AC issues 2008 Civic

Joined
Jul 2, 2019
Messages
7
Likes
0
Points
1
#1
Make
Honda
Model
Civic
Year
2008
Miles
198,000
Engine
1.5L
Hey all. First post here.
First I want to start off by saying I’ve owned my 2008 civic LX for 2 years. I need this car only to get me back & forth to nursing school for the next 2 years so I’m hoping someone here might have some advice for me. I’m a 23 year old female with basic knowledge of cars, I can change tires/ oil, and know basic stuff.
2 months ago my AC quit working completely. What I mean by that is that the air would not blow at all. I changed the blower motor & resistor pack, and it started working again.
1 month ago my AC system quit working again. This time, it blew completely hot air- on a 90 degree day. I took it to a shop and they informed me it needed a new condenser. That it was leaking and causing everything to work too hard. I spent 600 dollars and they placed a new condenser in it, and when I got it back it worked like a charm.
1 week ago during our heat wave here in Maryland, the AC quit yet AGAIN! This time, it was blowing completely hot air like the last time, except this time it was 99 degrees outside. I called the same garage and took it back. This time, they said the AC compressor had failed due to high temperatures. They quoted me 1100. I didn’t want to, but I was hoping this would fix it once and for all.
Today, I picked the car up from the shop. Immediately got in and started driving. I’ve got Lukewarmish air coming from the vents, even after 20 minutes of driving and it only blows semi-cold on recirculating/ MAX AC setting.
I’m at a loss at this point. 1700 dollars later and I’m barely getting anything from this AC system. This car has been great to me thus far, but does anyone have any recommendations about what I can do now?

If you’ve read this far, congrats. It’s a 2008 LX with 198,000 miles, and is in great mechanical condition. I take great care of it & it is mechanically serviced on regular intervals. Please help!! I don’t want to get rid of it!
 

billr

wrench
Staff member
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Messages
6,381
Likes
78
Points
48
#2
When you got it back from the shop this last time, and it immediately gave warm air, did you immediately take it back to the shop? That would be the first step, and you should try it anyway, even if it has been a few days now, but it sounds like this shop is not all that good at A/C work, you will probably need to look for another.

PS: I'm not seeing a 1.5L engine listed for an '08 Civic. Are you sure on that?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 2, 2019
Messages
7
Likes
0
Points
1
#3
When you got it back from the shop this last time, and it immediately gave warm air, did you immediately take it back to the shop? That would be the first step, and you should try it anyway, even if it has been a few days now, but it sounds like this shop is not all that good at A/C work, you will probably need to look for another.

PS: I'm not seeing a 1.5L engine listed for an '08 Civic. Are you sure on that?

Thanks for responding! When I don’t have my own civic I have to borrow a car from my parents, which generally is not a problem but asking again & while it sits at the shop another few days might not be an option. My dad is not convinced there’s a problem, using the argument if it’s 90 degrees outside, the car can only ever cool 20 degrees below the temp outside. So right now I suppose i could take it back to the shop but I’m afraid they’re just going to tell me there’s nothing wrong with it.

Also, no I am not sure about the engine size. I believe it’s a 1.8L. That was a mistake on my part.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

billr

wrench
Staff member
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Messages
6,381
Likes
78
Points
48
#4
1.8L is a valid engine size for that car, so that is probably it.

Check the temperature of the air coming out of the grills on the dash with the blower on full speed. Air there should be in the 40-50F range, no matter what the outside temperature is. If the air isn't getting down in that range, then you could demonstrate that to the shop. Honestly, though, they don't sound too reliable. It may not be worth your while, or even having you putting more money down this rat-hole. It has to be you call as to whether to go back to them.

Sadly, as a DIY project the condenser and compressor could have been replaced for less than $500; and you may not have really needed one/both of them.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2019
Messages
7
Likes
0
Points
1
#5
1.8L is a valid engine size for that car, so that is probably it.

Check the temperature of the air coming out of the grills on the dash with the blower on full speed. Air there should be in the 40-50F range, no matter what the outside temperature is. If the air isn't getting down in that range, then you could demonstrate that to the shop. Honestly, though, they don't sound too reliable. It may not be worth your while, or even having you putting more money down this rat-hole. It has to be you call as to whether to go back to them.

Sadly, as a DIY project the condenser and compressor could have been replaced for less than $500; and you may not have really needed one/both of them.
Thanks so much for all of your help. I am going to take it to work tomorrow and see how it does. If it’s still not functioning right, we’re going to take it back to have it looked at, someone else suggested maybe paying a small fee to have it diagnosed at another garage.. When they fixed the condenser the first time they told me it was 48 degrees inside, which was true because it did have nice cold air coming in. But now that the compressor is replaced, it’s back to hot air when idling.

Honestly, I work over 67 hours a week plus school, DIY is just not an option for me at this point, but I really appreciate the time you took to respond! :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
1,596
Likes
18
Points
38
Location
Nothern California
#6
Take Bill's suggestion and actually MEASURE the air coming out of the center of the dash with a thermometer.

Use something like a meat thermometer or digital one like https://www.amazon.com/ThermoPro-TP01A-Thermometer-Digital-Meat/dp/B078KPHKZD?ref_=gep_p2_dp_5

If temp is less than about 50 degrees then Dad is probably correct. If more than 50 take that info back to the repair facility and explain you are not interested and putting more $ into this car and would like them to fix it based on the two unsuccesful repairs they did.
 

nickb2

Wrench. Diagnostic Tech.
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
9,513
Likes
172
Points
63
Location
St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada
#7
While this chart is only a reference, I am tending towards your dad. But if you feel yo actually have an issue, as said above, using a turkey or chicken or bbq thing like I use everyday when working on ac cars should help find if they fixed it or not.

Easy steps, find humidity, find temp. Set ac to max, front duct airflow and take measurement at center left duct if auto AC, if manual ac, any center duct will do. Oh yeah, here is that chart. This is what we call a heat stress test/index. osha-heat-stress-index-chart_570561.JPG
 

nickb2

Wrench. Diagnostic Tech.
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
9,513
Likes
172
Points
63
Location
St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada
#8
The same principles apply to cars. A human body relates very well to a car as it is under the same stress.


A located fridge, which is not under load will perform well.

But here, I feel sometimes my expertise and lack of translation make me a very bad teacher.

So I will try to simplify. At 90f. that = 37c.

Today, at the shop, we had 34c in shop. @ 79% humidex. Pretty much anything at this point will be luke warm in traffic. Unless you just bought a brand new lexus or acura off the lot. Even then, in heat like that, with humidex high, even the most modern cars can make a half decent 54celcius.

In the above we see heat stress for a human at exactly that, 52. At this pint, is car is well sealed, no matter what, the inside temp should increase. Hypo thermia works in much the same way, treatment is reverse thinking.

At this point, your options are limited, wait for better days to investigate yourself, or just bring it back if you can spare the hassle of having ppl lose time for your ac.


Laws of physics always apply. So if you had 90f, vs humidex, finding humidex will show, air coming out of hondas civic vailant car ducts will not go any higher than above average cold. Which I think my french brain translates to luke warm. So go on your local weather network and find was humidty was at time of luke warm event in said good civic.

It should look something like this if your on the right weather channel. I wish you good adventure with this, and if ever you need, we or I will try to help you and your dad keep this repair on the down low :money: point. But AC is expensive, more so in your age range. Seal get brittle with age, rubber leaks to atmosphere ozone molecules, the rest of why it is so hot is in your car to figure out.

Screenshot (37).png
 
Last edited:

nickb2

Wrench. Diagnostic Tech.
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
9,513
Likes
172
Points
63
Location
St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada
#9
Sadly, anything can cause this, shoddy work done on condenser replacement, several things may come into action increases with a bad installation. Sometimes, with these older cars, the deflectors that properly do air flow disintegrate with age, and cost to much to replace, the tech knows they can't get it, or just simply don't care. You on the other hand, loose ac efficiency.

Another greatly overlooked area is the cabin filter. If that is clogged, it will show of thermal expansion and hence weaken evaporator ability to create expansion of the freon which creates the cooling effect you desire. Your cars is here. Here is a simple video you can check, if you do your tires and oil changes, this is a breeze. That filter out, if temps get colder, buy a new cabin filter. ;) If not, it was probably moldy anyway with kids and all. :eek:

Only 8 or $$

 
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Messages
4,732
Likes
24
Points
38
#10
Blame crooked Al Gore falsely blaming R-12 for depleting the ozone when in fact its completely biodegradable. Replacement R-134a from then a recent patent from DuPont replaced it and it does cause global warming and is not biodegradable.

R-134a uses a women's facial cream as a lubricant that must be completely flushed out, least an hour vacuumed, back then PAG lubricant was used, if not completely flushed out will form an acid and will wreck your compressor, two weeks sounds about right. Has to be injected into the system and not exposed to air.

Understand some better lubricants out today, but haven't needed to try them. Easy to wreck a condenser, one little stone can do this, cheap thin aluminum, use to be brass.

Feel its cheaper to buy a new car.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2019
Messages
7
Likes
0
Points
1
#11
Hey all! Thank you for the responses here they’ve all been super helpful. The shop did not replace the dryer in the AC system. I have an appointment to take it to another shop next week when I have a day off! A huge thank you to everyone who took the time to dumb everything down for me & help me learn. I wasn’t getting very far with google. Pray my little civic lasts!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

billr

wrench
Staff member
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Messages
6,381
Likes
78
Points
48
#12
Let's hope the new shop doesn't find stop-leak in the system; that would have to be removed and add considerably to the cost of repair.
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Messages
4,732
Likes
24
Points
38
#13
Back in around 1970, proven lead in gas was driving some people insane, but was given ten years to phase out, even though the lead content was reduced to above 10%, hello detonation.

In 1974 suddenly asbestos was causing cancer, we were using just a small amount of it in a sealed container, but the EPA made us have a major recall. Never told us what we could use, beside loosing a of of money had to come up with something else.

In 1994 with a couple of idiots from UCLA came up with a theory that CFC refrigerants were affecting the ozone layer, it does contain a small amount of chlorine, but nothing like the huge amount of chlorine put in our drinking water, also in open evaporation sewer plants. It was banned over night. Was also learned 96% of the total CFC production was used for everything else except refrigeration.

All auto makers were using R12, but no recall was offered even with brand new vehicles, the owners were responsible for conversion, single mom with kids had to pay for that conversion out of her own pocket. 30 pound container of R-12 with the container cost $25.00. But skyrocketed to $80.00 per pound in most places. 95% of the vehicles could not be converted, this how we were screwed by the Clinton administration besides giving our country away to China.

R-134a does have a higher specific heat than R-12, an R12 condenser consisted of a solid brass tube that zigzag its way through fins, a rock could hit it, just bend the fins, no leakage. R-134a condenser is paper thin parallel flow condenser, small stone can hit it and causes leaks. The cost of repairing an R-134a system is at least 3-5 times as much as R-12.

R12 used mineral oil for a lubricant and was a mixture, good vacuum would get it all out, but not with R-134a, a solution, no amount of vacuum will get out even a little, formed an acid that would eat away the inside of your system.

Do you think we will ever go back to R12? Not with the idiots running our country.
 

nickb2

Wrench. Diagnostic Tech.
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
9,513
Likes
172
Points
63
Location
St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada
#14
This time, they said the AC compressor had failed due to high temperatures. They quoted me 1100. I didn’t want to, but I was hoping this would fix it once and for all.
Today, I picked the car up from the shop. Immediately got in and started driving. I’ve got Lukewarmish air coming from the vents, even after 20 minutes of driving and it only blows semi-cold on recirculating/ MAX AC setting.
I’m at a loss at this point. 1700 dollars later and I’m barely getting anything from this AC system.

The shop did not replace the dryer in the AC system. I have an appointment to take it to another shop next week

1 month ago my AC system quit working again. This time, it blew completely hot air- on a 90 degree day. I took it to a shop and they informed me it needed a new condenser
These three comments are in conflict with each other, or I/we are missing details. https://ca.autoshack.com/Auto/Cooli...MIqKasuN-e4wIV2YWzCh3iEgZ5EAQYASABEgII3_D_BwE

Above link will take you to a cheap condenser painted "black" :rolleyes: notice the attached dryer on the right. Even the cheapest ones come with a dryer. You know a black painted condenser is going to have an inferior fin count and bad heat exchange due to paint. A good quality one will be with aluminum not painted any color at all and have an equal, if not, superior fin count to OEM.

Any NEW condenser I have ever installed for these cars had a dryer attached.

That was my first conflict. Second conflict, when replacing a NEW compressor, the warranty will be voided if a new dryer and a proper flush of system is not done. Second conflict.

Third conflict, why go to another shop when last one said they put in a new compressor but did not install a new dryer? I don't think you should be footing another bill at all here. That is if you don't have papers proving work done. If you don't have, paperwork, your shyte out of luck in the warranty dept if they are a crooked shop.
 
Last edited:

nickb2

Wrench. Diagnostic Tech.
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
9,513
Likes
172
Points
63
Location
St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada
#15
Here is an example of what needs to be done for a compressor company to warranty your new compressor. If work slip does not prove this, they simply won't warranty if following steps cannot be proved either via work order or by receipts of parts asked for and service done. Such as a flush product, dryer, orifice tube etc. Anyway, I am beating a dead horse at this time if your going to another shop and paying more for work that was already done and should be warrantied.

Not my writing. Just a copy paste.


A/C Compressors Limited Lifetime Warranty
Thank you for the purchase of your A/C compressor from Advance Auto Parts. When properly installed, we trust you will get excellent service from this unit. In order for your warranty to be valid, you must follow the installation instructions carefully. Failure to follow those instructions may void your warranty and greatly increase the possibility of failure of your compressor.
  1. With every compressor replacement, the system must be flushed thoroughly with the proper flush solvent or provide a receipt showing it was professionally done.
  2. Also, the receiver dryer or accumulator must be replaced.
  3. If your vehicle is equipped with an orifice tube, you must replace it as well.
  4. Vehicles equipped with expansion valves require that they be checked and cleaned if necessary, they do not have to be replaced to validate the warranty.
  5. Once the system is flushed, and the new parts are installed, the system should then be evacuated, then recharged with the proper amount of refrigerant and oil. Please retain all receipts for this repair.