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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, after nearly 57,000 miles in just under 2 years - finally had a problem with my EX-L. The AC is no longer performing the "C" part....

Took it to the dealer (I don't have the equipment for the refrigerant); they spent 3 hours going through things:
  • Verified fuses (I had done this, but makes sense that they did as well)
  • Evacuated refrigerant, weighed it, and refilled system
  • Verified operation of refrigerant pressue switch
  • Diagnosed possibly failed AC Compressor relay
They had to order the relay, had them ship it to my house to avoid a 90 minute round trip.
Installed new relay and still no joy...

Going to be dropping it off on Sunday so they can check it out first thing Monday morning - here's what I did in the interim:
  • Re-verified fuses - have voltage to both the load side of relay and the coil side of relay
  • Verified continuity from AC Relay to Compressor Clutch Coil (less than .01 ohm resistance)
  • Used jumper and ammeter to activate coil from relay terminal - clutch coil is pulling ~3.45 Amps; well within the circuit protection of 10 amps
  • Verified the relay itself is working (jumpers to activate coil, measure continuity across the load terminals); both old and new relays are working properly
  • Dug into wiring diagrams; relay is triggered by the PCM grounding the coil circuit to activate. As such, verified continuity between the relay coil ground terminal and terminal E31 of the PCM connector (less than .01 ohm resistance)

So now we get to see if the PCM has decided to not play any more; keeping fingers crossed that it will be covered by the 5yr/60k Powertrain...

Not really looking for other things to check, as I think we've pretty much tested out the circuit - more an informational post in the event someone else has a similar problem.

Will update after they determine what's going on with it.
 

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So they gave you a part to install, nice, good luck on the ac its near summer and I know that feeling... good luck.
 

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That's pretty lame. I'm sorry to hear what you're going through. It sounds like you have way more knowledge of how to troubleshoot stuff than they do. I don't know the specifics of how Honda's AC system works, but I assume the compressor wasn't engaged and running.

If that's the case you get your volt meter and start checking stuff to find out why. You don't pull the refrigerant, weigh it, and put it back in. You find out with your voltmeter why the compressor isn't working.

You would think that they would at least have some kind of flow chart on their computers that could help them troubleshoot the thing.

Then, if you suspect the relay, you test the stupid relay BEFORE ordering a new one and having it sent to the customer's house for them to install. Good for you for having the skills to check it like you did. Too bad you don't work for the Honda Dealer instead of the clowns that they've got.

Good luck with getting it figured out. Have you asked for a loaner car? In my opinion they should owe you one and keep your car in the shop until they can figure it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, the compressor just isn't engaging - it appears that the PCM is not commanding it to close the relay...that's beyond the scope of my testing (although I may hook up my Autel and see if there's any more I can check, now that I think of it).

I was a little disappointed in how they supposedly did their troubleshooting - seemed kind of odd the steps they took (like you mentioned, who the heck weighs the refrigerant if there's adequate pressure in the system?). I myself am ASE certified for general maintenance and repair, so I just went through what I felt were appropriate steps of testing.
On the plus side, the service manager felt bad that they didn't get it fixed, so only charged 1 hour labor instead of the 3 they spent on it.

Sending me the part to install was at my suggegstion, not theirs - I didn't see the point in making the drive just for that. The dealer I bought from is about 40 miles away - because the dealership that's only 3 miles away is a bunch of class A morons (they once told me that I couldn't even test drive a car unless I was planning on signing the papers that day - so they don't get my money).

Didn't bug them for a loaner, as I don't really need it - we have other vehicles, and I've been working from home so no commuting required. I figure there might be people that really need it, so not going to bother (last time I needed a loaner from them, they gave me an Accord sport with manual trans - quite surprising for a loaner).

Since I am at fairly high miles, a lot of the warranty coverage is gone, along with the roadside assistance - I knew that would be an issue when I bought the car, just wasn't expecting the AC to shit upon itself in less than 2 years.

I questioned if anything related to the software update that was done as part of TSB 18-114 could have been related (that was performed back in February, when I wasn't using the AC), but they are pretty insistent that it only impacted cooling fan operation, not HVAC...we shall see what they come up with.

If they don't get it figured out in a reasonable amount of time/cost, I will certainly be contacting Honda to express my displeasure - especially since there's also 2 '19 CR-Vs in the family...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Update now that it's at the dealer....

Apparently, they are saying there's a wire broken right at the connector (service writer didn't know which connector) - since I know the clutch coil works, I'm guessing it's at the connector for the variable load connection (service writer said it was a 3-wire connector).

Their initial plan was to repair the wire - basically replace the end terminal, or splice a new connector in place. But Honda won't sell the parts to do that, as they no longer support that repair - Honda says replace the entire harness instead; which of course isn't covered since I'm out of warranty.

Since in my opinion I shouldn't have to be replacing the harness on a vehicle after less than 2 years of ownership, I'm obviously not too happy with that solution - asked them to contact the regional director and see if they can come up with a acceptable solution. The service writer's other suggestion was for me to try and find a harness pigtail at a wrecking yard and splice it in, but they aren't allowed to do that.

Needless to say, I am now waiting to hear what they come up with...
 

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Do you have a pic of the connector?
u can always repin it, dealer wont do it but u can do it for basically nothing. I had to repin my headlight harness for my touring light retrofit.
 

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Update now that it's at the dealer....

Apparently, they are saying there's a wire broken right at the connector (service writer didn't know which connector) - since I know the clutch coil works, I'm guessing it's at the connector for the variable load connection (service writer said it was a 3-wire connector).

Their initial plan was to repair the wire - basically replace the end terminal, or splice a new connector in place. But Honda won't sell the parts to do that, as they no longer support that repair - Honda says replace the entire harness instead; which of course isn't covered since I'm out of warranty.

Since in my opinion I shouldn't have to be replacing the harness on a vehicle after less than 2 years of ownership, I'm obviously not too happy with that solution - asked them to contact the regional director and see if they can come up with a acceptable solution. The service writer's other suggestion was for me to try and find a harness pigtail at a wrecking yard and splice it in, but they aren't allowed to do that.

Needless to say, I am now waiting to hear what they come up with...
Yeah... this is a case where I would just R&R the connector/wire myself, now that it is isolated.

If Honda regional management accepts your request.. they would still force the replacement of the harness.

I imagine Honda has moved away from harness and wiring repair over the years as a supported maintenance... due to shoddy work at some dealers on wiring repair. By forcing dealers to replace a harness.. it insures that the new harness meets all Honda safety and reliability requirements.
 

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The connector with the broken wire is on high pressure line(pressure switch) just to the inside of the pass headlight. Indeed Honda doesn't sell pins for repair. We keep all harness we replace and rob pins for things like this.
 

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Update now that it's at the dealer....

Apparently, they are saying there's a wire broken right at the connector (service writer didn't know which connector) - since I know the clutch coil works, I'm guessing it's at the connector for the variable load connection (service writer said it was a 3-wire connector).

Their initial plan was to repair the wire - basically replace the end terminal, or splice a new connector in place. But Honda won't sell the parts to do that, as they no longer support that repair - Honda says replace the entire harness instead; which of course isn't covered since I'm out of warranty.

Since in my opinion I shouldn't have to be replacing the harness on a vehicle after less than 2 years of ownership, I'm obviously not too happy with that solution - asked them to contact the regional director and see if they can come up with a acceptable solution. The service writer's other suggestion was for me to try and find a harness pigtail at a wrecking yard and splice it in, but they aren't allowed to do that.

Needless to say, I am now waiting to hear what they come up with...
You can purchase pigtails online. This is one link to the AC pressure switch connector. They are way over priced but then again they have done the research.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Oh, trust me - if they decide that the only option is replacement of the harness at my cost, I'll be refusing that and repairing it myself. Just because Honda doesn't like the repair, parts can usually be found (thanks for the link, Traylaw!). There's probably a lot of truth to the comment about them stopping that fix due to shoddy repairs by some techs.

The only thing that gives me pause is the service writer stating that the tech "brought him the connector to show him" (unless I misheard him) - if the tech cut the connector off thinking he could splice a new pigtail on, that's going to change my argument considerably.

Slvr7 - by your comment, I am assuming you're a tech that has seen this as a common issue? If so, is there anything I should do on the other 2 CR-Vs in the family to help prevent this?

Now to wait and see what they come up with...
 

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Slvr7 - by your comment, I am assuming you're a tech that has seen this as a common issue? If so, is there anything I should do on the other 2 CR-Vs in the family to help prevent this?
I'm not a vehicle service tech, but I am a retired electrical engineer. What I would do is inspect that particular connection on the other 2 CRVs for any signs of wear or other defect. R&R if needed, and then I would put a reinforcing sleeve (Electrical tape is probably fine for this) on the assembly and connector to protect from dust, salt, any other grime as well as to strengthen what is clearly a possible weak point of failure.

But in reality, you mostly likely just had a crimping defect in the original connection so no reason to believe you will have the exact same defect on the other 2 CRVs.

Honda may not sell replacement pins and other components for their wiring harnesses any more, but they DO use industry standard wiring and connectors... so you can certainly buy replacements, as linked by Traylaw, as well as any good electronics parts store. Kind of defeats the purpose on Honda's part to sell the parts when they do not allow wiring part replacement... but happily this is not a difficult thing to address in most cases once the fault point is isolated.
 

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In my opinion the wire breaks because of small gauge of the wire, and it must move/vibrate going down the road. Honda has extra length in that harness but it is bunched up in a zip tie. I cut it loose so the harness has a gentle bend and wrap it in electrical tape starting on the connector and going about an inch up the harness. I do 4 or 5 layers, so far no returns.
 

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In my opinion the wire breaks because of small gauge of the wire, and it must move/vibrate going down the road. Honda has extra length in that harness but it is bunched up in a zip tie. I cut it loose so the harness has a gentle bend and wrap it in electrical tape starting on the connector and going about an inch up the harness. I do 4 or 5 layers, so far no returns.
Normal road vibration may be an aggravating condition.. but it is most likely an improperly stripped wire (nicked during stripping) or excessive crimping of pin to wire during manufacture. It is actually quite a common issue with wiring harnesses across the electronics industry, and it requires proper manufacturing controls to prevent damage to the wire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks, guys - appreciate all the input.
Still waiting to hear back from either the dealer or regional dude.

Chances are, I'll be fixing it myself, and then checking the other cars just for good measure..
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, apparently they declined a "good will" repair; so I'll be repairing it myself - the one thing that irritates me is that they cut the connector off, so instead of splicing and re-pinning one wire, I now get to do all 3 of them...

Only recourse they provide is call Honda Customer Care to appeal their decision, but that's kind of irrelevant considering that Honda is shut down due to cyberattack.

Not exactly a happy camper at this point - but guess it is what it is.

Thanks to Traylaw for the link to a replacement - around here there are no decent electrical suppliers for that sort of thing, and local wrecking yards either don't have the vehicles, or aren't willing to cut a pigtail off a complete harness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
OK, so the dealer did at least try to do what they could - just went and got the car, will be fixing the connector this weekend.
  • They did submit for goodwill to replace harness, but got kicked due to mileage
  • The tech initially cut the harness in anticipation of repairing it as he had done in the past; it wasn't until after the cut that he got told it wasn't an authorized repair.
  • The service writer totally agreed it was ridiculous to have to replace a harness on a newer car, but decision is out of his hands (I don't blame him, this gripe is more towards Honda).
  • Tech was nice enough to come out and show me exactly where and what he had done so I could make the repair (right in front of the engine, tucked beside the fan shroud). I asked why he had cut all three wires instead of just pulling the pins for the other two and repairing one wire - he admitted not thinking of that, but probably would have been a good idea. Tech also apologized for not being able to fix it - again, not his fault.
  • They dug through an old harness they had laying around and cut me a pigtail with the appropriate connector and a few inches of wire; so no parts cost for me (although I did find a replacement connector body with pins for 10 bucks!)
  • No charge for anything - they acknowledged that the car wasn't repaired, so they were going to eat the labor and send it.

Will see how the repairs go...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, since they gave me the connector/pigtail, got everything fixed up this afternoon. Pretty easy, minimal tools needed:
  • Wire strippers
  • Soldering iron (FYI, the Milwaukee M12 soldering iron kicks ass)
  • Heat gun

Obviously, need some materials:
  • Solder
  • Heat shrink tubing
  • Decent electrical tape (not dollar store crap)

Strip wires, make sure everything in the right spot, solder joints, heat shrink and tape - and I now have A/C again. Longest part of the job was trying to figure out where in the heck I had put my heat gun....

Much more comfortable now - but then again, I'm still working from home; so not much driving going on.
 
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