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George H.
George H., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Honda
Satisfied Customers: 18483
Experience:  ASE Master Tech 15+ years
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I have a 2003 Honda Civic LX and I can't get the AC to work.

Customer Question

Hello - I have a 2003 Honda Civic LX and I can't get the AC to work. I am very mechanically inclined and have the tools and knowledge to work with an expert on this issue.
thank you - Kerry
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Honda
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.
Hello I will help you with your question,
When you bypassed the compressor did it cool?
Did you check pressures while it was running? You have a set of gauges?
Do you have a schematic for the wiring?
Did you run the self test on the controls?
is the check engine light on?
Lots of questions to get started but I think we can get to the bottom of it
Thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When you bypassed the compressor did it cool?
If you mean when I jumped 1-2 at the relay box - yes I did feel some "coolness"Did you check pressures while it was running? You have a set of gauges?
I attempted using a can of ACPro to see if I could get the compressor to kick in. The pressure was low and then jumped up to the red. I first tried to add to see if it would kick the compressor on and it did not. Then I jumped the relay to engage the compressor and tried adding again - that is when I felt some coolness out of the vent. But as I said the pressure jumped to the red. I disconnected the ACPro can and tried to run the AC and I don't get anything - compressor does not engage.
Do you have a schematic for the wiring?
NO
Did you run the self test on the controls?
No - you mean by pressing the two buttons at the same time and pulling the code ? - NO I have not
is the check engine light on?
NO
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will also add that I am not that great on electrical schematics. And to clarify I do not have guages
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

Great, the gauge on the can only works when the compressor is running, if it does not show low or green and the compressor is turnig when you have the relay bypassed let me know.

The pressure switch is bypassed connecting the red to the blue at the switch connector. See if you have 12 volts to the compressor connector if you bypass the relay then plug it back in and see if the compressor runs and if it cools.

If it does great but if the compressor stops double cheak at the connector and see if it still has 12 volts.

Once you are sure the compressor works everytime you bypass the relay then plug in the relay and bypass the pressure switch.

If the compressor then runs the system is low.

Does the cooling fan come on everytime you turn on the AC with the controls? If not run the self test and see if you get a code.

Let me know what you find with those two tests.

Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok driving home from work
Will take a look later on
And as it stands right now nothing happens when i turn Ac on
No compressor - no fans
Fans do work - jumped them at relay box
Can you plz tell me the correct procedure to pull the codes?
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you, ***** ***** on being here for a few more hours.

For the manual controls click here

Let me know what you find

Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry but your instructions are not clear
Can you please explain more clearly?
I understand how to pull the codes - it's the instructions before those instructions that are hard to follow
Thank you
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

You bypassed the relay before. You said it quit cooling even though you had it bypassed?

If that is the case you need to verify that the 12 volts is still being applied to the compressor clutch by measuring at the compressor connector. If you have 12 volts to compressor we need to work there if you have the relay bypassed and you don't have 12 volts to the compressor we need to work on the wiring.

Let me know if you still have 12 volts at the compressor when it stops running and we can move on from there.

Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just read you last reply
Here is what tried before reading your last response...
I jumpers the compressor so it kicked on
Ac in car full blast
Put Ac pro can on and it read just below green
Began to charge system
Charged until at maximum green
Air inside car cold (but not Ivey cold)
Depleted can pressure at ma in green zone
Removed jumper inserted relay and compressor disengaged and would not come back on
Tried pressing Ac button off and on to see if compressor would kick in
Also - just an FYI yesterday I swapped relays and still ng
I also checked relays by applying power and listening for click then checked resistance of relay while power was applied and they all checked out
One thing I noticed while charging tonight...
When the fans kicked in during charging I noticed that the pressure on the ACPro gauge went down to just about the lowest reading in the green zone
As soon as the fans kicked off the pressure went back up to almost the highest reading in the green zone
This cycle remained the same during the entire charging process
So as it stands Ac still not working and does not come on when I press the AC button
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

How much refrigerant do you think is in the system and do you think you can drain the system, vacuum it out of any air or moisture then add exactly 19 ounces to the system?

That will give you a starting point. Now you have no idea what is in the system and it is acting like it. If the system is over or undercharged the pressure switch will cause it to shut off, if it is charged properly the pressure will stay between the limits of the pressure switch.

YOu can try bypassing the pressure switch and see if the compressor runs with what is in the system, you need to fan running all the time the compressor is running or the system will shut down.

The alternative is you get a set of gauges on loan from Autozone and see what the real readings are. They have them for loan.

Let me know how I can help

Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't have tools to drain and vacuum the system.
Does this leave me at a point where I need to bring it to a shop ( I REALLY don't want to do this)
What would getting the loaner gauges from autozone do for me?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also at this point might I just have a bad pressure switch?
How can I eliminate this as a possibility?
Should I still pull codes using the method you provided earlier?
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

Pull code yes, bypass the pressure switch but they usually don't fail. They do their job and turn off the compressor when the pressure is too high or too low to protect the compressor.

You may have a bad thermo switch on the compressor, that is why you need to see that the system is full but not over full and then you monitor the voltage to the compressor connector. The thermo switch is between the connector at the compressor and the compressor clutch.

If you don't want to bring it to a shop get the tools you need from AZ and get the correct amount in the system and then you can tell if the pressures are correct for operation. At that point it is an electrical problem but now you have no idea if the system is filled correctly.

Let me know how I can help

Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What will the tools from autozone allow me to do?You mention "get the tools you need from AZ and get the correct amount in the system"Will the tools allow me empty the system, vaccum it and then recharge ?
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

A gauge set and a vacuum pump will allow you to empty the system, pull a vacuum to get any residual air, water and refrigerant then you can install 19 - 20 ounces of refrigerant and start the system running so you can watch the gauge set to see what the high and low side pressures are

Click here for video.

He has some very good tips in that video.

Please let me know what you find

Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have a friend that owns a shop and he does ac system work - maybe it would be worth it to have him take care of the evac and charge - then if the system still does not work we can continue on with our troubleshooting.Does that sound reasonable ? He is lousy at diagnosing things but I am fairly confident that he can properly charge an AC system
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

That would be good, once you are sure the system is filled correctly we can work on the electronics. Did you get a chance to pull codes?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Off to work
I will speak with my mechanic friend to schedule to bring car to him for charge.
What should I ask him to do? I want to make sure he does not skip any important steps to get us where we need to be.
I will pull codes tonight when I get home from work
Thanks!
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

I suggest you look over the video I posted above, he does a good job of showing the steps that need to be taken to get the system charged.

You want the system recovered, vacuumed and refilled to 19 ounces of R134a. Then you can see if it will cool properly as you run it and what the pressures high and low are with the compressor running for 15 minutes. If they are now normal you are done, if the compressor does not run on its own we can check further and see why the computer is not turning the relay on.

Let me know what you find

Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
George - following up with you....
Tomorrow (Friday) I am bringing the car to my friend that owns a shop. He is going to recover, vacuum and refill the system to specifications. Once this is done we can continue on with our troubleshooting session.
Question - you indicate that the system needs to be filled to 19oz of R134a. Is this a "Honda specification" or a general spec?
When speaking with the guy I'm taking the car to he told me that the amount of R134a required is "usually shown on a label in the engine bay". Looking to you for guidance on this. Thanks - Kerry
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

Great, the amount is specific to this vehicle. It is usually shown on the label but over the years labels can go missing.

Let me know what happens

Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
just got call from mechanic where car is. He is telling me that he can't fill correctly because the fan won't stay on. He had to jumper the compressor to get it to take the charge but he is worried that he will "blow" the system because the condenser fan won't stay running. Something is not adding up. I noticed the same thing when I jumpered the ac compressor when trying to fill with the ACPro can. The fan for the compressor kept turning on and off.
I am getting very frustrated here
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

Did he try bypassing the fan relay the same as you did with the compressor relay to cause the fan to run all the time?

If you can run it that way you need to see if the ground to the fan relay is going away allowing the relay to turn off or if the relay is the fault. If the ground signal and the power to the relay is still good but it turns off replace the relay.

You said the fans do work when I asked above, was that not the case or they only work sometimes?

It is sounding like you have poor or burnt connections, the key here is measuring the ground signal from the computer to the relay and seeing if the fans stay running.

Let me know if that is clear

Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Did he try bypassing the fan relay the same as you did with the compressor relay to cause the fan to run all the time?
I TOLD HIM TO TRY THIS - AS I SAID HE'S NOT ALL THAT SHARPIf you can run it that way you need to see if the ground to the fan relay is going away allowing the relay to turn off or if the relay is the fault. If the ground signal and the power to the relay is still good but it turns off replace the relay.
HOW TO I TEST "SEE IF THE GROUND TO THE FAN RELAY IS GOING AWAY" ??You said the fans do work when I asked above, was that not the case or they only work sometimes?
WITH NOTHING JUMPERED ONLY THE RADIATOR FAN WORKS.
WHEN I JUMP THE COMPRESSOR THE CONDENSOR FAN TURNS ON AND OFF (THIS WAS HAPPENING WHEN I JUMPED THE COMPRESSOR AND TRIED FILLING WITH ACPRO CAN) I CAN RECALL IF THE RAD FAN CYCLED ON AND OFF ALONG WITH THE CONDESOR FAN.
ONE OF MY FIRST STEPS WAS TO JUMP BOTH FANS TO MAKE SURE THE MOTORS WORKED - AND THEY BOTH CHECKED OUT OKIt is sounding like you have poor or burnt connections, the key here is measuring the ground signal from the computer to the relay and seeing if the fans stay running.
OK CAN I WILL NEED YOU TO INSTRUCT ME ON HOW TO DO THIS.Let me know if that is clear
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

The way you test ground is to identify the pin the computer controls (two have 12 volts - not that one, one goes to the fan or compressor, not that one - leaving just one pin. The relay either has 30,87,85 or 86 marked next to the pins or 1,2,3,5. It will be 1 or 2 OR 85 or 86.

Slide a piece of wire into the pin socket and install the relay, use the meter between that wire and the POSITIVE post of the battery. If you see 12 volts the pin is grounded by the computer - 0 volts, the ground went away.

So you never tried bypassing the condenser fan relay to see if the fan will now run all the time? Try that.

Look for any loose or burnt pins on the relays, fuses, wire connectors for the fan and compressor and the pressure switch.

Let me know what happens if you force the fans on and run the compressor with a full charge in the system. Watch the pressures, if you see 350+ stop other wise let it run and watch the low side, it should be 22 psi up to 45 psi if the compressor is running and the fans are running.

Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Your first paragraph totally threw me
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

Ok, lets try is this way, a relay has 4 pins right? The pins will be numbered 85, 86, 87 and 30 OR 1,2,3,5. This is printed on the relay most of the time.

The pin you are checking for ground is NOT 30, or 87 nor is it 3 or 5 if it is numbered that way.

One of the remaining pins (85, or 86 OR 3 or 5) will have 12 volts with the key on it is NOT that pin you check. use the remaining pin to put a jumper into so you have something to touch when the relay is installed.

Clearer now?

Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

Click here

That should be your location to unplug and short the two pin connector which will turn on both fans.

See if that happens,

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
George - sorry been out of the loop for a few days. I think we need to regroup.
Ok - last Friday I brought the car to my mechanic friend to vacuum the system and recharge.
He was able to vacuum the system but called me saying that he needed to jump the compressor to charge the system
however because the condenser fan was not kicking in he was worried that "the compressor would blow up". He jumped the compressor and added a can 134a (the small can). He then said something about the pressure going too high (300) because the fan was not kicking in and was worried that the pressure was getting too high. I asked him if he could just jump the condenser fan to get the system charged. He said "I will see what I can do"
At that point I knew that I was not getting the kind of help I needed. Frankly I am not sure where he actually left off. When I ask him what he did he tells me that he vacuumed the system and added a can an a half of the 134a to the system.
So I am basically back at square one.
Here is what I've done since.....
Thinking that just maybe one of the relays was funky I purchased 3 new relays and installed them. After installing the new relays there was no change. The compressor and the condenser fan still do not kick in. Luckily I have a good relationship with the guys at the local auto-zone so I can return the relays when I need to.
Also thinking that I have no confidence in what my friend the mechanic did on Friday I obtained a loaner charging and testing manifold kit from auto-zone. I figured that when I reconnected with you we could use this tool as we continue troubleshooting the problem.
So...... What do you think? Where should we pick up on? Would it make good sense to first use the charging and testing manifold kit to check pressures before continuing on?
We've kind of gotten scattered here so I'd like to get on track with methodical, step-by-step diagnosis. Should we start by checking pressures or would you like to try something else first?
thanks - Kerry
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

No problem.

Yes the AC fan needs to be running to charge the system. If he can jump the compressor relay to make that run it is the same process to jumper the fan relay and have it run.

If you have a set of gauges and there is a can and a half? (12 ounce cans?) then the system should be close to full.

Install the gauges to the service ports, jumper the fan relay with the engine running using a paperclip and then start the compressor either by turning on the controls and see if they now turn it on or installing a jumper on the compressor relay.

Once you get it running that way you can watch the gauges. You want to see 200 - 275 on the red high side gauge and between 20 and 45 on the low side (blue) gauge.

Let me know if you need help locating and jumping the relays. Don't guess if you are not sure ask me.

Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I know how to jump the condenser and radiator fans - did this to test them. I assumed the same pins get jumped for the compressor? I tried this several days ago and using the same pins the compressor kicked on so I am guessing I got it right. If you have info on the correct pins to jump for the compressor please let me know so that I am sure I'm doing this right
thanks - Kerry
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

Yes that is correct, I am not sure which relays you have in this but the pin sockets you want to connect are usually larger and copper colored. If the relays are marked use pins 1 and 2 OR 30 and 87 depending on which way they are marked.

If you look at the photo I posted above it shows the radiator fan switch, leave the relays in place and jumper that switch connector to turn on both fans.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
George - I've been off the job for a few days. Its Saturday and I am going to work on the car now.
OK - so that game plan now is to jumper the fan switch instead of a relay? You have indicated that by doing this both the radiator fan and the condenser fans will turn on.
Also - I do not see the image you are referring to that you said that you posted.
Do you now want me to jumper the fan switch connector? I just want to be 100% sure that this is what you want me to do.
I assume that the fan switch is the one that comes out of the thermostat housing.
thank you - Kerry
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

Yes, the fans should come on with the engine running, let me know if they do.

Click here for location.

Let me know if you see something other than what is shown, there are several variations of this system

Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
George - this is exactly my setup. I am going out to the car now to first jump the fan switch connector to see if both the radiator and the condenser fans turn on (with the car running).
BTW - before we began to troubleshoot this together I installed a new fan switch (thinking that it was the cause of the problem). So there is a new fan switch in there now. I still have the old one.
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

OK, I was just using this as a way to turn on the whole system to be sure everything is working. The AC system uses another wire to turn it on when you select AC. Once you have the fans running and the gauges installed jumper the compressor relay to see what happens with the gauge pressure. If you see 300 psi with the fans running disconnect the compressor jumper and let me know

Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
George - just confirmed that jumpering the fan switch turns both fans on.
I am going to connect the gauges - hopefully its easy - I've never done this - - there are instructions with the kit.
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

It is not hard, I believe they snap onto the valves with this set, if not they have a knob you tighten lightly. Same for the valves on the body of the manifold, lightly seat them so each gauge is isolated.

Let me know what you see

Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
George here are the results
With fan switch jumpered (both fans running)
Compressor jumpered (spinning)
AC button in cabin pressed on (and lit)
Blower fan in cabin on high (blowing)
low = 30
high = 125
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

It is not cold? How long did you run it?

Do you have any refrigerant left? It sounds like you have a leak or your "mechanic" didn't really get a can and a half in.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
also - air coming out of vent seem a little colder than outside temp but by no means icy cold.
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

Can you see my post above?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't have any left
Also - when I first put gauges on the high side knob must have been on and I got a burst of what I guess is Freon - was able to shut that down in about 2 seconds. Not sure if that caused enough to be lost to account for low reading.
Note that the mechanic also put in a can of green leak detector (which sprayed onto shock tower when I first put the gauges on)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There is a good change that the mechanic messed up - he ALWAYS does somehow. So the low reading would account for the compressor not kicking in ?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
sorry did not completely answer your first questions...
cool but not COLD
let it run for about 5 minutes
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

Not enough leak at the gauge to matter, you are low on charge so there are two ways to go here.

Did you say you have a vacuum pump in addition to the gauges?

If you did then you can empty the system and run the pump connected to the yellow hose and both gauge valves open for 30 minutes and close the valves, turn the pump off and watch the gauges to see if they creep up. If the vacuum on the blue gauge comes up more than 1 inchHg then run the pump for another 30 minutes and check it again. It should hold steady for more than 10 minutes at 20 inHG or lower.

If no pump you can try adding 1/2 can and run the system for 15 minutes to see if the pressure stay normal.

At that point the fans should run on their own or we have to check the switch signals that turn them on.

Let me know if you have the pump.

Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
no I do not have the vacuum. I can get one from autozone but I know they would have to order it in from another store so the soonest might be tomorrow. I don't have confidence that the mechanic even vacuumed the system. Maybe he did - maybe he didn't. Damn waste of $50.
When he was doing the job he called me saying that he had to jump the compressor (which he should have known). He also called me when just one can was in saying that he was worried that he'd "blow" the system because the fan was not kicking in. At that time I recall him saying that the pressure was "already over 200" with once can.
I asked him if he could just jump the fan and the compressor to fill the system and he said he would.
When I do the car there was one can empty and the other felt kinda heavy. I asked him just this Friday what the final pressure was and he could not recall. I also asked him if he jumped the condenser fan and he also replied that he could not remember.
Maybe I should just buy a small can and add some more - what do you think?
How do I do this with the gauge set I have? There is a yellow hose and a vacant threaded connection on the gauge set. There are also two "valves" on the manifold itself that look like hot/cold water shutoffs.
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

OK, well it is your call, the best way is to start with a system that you know is not leaking and it is fairly simple from there but if you want to add more you can put in about 1/2 can and see if the pressures are better.

The yellow hose is threaded to accept the can tap that screws onto the can connect them up, put it on the can and pierce the can then open the valve.

Both valves on the gauge set closed at this point.

Open the blue valve just a crack, if there is a sight glass on the manifold you want to see droplets not solid liquid as you flow the refrigerant into the system. If it stops flowing then close the valve, start the fans and compressor and flow some more into the blue side. Slowly add and stop to see what the pressure are and what the vent temperatures are.

If you see the pressure come up to 225/40 or so then stop, install the AC relay and fan connector and clear any codes that are set. Start the system with the gauge valves closed and see if the fans come on. If they do not or the compressor does not start then STOP if you see pressure over 300 psi.

Let me know what happens

Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have a yellow hose that connects directly to a can and the other end to the manifold.
When say "put it on the can and pierce the can then open the valve" what valve are you referring to?
The only valves are the two on the manifold itself that look like water shutoff and the blue(low side) and red (high side) knobs that are part of the coupler that attaches to the service ports.
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

OK, if the hose fits the manifold yellow hose then that will work. If you don't have a valve on the can you will lose what is left if you only need 1/2 the can

No dye, no oil and certainly no sealer. Only R134a

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok so this this the correct procedure at this point?:
1. close blue and rad knobs on couplers that attach to service ports
2. connect 134a can to the threaded port between the low and high side ports on the manifold.
3. jumper fan switch and ac compressor turn on all interior ac controls to max
4. turn car on
5 turn blue knob on low side connector clockwise to open port.
6. watch high side reading and close blue knob when gauge reads 200 - 275
is this the correct order to do this in?
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

That is the correct order but I want to repeat the caution about only flowing gas into the blue side. You want the can upright and only crack the valve a bit, it takes longer but if you flow liquid into the compressor you will need a new compressor.

Let me know what you see

Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
crap - that does not sound good. Without the sight glass I have no way of knowing if I'm letting liquid flow into the compressor.
... and the knob that's on the coupler that attaches to the low service port is not a precision valve - there really is not way to know if you have it cracked 1/4 or full.
Without a sight glass I gather the safest thing I can do is just make sure the can stays upright.
So just to double check once I've opened the valve on the coupler that attaches to the low service port you want me to observe the reading on the high gauge and stop when it reaches 200-275? If yes what is the preferred reading 200 or 275?
thanks - Kerry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Here are some pictures of the tester/charger that I'm using
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

You have to creep up on the amount so stop at 200. At that point you want to see the low side cycling so you need to install the compressor relay and plug the fan switch back in. If the fans and compressor now come on let it cycle for a few minutes and see if it stays on for 30 seconds or more before it cycles off.

If you just crack the blue valve a little and keep the can upright it should be fine without a sightglass.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
another day of total frustration.
got small can of r134a. Set it up like we talked about.
Wound up that the yellow hose that can with the tester would not pierce the can. So I went ahead and connected the ACPro gauge to the new small can and attached it to the low side port. I left the high side gauge connected to the high side service port to monitor progress.
I left the can of r134a connected for about a full 45 min - that's what it took to empty it. The high side gauge did not budge.
After the can was empty I disconnected everything put the fan switch connector back on put the relay back in place.
Tried to turn on the AC and NOTHING. No compressor no condenser fan no cold air.
I am at a total loss now.
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

Put the low side gauge back on and run it. This is not unexpected so we now know what is in the system and that it should be turning on. We get out the meter and start checking that the fuses have power, the AC switch is telling the computer that you want AC and the pressure switch and coolant temp sensors along with ambient temp sensor are not giving the computer any reason not to turn on the compressor.

I need to run out for about 1/2 hour, take a break, cool off and I will write up the steps as soon as I get back and dig out the locations for testing

Thanks, ***** ***** to get the system cleaned out so you know what is in it and with the gauge set we can see in the system.

Don't give up, you did the refrigerant side now we work on the electrical.

Post what the gauges are now reading with the compressor and the fans running.

Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks - just an FYI I ran the DTC and no codes came up. I checked three times.
What can't I get the high side gauge to come up to 200-275?
What is stopping this from happening?
I'll note that I am getting colder air now - my daughter says its as cold as it ever was but to me its just not the icy cold that it should be. Plus its not turning on the way it should.
thanks - Kerry
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

You are getting there it just needs a little more, you may have a leak and it is coming out but with the dye you will see the spot soon.

Glad you don't have codes it could be the controls but that needs to be checked so as I posted above you have an idea of what is in the system and you have gauges to monitor it now we can move onto the electrical side.

You ever connect the low gauge back up to see what the pressure is there?

It may be that the compressor is working as well as it can, as I posted above if liquid refrigerant enters the compressor it will be damaged and with what has been done before that is a possibility BUT if you have enough pressure on the low side the controls should turn it on so that is why I first asked what the low side it reading now. The high side is just an indication, the low side shows the operation of the system.

If you wish to continue I am here

Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Of course I wish to continue ! I have to get this thing fixed.
I will go ahead and hook up the gauge again in a little bit and tell you what the reading is. I guess the good side is that my daughter is telling me that the air that is coming out of the vents is as cold as it every was when it was working properly. With everything jumped there is definitely AC coming out of vents so I guess the trick now is to get it to turn on from within the car.
I am looking forward to finding out what the actual problem is.
thanks - Kerry
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

OK good. The cold air tells you that you are close to properly charged, I will put together a list of what needs to be checked for the electrical starting with the fuses.

Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

OK, at the compressor clutch relay pull it and check that you have 12 volts at 2 of the pin sockets.

If you do check for continuity from connector F pin 9 on the underdash fuse block to connector A pin 4 on the heater controls. The connector views are here

Once you are sure of those then we move on to evaporator temperature sensor, coolant temp sensor to the PCM and wiring connections. Either the MCU (computer part of underdash fuse block) the controls for the HVAC or wiring between those are failed. I warn you that we may hit a point that a Honda factory level scantool is needed to confirm the signal from the HVAC AC request button to the PCM is getting there. It is a digital signal and cannot be read with anything else. If we can't do that you will have to take a chance and replace the control (probable) or the fuse block (less likely).

Let me know what you find with the first two checks.

Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK, at the compressor clutch relay pull it and check that you have 12 volts at 2 of the pin sockets.
Which two pin sockets do you want me to check? Please explain how to do this.If you do check for continuity from connector F pin 9 on the underdash fuse block to connector A pin 4 on the heater controls. The connector views are here
Not completely sure how to do this. Do you want me to unplug a connector that plugs into the fuse block and do you want me to unplug a connector that plugs into a heater control ?
thanks
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

Check all the pin sockets, 2 of them should show 12 volts with the key on.

Does your meter have an Ohms selection? If it does pull either connector (I would use the one on the control and touch the correct pin (on the control it is the #4 pin which has a blue wire) then while holding it there slip a straight pin in the #9 pin of the F connector on the underdash fuse block to make contact inside the connector and touch the pin with the other lead of the meter.

The reading should be the same as what you see on the meter when you touch the two leads together. (0 ohms or close to it).

Let me know if that is clear

Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok so I am disconnecting the connector from the heater control and putting one probe from my multimeter into the #4 position of the connector. I am not clear on what you want me to connect the other probe to.
Am I disconnecting a connector from the fuse block or am I going in from the front of the fuse block where the fuses go in?
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

On the underdash fuse block there are many connectors, I included the diagram so you can find the "F" connector and I also included the pin diagrams for both connectors. Find pin #9 on the F connector and slip a straight pin along the blue/white stripe wire to make contact then touch your meter lead to the straight pin. You don't need to disconnect the F connector that way. Key off for this test.

Let me know if that is clear

Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what do you mean by "and slip a straight pin along"
Do you want me to stick a pin into the blue/white wire without disconnecting the connector and then touch my probe to that pin?
Sorry for the questions I am just not understanding your directions completely
thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also - before I crawl under the dash....
Is it easy to access the connector off the heater control or will I have to remove anything to get to it? I assume that I am accessing that connector from underneath the dash
thanks - Kerry
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

I want you to slide the pin along the side of the wire into the connector, not pierce it. The idea is to make contact with the wire end inside without doing any damage then you have something to put your meter lead to measure.

Please ask all the questions you need, I don't want you to guess.

Pull the heater control out of the dash, it is just snapped in then you can get to the connectors on the back.

If you can get to it without pulling the control that will work as well. click here

I need to go deliver some equipment, I will be back within an hour.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
George here are the results you asked for:
12v at 2 and 4 with key on (see attached pic)
37 low side
50 high side
(readings without compressor or fans running - all relays in)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
George - the last image may have thrown you off - I've attached a hand drawing of the actual view looking at the under hood relay box
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

OK, so the relay has what it need to operate and the control head has power.

If all you are seeing is 37 or 50 psi on the gauge then you do have a leak that you need to find and fix. The static pressure with everything off and at ambient should be about ambient temperature so unless it is 50F there you have a fairly large leak.

Does it cool if you turn the fans on and jumper the relay?

I would guess it does not cool like it did yesterday.

Can you see green dyd at any of the joints in the hoses, the condenser up front or around the compressor? It is meant to be viewed with a blacklight but usually you can see it. Any trace of dyd indicates a leak unless it was spillage as you connected the gauges. Look in the service ports for what the dyde looks like, there will be some there.

Let me know what the temp is there

Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am checking with the car running without jumping anything. That how I got the 37 / 50 readings.Yesterday I got 30 / 125 with everything jumped.
I will jump everything now and give you the readings.
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

That is what I thought, You have a leak so the best choice at this point is to look for dyd and if you can't find it that way you need to have a shop find the leak.

Let me know what you see

Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
George - I gave you the readings with nothing jumped....
I just jumped the fans and the compressor and now the readings are:
low = 40
high = 125
These are pretty much the same as yesterday's last test. It appears that the high side reading goes up when you have the fans and compressor running.
I will also note that there is cold air coming out of the vents. Not icy-freezing cold but definitely air conditioned air.
thank you - Kerry
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

I understand but if you put a thermometer I bet it is several degrees warmer. Unless it is 10 degrees cooler now than it was yesterday when you checked you are losing refrigerant somewhere

In any case with 40 on the low side you can make the check from the control to the fuse lock connector. It should be 0 ohms or very close to that

Let me know what you find

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would say that it is indeed about 10 degrees cooler right now than it was when I was testing yesterday afternoon.
Air coming out of vent seems just as cold as it was yesterday - don't have a thermo but its cold air.
One note about leaks. When I took the low side cap off the service port I heard a puff of air released. I put some water in the service port and I can see a very small amount of tiny bubbles every now and then. It is VERY VERY small and happens about every 1-2 minutes but it is there. My first visual without a black light shows no leaks - I don't have the correct lamp to make the leak detector glow but the stuff is neon green and where ever I do have spillage it stands out like a sore thumb.
I just read a tutorial about high/low side gauges and their readings and it says that it is normal for the static to be close to one another without the car running.
http://www.aircondition.com/tech/questions/82/
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

Normal for the port to leak, it is the cap that is the primary seal.

If it is 10 degrees warmer then it might be OK but it is looking like you have more than one problem with this. If the compressor cannot build more than 140 - 150 on a full system then it is damaged. Do the gauges flutter when it is running?

Do the check of the wiring while you still have pressure in the system, key off for that check.

Yes, while the system is at rest the pressures will equalize and it should be about the same temperature as the air if you give it enough time.

Let me know what you find

Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The car has been running for about 45 minutes now and the gauges are reading.
No flutter on gauges - they are steady
low = 45
high = 150
everything is jumped
cold air coming out of vents
outside temp right now is 75 degrees
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

Ok can you do the check of the sensor wiring?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sensor wiring? Is that the fuse block and controller that you referenced earlier?
You mentioned that I can jut pull the ac/heater controller out from the dash and disconnect the connector from the back. How do I pull the ac/heater controller out?
thanksKerry
Expert:  George H. replied 1 year ago.

Yes, that is the check I want you to run. I posted the procedure with my reply back at the 10:02 time stamp, it is now 1:30 where I am.