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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone replaced their own A/C Condenser on their Odyssey? I have a 2001 and I have been told by our mechanic that the a/c condenser has a leak and it needs to be replaced. Not only that but they have also informed us that we need to replace the accumulator and expansion valve as well. I was under the impression that the accumulator was the drier on the Odyssey and it comes with a new condenser. All this at a cost of $1,100.00 for the complete repair (parts, labor, evac & recharge AC). Anyone ever replaced their own and if so, could you let me know what you did and how to do it myself? I know I could do it much cheaper that the mechanic has quoted me. Any help or information would be appreciated. Thanks
 

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The accumulator/drier is attached to the condenser (as you thought). If your mechanic uses a genuine Honda part, then (I believe) the condenser will come as an assembly that includes various brackets and mounts as well as the filter/desiccant. The price is about $270 online.

I haven't changed it on my Ody, but I have done that job on other cars. I just had a look at the service manual, and replacement of the condenser on this car looks to be very straightforward.

If you do the job, you will need to pick up some PAG 46 oil and add the recommended amount (per the repair manual) into the new condenser before closing things up. That's better than hoping that the guy who evacuates and charges the system will use an oil injector to put in a bit of oil through the service port. Also, you'll want to lightly coat any O-rings with that oil before you put them on.

As for the expansion valve - it is likely fine if the system was cooling properly before you lost refrigerant. If your mechanic expressed no particular reason for changing it out, then perhaps he feels it's "safer" for him to do that while he has the system open than risk you coming back complaining if there happens to be a problem in how well the system is cooling. But it's interesting that apparently he is only thinking about the front A/C expansion valve...

As for getting it evacuated and charged (assuming you don't have access to a vacuum pump), its best to use a shop that is going to weigh in the charge rather than guesstimate based upon pressure readings (any shop that routinely does A/C work should have this capability). Perhaps the cost of getting it properly evacuated and charged is something like $100-$150 - not sure.

Anyway, just some thoughts.
 

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blakefan04 said:
...I was under the impression that the accumulator was the drier on the Odyssey and it comes with a new condenser. ...
You are correct. I was going to replace my compressor, and bought a new drier...it's essentially a filter on one side of the condensor that is contained by a threaded socket-head cap (uses a big allen key to torque it down). Still have the drier, since my compressor, though a little noisy, is still working fine.

BTW, it also acts as a filter downstream of the compressor, so if the A/C compressor fails badly, you don't get any debris into the condensor. Nice touch by Honda, since an A/C compressor, like most mechanical items, have a certain lifespan that is usually not as long as the rest of the car.

Not sure why he wants to replace the (thermal expansion valve) TXV. mem is right...if your system was working (i.e., cooling) prior to the leak, the TXV is most likely just fine. Due to its position downstream of the drier/filter assembly, it's only going to see relatively clean refrigerant.

mem's advice on getting the system evacuated properly, receiving a proper mass of refrigerant charge (not too much, not too little) and using the correct PAG 46 oil (Denso ND-8) are all spot-on.

I think you could do this job for a lot less than $1,100.00.

OF
 

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Discussion Starter #4
a/c condenser

Thanks to both of you for your responses. I feel much better about doing this myself. Which service manual do you recommend me using for the Ody? Thanks again.
 

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I have this one:

Helm, Inc. Shop Manual for 2001-2004 Odyssey

It's roughly the size of a Los Angeles phone book. It's $82 from Helm, and I think I paid $76 a few years ago. It's about the price of one hour of direct labor charge in an auto shop.

PM sent.

OF
 

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Condesner replacement is way overpriced

Find another repair shop. This guy is not being honest with you.

I paid $1066 with tax, to replace both the radiator and the condenser at a Honda dealer, a few years back, using Honda parts. Both the radiator and the condenser were priced at over $300 each on the invoice. $1100 is ripoff pricing for only a condenser replacement.

Labor might be about $300 depending where you live. Figure double for the part prices you find on-line. The receiver-drier is an integral part of a replacement Odyssey condenser. You shouldn't pay extra for those.
 

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I have a leak in my condenser as well. I've removed the lines to the condenser and am ready to pull it out, however, clearance is an issue. Does anyone know what else is required to be removed? It appears like removing the headlight lense or radiator will be required. I think removing the head light lense involves removing the bumper.

Anyone ne know the easiest method?
 

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Man, you are making me go back in my memory banks. I had my headlights out recently to re-level my HID projectors, and IIRC, there is enough clearance to remove the condensor after removing both headlights.

Removing the headlights does require removing that big plastic bumper cover. There are only a couple threaded fasteners on each side; the big number of plastic bumper and under-van splash tray clips is the big issue. I went on ebay to buy them from clipman1. He ships quickly, prices are much better than OEM, and quality is comparable to OEM; his clips (and OEM) are much more robust than some you get from Chinese suppliers on Amazon.

Here's a link to one of his items: Honda bumper clips from clipman1

OF
 

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It's ultra easy to remove the front bumper. We know you can do it. Book time is only 1.4 hrs.. seems a tad generous too. You could get the shop recharge your a/c system once you've completed the work.
 

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Can our condensers be flushed, or do I NEED to replace it when I am doing the lines and compressor?

--CMB
 

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Send webbch a PM. He is our forum resident AC guru. He might have an answer for you. I don't see why it can't be flushed, but I do not know the procedure.

OF
 

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I have never posted before that I can remember, but I want to help. I've done the condenser at LEAST twice on my 01 EX. I removed the top shroud/cover to expose the radiator and condenser. This reveals the two brackets that secure the condenser. Think maybe I had to remove the center grille chrome part. This and the shroud/cover just have those plastic post clip things. I had to loosen the headlights, but that's it. Loosen the two refrigerant lines and with a little wedging and wiggling, pull it up and out. Installation is pretty much reverse. Try to use new o-rings when you reattach the two refrigerant lines. they didn't come with the NAPA condensers I purchased. Then, take it to a good shop and have them evac/recharge to specs and check for leaks. Worked for me and I caved a lot in parts/labor.
 

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I have never posted before that I can remember, but I want to help. I've done the condenser at LEAST twice on my 01 EX. I removed the top shroud/cover to expose the radiator and condenser. This reveals the two brackets that secure the condenser. Think maybe I had to remove the center grille chrome part. This and the shroud/cover just have those plastic post clip things. I had to loosen the headlights, but that's it. Loosen the two refrigerant lines and with a little wedging and wiggling, pull it up and out. Installation is pretty much reverse. Try to use new o-rings when you reattach the two refrigerant lines. They didn't come with the NAPA condensers I purchased. Then, take it to a good shop and have them evac/recharge to specs and check for leaks. Worked for me and I saved a lot in parts/labor.
 

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Man, you are making me go back in my memory banks. I had my headlights out recently to re-level my HID projectors, and IIRC, there is enough clearance to remove the condensor after removing both headlights.

Removing the headlights does require removing that big plastic bumper cover. There are only a couple threaded fasteners on each side; the big number of plastic bumper and under-van splash tray clips is the big issue. I went on ebay to buy them from clipman1. He ships quickly, prices are much better than OEM, and quality is comparable to OEM; his clips (and OEM) are much more robust than some you get from Chinese suppliers on Amazon.

Here's a link to one of his items: Honda bumper clips from clipman1

OF
I have some of those Chinese clips and you can tell the difference from OEM. Thanks for the tip. Clipman has a web site. Looks like he has Honda clips in all their subtle variations: http://www.clipman.co.nz/p.aspx?1294
 
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