 12:29 PM
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would check for power to the compressor looks like the middle wire of the 3 pin connector is the power wire to the compressor clutch if you have power you probably have a bad clutch, if you dont have power would be hooking gauges up to it for a starting point to see if there is enough pressure in the system to run.
 
  #5  
Old 05-19-19, 04:29 PM
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It's a bit tricky to do but you appear to be handy with cars. try jumping clutch. If it engages compressor, then clutch is good and then you check for power to clutch plug. Got to work it back from clutch to relays and fuses.
If you have leak, it'll slowly go warmer. If it was working great yesterday and suddenly is not - something happened.
So start with clutch. Don't work from the top down, work from the bottom up.
Another crude way of checking is to short AC pressure switch.. If clutch kicks in - you have low pressure. Maybe line got punched or seal blew. Just don't run comp more than few seconds with switch shortened.
Btw. i had Mitsu that I personally overcharged, then AC won't start. All they did at the shop was to bleed pressure. You didn't charge system lately,, did you? They are very sensitive to exact amount of freon, you know.
 
  #6  
Old 05-20-19, 09:11 AM
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Thank you all for your help!!!

A few things - I thought the pressure switch would be 2 contact open closed type of thing. It has 3 pins I checked with an ohmmeter across each pair combo and all are open.

I went to the 2013 civic with working AC... and I don't see the pressure switch : (

Finding attached image, seems the switch is not just open / close type thing.

Jump the clutch?! a) it's at the bottom of the engine compartment / hard to get to and b) not sure how to do that anwyay : )

If I have a leak it'll get warmer over time? Yeah, if I didn't notice that then at some point, the pressure drops too low and switch stops it completely? I DO think it was working nice before this....

And shorting the switch - again, 3 leads. Not sure what 2 wires to short. would love to try that though.

No didn't charge system lately. But I see a tank with gauge at walmart / advance auto that are <$20. Try that?

alan - connector going to compressor, from what I can see is 3 conductor.

On BOTH cars (1 working, 1 not), VOM between the contact on the wiring harness side of connector and ground:

green/white - always hot (even with car off)
green - zero
green red - zero.

This connector DOES have something to do with ac - when I plug it back in with ac on, on working car, clutch and fan start. on not working car, just the fan starts.

I'm trying to find a wiring diagram for the AC circuit. Any public sources? That would help me understand what I'm doing wrong / what might be wrong.
 
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Old 05-20-19, 12:49 PM
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most cars now are computer controlled so you may not necessarily be able to jumper switches they may also use pressure sensors instead of a basic open and closed contact switch so I would probably avoid shorting any switch especially if its 3 wires, would try to check power at the 3 pin connector while keeping the connector plugged in, as the 3 pin connector also goes through a pressure switch on the back of the compressor , you may want to recheck voltage while keeping the connector plugged in you can usually back probe the connector with a small pin to check voltage. only 1 of the 3 wires actually goes to the clutch the other 2 to the pressure switch. the clutch is grounded to the compressor case so only one positive wire needed to engage clutch.
 
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Old 05-22-19, 07:35 AM
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Thank you all! This is a 2010 civic. Googling, I found a 2009 civic service manual PDF online.

Looking at the wiriing pages, it talks of a thermal protection on the compressor / explaination for the 3 wires going to the compressor. checking pins 1 and 3 on side going to compressor, it's low / no resistance on the problem car (and on our working 2013 civic).

Running the car and that connector re-connected and AC button pressed, On both cars, pins 1 and 2 are hot (so compressor IS getting power on pin 2?). Interesting on working car, pin 3 is hot only when compressor is off. When compressor cycles on, it goes to zero volts.

So the pressure switch - that woudl keep pin 2 from being hot? I guess i can try that on the working car by disconnecting the 3 conductor connector on pressure switch. Afraid I'll break things : ) But want to try to fix this myself. Can I cause more problems by buying a freon refill kit? think that's needed?

On another web page, I saw how it talked of checking the compressor clutch - with engine off, on both cars, clutch spins freely (a bit more resistance on the problem car though...).

It's a 2010 civic with beat up front bumper, etc. Looking on ebay, 2010 civics go for $3K? $3,500 (it has 148K miles on it).

So

a) any thoughts on what to try next? Do garages typically charge a diagnostic fee? A honda dealer wants $140 diag fee. Are private garages usually versed on AC issues? Do I ask if they have the freon recovery hardware, etc. (indicating they work with AC / know to do AC right?).

b) what's your thoughts that it's the compressor (can I just connect 12v to that center connector and see if clutch kicks in? I kinda want to put my hand on clutch with engine running to see if I feel a click... but it's a tight fit near serpentine belt. And if it's the 'compressor'. could it be the clutch? does that matter? Does it make sense to replace the clutch not the compressor?

b) how much would you put into the car to get this fixed? Our daughter is home from college and moving into a city / won't need a car. So I can take hers and we can sell mine. But it works fine other than AC. I do NOT care how it looks / pride myself on driving a beater car. I'm joking it's a good cool weather car now.
 
  #9  
Old 05-22-19, 07:44 AM
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Forgot to mention - yeah, Alan - a pin to get into the insulation? That's the legit / right way to check voltage? I tried poking down into back of connector but didn't get to metal / conductor.

Here's the pictures I've been looking at.
 
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  #10  
Old 05-22-19, 10:16 AM
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Sorry, 1 more thing....

Assuming pin 2 of the connector is to the compressor.... it's hot when the ac button is on. goes to zero when I take the compressor relay out.

I disconnected the cable from the harness and connected 12v battery to that 2nd contact through an ammeter (with engine off so I can hear things) wondering if I'd hear a click or anything / see the current (this is on a 7.aA circuit, right?

No sound, no current. Measuring pin 2 to ground resistance, its an open circuit.

Don't have the 2013 car to compare the resistance from it's pin 2 to ground.

Do the windings on compressor go? that's not replaceable vs. the entire compressor I would suppose?
 
  #11  
Old 05-22-19, 11:51 AM
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OK I think Iíll stop posting after this :-)Brought it to a pretty reputable shop in town. After 10 minutes of looking at it said that itís the clutch on the compressor and gave me a quote for $1000 to replace the compressor. Said the clutch is $80 Less than the $500 for the compressor. Doesnít make sense to replace just the clutch.So now on a 2010 civic LX with front bumper dinged up and 150,000 miles, whatís your thoughts on spending $1000???

Is that throwing good money after bad? We could sell this car and we have another I could use - the 2013 civic. But this one works fine other than the AC / only going to get <$3k for it...
 
  #12  
Old 05-22-19, 01:11 PM
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would rather test voltage at the connector if possible but if you have to pierce the insulation thats ok they actually make clamps for meters and scopes that actually pierce the wire insulation for you when you clamp it to a wire sometimes you really do not have a choice.
sounds like the clutch coil is bad they can be replaced the part is not very expensive think I saw the clutch kit for like 30-40 on ebay if the clutch does not look like its been overheated good chance it will fix the problem, if its brown and all the paint is burnt off the compressor may be going bad and a new clutch may not last.
a lot of independent shops do a/c work probably would be less expensive than the dealer for diagnosis or even working on the car they usually have a lower labor rate and parts are often less expensive also.
how much to put into this car is really your decision however it would probably be worth fixing to me if I was going to keep the car for awhile, but when you can do the repairs yourself versus having to take to a shop can also be a factor in how much the repairs will cost.
 
  #13  
Old 05-22-19, 02:24 PM
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clutch kit that cheap?! I like to think I am handy (till I am into something and loads of parts all over the place and I wonder if it'll go back the right way in the end). I have changed brake pads - simply replace the pads. don't do anything with the rotors... cars are drivable when I am done.

Something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/AUTEX-Compres.../dp/B0757KKQK6

You think that's what I might need? no discoloration on outside of compressor.

I saw some page about doing it - jack up the car, remove right wheel...

But then it talked about pullers and hydraulic tensioners... sounds scary.

And you don't touch the refrigerant / seals?! compressor stays in place?

compared to replacing brake pads or installing hitch mount, what would you say the difficulty level is?
 
  #14  
Old 05-22-19, 02:30 PM
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I always wondered about calling votech school or similar. Is that a way to get cars fixed? Let students learn and save me money?

OH!!! so what do you think the odds this is the entire problem? The fact that between pin 2 of the connector going to compressor and ground it's an open?
 
  #15  
Old 05-22-19, 04:41 PM
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I asked my local votech high school once, and was told no, not a chance. The liability was too great. Even if their insurance would let them, they're not set up like a functioning business. The students are learning from a curriculum, and if they're currently learning about turbochargers, they're not going to stop in the middle of that to learn about A/C.
 
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Old 05-23-19, 02:40 AM
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took votech in high school and we did work on cars for people but that was a long time ago so perhaps things have changed but you could check your local one and see they may not do any a/c work though.
here is a video on a 2008 civic might help you decide if you think you could do the job he did manage to replace it, without evacuating the system and completely removing the a/c compressor but did have to unbolt it to gain better access.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isVWP1dDZyk
 
  #17  
Old 05-26-19, 06:28 AM
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Alan - THANKS!

So close yet so far. This isn't somehting I think I can do - it's dealing with the serpentine belt / I could make it undrivable with my luck!.

I'm planning on asking around at garages to see if they want to do that - install just the coil.
I could see them not wanting to or it not solving the problem - they could cause a leak in the system?
Or theres other things not working also?
What about this: the failed coil pulls in the clutch a fraction of an inch when the coil is entergized? that transfers the pully motion to the clutch to the shaft of the compressor?
I saw a video of a guy grinding the center shaft of the clutch to shorten the gap...

what do you think about taking off the clutch (just a center nut from that video you posted), grinding the back so that the pully and clutch are always rubbing / compressor would be running all the time? Yeah, I need to leave the AC button depressed to run the radiator fan. But a) that would let me know if ac works other than cluch coil b) a MUCH cheaper solution to the issue.

In the fall I can add a washer to the shaft to disengage the clutch?

Yes, a Kluge... but that's my middle name. slightly lower miles per gallon. A bit heavier load on engine at starting...
 
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Old 05-26-19, 10:38 AM
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OH!!! so what do you think the odds this is the entire problem? The fact that between pin 2 of the connector going to compressor and ground it's an open?

The clutch coil is open. That's the complete problem.
An open coil cannot pull the clutch in any amount.

grinding the back so that the pully and clutch are always rubbing / compressor would be running all the time?
You're kidding right ?!!?!
It's alright to kluge...... but do it safely. That would not be a safe thing to even consider.

Not sure which video you watched but the link below is what I think is a pretty good one.
It illustrates the amount of work required to changed the clutch coil.
Honda clutch replacement video



 
  #19  
Old 05-26-19, 07:27 PM
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PJ - thanks.

Check this video... this is what gave me the idea - the clutch when enaged, connects the pulley to the compressor, right? His fix won't work for me because the coil has failed. I get that...but

Ignorance here: What's not safe about it? Yes, as I have that playing in the background as I type, HE does say it's a bad idea (at 4:30)... but doesn't say why

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXNXls-sRQ8

yes, the clutch coil is open... but my bad luck, that's potentially not the complete problem : ) Love to know that IS the only problem. Any way to take a stick or something to push the clutch plate into engaging, just for a few seconds with the engine running, at least to see if I get cold air?
 
  #20  
Old 05-27-19, 08:45 AM
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would just check with a shop or buy the parts and tools needed to do it yourself seems like a lot of work to try to rig it so the compressor is engaged all the time besides snap ring pliers a serpentine belt tool is very handy at releasing the tension on the belt.
 
  #21  
Old 05-28-19, 09:19 AM
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Alan, thanks again, but I gotta disagree on your

seems like a lot of work to try to rig it so the compressor is engaged all the time

From what I can see from that video I mention above, 'just' have to pop off the clutch, grind it down and reinstall it. Much less involved than replacing the coil / clutch. No touching the serpentine belt, etc

But i am going to look around for a garage to replace the coil.
 
  #22  
Old 05-29-19, 04:56 PM
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OK... i brought the car to another garage a friend thought might be willing to replace just the coil.

2 things:

1) He declined doing something short of replacing the compressor - He said the space around the compressor is too tight to do much without removing the compressor. And pointed out - what happens if the shaft of the compressor breaks when taking off the nut holding the clutch. Admittedly, doing a partial fix could cause other problems.

2) I asked about the idea of running the compressor all the time / grind the clutch to always be engaged. DUH! So it's compressing all the time / all summer. At some point, boom?! Normally the compressor cycles on / off when driving as needed even if the a/c is always running.

Cleared up that question of mine.

We were at a old car show this past friday. 1 car had a tube on the side drivers window the owner called a bazooka tube. I thought it was a speaker. It's old time Air conditioning. Put ice in it and then as you drive, air enters the front and out a side vent into the passenger compartment.

Maybe that's an option <g> ??
 
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