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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I got the "bad" news. My mechanic tells me that the compressor has gone bad on the van.

He says:
There is voltage on the compressor but it isn't kicking on so it isn't the low freon issue. If it was low freon issue, then there will be no voltage going to the compressor as system will cut off the voltage going to the compressor.

Is this right?

It just may be bad clutch as well, I guess. How can one tell between bad cluch vs. whole compressor being bad?

He hasn't given me estimate on how much it would be.

Thanks.
 

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I haven't done it on an Odyssey, but I have an 04 Accord that has issues with the magnetic clutch failing.

You can try at your own risk to bypass the ac clutch relay; engage it directly by providing current to the magnetic clutch.


If you hear it click/engage, that's your clutch engaging. If you don't hear the click, then very likely the magnetic clutch is bad.

I had a similar issue on my 2004 Accord and the mechanic days that I could change out just the clutch, but it doesn't guarantee if it'll fix it all, and he would not warranty the parts/service. The labor would be just about the same, as they would need to pull the compressor out to replace the clutch anyhow. I opted for the complete compressor, despite seeing videos on YouTube on replacing just the clutch.
Yes, I realize that may have been a old mechanics way of squeezing me for more money, but I figured to not waste more time figuring it out myself. It was hot, and I needed the AC

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If there is 12 volts to the clutch, the relay is OK. What is happening is that the coil may be open, which is checked by measuring resistance across the coil, or the clutch gap is too wide to allow the clutch plate to engage.

That said, do you know this mechanic?
 

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The person you call "my mechanic". Do you not trust his/her diagnostic skills, or his/her ethics? What you report is not inconsistent with my knowledge of MVAC.

Keep in mind that the cost of a replacement clutch is often 90% or more of the cost of a replacement compressor, with clutch. Of course, replacing the comp. requires discharge/recharge, unlike clutch alone.
 

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If it's getting voltage to the clutch, but the clutch isn't engaging -- ie the compressor isn't spinning -- it's pretty hard to not say the clutch is bad.

If you are a DIYer... measure the gap in the clutch with a feeler gage. If the gap is out of spec, the compressor will have issues engaging. You can remove the clutch plate and take out shim washers to tighten up the gap. (Has never been an issue on my Honda, but I did it on my Volvo).

If the compressor is bad, it will either not spin at all (so the belt slips when the clutch engages) or it will spin without compressing (should be evident on manifold gauges).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I know the mechanic. I have no reason to think he is TRYING to pull fast one on me.

I just want to double check whether his reasoning is sound. Nobody is master of everything. I DO agree though that if I am not going to DIY then it makes no sense to replace the clutch rather than whole compressor as labor cost will probably be the same or actually MORE to get the clutch replaced than the compressor. Advantage of clutch replacement for DIYer is that one does not need to evacuate the line to do so which makes it completely DIYable where as compressor replacement requires evacuate and refill.

Just my question was whether my mechanic's understanding that if there weren't enough freon in the line, power will not be sent to compressor at all correct because for SOME reason, I THOUGHT that if there was no freon, it is compressor that does not kick on even if power is sent to the compressor so I thought that my issue could be simply the line is low on freon instead of bad clutch/compressor issue. That is all.
 

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I know the mechanic. I have no reason to think he is TRYING to pull fast one on me.

I just want to double check whether his reasoning is sound. Nobody is master of everything. I DO agree though that if I am not going to DIY then it makes no sense to replace the clutch rather than whole compressor as labor cost will probably be the same or actually MORE to get the clutch replaced than the compressor. Advantage of clutch replacement for DIYer is that one does not need to evacuate the line to do so which makes it completely DIYable where as compressor replacement requires evacuate and refill.

Just my question was whether my mechanic's understanding that if there weren't enough freon in the line, power will not be sent to compressor at all correct because for SOME reason, I THOUGHT that if there was no freon, it is compressor that does not kick on even if power is sent to the compressor so I thought that my issue could be simply the line is low on freon instead of bad clutch/compressor issue. That is all.
LPCO is a switch "upstream" of the compressor. This is MVAC 101, not requiring a tech who is master of everything.. If refrigerant is low/empty, compressor will not turn on BECAUSE POWER TO IT HAS BEEN CUT OFF.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
LPCO is a switch "upstream" of the compressor. This is MVAC 101, not requiring a tech who is master of everything.. If refrigerant is low/empty, compressor will not turn on BECAUSE POWER TO IT HAS BEEN CUT OFF.
So, MY understanding is not correct, my mechanic was right when he said, "there is power to the compressor so there is enough freon to turn on the compressor".
Thanks.
 

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I'm somewhat hesitant to reply, as my A/C knowledge is rudimentary at best, but I had a similar incident on my '08 about 2 years ago. My A/C would function initially in the morning, but would stop working later on in the day. I found the A/C hoses covered in frost. I ended up going to 3 different mechanics (2 reputable, 1 hack and slash) and spending $1,200 to no avail! In a final act of desperation I turned to this forum and discovered a thread that mentioned a stuck relay. That was it! $25, and three minutes time.
Gas Composite material Auto part Pipe Metal
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm somewhat hesitant to reply, as my A/C knowledge is rudimentary at best, but I had a similar incident on my '08 about 2 years ago. My A/C would function initially in the morning, but would stop working later on in the day. I found the A/C hoses covered in frost. I ended up going to 3 different mechanics (2 reputable, 1 hack and slash) and spending $1,200 to no avail! In a final act of desperation I turned to this forum and discovered a thread that mentioned a stuck relay. That was it! $25, and three minutes time.
View attachment 163785
Alas, relay is first thing I swapped to check to no avail. Thanks for suggestion. Also, my AC clutch does not engage, I DO believe for this to happen compressor does have to engage. No? (I may be wrong in that regards though)
 

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Alas, relay is first thing I swapped to check to no avail. Thanks for suggestion. Also, my AC clutch does not engage, I DO believe for this to happen compressor does have to engage. No? (I may be wrong in that regards though)
Look at the bright side: At least you started with the inexpensive option first! (Doh!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So, my mechanic just got back to me.
Compressor replacement will be $450 labor (including freon recover and fill back) + $300 for compressor...
compressor from Rock auto = $203.
So, $100 for him to warranty the compressor basically.

His pricing of $750 does not sound too bad - actually sound a lot better than numbers that I am hearing for compressor replacement. (upwards of $1k+)

I was thinking of just doing the clutch/stator replacement (ebay - $45) and see if I can eek out couple more years of use out of the car though. (I drive around 5k miles per year now a days if not less - maybe 2k in summer when I need AC - drive more in winter). What are your thoughts?
 

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There is a no cost repair, where you pull off the outer clutch plate, remove one of the spacer washers, put everything back. The repair should last the life of the van.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
There is a no cost repair, where you pull off the outer clutch plate, remove one of the spacer washers, put everything back. The repair should last the life of the van.
I thought stator is bad causing the clutch to not pull in and engage, no? Wouldn't this pull the clutch plate too close to the pully thus running compressor all the time?
 

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Clutch wears or just gets out of adjustment, space increases, gap too big to close, no longer engages. Reduce gap, works again.

If the only problem is too wide a gap. Not always the case, sometimes it is.
 

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You can check the clutch coil with a multimeter.
I would absolutely do that first. If it's the stator, it can be replaced without opening the system, which is what you want. Before using the eBay kits ask people who used them to determine longevity. Some have reported premature pulley bearing failure.

A new Honda OEM stator is about $120. You would also need a beefy snap ring pliers.
 

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I had to get mine replaced couple years back and John Clark helped with troubleshoot. I think this was the big AC thread where CNN had DIY with pics and lots of discussion. Mine ended up with replace under warranty by the place that did work on it prior to my van purchase. I had records.

 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I would absolutely do that first. If it's the stator, it can be replaced without opening the system, which is what you want. Before using the eBay kits ask people who used them to determine longevity. Some have reported premature pulley bearing failure.

A new Honda OEM stator is about $120. You would also need a beefy snap ring pliers.
I DID check the continuity at the relay socket for the stator and there was no continuity (middle socket to the ground) The actual socket is PIA to get to though.
when I take the pully out, if the bearing is in good shape, I MAY opt to re-use the pully instead of using ebay pully.
 

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In this case, and unless you look at a wiring diagram, your continuity check probably needs to be across the connector pins. Your public library usually has wiring diagrams on line. Call the reference librarian.
 
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