2009 Odyssey EXL with Blown AC Relay - repeating issue with this part??
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Thread: 2009 Odyssey EXL with Blown AC Relay - repeating issue with this part??

  1. #1
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    2009 Odyssey EXL with Blown AC Relay - repeating issue with this part??

    Hi,

    I'm a "proud" 2009 Odyssey EXL owner, or at least I was until this 1.5 year old car stranded my family in the middle of no-where WV late last night. We had no way to get home, given that I have infant twins and too many to fit into the tow truck, and the location left us with no hotel or rental car options at 8pm on a Sunday night (believe me I tried). I had to run across highway entrance/exit ramps, under the highway overpass and down a busy street with no shoulder...with 2 infants and a 4 year old. We had to wait in an all night truck stop for 6 hours until family from another state rescued us. I bought this car specifically for its reliability because of my expanding family and my desire not to be stranded in backwater towns at 2am Sunday in a truck stop. I had the vehicle serviced last week at the dealer to have it checked out before this 400 mile trip to make sure it would be safe and reliable to drive. And now this.

    Anyhow...I had the truck towed 140 miles to our home in OH and the dealer called me to tell me that a cell in the battery was dead and that it died from a failed-open AC Relay switch. But that it isn't covered under warranty because I have 40k miles on the car. I drive 40 miles to work each way and only had the car one summer, so I believe that this should be covered, even if I am technically out of warranty.

    Any advice? Is this a common failure mode? I did see a couple of other posts, one of which that said "service manager said 'they were having trouble with the AC relays'" for a 2008. Is that the case? Does anyone have documentation? My dealer is demanding that I pay $170 for the repair, plus the over-100 miles of towing. I am not a happy camper.

    Thank you for any advice on either this specific mode of failure or on how to successfully appeal to Honda regionally or corporately to have them cover this cost, and maybe my $140 tow fee. (Luckily we had AAA, so only had to pay for the 40 miles beyond the 100 it covers for free.)

    Sincerely,
    A Bummed Honda Loyalist



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  3. #2
    cnn
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    I still don't understand your story.

    - Stalling has nothing to do with AC Relay.

    - What were the symptoms: car stalled suddenly?
    Why the AC Realy issue came up?

    BTW, the AC relay itself is cheap, about $10-20.
    The dealer probably referred to the AC Clutch Magnetic Switch.
    cnn: 2007 Odyssey LX

  4. #3
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    I'm sorry, I probably tried to skip too much detail. I don't have a repair bill in front of me, just the "dumbed down for a female" version of what is broken on your pretty-little-car from the service guy on the phone.

    Sequence of mechanical issues:

    1) Driving home from NC to OH and the weather starts getting warm (for a change!) and we notice that the AC does not seem to be cooling much. Drive during the afternoon with the windows open and plan on how to get to the dealer the next day to have him take a look at it.

    2) Stop for dinner. Come out and start the car. It starts fine, but within 2 minutes it makes a 5-sec high pitched squeal. It sounded to me like a belt coming off its track. I go to pop the front hood and then the sound repeats a minute later. Then it goes on and off 2-3 times before I manage to turn the car off.

    3) During that minute or so when the noise started happening repeatedly, there is a smell and a small amount of smoke that comes from beneath the hood.

    So I turned the car off. The service guy told me that "one cell" of the battery is dead ("I have never seen one so dead") but not to worry because a battery is a warranty part for 3 years, unlimited miles. But they are checking the electrical system to see if there was a reason the battery died. I get a call a half hour later saying that the "AC relay switch failed open". Those were his exact words, so I'm not sure exactly what part he is referring to and, of course, cannot get him on the phone right now. He said that the relay switch is only warrantied for up to 36,000 miles and I'm past that.

    He says that the tech has been working on figuring out the problem for the past 2 hours, so maybe the high cost is the time and not the part. Although me telling them that this started with the AC not working should have been a bit of a clue, no?

    Does that help?
    Msred
    Last edited by Msred; 04-11-2011 at 04:26 PM.

  5. #4
    cnn
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    Ah ha,

    Believe it or not, I had the exact same 2 issues while travelling to South Carolina, N Carolina last year!

    1. My battery died at 37-month-old and 37K miles interval, so was out of warranty.
    No big deal, got a brand new battery from Autozone and all is good.
    Stay away from Honda battery.
    The Autozone battery has warranty too and Autozone has a large network in the US. I paid $90 for the Autozone battery.

    2. The proper word is "AC Clutch Switch", basically a switch the activates the AC compressor.

    38900-RGM-A01...CLUTCH SET....$130 online
    38924-RGL-A01...STATOR SET....$58 online


    I posted my experience here. Basically paid $300 (total was $600 for the whole thing, but goodwill paid 50% of the cost, so it is worth calling Honda HQ and complain):
    Air has stopped blowing cold

    PS: Some people change these 2 parts with AC compressor still attached to the van (this way one does not have to evacuate R134a and recharge it) but it is very difficult to do it that way.
    cnn: 2007 Odyssey LX

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    Quote Originally Posted by Msred View Post
    Hi,

    I'm a "proud" 2009 Odyssey EXL owner, or at least I was until this 1.5 year old car stranded my family in the middle of no-where WV late last night. We had no way to get home, given that I have infant twins and too many to fit into the tow truck, and the location left us with no hotel or rental car options at 8pm on a Sunday night (believe me I tried). I had to run across highway entrance/exit ramps, under the highway overpass and down a busy street with no shoulder...with 2 infants and a 4 year old. We had to wait in an all night truck stop for 6 hours until family from another state rescued us. I bought this car specifically for its reliability because of my expanding family and my desire not to be stranded in backwater towns at 2am Sunday in a truck stop. I had the vehicle serviced last week at the dealer to have it checked out before this 400 mile trip to make sure it would be safe and reliable to drive. And now this.

    Anyhow...I had the truck towed 140 miles to our home in OH and the dealer called me to tell me that a cell in the battery was dead and that it died from a failed-open AC Relay switch. But that it isn't covered under warranty because I have 40k miles on the car. I drive 40 miles to work each way and only had the car one summer, so I believe that this should be covered, even if I am technically out of warranty.

    Any advice? Is this a common failure mode? I did see a couple of other posts, one of which that said "service manager said 'they were having trouble with the AC relays'" for a 2008. Is that the case? Does anyone have documentation? My dealer is demanding that I pay $170 for the repair, plus the over-100 miles of towing. I am not a happy camper.

    Thank you for any advice on either this specific mode of failure or on how to successfully appeal to Honda regionally or corporately to have them cover this cost, and maybe my $140 tow fee. (Luckily we had AAA, so only had to pay for the 40 miles beyond the 100 it covers for free.)

    Sincerely,
    A Bummed Honda Loyalist


    "Msred"

    I had almost similar problems with my 09 Ody Exl. But luckily battery gone dead at my home. Then took it to Honda dealer after jump starting. They also found AC relay was engaged always. They replaced and AC relay and broke my Security system. When I took it again to complaint that, they said it was nothing to do with battery or AC problem. So I had to pay again for hood latch replacement.

    It happened during winter, so I didn't care to check did AC blew cool air or not. Now Apr11 on hot day I found AC didn't blew cool air. But fans or on and working. I didn't have any problem with heat.

    Can I know what did you do to fix your AC? PS anybody else can also suggest ?

    Thanks...
    Last edited by ody09user; 04-27-2011 at 04:33 PM. Reason: add more info...

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Msred View Post
    Hi,

    I'm a "proud" 2009 Odyssey EXL owner, or at least I was until this 1.5 year old car stranded my family in the middle of no-where WV late last night. We had no way to get home, given that I have infant twins and too many to fit into the tow truck, and the location left us with no hotel or rental car options at 8pm on a Sunday night (believe me I tried). I had to run across highway entrance/exit ramps, under the highway overpass and down a busy street with no shoulder...with 2 infants and a 4 year old. We had to wait in an all night truck stop for 6 hours until family from another state rescued us. I bought this car specifically for its reliability because of my expanding family and my desire not to be stranded in backwater towns at 2am Sunday in a truck stop. I had the vehicle serviced last week at the dealer to have it checked out before this 400 mile trip to make sure it would be safe and reliable to drive. And now this.

    Anyhow...I had the truck towed 140 miles to our home in OH and the dealer called me to tell me that a cell in the battery was dead and that it died from a failed-open AC Relay switch. But that it isn't covered under warranty because I have 40k miles on the car. I drive 40 miles to work each way and only had the car one summer, so I believe that this should be covered, even if I am technically out of warranty.

    Any advice? Is this a common failure mode? I did see a couple of other posts, one of which that said "service manager said 'they were having trouble with the AC relays'" for a 2008. Is that the case? Does anyone have documentation? My dealer is demanding that I pay $170 for the repair, plus the over-100 miles of towing. I am not a happy camper.

    Thank you for any advice on either this specific mode of failure or on how to successfully appeal to Honda regionally or corporately to have them cover this cost, and maybe my $140 tow fee. (Luckily we had AAA, so only had to pay for the 40 miles beyond the 100 it covers for free.)

    Sincerely,
    A Bummed Honda Loyalist


    First of all, let me say that I feel for you and what happened. I have a wife and three kids, and I surely wouldn't want the same thing to happen to them.

    Don't beat yourself up over what happened. It literally could have happened to anybody. Statistically, Odysseys are statistically very reliable compared to the competition, even with all of the complaining that goes on here sometimes. Warranties, AAA, and car insurance are only good after the fact, and don't really prevent anything. You did your due diligence, and the car let you down. The important thing is now you and your family are safe.

    As far as the repair, I think you have a very strong case to convince Honda to cover the entire repair and tow. Call the customer relations 800 number in the back of the owner's manual and tell the story exactly as you did here. Honda has been known to cover repairs under "goodwill" for vehicles much further out of warranty than you are.

    Don't give up on the Odyssey, there are many many people here and not on here that have years of trouble free service.

    I truly hope that's the last time you have trouble, especially out in the middle of no where like that.

    One other thing, any dealer can service your Odyssey dealing with warranty issues. It doesn't have to be the one you bought it from. If you feel like they are jerking you around, have it towed to a different one. I would also push for a loaner or rental from the dealer until yours is repaired. Use the fact that you bought the car new from them, and threaten them with the loss of your, your family's, your friend's, your neighbor's, and anyone that will listen to you('s) future business. Also mention in passing when you'll have the TV crews at their doorstep asking them to comment on your story, and how you'll have to escort them through the line of protesters out front that you brought with you that day. Don't be afraid to go "ape-****" on them.


    Good luck!

  8. #7
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    Just realized that you posted this over two weeks ago.

    I hope you've had this issue solved by now!

  9. #8
    Registered User psu ody fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noanswer View Post
    As far as the repair, I think you have a very strong case to convince Honda to cover the entire repair and tow. Call the customer relations 800 number in the back of the owner's manual and tell the story exactly as you did here. Honda has been known to cover repairs under "goodwill" for vehicles much further out of warranty than you are.
    This I agree with.

    Quote Originally Posted by noanswer View Post
    Also mention in passing when you'll have the TV crews at their doorstep asking them to comment on your story, and how you'll have to escort them through the line of protesters out front that you brought with you that day. Don't be afraid to go "ape-****" on them.
    Yes, call the news and bitch and complain because they asked you to pay for a repair on a vehicle that is out of warranty. Now that is just ridiculous.
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    Quote Originally Posted by psu ody fan View Post
    Yes, call the news and bitch and complain because they asked you to pay for a repair on a vehicle that is out of warranty. Now that is just ridiculous.

    I was actually being tongue-in-cheek with that last statement and obviously didn't make that clear.

    I do think that she has a strong case to get this covered by Honda, especially given the extenuating circumstances, and the fact that the service department gave her a thumbs up before she left.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by noanswer View Post
    I was actually being tongue-in-cheek with that last statement and obviously didn't make that clear.

    I do think that she has a strong case to get this covered by Honda, especially given the extenuating circumstances, and the fact that the service department gave her a thumbs up before she left.
    Evidently my sarcasm meter needs calibrated....
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  12. #11
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    Unlike the op I lost my battery overnight at home. Charged it up with my battery charger and drove to dealer. Thought it was a bad battery but turned out to be ac relay switch. Hope the battery keeps on trucking cause I know batteries don't like being drained too many times. I'm thinking of just replacing it with a high end battery since we use the electronics on the van like crazy. So many things plugged in with my four kids. We beat on this van!
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    Thumbs up

    The Sears DieHard Platinum would be a great battery for your service.
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    Ok, my van has not been very reliable and I'm fixing to (southern for about to) go on a road trip. Where is the relay located? I may just bring one with me. too dang hot to not have AC.

    oh and I replaced the ac clutch w/o disconnecting the compressor, search on it if you need to replace stator and clutch.
    '06 EX-L Red - Mods - Magnum drilled rotors & ceramic pads, stainless lines, Monroe shocks, auto lights, 18" MDX Sport rims/Kuhmo tires. Honda hitch. mud guards. Weather Tech mats. Rad. Screen mod. & trans cooler.
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  15. #14
    cnn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirkdaddy View Post
    ...Where is the relay located? I may just bring one with me; too dang hot to not have AC.
    Dirkdaddy,

    Stand in front of engine and look at passenger side, there is a plastic fuse box. Open it and you will see whole bunch of relays and diagrams.

    There are 3 "black-color" relays.

    I referenced the PN in your post on Ac Clutch replacement, post #45:

    05 Compressor clutch troubleshooting

    PN is PN 39794-SDA-A03.....about $4.50 at Honda dealer..
    I keep a spare AC relay in my glovebox for long trip.

    Worst case scenario on long trip w/o spare AC relay, just jump the 2 large terminals to activate the AC clutch but remove the jumper wire once you stop somewhere. But do this only if you are very desperate.
    cnn: 2007 Odyssey LX

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    We had a sudden lack of cooling on our '06 and I tried an old trick, substituting one of the cooling fan relays for the compressor clutch relay and got immediate cooling. On the road, one could make such a swap for some cool air until a dealer could be reached. Of course, carrying an extra relay would be a good idea. Interestingly, the original relay was made in the U.S.A and the replacement, from a Honda dealer, was madein Vietnam. I guess we can't make stuff anymore. Too bad!
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