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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone know how to make the air conditioning blow cold while the car is parked? I'm starting to melt waiting to pickup my kids from school in Arizona. The air blows cold as soon as I start driving. This is a 2012 EX-L.
 

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Arizona huh? Check to see if the condenser is clear and not plugged with old bugs or damaged in any way. Are the fans working well and all shrouds in place? If it cools fine with a bit of air movement unlikely your low on Freon. You could have it checked to make sure.

I had to replace my daughters civic condenser as it was damaged and plugged with bugs. The new one gave that 2008 a new lease on life!

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Sorry for the dumb question, but is the engine running? No engine, no compressor, no refrigerant cycle, no cold air.

What about your condenser fan, can you hear it kicking on? Could be that.
 

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With the engine running and AC turned on, open the hood and physically look at the two fans mounted in front of the engine. They should BOTH be running on high speed. Are they both running on high speed?
 

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If one or both (possibly only one, given this is AZ in July) aren't working that would certainly explain the fault... and match your symptom very well.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It turns out my system has been overcharged for years. I found out by trying one of those A/C Pro cans from Walmart. The gauge started in the red and stayed there but now my compressor wouldn't kick on at all. I bled off enough refrigerant to get the gauge needle to the top of the green and now my air is running at idle. I could swear the car has been like this since I bought it. It only took me 70, 000 miles to figure it out. The whole time I thought this is how Honda configured it from the factory.

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Did you connect one of these to your car?



OF
 

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Have you inspected the condenser, and verified proper fan function?

Since pressure readout is going to be temperature based (varies with temperature, going up as ambient temp increases) - did you compensate for temp when you were reading pressure? ... before bleeding...? @ 106 F (as an AZ example), even a properly filled system is going to read well into the red. This is something I have to account for even in SE GA when fiddling with car a/cs... much less AZ!
 

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It turns out my system has been overcharged for years. I found out by trying one of those A/C Pro cans from Walmart. The gauge started in the red and stayed there but now my compressor wouldn't kick on at all. I bled off enough refrigerant to get the gauge needle to the top of the green and now my air is running at idle. I could swear the car has been like this since I bought it. It only took me 70, 000 miles to figure it out. The whole time I thought this is how Honda configured it from the factory.

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I HIGHLY doubt that is the case.

Did you connect one of these to your car?



OF
Connecting one of these is the BEST way to ruin a perfectly good AC system and cost you $1500 to get it fixed. First, you have no idea what the high side is doing. Second, just because the pressure on the low side which is where these cans connect (if the compressor is even running) can be higher than normal and it does NOT mean the system is overcharged. It could mean it's low on refrigerant, bad compressor, or a number of other things.

Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT connect these things to your system. They are junk junk junk.

Since the AC gets cold while moving that tells me you have an air flow over the condenser problem, not a refrigerant problem (at least you didn't until you let refrigerant out.) You never replied whether you checked your fans. Now I'm guessing you have a fan issue AND a refrigerant charge issue.

If you don't know what you're doing I recommend taking it to someone who does before you cost yourself $!500 to replace the system because it's been damaged.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I checked and the compressor and fans are running at idle. The air is just not as cold as it is when the engine is around 2000 rpm. At 2k rpm the air is about 64 degrees. At idle it goes up to 75.

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For sure, it now needs a refrigerant service. Go get it properly serviced. Will cost you $100-150, depending on where you go. Once it has a proper charge then it can be diagnosed further.
 

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You checked the compressor, but did you check the condenser? (that's the radiator thing at the front which sucks the heat out of refrigerant once it's compressed into liquid form - that heat is sucked out with adequate airflow) ... as noted, if anything is preventing adequate airflow over it, that will definitely cause the symptoms you've described. ...even a coating of something splattered off the road could do it....

In your shoes, I would simply add refrigerant to top off what you bled off, but John has a good point. - further, if you take it in to add refrigerant, they might be willing to diagnose the original problem for no additional cost.
 

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Those "A/C PRO" products should be outlawed.

They contain a sealant that does act, in a way, like the sealant used for airing up a punctured tire when you're in a pinch at the roadside. That's where the similarities end. The sealants employed are typically aerobic sealants which catalyze (for lack of a better word) to seal a leak when they contact air at the point of leakage.

Now, you can not ever, in the future, "break open" the lines on your Odyssey's A/C system to replace a major component without running the risk of stopping up the entire system. I detest the "A/C PRO" "Professional Refrgerant" line of products for this reason, and the fact they do not make clear on the container that this is a very real possible negative outcome.

Also, the gauges on those R134a "A/C PRO" top-up cans are of unknown calibration, barely better than a gauge on a truck-stop dial tire gauge, probably worse.

You need to do as John says, namely, get it serviced by a trained professional:

1.) You MUST tell the A/C tech who works on your van that you used an "A/C PRO" product. That way, he does not contaminate his R134a recovery tanks. If you don't, he will be able to tell, and you will be liable for paying for the replacement of his expensive servicing equipment.
2.) Chances are, if the A/C tech has to use an alternate recovery vessel to accommodate the garbage in that 20-ounce can of "A/C PRO" junk, the servicing prices to you will be higher. I don't believe that current technology enables a recovery station to distill out this mix to separate pure refrigerant from sealants from the recovered refrigerant. He may have to pay for higher disposal fees (versus recycling fees).
3.) If you find a tech willing to do this work, following recovery of the now-contaminated refrigerant, they will have to pull a vacuum, then charge with the appropriate mass of refrigerant. THAT is what you should have done in the first place.
4.) Before doing this, he most likely will do the usual checks on fan(s) operation, clutch, and possibly other troubleshooting if warranted.

OF
 

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Unless I missed it, there's no Sticky Thread on A/C. One should be created. Most importantly, the following info should be at the very top of the thread:

"Many refrigerant charge cans (A/C PRO and similar products) contain a sealant that acts, in a way, like the sealant used for airing up a punctured tire when you're in a pinch at the roadside. That's where the similarities end. The sealants are typically aerobic sealants which catalyze (for lack of a better word) to seal a leak when they contact air at the point of leakage. Once the sealant is introduced into the A/C system, in the future you cannot "break open" the lines on your A/C system to replace a component without running the risk of clogging up the entire system."

"The gauges on refrigerant charge cans (A/C PRO and similar products) are of unknown calibration. At best, they're barely better than the gauge on a truck-stop tire gauge... and probably worse."

On numerous occasions... throughout many, many posts... I seen Odyfamily rage about refrigerant charge cans. I always understood that the gauges themselves, and the fact that the cans don't supply high-side readings, were two bona fide reasons to not use these products. However, now that Odyfamily has shared info on how the sealants work and the consequences of sealant being in the system, I have a new appreciation for how destructive refrigerant recharge cans can be. Thus, the desire to see a Sticky Thread created for A/C.
 

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...., I would simply add refrigerant to top off what you bled off...
So, please tell how exactly you would do this? How much would you put back in and how would you know?
 

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So, please tell how exactly you would do this? How much would you put back in and how would you know?
1) Read the instructions.

2) Follow the instructions.

3) To determine how much you need to add, you must know both the pressure, and the temperature. With a handy chart, one can determine what the pressure should be (for a given temp), and you can add refrigerant until you get it into the right ballpark - while a lot of people want to overcomplicate it, it's really a rather simple system, and quite forgiving - of anything other than stupid.

I am NOT a professional automotive technician, but I've serviced my personal vehicles' a/c half a dozen times over the years. I've replaced condensers, compressors, driers, and hoses. On one car I cobbled together an a/c system from several donor vehicles (because it was an option on 4th gen Civics, and NOT an option on the Si (unless you had a rex Si)), and installed it on a vehicle not originally equipped with a/c. And yes, at the end of every job, the a/c worked great. In fact, I've still got a car whose a/c I successfully repaired 8+ yrs ago (it had a leaking high pressure hose) and it's still working great. I managed all that by not being stupid, and by following the instructions (where applicable).

meh. It's not rocket science.
 

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1) Read the instructions.

2) Follow the instructions.

3) To determine how much you need to add, you must know both the pressure, and the temperature. With a handy chart, one can determine what the pressure should be (for a given temp), and you can add refrigerant until you get it into the right ballpark - while a lot of people want to overcomplicate it, it's really a rather simple system, and quite forgiving - of anything other than stupid.

I am NOT a professional automotive technician, but I've serviced my personal vehicles' a/c half a dozen times over the years. I've replaced condensers, compressors, driers, and hoses. On one car I cobbled together an a/c system from several donor vehicles (because it was an option on 4th gen Civics, and NOT an option on the Si (unless you had a rex Si)), and installed it on a vehicle not originally equipped with a/c. And yes, at the end of every job, the a/c worked great. In fact, I've still got a car whose a/c I successfully repaired 8+ yrs ago (it had a leaking high pressure hose) and it's still working great. I managed all that by not being stupid, and by following the instructions (where applicable).

meh. It's not rocket science.
No, you're just lucky. Any other issues in the system (bad expansion valve or orifice tube, weak compressor, etc.,) and you can easily have an overcharged system because the pressures will not be correct with the correct amount of refrigerant. It's one thing to put in a few ounces into a system you know is low and see if it improves cooling. If it does, then you know that a proper charge may likely fix it. If there are other problems in the system you are gambling with the compressor.

I've done AC changeovers (putting AC in cars that didn't previously have it,) as well. But I was smart enough to have them properly serviced back in the day when I didn't do it myself.

It's not rocket science, but it is risky at best.
 
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