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Old 08-11-2008   #1
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Air Conditioning working intermittently

I'm having issue with my air conditioning not working all the time. In a nutshell: when it works it still blows cold as ice, the idle is fine, and there is no difference between stopped and freeway speeds. When it doesn't work it blows warm air, kicks the idle up to about 1500 rpm and cruising at freeway speeds doesn't help. I haven't determined what makes it stop or start working.

Any ideas on what could be causing this?

I'm going to speculate here and say its something up with the compressor clutch.
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Old 08-11-2008   #2
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Re: Air Conditioning working intermittently

Yeah, could be the compressor.

I brought mine to a shop for an A/C diagnosis because my A/C died. Turned out that the compressor was dead and needed to be replaced. Symptoms were exactly like yours, only mine didn't work 100% of the time.

They were gonna charge me $1500 CAD for the service. Luckily, I got my hands on a Haynes manual.

But, I would say get it checked out by a trained professional before doing anything. Like I said, it could be the compressor that's no longer working.
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Old 08-11-2008   #3
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Re: Air Conditioning working intermittently

yeah prolly the clutch going out. ive seen them kick on for a while, then stop and kick on and off every few seconds. listen to how yours is working with the hood open. if you hear it clicking on and off alot, its prolly clutch, or low on r134a
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Old 08-11-2008   #4
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Re: Air Conditioning working intermittently

Mine clicks on and off every 2-3 minutes. It always blows cold air right now. Should I be concerned about it clicking?
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Old 08-11-2008   #5
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Re: Air Conditioning working intermittently

I think that should be okay thrasher. Saving gas by not being on all the time.

Gearbox. If its low on refrigerant wouldn't it never be ice cold? I'll definitely check the clicking tomorrow.

I really hope its not the compressor but hopefully I can narrow **** down before I get to shell out the big bucks for a new one.

Thanks for the input guys.
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Old 08-11-2008   #6
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Re: Air Conditioning working intermittently

every 2-3 mins is normal. i was talking about every 5-10 seconds. and if its the compressor, get ready to shell out even more for the receiver/drier and the expansion valve/orifice tube and full flush of the system plus adding the right oil and refrigerent and amount. otherwise, the new compressor will be ruined too
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Old 05-25-2015   #7
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Re: Air Conditioning working intermittently

Hey,

I am having the same issue with my 2009 Civic. The air conditioning will work intermittently and more so when you first start a trip but as the trip goes on the A/C tends to just blow warm air. I have already tried changing the A/C clutch relay but the problem still exists. If anyone has any specific information on how what items to check it would be appreciated as I would prefer to tackle this on my own.

Thanks,

P
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Old 05-26-2015   #8
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Re: Air Conditioning working intermittently

You need to check if the fan is cooling the condenser unit.

On all A/Cs there is a hot and a cold side. If the hot side is not being cooled, the cold side will not work. The more the hot side gets cooled, the colder the cold side can get. It is a bit more complicated than that but go and run the car with the A/C and see if the fan on the A/C condenser unit turns on with the compressor. If it does not, you have found the problem.

In your situation, the A/C may be able to cool until the hot side gets too hot and is unable to cool properly.
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Old 06-03-2015   #9
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Re: Air Conditioning working intermittently

Hey,

thanks for the reply. I had a look and all fans are spinning when the A/C is working. I went out for a long drive the other day and eventually the A/C stopped blowing cold air. I pulled over and checked the fans and I was able to confirm that the top plate on the compressor (clutch?) was not spinning but all the other fans were. Its a funny thing as the first time you start the vehicle the A/C works great but over time it stops. I would like to do some circuit checking to see what the issue is but it is hard timing it right for when the compressor stops spinning. I have changed the A/C clutch relay thinking that would fix it but so far it is failing intermittently.

Based on how it is failing it seems like it might be a sensor or relay but I am not sure what to check. Any information is appreciated.

Thanks,

P.
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Old 06-04-2015   #10
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Re: Air Conditioning working intermittently

I am having a similar issue and I am suspecting a failing clutch on the A/C compressor. It will start out working ,fans engage, generating cold air and the clutch is running but after things get warm under the hood the clutch will stop engaging and I could see it slip. If I tapped the clutch carefully while running it would start up run for a few cycles and stop again.

The system is charged, high and low side pressures appear to be in the normal range.
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Old 06-04-2015   #11
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Re: Air Conditioning working intermittently

Well if the compressor is not running that is definitely the problem.

The question is why is it not running....

The field coil is basically a big magnet that pulls the clutch against the compressor. The clutch is the part where the belt is actually turning the unit, so when the clutch pushes against the compressor, the compressor turns.

May be a tad bit difficult, but when the problem happens, see if there is voltage being supplied to the field coil. If there is AND the compressor is NOT running you may have a bad coil.

ezone wrote up a short method to test the coil, see it here (need a voltmeter):

2007 LX A/C clutch won't engage

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 06-04-2015   #12
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Re: Air Conditioning working intermittently

Quote:
Originally Posted by prux56 View Post
eventually the A/C stopped blowing cold air. I pulled over and checked the fans and I was able to confirm that the top plate on the compressor (clutch?) was not spinning but all the other fans were. I
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redneck_cdn View Post
I am having a similar issue and I am suspecting a failing clutch on the A/C compressor. It will start out working ,fans engage, generating cold air and the clutch is running but after things get warm under the hood the clutch will stop engaging and I could see it slip. If I tapped the clutch carefully while running it would start up run for a few cycles and stop again.

The system is charged, high and low side pressures appear to be in the normal range.

Sounds like both of you need to see if the electromagnetic coil is still ok (resistance check, and check that it's still getting power), then see how much clearance the clutch plate has.
If the clearance is too great, they will quit engaging when they heat up.
Spec is 0.35-0.65mm (.016"-.025").

Watch the clutch plate move in as it engages, see if it LOOKS like more than a half millimeter of movement.

Gap increases with wear, and by 200K they can have a lot of wear..
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Old 06-11-2015   #13
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Re: Air Conditioning working intermittently

I was having the same issue and the compressor started making noise. The pulley had alot of play and does not turn freely. I knew it was the bearing so I replaced the compressor pulley and clutch. I did not replace the stator since it's still good. I would have just replaced the bearing but I don't have access to a press and the pulley and clutch have deep grooves from wear. I replaced both without removing the compressor from the car saving time and money from having to have the ac evacuated/vacuumed and charged.
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Old 06-11-2015
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