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Discussion Starter #1
I don't drive it daily so I've only noticed it a couple times but sometimes our 2019 EXL's electric radiator cooling fans (while A/C is switched "on", which is most of the time) seem to short-cycle, i.e. they run, shut off for like 5 seconds and then run some more, like 10-15 seconds or so, the shut off again for 5 seconds, and so forth. Is this normal, or has anyone else noticed this? I am not an instrumentation and controls electronics engineer, but I am aware that short cycling is not good for the components involved. This is why, for example, your home furnace will let it go to a degree or so below your thermostat setting before turning on and then heat it to one degree above before shutting off. If this band is made too narrow then the equipment is turning on and off too often, which is what I mean by "short-cycling".

We bought our 2019 Ody EXL in June 2018 and it's at 35k miles now, which is why I'd like to determine whether to take it to the dealer or not - something I am loathe to do due to the time wastage and dealer service dept games. So far we have only had to take it in for the two applicable recalls.

Anybody else notice this?
 

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When you put it on max cooling, what is the temperature difference going across the evaporator coil?

Measure the supply air temp and the outdoor or cab temp (wherever you have it set to take from)

Does the supply temp go from cold to warm to cold as it runs AC?


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GrommitFan

If your van has not had the AC refrigerant removed, heat soak vacuumed, and refilled with the correct weighted volume as the TSB specified........you’ll hear the fans short cycle A LOt. My 2019 EX-L had the same problem until this procedure was completed. Have had no more cooling issues or strange cycling behaviors.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
GrommitFan

If your van has not had the AC refrigerant removed, heat soak vacuumed, and refilled with the correct weighted volume as the TSB specified........you’ll hear the fans short cycle A LOt. My 2019 EX-L had the same problem until this procedure was completed. Have had no more cooling issues or strange cycling behaviors.
Can you tell me more about this? Do you have a TSB number? (I checked the 2019 Ody TSB thread and didn't see anything that sounded like this) Did you have this done under warranty? So far two dealers are playing "dumb" on this.

No, I've not let anyone else touch this van except for the two recalls, so that's probably it. I have noticed that the A/C has been marginal since Day One. Thanks.

Edit: Was it Honda Tech Line Summary Article ATS180702 July 2018? That was all I could find and have forwarded it to my dealer service manager.
ATS180702 July 2018
 

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Discussion Starter #5
In absence of any reply I have an appointment at the local dealer tomorrow to troubleshoot this. I left a copy of the Tech Line Summary article I linked above to help this along. But the short cycling is even worse than I said at first. Dropping it off tonight the Ody's fans were ON for 5 secs, off for 3 secs, then on for 5, and so forth. I know that can't be right.
 

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Hi

Yes. It’s been since August ‘18 on the ‘19 EX-L since thus was done. The article you refer to was performed and there never was ANY more trouble from the HVAC .....even the cycling of fans in front stopped and began running as you would expect for the various heat loads and external temps.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
UPDATE: Dealer had it for two days, said nothing wrong with A/C and did not observe any short cycle when A/C on, said it was normal otherwise. :-/ When I picked it up I could not for the life of me get it to short cycle at all, A/C on OR off. This is one reason why I hate the dealer and basically anyone else other than myself touching my cars. Mileage is at 34,800, so it needs to recur quickly or we will be on our own cost-wise.
 

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We have a 2019 Odyssey Elite which is 1 year old with 10,000 miles. We have only taken one week long trip, Phoenix AZ to San Jose CA.

The A/C has 'worked' but seemed anemic. We also have a 2004 (since new) with just under 300,000 miles and its A/C cooled much quicker. During our week long driving trip, two days there two days back, the A/C fan seemed to be blowing most of the time, meaning we always heard the fan (and the system was set to automatic).

Several posts in this forum from folks with similar concern were resolved by having the dealer drain and refill the system back to specs.Topping off the system is not the same thing. I trust my service adviser and mechanic at the dealer, been using them for some 15 years, and just made the decision to have the system drained and refilled even if i had to pay for it (naturally it is under factory warranty plus I also have Honda Care).

Low and behold the adviser said the system was about 1/2 pound low and the A/C has worked much more as expected. The design in the new Odyssey certainly is different as it does not have the blower in the rear, but being in Phoenix we must have cooling that works.

My two cents, take it to your dealer and have it drained and refilled. Pay the cost if they charge you, but then you will know it was correctly charged at the factory.

As a side note. Based on some other comments I may also have this done every 3-4 years just to insure the system runs at peek performance. I suspect the A/C unit (or the new design removing the rear unit) is not as effective as the old car.
 

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UPDATE: Dealer had it for two days, said nothing wrong with A/C and did not observe any short cycle when A/C on, said it was normal otherwise. :-/ When I picked it up I could not for the life of me get it to short cycle at all, A/C on OR off. This is one reason why I hate the dealer and basically anyone else other than myself touching my cars. Mileage is at 34,800, so it needs to recur quickly or we will be on our own cost-wise.
Video it next time. Say the date and time and explanation of what the problem is during the video so you can show it to the dealer when you return. Then they know it is happening and it can be listed as a problem that occurred before the warranty expired and was unable to be solved at the time. You have a fighting chance of having it covered after warranty expires if it only then becomes enough of an issue to be reproducible by Honda.


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Discussion Starter #10
UPDATE 4/30/2020: Took video, but the file was too big to send directly, so I took the Ody up to the dealer this morning as it was warmer than it has been (67 degrees) and it was short cycling as I parked it (with A/C ON!). Got the SA to come out - he heard it, checked to confirm A/C on, then looked under the hood to make sure the fans were indeed stopping and starting. I left it with them. Long story short the SA said they performed the hot 3 hour evacuation process and refilled the refrigerant as the TechLine Article recommended. Interestingly the Tech's notes on the invoice said 0.77 kg refrigerant was removed (which indicated overfill) and they filled it to spec, which the ticket says was 0.625 kg.

SO - is it fixed? 😬 I am going to give it a few days to make sure. This weekend is supposed to be warmer again and so I hope to get some time with it to tell for sure. But it was gratifying that they acknowledged an issue and finally did something to address it, while still under 36k miles. If this does resolve it I will be VERY happy because this has been our only warranty repair (other then recalls) since we bought it new in 2018.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
So here I am two days later - finally got to check on the Ody today and discovered something odd - the radiator cooling fans and relay are a LOT quieter than they were before the dealer did the service two days ago that I described above! They switch on with the A/C and don't short cycle any more but now you can barely hear them! I asked the young service advisors who were at the Honda dealer today (Saturday morning) if the 5th gen Ody has variable speed cooling fans but of course they didn't know.

This has me perplexed because the fans are barely audible now whereas before they ran furiously (on and off of course) and you could painfully hear the relay clicking them on and off. W.T.F.? So does the 5th-gen Ody have variable-speed cooling fans? It’s kind of cool out today so that could explain it if true. Then again it was 67 degrees thurs morning when I dropped it off and you could hear the fans from 50 feet away.

I will also add that the loudness of the fans before Thursday was about the same as on our 2006 Ody which we had until 227k and was still running fine when I sold it.
 

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GrommitFan

Yes. All Honda/Acura vehicles use a pressure switch to modulate the radiator/AC Condenser fans.

You posted above that the system was overfilled. That absolutely would trigger short cycling and immediate hi fan speeds. The system “sees” this as hi head pressure against the AC compressor and is programmed to try and lower head pressure by moving more air through the AC condenser.

At this point your AC Condenser fans should only go into high flow in the heat of the summer when ambient temps and humidity are 85 plus F. with an approximate interior temp 90 plus F. If the vehicle is idling it will most likely cycle the fans to high almost all the time in these conditions. If outdoor temperature is in the 70’s.....not as much so.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
e hi fan speeds. The system “sees” this as hi head pressure against the AC compressor and is programmed to try and lower head pressure by moving more air through the AC condenser.

At this point your AC Condenser fans should only go into high flow in the heat of the summer when ambient temps and humidity are 85 plus F. with an approximate interior temp 90 plus F. If the vehicle is idling it will most likely cycle the fans to high almost all the time in these conditions. If outdoor
Thank you SO MUCH for your advice and guidance. Thanks to my handing them that Honda Tech Line article and telling them what you told me I was (finally) able to achieve a happy ending. Will keep my eyes on it but it sounds like as we move into the summer months I should hear the fans louder when they're on.

I am really happy to have this solved because this has been my only real warranty-activating complaint about this car.
 
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