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Discussion Starter #1
Myself and our son recently bought our own Crv's... mine is a 2006, his a 2004.. (both have less than 90,000 miles on them) he was telling me the worst problem with these are the air conditioners can BLOW UP... I have read these repairs can cost thousands.. 1st let me say.. both of us do not care about the Air conditioning at all..

1st question is : Is there a way to Bypass the Air conditioner - so we don't have to worry about these issues ?

2nd question is : If we both just NEVER turn on the Air conditioning, will this keep it from causing any issues ?

We do care about the heater in the winter.. just not the air conditioning ...opening outr windows is just fine.. we are used to older vehicles where we didn't have air conditioning at all.
 

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The AC also runs with the defroster to keep the windows from fogging up, so bypassing it (or not fixing it) is a safety issue for me. The CR-V has a lot more glass area than a passenger car, and I find that trying to defog the windows without AC to take much longer.

Don't sweat the compressors. I thought the "black death" was only the 2002-2003 model years--that was when the interior of the compressor would fail and send shards throughout the system, requiring the replacement of every AC component. I thought 2004 was the magic year in which they used an improved compressor that did not have this issue, but, someone who's more familiar with Honda insider info could probably correct this information. So in other words, not every 2nd gen CR-V is a ticking time bomb in regards to the AC. And at this age, what's to say they haven't already been replaced?

Later compressors (like those in our '09s) had the compressor clutch go bad, but it's not catastrophic. Although for both of ours, I just had the dealer replace the entire compressor and leak check the entire system, so now they run like new again and I don't have to worry about it.
 

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I believe you should run your AC at least once a month for a minimum of 5 min to keep the seals working well by distributing the oil in the system.
Any other comments on that?
OverRunWithSons, neat name. I sure wouldn't worry about the compressor blowing up, but be sure to run it occasionally just to keep the compressor seals from drying out and leaking.
Buffalo4
 

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I believe you should run your AC at least once a month for a minimum of 5 min to keep the seals working well by distributing the oil in the system.
Agreed. Good thing is, with the way some Hondas are wired, the compressor goes on when you choose Defrost. So that means my AC system gets a good workout during the off-season when it's not hot outdoors. I wouldn't let it fall into disrepair either--for me, if a car's AC system doesn't work when I'm buying it, I would expect to pay a substantial amount less to make up for it.
 

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I thought the "black death" was only the 2002-2003 model years
2002 - mid 2004.

If the compressor goes bad on the older vehicle, the only way to fully purge the system of contaminants is to replace the compressor, evaporator, condenser, and receiver-dryer. (That is what Honda did, under warranty)

If you have repair records, that is one way to sleep at night. If you don't, you could replace the compressor as Preventative Maintenance for about $600 USD.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Can an average man who does some work on vehicles do this compressor work himself.. my husband is used to working on older Suburbans... hondas not so much.. if a Honda shop does these repairs.. itsn't it like $2,000 plus... Geeze we want to avoid this any way possible.. how much work is involved in doing it yourself.. if God forbid, it goes bad...

So sounds like my 2006 Cr-v should be Ok.. but my son's 2004 might fall victim then?
 

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Can an average man who does some work on vehicles do this compressor work himself..
Yes, IF he has the equipment to evacuate the refrigerant out of the system before working on it. Letting it vent to the atmosphere is illegal.

If he doesn't have that equipment or can't get it, then it's time to go to a shop and have them do it.
 

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Can an average man who does some work on vehicles do this compressor work himself.. my husband is used to working on older Suburbans... hondas not so much.. if a Honda shop does these repairs.. itsn't it like $2,000 plus... Geeze we want to avoid this any way possible.. how much work is involved in doing it yourself.. if God forbid, it goes bad...

So sounds like my 2006 Cr-v should be Ok.. but my son's 2004 might fall victim then?
In the original post it sounded like neither Father/Mother or son wanted the AC.
So, even it the compressor BLOWS up, that just means that it won't work.
They could always just pull the compressor relay (if it does fail) and never have to worry about the AC compressor engaging again.
If they pull that relay now, the compressor will NOT engage anymore.
Very easy to do. I believe it is located in the Under-Hood fuse/relay box.
Buffalo4
PS: But while it is still in working shape, use it once in a while to keep the seals from drying out. Also, don't forget about the cabin air filter.
 

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Can an average man who does some work on vehicles do this compressor work himself.. my husband is used to working on older Suburbans... hondas not so much.. if a Honda shop does these repairs.. itsn't it like $2,000 plus... Geeze we want to avoid this any way possible.. how much work is involved in doing it yourself.. if God forbid, it goes bad...

So sounds like my 2006 Cr-v should be Ok.. but my son's 2004 might fall victim then?
I'll say yes. I've done two compressor replacements and one was a refrigerant conversion. I checked out a couple of automotive a/c repair books at the local library and did a little reading. If the a/c is still charged with refrigerant, just about any a/c shop will capture/remove it from the system for next to nothing.

After removing the old compressor, the old receiver/dryer and old rubber hose manifold, I flushed the evaporator and condenser with a/c system flush (from the auto parts store) and blew both out with compressed air (3 times). Added the correct type/amount of compressor oil to the new compressor and new dryer (1/2 to compressor, 1/2 to the dryer), installed new o-rings, new rubber hose manifold and buttoned it all up.

Went back to the a/c shop to have a vacuum pulled (air removal, leak test) and refrigerant added (sticker under the hood shows the amount and type of refrigerant). Worked great both times for about $400 in both parts and service. Sure beat the $1500 plus quotes I was getting. YMMV.(y)
 

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I've done AC work before, and I think the only holdup for me is that it requires equipment that I don't currently own. Fortunately a lot of these tools are now affordable, and since I might be resurrecting the ancient CR-V over the summer, getting ahold of what I need might be an option. (A gauge manifold and vacuum pump are the biggest expenses. The rest, like o-ring kits and Schraeder valve kits, are a pittance.)
If the compressor goes bad on the older vehicle, the only way to fully purge the system of contaminants is to replace the compressor, evaporator, condenser, and receiver-dryer. (That is what Honda did, under warranty)

If you have repair records, that is one way to sleep at night. If you don't, you could replace the compressor as Preventative Maintenance for about $600 USD.
That is what I would do in the same situation, and without solid proof (in the form of an invoice with a list of all parts replaced), I would assume it's original and swap it out. It would also get a fresh AC clutch in there, and would be trouble-free for quite a while.
 

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Since the evaporator is under the dash, it's probably a PITA to replace. If you are going to replace the evaporator, you might as well replace the heater core while the dash is out. Both are cheap, just a PITA to do.

I flushed 2 evaporators and condensers successfully with liquid a/c system flush and compressed air. The a/c shops replace refrigerant (in an empty system) by weight of refrigerant, per the factory sticker under the hood.
 

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I purchased the gauges and vacuum pump for $99.00 on Ebay when the a/c clutch went out on my 2003 CRV. I had just finished replacing the starter from the top by removing all of the front grill area two months earlier. The ac compressor, condenser, and oil cost $163.00 from Rock Auto. Removed all of the front grill again, and replaced them. Still good after one year. Did the same to my 2005 Equinox 3 years ago, and haven't had to add Freon on either. I'm 83 tears old, and have been dong my own repairs on my cars and motorhomes since I was 15. Started on my first car, a 1935 Ford that I bought for $20.00. Wish I still had it. Eddie Elk.
 

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Since the evaporator is under the dash, it's probably a PITA to replace. If you are going to replace the evaporator, you might as well replace the heater core while the dash is out. Both are cheap, just a PITA to do.
Oh yeah, once you get into the evaporator, it's plenty of fun times. I replaced the heater core in our '88 Accord. It was not difficult (you can disassemble that Honda interior with a Phillips-head screwdriver and 10mm ratchet), but very time consuming. Had to borrow a car for a couple of weeks since I could only work on it an hour or so after work each day. Pretty much tore everything out, right up to the firewall.

I would only replace the evaporator if it failed, or if the compressor from the affected years had grenaded on me. Otherwise, wouldn't touch it. My last AC repair was the condenser coil, and I was lucky in that my uncle had the AC tools, and a cylinder of refrigerant that he got wholesale from an HVAC dealer.
 
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