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This is my second and most likely last Honda. My a/c failed last weekend(68k on it). I took it to a "reliable" local shop and had the issue diagnosed. A 30 amp fuse was blown and when it was replaced and the tech was working on it, the fuse blew again leading them to a possible diagnosis of compressor clutch issues. Further diagnosis confirmed the problem. Long story short, the bottom line is close to 1500 to make it alright. I have had one vehicle prior to the Element that had an a/c issue but well over 100k and was remediated for about 600.00. While I find the breakdown of an allegedly "quality" vehicle premature what really frosts me is that one of the certified parts for the compressor clutch is on back order, can only be located in the midwest and cannot be shipped for 4 business days thus keeping the E in the shop for until at least next thursday. I realize that a percentage of all mechanical/electrical devices will fail prematurely but you would think that a corp. the size of Honda would have adequate inventory to remediate any problem in a timely, more cost effective manner. The vehicle has been properly maintained to factory specs the entire time, I'm just extremely frustrated with the entire experience at this point.
 

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A/C Issue

It is really hard to pinpoint why some systems/components fail seemingly before their time. I have never had any A/C problems with my E and, like you, have maintained mine to the letter. I currently have a little over 104K on the clock and have no major failures to speak of. My last expenditure was for a blower motor transistor ($74.00) and compared to what you are faced with it is a mere drop in the bucket. I am absolutely disgusted at the prices for replacement parts today. Everyone is getting a piece of the pie so to speak and when it comes to the consumer (us) we pay through the nose. I believe in the free enterprise system but prices on some of this stuff borders on stupid.

I am sorry for your misfortune and hopefully you will have no more major problems.
 
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