2008 Civic LX (2 doors) - A/C works intermitently - Honda Civic Forum



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Old 04-10-2018   #1  
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Question 2008 Civic LX (2 doors) - A/C works intermitently

Hello Civic Forums!

I got an used 2008 Honda Civic LX (2 doors), however, the A/C started working intermittently. When it works, everything seems alright (hot, cold, neutral, max-ac, etc), however, when it doesn't, these are the symptoms:
  • A/C clutch not kicking in, even with fan **** at max and max-ac button on.
  • No airflow at all, not even with a/c button off. Looks like blower motor is not working neither.
  • When I turn max-ac off, I can hear a whining noise coming from the vents (may be normal?).
  • On freeways, I can feel outside coming from the vents. But that may just be natural air, not the one from the blower motor.
  • On a dark setting, I can see that the back-light of some of the buttons on the A/C panel are not working.
At first I thought the issue was a bad relay, so I replaced it. Then, I thought the problem was a bad blower motor, but the fact that the clutch doesn't kick in even with the max-ac button on tells me that the problems lies somewhere else (if blower motor was the issue it shouldn't affect the clutch am I right?). So, at this point, I'm thinking the issue maybe just a bad A/C panel with bad sensors/wiring. But I'm not an expert.

My last option may be to take it for diagnosis, but it is around $80 for just the check. Ouch!

Best regards.
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Old 04-10-2018   #2  
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Re: 2008 Civic LX (2 doors) - A/C works intermitently

Quote:
No airflow at all, not even with a/c button off. Looks like blower motor is not working neither.

Then, I thought the problem was a bad blower motor, but the fact that the clutch doesn't kick in even with the max-ac button on tells me that the problems lies somewhere else (if blower motor was the issue it shouldn't affect the clutch am I right?).
Wrong!!! If the blower motor quits working, the AC compressor is disabled by the HVAC control panel (contains the HVAC control unit). You MUST have a working blower motor FIRST.


Quote:
On a dark setting, I can see that the back-light of some of the buttons on the A/C panel are not working.
HVAC control panel has several light bulbs that can be replaced.



Then.....If the blower fan inside the car IS working -----but the compressor clutch quits engaging,
please check and report the status of the two radiator fans at that time (clues for me)
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Old 04-10-2018   #3  
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Re: 2008 Civic LX (2 doors) - A/C works intermitently

Alright @ezone, thank you. The radiator is also off when the ac clutch and blower motor are off. I'll try to update you on the status of the radiator when the blower works.

Last edited by danielrs; 04-10-2018 at 08:24 PM.
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Re: 2008 Civic LX (2 doors) - A/C works intermitently

Update
Progress! Tonight the AC wasn't working as described in the first post. I proceed to put the AC on, Mac-AC button on, fan **** all the way up and nothing... but then, I decided to smack the blower motor and voila! The vents started blowing (but not cold air); after I moved the fan ****, the clutch engaged and cold air started blowing out. Is it safe to say that the blower motor is the culprit here? (after all the smack seemed to do the trick).

Best regards.
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Old 04-10-2018   #5  
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Re: 2008 Civic LX (2 doors) - A/C works intermitently

You could likely narrow it further by selective tapping, but yeah.
If you kicked the fan and that made it start running, that's a bad fan motor.
Replace fan motor.
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Re: 2008 Civic LX (2 doors) - A/C works intermitently

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You could likely narrow it further by selective tapping, but yeah.
If you kicked the fan and that made it start running, that's a bad fan motor.
Replace fan motor.
By fan motor you mean blower motor? The one I kicked is the blower motor, below the passenger dashboard; down there I can see the motor resistor too.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-10-2018   #7  
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Re: 2008 Civic LX (2 doors) - A/C works intermitently

Quote:
By fan motor you mean blower motor?
Yes. It's a squirrel cage fan.


May as well check your cabin filter in there too. Change it if it's dirty.
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Old 04-15-2018   #8  
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Re: 2008 Civic LX (2 doors) - A/C works intermitently

I am having issues with blower motor and resistor as well. If your blower motor doesn’t start properly when the car starts cold air will not kick on. If you reach down there and smack it and then motor kicks on then you need to replace the blower motor. If the motor is working fine then the resistor is probably going out. Both of these are cheap and easy to fix. Dealerships will recommend when replacing the resistor to replace the wire harness as well. When the resistor starts going bad the air will be cold and depending on if it’s working right.
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Old 04-17-2018   #9  
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Re: 2008 Civic LX (2 doors) - A/C works intermitently

I had the same issue in my wife's Pilot earlier this year, we replaced the blower motor with a used one from a salvage yard for $50, and it works perfectly again. It's also one of the easiest repairs I've ever done. Here's a great instructional:
.
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Old 04-23-2018   #10  
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Re: 2008 Civic LX (2 doors) - A/C works intermitently

I was going to start a topic but saw this.

I'd like to enlist the help of you folks on a similar problem.

I have a 2008 Honda Civic, and I live in Florida. I've had both the relay and the condenser fan replaced. The clutch is still not engaging.

And when I say it's not engaging, I mean-- in the morning, or at night, it works seemingly fine. It's only in the middle of the day, or when it's hot, that the AC will pitter out after a little bit.

Whenever it's working, it works wonderfully. But after about 15 or 20 minutes on the road during the day, it will give out. Clutch stops engaging and my car becomes a furnace.

I am in desperate need of help. Please, please give me advice. Thanks guys.
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Old 04-23-2018   #11  
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Re: 2008 Civic LX (2 doors) - A/C works intermitently

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Whenever it's working, it works wonderfully. But after about 15 or 20 minutes on the road during the day, it will give out. Clutch stops engaging and my car becomes a furnace.

I am in desperate need of help. Please, please give me advice. Thanks guys.
Check for too much air gap
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Re: 2008 Civic LX (2 doors) - A/C works intermitently

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezone View Post
Check for too much air gap
Hey EZone.

Thank you so much for your response.

When you mention air gap, are you talking about the physical space that the clutch depresses to fit and begin spinning?
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Old 04-23-2018   #13  
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Re: 2008 Civic LX (2 doors) - A/C works intermitently

The gap between the outer plate (clutch) and the belt driven pulley. Probably worn and has become too large. Heat reduces the magnetic field strength, so as it gets hotter the electromagnet can't pull the plate into the pulley.


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Old 04-23-2018   #14  
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Re: 2008 Civic LX (2 doors) - A/C works intermitently

Spec 0.35 - 0.65 mm
Your gap is probably over 1mm

Sometimes the plate can be removed and shim removed to decrease the gap
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Re: 2008 Civic LX (2 doors) - A/C works intermitently

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Spec 0.35 - 0.65 mm
Your gap is probably over 1mm

Sometimes the plate can be removed and shim removed to decrease the gap

Okay, cool. If hypothetically this is the issue, what am I looking at in terms of cost? If I can't just be shimmed down, can I replace the clutch assembly itself? Hopefully not the entire compressor?
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Old 04-23-2018   #16  
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Re: 2008 Civic LX (2 doors) - A/C works intermitently

Search around here, I posted some pics of a complete clutch/pulley/coil replacement in a 06-11 style car. Replacement of the whole set is not exactly cheap.


Just pulling the outer plate off and removing a shim is a cake walk DIY in the driveway IMO.....if it works it's FREE to DIY.
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