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Discussion Starter #1
New guy here. I have read much of this forum and appreciate all of the good information, but I do have a question about the air conditioning system I have not found a previous answer to. My wife has a 2007 CR-V EX-L with 92K miles she bought used that is in great condition. I do not know if it has ever had the A/C system fixed before, but there was nothing on the Carfax when she got it. At any rate, the A/C works fine now and she loves the CR-V.

Has anyone proactively replaced the A/C clutch and coil (or even an entire compressor assembly) and avoided a total system failure so far? Looking at the price of compressors (OEM or aftermarket), is it effective to replace the items that have caused A/C system problems in the past before the worst might happen to limit more expensive collateral damage? If so, what other parts would you consider replacing proactively at the same time? Relay? A new condensor? For the purpose of this question, assume I would not have a dealer do this work, but instead an A/C specialist or a respected independent repair shop.

Since Honda will only admit that the clutch/coil is a problem in their special extended warranty, would you consider it prudent, or at least cost effective, to replace those parts as preventative maintenance to avoid a total system failure?
 

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the coil wears out, because any time you have the defrost on the a/c will go on by default. when the coil wears out it only pulls the clutch disc part way in or not at all. When the coil fails the compressor is not turning. For preventative maintenance, I would have the system serviced and a small amount of oil added. As for the coil and clutch would change when it break.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. Is there usually enough time from the onset of symptoms of clutch/coil problems until compressor failure to just change out the clutch/coil and avoid worse damage?
 

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I've got an '09 with 125k miles and been fortunate that I have not experienced any AC problems. But my understanding was the compressor had a tendency to seize up, and when that occurred the collateral damage threw contaminants into the system leading to extensive (and expensive) repair. If the problem was as simple as clutches burning up I don't believe it would have led to the fuss that it did. Now, whether the compressor seizures were somehow the result of slipping clutches overheating the compressor, I do not know. But obviously the repair ends up being more than a $30 clutch (plus labor).

I'd be interested in feedback on this as well, because if replacing the clutch every 2 or 3 years prevents the system from imploding then that seems like a good investment.

edit - as the OP mentions, even a replacement compressor at $300 proactively beats the $3,000 - $4,000 repair estimates I've seen posted. My take is that when it goes, it takes the ENTIRE system with it.

edit 2-
The air compressor found on the CR-V has the issue of “imploding”; the internals completely shattering, forcing debris throughout your AC system, plaguing all of the associated components and causing the compressor to seize or “lock up”. This debris will find itself lodged in these parts and a simple flush just won’t do. Replacing ONLY the AC Compressor and drier is not sufficient enough to have reliable AC once again. By doing so, you will only put yourself through the entire replacement process over again as the debris and contaminants will only find it’s way back into the compressor and it will seize once again.

There is no simple way to repair the CR-V’s AC System. You MUST replace the following parts to remedy the problem:

1. Compressor

2. Condenser (with Drier attached)

3. Expansion Device

4. Evaporator

5. System Seal Kit

6. System Oil

7. Both low side and high side AC Hoses.
 

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This is actually a good topic... I've occasionally given thought to proactively replacing the compressor as well. Up in VT, I could get by if the AC died, but it sure is nice to have and I'd consider $300 a good investment towards that luxury. I'd need to know that the replacement came with a warranty that covered the entire system, not just the compressor, and was at least (hopefully better) as good as the original so it doesn't implode 1 year after doing the work.
 

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not sure how much parts are for the gen3 crv but I bought all the parts for my 2005 crv for about 200 bucks on amazon using aftermarket stuff. Honda is going to do the vacuuming and freon refill for 130 bucks. Labor for installation is free since I am doing it. Just make sure you have the freon evacuated by a professional and not just dump it into the atmosphere. Even though its is not toxic it can cause some temporary unwanted side effects if you break it in high concentration. The hoses and condenser are the easier stuff to do. The evap core and compressor take some effect.

1. Compressor

2. Condenser (with Drier attached)

3. Expansion Device

4. Evaporator

5. System Seal Kit

6. System Oil

7. Both low side and high side AC Hoses.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
But my understanding was the compressor had a tendency to seize up, and when that occurred the collateral damage threw contaminants into the system leading to extensive (and expensive) repair. If the problem was as simple as clutches burning up I don't believe it would have led to the fuss that it did. Now, whether the compressor seizures were somehow the result of slipping clutches overheating the compressor, I do not know.
This is probably the crux of my question. Is the final destruction of the compressor and the contaminated system the result of (or caused by) a relatively gradual degradation of the coil and/or clutch (as downloader states above) or is it just the entire compressor assembly catastrophically failing suddenly without advanced notice? If the expensive "black death" is a result of sudden compressor failure AFTER the gradual failure of the coil/clutch, then it seems proactively replacing the coil/clutch (or even a new $300 compressor assembly) may well be cost effective preventative maintenance considering what replacing the entire system costs.

Has anyone done this?
 
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