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Discussion Starter #1
The A/C in my fiance's '09 Honda CR-V EXL just started randomly cutting in and out. I'm not sure on the exact mileage, but if i had to guess, it's probably 140-150k (she has a ~90 mile round trip commute for work, so half of those miles are almost entirely highway). But getting back to the issue, it's been in the mid-90s here in Baltimore recently and the A/C started going from cold to warm (not hot) to cold to warm during any given drive. I experienced it myself when we were running errands last weekend. It's not a gradual transition, leading me to believe it's in some way connected to the compressor. She took it to Firestone yesterday, and they couldn't find anything wrong with the A/C. So I questioned my fiance this morning about some specifics on when it does and doesn't work... She said it seems to always work fine when the engine is cold. She also said she noticed it will go out faster if she uses "Max AC" or sets the temperature really low.

I have been trying to troubleshoot the issue:

1. I've determined that the A/C seems to run fine until the engine coolant temp reaches ~190-200°F. Not sure if there's any relation to the temperature, just giving a rough idea of when this occurs per my OBDII scanner.

2. Computer's not throwing any codes.

3. I tested relays by swapping all similar fan/clutch relays in the fuse box under the hood. That did nothing, so it's not a relay issue.

4. Looked at the compressor, and it doesn't appear to have any excessive debris or red powder on it.

5. There's a random intermittent voltage drop (~2V), which became more pronounced the longer the engine ran. But note, this was occurring after the A/C stopped working.

The one thing that is consistent every time is that once the AC cuts out, both radiator and condenser fans cut off and the compressor clutch disengages. I've seen none of the three run alone without the other running too. So whatever is causing the problem, it's causing everything else to shut off too. This concerns me, because the radiator fan is also shutting off. Even holding the engine at 2k for a few minutes when it's 90°F, which gets the engine coolant temp to 215°F+, doesn't get that fan back on.

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Sounds like the compressor clutch. When the clutch goes the A/C will work, then it won't work, then it'll work again. This could go on for months.

When my clutch went bad I'm not sure if the fans continue to work or not. You can either replace the clutch yourself (if you're inclined), find a A/C shop (I would) or have the dealer do it (probably most expensive). They will not be able to determine if the clutch is bad until the A/C stops working.

In my case I had to drive it directly to the dealer when the A/C started blowing warm air. One time I took it in because it was blowing warm air. By the time they drove it into the bay it started working again and they couldn't test it. The last time it was blowing warm I drove it to the dealer and left it running in the parking lot, they were able to test it immediately & determine the clutch was bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks. All a shop has to do is run the engine at 2k for a minute or two and it'll shut off. To claim they can't find a problem is pure laziness. Any mechanic knows how to test for this type of problem. I'll look into specific A/C shops. Do you not think it's worth going to the dealership for just a diagnosis? Seeing as how they have more advanced machinery for testing Hondas and they are more familiar with common Honda issues...

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