A/C once in a while cuts out
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Thread: A/C once in a while cuts out

  1. #1
    Registered User james1787's Avatar
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    A/C once in a while cuts out

    I have noticed this recently within the last month or so on our 2002 Ody. Every now and then when running the A/C it will cut out. The fan continues to maintain it's speed.. but no cold air.. almost as though it's just blowing in "vent" mode with a/c shut off. If I turn the air off / back on it usually will come back.. or if I just leave it parked/ shut off a while. When the air works, it is ice cold.. far colder than our 2010 Ody. Just an annoyance for now.. but I would like to try to figure out what is going on. I usually leave the air in Auto mode. Maybe it was just cycling off?
    2010 Blue Honda Odyssey Braunability Entervan (lowered floor side entry wheelchair van)
    2002 Gold Honda Odyssey, the "hot spare" (wheelchair platform lift in back)

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  3. #2
    Registered User John Clark's Avatar
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    This could be caused by one of several different things. The system could be low on refrigerant and either the evaporator could be icing up and shutting off or the pressure could be dropping on the low side enough to trigger the low pressure cutoff switch, the clutch could be kicking off due to a faulty clutch, or a faulty relay. Also, this generation of Ody's had issues with the climate control panels turning off. When this happens do you still have the light on in the AC button?
    2008 Odyssey Touring-Silver
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  4. #3
    Registered User james1787's Avatar
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    Hi John,
    Thanks I'll take a closer look at the AC button light when it is working and when it is displaying symptoms. I'll report back when I have more info.

    I didn't realize it could be a refrigerant problem. I know on some older vehicles I've had in the past.. when the refrigerant went low, it just stopped working. I have a friend with the proper tools to check refrigerant levels & pressures in cars. When I can steal a few moments of his time I'll see if he can check it.
    2010 Blue Honda Odyssey Braunability Entervan (lowered floor side entry wheelchair van)
    2002 Gold Honda Odyssey, the "hot spare" (wheelchair platform lift in back)

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  6. #4
    Registered User John Clark's Avatar
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    My only point is that there are two sides to every AC question. You have to determine whether there is a problem in the refrigerant level / compressor output side or if it's on the electrical side. If the refrigerant level is fine, and pressures are good when it's running then it has to be an electrical issue. Once we determine the direction to go then we can drill down to the actual problem.
    2008 Odyssey Touring-Silver
    2011 VW Jetta SE-Black
    2002 GMC Sierra SLT LB Z71-Red
    1998 Nissan 200SX SE-Blue

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    Registered User james1787's Avatar
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    Hey.. coming back around to this thread as it's springtime and it will be AC season soon.

    So today it was warm enough to put the AC on. I turned it on when I left the office for home and it ran ice cold for 5-10 mins. The AC then stopped blowing cold air and then blew out warm/room temp air. John, I looked at the control panel and it indicated the AC was on while this was happening.
    2010 Blue Honda Odyssey Braunability Entervan (lowered floor side entry wheelchair van)
    2002 Gold Honda Odyssey, the "hot spare" (wheelchair platform lift in back)

  8. #6
    Registered User james1787's Avatar
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    From some searching, others have experienced these same symptoms in the Honda's. Of course it could be many things but It seems one place to start focusing is the clutch coil.
    2010 Blue Honda Odyssey Braunability Entervan (lowered floor side entry wheelchair van)
    2002 Gold Honda Odyssey, the "hot spare" (wheelchair platform lift in back)

  9. #7
    Registered User John Clark's Avatar
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    I'd look at the clutch coil relay first. It's a very common failure item and easy & cheap to replace.
    2008 Odyssey Touring-Silver
    2011 VW Jetta SE-Black
    2002 GMC Sierra SLT LB Z71-Red
    1998 Nissan 200SX SE-Blue

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    Traditionally, symptoms as described (A/C works great when it works, but drops out, particularly when warm; recovers if you let it cool down) are due to excessive clutch gap on the a/c compressor. To be absolutely certain, if you can catch it acting up, then open the hood with the engine running, and _CAREFULLY_, with a pole of some sort, tap the front of the a/c compressor clutch (carefully so as to avoid getting anything tangled up in the rotating belts). If it immediately engages with a good solid tap (don't need any herculean effort), you've found the problem. If it doesn't, you've eliminated it as a suspect. The typical solution for excessive clutch gap is to remove shim washers, or possibly replace with thinner ones.

    If it cools great when it's working, you can eliminate refrigerant charge level as the likely culprit to your problem.
    Last edited by webbch; 04-19-2017 at 10:39 PM.

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    Ac relay problem video
    2004 ody
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Eelh3sKRubc
    Last edited by pappy; 04-20-2017 at 12:54 AM.
    2005 EXL

  12. #10
    Registered User james1787's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webbch View Post
    Traditionally, symptoms as described (A/C works great when it works, but drops out, particularly when warm; recovers if you let it cool down) are due to excessive clutch gap on the a/c compressor. To be absolutely certain, if you can catch it acting up, then open the hood with the engine running, and _CAREFULLY_, with a pole of some sort, tap the front of the a/c compressor clutch (carefully so as to avoid getting anything tangled up in the rotating belts). If it immediately engages with a good solid tap (don't need any herculean effort), you've found the problem. If it doesn't, you've eliminated it as a suspect. The typical solution for excessive clutch gap is to remove shim washers, or possibly replace with thinner ones.

    If it cools great when it's working, you can eliminate refrigerant charge level as the likely culprit to your problem.
    Thank you for the replies!

    The AC is colder than our newer Ody when it's working.

    Watching it after a cold start.. when the AC is working the clutch is spinning as it should and when the AC stops working the clutch stops.

    I did try replacing the clutch coil relay yesterday as John suggested with a new one from the dealer but the symptoms were the same.

    I will definitely try out carefully tapping on the clutch when it stops. I do recall coming across the shims as a possibility in my web searching. It's fairly consistent now that it will stop after 5-10 mins. It's definitely a tight squeeze in there.. any good suggested tapping implements? Breaker bar? Broom handle?
    2010 Blue Honda Odyssey Braunability Entervan (lowered floor side entry wheelchair van)
    2002 Gold Honda Odyssey, the "hot spare" (wheelchair platform lift in back)

  13. #11
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    I once had the HIGH pressure side too high during the hotter part in the summer and the A/C shut itself off (for safety) and ran again after it's pressure is lowered. The LOW pressure side measured WNL.

    Not sure that's the problem you have, but that could be a problem to look into.

  14. #12
    Registered User james1787's Avatar
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    Hey folks,
    Ok... something peculiar I noticed today. After I switched the relays out and then back yesterday.. today I noticed that the AC didn't work at all.. not even the 5 or 10 mins it would normally work. Great. What did I just make worse?

    I finally had time after work and another meeting I had to poke around and take a look. I checked the fuses. Fuses were fine. I was beginning to think that maybe the relay they gave me was wrong and it caused something else to break.

    Anyways, at some point I had the car running and I was poking around underneath the hood and I noticed a plug nearby where the fuse block is looked loose. I jiggled the plug a little and I heard/saw the AC clutch kick in for a second. Hmm.

    I shut the van off and noticed the plug was barely / not really plugged in. I plugged it in and I think I got it seated correctly (I heard the hold thingies (technical term) click). I cranked the AC all the way down and it was blowing out ice cold air and the compressor stayed running. I took it out for a 10-15 min drive and took a look.. still blowing ice cold and still running.

    Granted.. it's 55 degrees outside so if I turned the desired temp up it may have shut off.. so I'll have to do more testing. I don't know / not quite convinced my problem may be solved yet. I guess what is somewhat encouraging was that a few days ago... set at the lowest temp setting after 5-10 mins the clutch stopped / ac stopped. Tonight with the lowest temp setting it stayed on at least 15 mins and was still going when I shut the car off to come inside. So... we'll see.

    Anyways.. here is a pic of the plug I am talking about that was loose. What does it do / connect to?

    2010 Blue Honda Odyssey Braunability Entervan (lowered floor side entry wheelchair van)
    2002 Gold Honda Odyssey, the "hot spare" (wheelchair platform lift in back)

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