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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had my ody for four or five years, and for the past 3 years when the weather gets hot and I turn on the air conditioning I find that it won't work the first 3-5 times I use the car and try to turn it on. Eventually, when I'm at the point of taking it to a shop, it starts working and is fine the rest of the summer. I think maybe I'm forgetting how to turn it on properly and finally come across the correct combination. Or could there be a problem where AC takes a while to get going each year?

Could I be doing something wrong when I turn it on? I have a 2009 EXL. I push the button that turns AC On, and it blows kinda cool but not cold. I then just try Auto. I turn the temp down lolow to make sure it will come on. I go back and forth from using the button that circulates air from outside the car on and off. Nothing works. I'm at the stage now where I've tried it three times when I've been out driving with no luck. In the past, that would mean I try another time or two and it somehow starts working and will be good to go for the summer. Is something wrong with the car, or am I doing something wrong?
 

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Does it blow hot air instead of cold? Maybe your mixer motor is bad? Maybe one side gets cold, but not the other?
What if you bring the temp. down all the way to "LOW", and keep it there? does it eventually make the air cold?
Do you get "tick tick tick" sound? that is typical sound of bad mix motor. (there are 2 up front, I THINK there is another one for rear).
 

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I've had my ody for four or five years, and for the past 3 years when the weather gets hot and I turn on the air conditioning I find that it won't work the first 3-5 times I use the car and try to turn it on. Eventually, when I'm at the point of taking it to a shop, it starts working and is fine the rest of the summer. I think maybe I'm forgetting how to turn it on properly and finally come across the correct combination. Or could there be a problem where AC takes a while to get going each year?

Could I be doing something wrong when I turn it on? I have a 2009 EXL. I push the button that turns AC On, and it blows kinda cool but not cold. I then just try Auto. I turn the temp down lolow to make sure it will come on. I go back and forth from using the button that circulates air from outside the car on and off. Nothing works. I'm at the stage now where I've tried it three times when I've been out driving with no luck. In the past, that would mean I try another time or two and it somehow starts working and will be good to go for the summer. Is something wrong with the car, or am I doing something wrong?
It might also require a re-charge. A properly functioning AC system will leak out small amounts of refrigerant every year.
 

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Definitely have a proper system recharge done.
Even if this is not your issue, it needs to be done every 5-7 years.

it’s also possible you have a bad or intermittent AC clutch relay. There is a new and improved relay from Mitsuba. I suggest you buy and install that as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Definitely have a proper system recharge done.
Even if this is not your issue, it needs to be done every 5-7 years.

it’s also possible you have a bad or intermittent AC clutch relay. There is a new and improved relay from Mitsuba. I suggest you buy and install that as well.
Thanks, I'll do the system recharge. Is it costly to have a shop pay to install the clutch relay? Or would an auto parts store do it if I bought the part there? I found a video showing how to do it, and while it looks like something I could do myself, I'm nervous about fiddling with the car as I know nothing about working on them. If I were to give it a try myself, are there any safety tips -- like you don't have to detach battery cables or anything before you mess with it?
 

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Thanks, I'll do the system recharge. Is it costly to have a shop pay to install the clutch relay? Or would an auto parts store do it if I bought the part there? I found a video showing how to do it, and while it looks like something I could do myself, I'm nervous about fiddling with the car as I know nothing about working on them. If I were to give it a try myself, are there any safety tips -- like you don't have to detach battery cables or anything before you mess with it?
It's really easy, you can totally do it yourself. There's not much you can really mess up. It might not be a bad idea to disconnect the battery before you swap it out, but I wouldn't say it's absolutely necessary.
 
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Thanks, I'll do the system recharge. Is it costly to have a shop pay to install the clutch relay? Or would an auto parts store do it if I bought the part there? I found a video showing how to do it, and while it looks like something I could do myself, I'm nervous about fiddling with the car as I know nothing about working on them. If I were to give it a try myself, are there any safety tips -- like you don't have to detach battery cables or anything before you mess with it?
If you can plugin and unplug a lamp at home then you are skilled enough to change a relay. It is that easy. Look in your owners manual for the location of all fuses and relays
 

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As said this is as easy as plugging in a toaster. A new relay costs about $20. We can help guide you to exactly where it is located if you need this assistance.
 
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I would check the refrigerant level regardless. We had three of our car serviced (evac and recharge) as well as our niece's car this weekend. Lost refrigerant for each car was 10 oz., 12 oz., 8 oz. and a whopping 17.8 oz. on the niece's car, which she says was still fairly cool. Very surprised that the compressor would still run with so low on refrigerant, but the 12 oz. and 17.8 oz were on German cars which seem to have a slightly larger systems. Our Odyssey was the one with the 10 oz. loss which was slight cool and would kick to cold once we drive steady on the highway with higher RPMs. All these cars' ACs have not been touch between 12-15 years.

Now, we get crisp dry air like when you have a new car with its new AC.
 

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I would check the refrigerant level regardless. We had three of our car serviced (evac and recharge) as well as our niece's car this weekend. Lost refrigerant for each car was 10 oz., 12 oz., 8 oz. and a whopping 17.8 oz. on the niece's car, which she says was still fairly cool. Very surprised that the compressor would still run with so low on refrigerant, but the 12 oz. and 17.8 oz were on German cars which seem to have a slightly larger systems. Our Odyssey was the one with the 10 oz. loss which was slight cool and would kick to cold once we drive steady on the highway with higher RPMs. All these cars' ACs have not been touch between 12-15 years.

Now, we get crisp dry air like when you have a new car with its new AC.
This was also mentioned. It's certainly something that should be done, not just for comfort in having cooler air, but low refrigerant also means less oil for the A/C components, and less oil means it'll wear out sooner.

Learned this the somewhat hard way on my Odyssey, used that knowledge to be proactive with the Accord.
 
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This was also mentioned. It's certainly something that should be done, not just for comfort in having cooler air, but low refrigerant also means less oil for the A/C components, and less oil means it'll wear out sooner.

Learned this the somewhat hard way on my Odyssey, used that knowledge to be proactive with the Accord.
Good call. WiiMaster. Our niece's car compressor was making noise when the AC was running prior to the evac and recharge service. Her mechanic said it's low refrigerant, bad compressor or another thing that I cannot remember. After the check for leak, PAG oil and refrigerant recharge, the noise is now gone, but not sure how much wear is on the AC components since we do not know how long it was low on oil and refrigerant.
 

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Check if the valve that controls the hot water/coolant from the engine to the heater core is operating properly. It's just in front of the firewall in the engine compartment. It has a cable to it that operates it from the HVAC units controller. Mine had the same issue. The valves get sticky after not being operated for a while in winter. Then when summer comes they dont immediately close, so even while your AC is cooling the air, the heater core is still hot and warms up that cool air again.. It's an easy check.. Turn on the AC and set temp to min, check the position of the valve, set the temp to max (heat) and see if the valve has moved.. Also, you can feel if there is cool or luke warm, or hot water flowing in the hose behind the valve to check its operation.
 

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FYI

If you decide to replace the AC clutch relay - which I highly recommend. These 3 photos show where it is located:
Locate the relay box under the hood on the passenger side near the windshield. Squeeze the 4 latches and lift up to remove the cover.
The AC Clutch relay is the one in the front center. It is black with the word Mitsuba on it in this photo. Yours may not be Mitsuba brand. However, when you buy a new one be sure it is Mitsuba.
To remove the relay you need to wiggle it and pull it straight up. It's a snug fit, so give it a strong pull.
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It's really easy, you can totally do it yourself. There's not much you can really mess up. It might not be a bad idea to disconnect the battery before you swap it out, but I wouldn't say it's absolutely necessary.
Thanks, I will grab the user manual to make sure of the correct part and see if I can find it online. If it's not totally necessary, I won't unplug the battery. I don't know what I'm doing, but the video did make it look very easy. This is the video I found and hopefully it doesn't leave out anything important:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If you can plugin and unplug a lamp at home then you are skilled enough to change a relay. It is that easy. Look in your owners manual for the location of all fuses and relays
Thanks, I'll grab the manual and do that, and it should help me find the exact part to buy, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I would check the refrigerant level regardless. We had three of our car serviced (evac and recharge) as well as our niece's car this weekend. Lost refrigerant for each car was 10 oz., 12 oz., 8 oz. and a whopping 17.8 oz. on the niece's car, which she says was still fairly cool. Very surprised that the compressor would still run with so low on refrigerant, but the 12 oz. and 17.8 oz were on German cars which seem to have a slightly larger systems. Our Odyssey was the one with the 10 oz. loss which was slight cool and would kick to cold once we drive steady on the highway with higher RPMs. All these cars' ACs have not been touch between 12-15 years.

Now, we get crisp dry air like when you have a new car with its new AC.
I will take it in for a recharge. I'm always reluctant to do that unless I'm sure it needs it because I'm afraid they'll tell me it needs more expensive work and I'd have no way to know if it really did. But since the van is 2009 and I didn't see anything in the records from the past owner about a recharge, it probably hasn't had one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Check if the valve that controls the hot water/coolant from the engine to the heater core is operating properly. It's just in front of the firewall in the engine compartment. It has a cable to it that operates it from the HVAC units controller. Mine had the same issue. The valves get sticky after not being operated for a while in winter. Then when summer comes they dont immediately close, so even while your AC is cooling the air, the heater core is still hot and warms up that cool air again.. It's an easy check.. Turn on the AC and set temp to min, check the position of the valve, set the temp to max (heat) and see if the valve has moved.. Also, you can feel if there is cool or luke warm, or hot water flowing in the hose behind the valve to check its operation.
Thanks, I'll see if I can find a video/photos showing where this is and what it looks like and will try to check it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
FYI

If you decide to replace the AC clutch relay - which I highly recommend. These 3 photos show where it is located:
Locate the relay box under the hood on the passenger side near the windshield. Squeeze the 4 latches and lift up to remove the cover.
The AC Clutch relay is the one in the front center. It is black with the word Mitsuba on it in this photo. Yours may not be Mitsuba brand. However, when you buy a new one be sure it is Mitsuba.
To remove the relay you need to wiggle it and pull it straight up. It's a snug fit, so give it a strong pull.
Very cool, thanks for including the photos! Is it hard to get that top open or the plug out? I'm trying to do this without my husband's help, because he wants to let the shop do it when we recharge the AC and I think we should be able to do this ourselves, lol. No idea what a shop would charge for this, probably more than he's guessing it would cost. I should be able to do it alone unless it takes stronger hands to get that sucker out. I'm sure he will help if I ask, but just doing it myself should be easy.
 

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The cover comes off very easily. Just need to depress all 4 latches at the same time and lift up.

There is no plug to remove. With the cover off you just pull the relay out. It should come out with your hand with a firm grip and a firm pull. Wiggle it. If necessary and if you are very careful you can use pliers to pull it out. Since you are replacing the relay it does not matter if you crack the plastic, but normally you should not do this (crack the plastic of the relay). Then push the new relay in. It can only go in one way.

I looked at Rock Auto web site and do not see the Mitsuba brand relay listed there. You might check your local discount auto parts place or other online places (majestic Honda, Bernardi parts.com). Don’t buy it from your local dealer.

The Honda part number for the relay is:

39794-SDA-A05


The Mitsuba part number is:
7001 91 5211


You need to make sure you get the Mitsuba relay.
Even if this does not solve your issue, it is a good thing to do to avoid future issues.

If you find you already have the Mitsuba relay installed, then leave it alone.

A cooling system evacuation and recharge should cost around $150. Walk away if they try to charge you much more than that.

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The cover comes off very easily. Just need to depress all 4 latches at the same time and lift up.

There is no plug to remove. With the cover off you just pull the relay out. It should come out with your hand with a firm grip and a firm pull. Wiggle it. If necessary and if you are very careful you can use pliers to pull it out. Since you are replacing the relay it does not matter if you crack the plastic, but normally you should not do this (crack the plastic of the relay). Then push the new relay in. It can only go in one way.

I looked at Rock Auto web site and do not see the Mitsuba brand relay listed there. You might check your local discount auto parts place or other online places (majestic Honda, Bernardi parts.com). Don’t buy it from your local dealer.

The Honda part number for the relay is:

39794-SDA-A05


The Mitsuba part number is:
7001 91 5211


You need to make sure you get the Mitsuba relay.
Even if this does not solve your issue, it is a good thing to do to avoid future issues.

If you find you already have the Mitsuba relay installed, then leave it alone.

A cooling system evacuation and recharge should cost around $150. Walk away if they try to charge you much more than that.

Thanks so much, this is all good information! Also helps to know that if I already have the Mitsuba relay to leave it alone. I'll take a look as soon as I can, which may not be for a couple of days, but I want to get that part ordered if I do need it so I can get that in before I get the ac recharged. Just want to make sure I have no problems changing it before I go in, and also it's possible changing the part will fix the problem. Though from what I've read here, I guess it's a good idea to get a recharge anyway, even if I get the AC blowing cold again? It also helps to know what cost to expect so I can price around if need be. Thank you!
 
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