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I have an '03 E EX, bought it certified used last October... and recently I've moved to Tempe, AZ... so it's 115 outside, and my A/C stops blowing cold air all of a sudden. So I take it to the dealer, and they quote me $1900. After I picked my jaw up from the ground, I left without fixing it... and took it to Sears auto to see if they could tell me anything, and they told me it was the compressor and they couldn't fix it....

So I took it to a highly rated place I found on yelp (13 out of 13 5 star ratings). Seems to be the most honest repair shop I've ever been to, and he tells me the rubber around the A/C clutch is all melted and ruined, and that possibly replacing the clutch will work, but he's not 100% positive without taking everything apart. So he quoted me just the clutch job ($840) and then quoted me for the compressor, if it came to that ($1600) and explained how difficult Honda made it to replace the compressor, and the fact that Honda also requires you to replace the dryer when you replace the compressor since they made them 1 unit...

It's only been a week w/ out A/C and I'm tired of sweating my ass off in my black Element in this heat, I did enough of that in Iraq and Afghanistan...

My Question is does anyone know where I can find cheap A/C parts (clutch assembly, and/or compressor assembly) online? And has anyone else had a similar experience? I've read these forums about the damage and the unprotected grill and stuff, but I don't think that's the case, but hey, I'm definitely not a gearhead.

Any help is appreciated!

Prices I was quoted for parts: Clutch Kit - $295, Clutch Coil $190 and Remanufactured AC Compressor Kit $972.
 

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bernardi parts www.bernardiparts.com seems to be the cheapest OEM around.

I don't know about the one that was quoted but a rebuilt compressor often but not always will come complete.

Seems like they have your stuff about 30% cheaper, and the compressor only appears to be $417, that was on the search I did your specs may be different.

Used is a possible route, but I don't recommend it.

After market suppliers have A/C stuff also but that can be hit or miss on quality and fit.

Chris
 

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Rock Auto---online--- had a new comp w/clutch for under 4 bills when I checked for someone a couple of months ago.

If the compressor itself didn't disintegrate internally, you can get by without replacing the accumulator----just don't leave the system open too long.

I always replace it, though----it's good insurance.;-)
 

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Yeesh...one of the things any of us dread I would think. These are never cheap fixes.

Would you mind sharing what the mileage is on your vehicle for posterity's sake?

Good luck with the repair! (That shop sounded very honest. Ask them if you can supply parts yourself for them to do the job.)
 

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My '04 EX's compressor blew up in the Sonoran Desert last month on a road trip from LA to Houston. I've got 112,000 miles so Honda won't touch it, but I hear that it's the same system as the CRVs that have been having the same problem... Compressor blows up, melts the clutch so you can't trouble shoot the rest of the system. Once you take it apart you discover that the blown compressor has sent little bits of metal through the entire system, rendering it unfixable... $2600.00 to use genuine honda parts to replace the system in Houston.

I have an '03 E EX, bought it certified used last October... and recently I've moved to Tempe, AZ... so it's 115 outside, and my A/C stops blowing cold air all of a sudden. So I take it to the dealer, and they quote me $1900. After I picked my jaw up from the ground, I left without fixing it... and took it to Sears auto to see if they could tell me anything, and they told me it was the compressor and they couldn't fix it....

So I took it to a highly rated place I found on yelp (13 out of 13 5 star ratings). Seems to be the most honest repair shop I've ever been to, and he tells me the rubber around the A/C clutch is all melted and ruined, and that possibly replacing the clutch will work, but he's not 100% positive without taking everything apart. So he quoted me just the clutch job ($840) and then quoted me for the compressor, if it came to that ($1600) and explained how difficult Honda made it to replace the compressor, and the fact that Honda also requires you to replace the dryer when you replace the compressor since they made them 1 unit...

It's only been a week w/ out A/C and I'm tired of sweating my ass off in my black Element in this heat, I did enough of that in Iraq and Afghanistan...

My Question is does anyone know where I can find cheap A/C parts (clutch assembly, and/or compressor assembly) online? And has anyone else had a similar experience? I've read these forums about the damage and the unprotected grill and stuff, but I don't think that's the case, but hey, I'm definitely not a gearhead.

Any help is appreciated!

Prices I was quoted for parts: Clutch Kit - $295, Clutch Coil $190 and Remanufactured AC Compressor Kit $972.
 

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I don't know if I would use a genuine Honda part on this one if you believe there is an inherent problem with the Honda Element compressor design.:twisted:

As far as the pieces of metal from disintegration, the system only has to be flushed out with an approved A/C flush or use alcohol as I do----very simple and routine.;-)

Good luck.

P.S. $2600 is crazy high
 

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I used this site often but never joined until I read what appeared to be an appeal from my doppelganger. I live in Scottsdale, AZ and I have an '03 Element as well. And like you, the compressor clutch decided to no longer engage about a month and a half ago. Being born and raised here, I hung on a little longer, but my mechanic quoted similar prices that like you I couldn't afford.

My financial situation led me to make a decision that I would not normally come to, but with 105,000 miles on my car I decided to gamble a little. I bought a used compressor/clutch assembly (from an '06) from LKQ in Phoenix (3024 S. 40th Street, 602-437-0194) for $150.00 (which includes a 6 month warranty), and an accumulator drier (not OEM) from discountacparts.com for $35.00, not including shipping. (I would not replace the compressor without replacing the drier, but the reason that I went with this one over Honda's is that this is a non-mechanical device that seems obscenely over-priced for the materials and quality involved.) My mechanic has offered to pull my freon, clean it and hold it while I remove and replace the compressor/clutch assembly myself, and then clean the system and replace the drier with the one I bring in.

This should save me a considerable amount of money, but leaves me committing the sacrilege of installing used and non-OEM parts. I have had the car for almost 6 years and will keep it for at least another 2-3, so I'm hoping that the restored AC will cover me for that amount of time. It's not a decision for everyone, but just in case you're thinking like I did, you'll have the information to make it happen.
 

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Another E goes down..

At 214k my 03' just started blowing warm air after a couple minutes of arctic freezing coming out the vents. A recharge and visual gave inspection gave no indicators at one shop. Took it to a local Firestone and they found that the clutch had failed out drastically and left metal in the lines. They said once that happens its a complete replacement of all parts. Using OEM they quoted me 1550.00.

I love my E but that's the same cost as a new motor... Guess I'll have to enjoy the South Carolina heat for awhile. Maybe start a "GoFundMe".
 

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Honda CRV's seem to have a real problem with their AC compressors. So much so that Honda extended the warranty on some years. I'm kind of surprised the E 's are not experiencing the same proportional number of AC failures.
 

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From what I understand, the Element does not have the same system as some other Honda's that completely frag the system when the compressor lets go. They do have problems with the clutch (electro magnet) on the A/C compressor. You can force the clutch to engage from the relay connector in the engine compartment to see if it still cools. This tests to see if it is a simple clutch coil replacement vs A/C compressor replacement.
 

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From what I understand, the Element does not have the same system as some other Honda's that completely frag the system when the compressor lets go. They do have problems with the clutch (electro magnet) on the A/C compressor. You can force the clutch to engage from the relay connector in the engine compartment to see if it still cools. This tests to see if it is a simple clutch coil replacement vs A/C compressor replacement.
where do you find the relay connector for the clutch?
 

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Another one goes down, '05

Grrr....with only 107,000 miles on it. I lived without air last summer and I think I'm going to bite the bullet and get it fixed. I've been quoted between 1 - 1,500 - depending on the severity of the situation - I'm guessing it has blown bits everywhere and it's going to be 1500. I'm disappointed that with a Honda this has happened. The dealership was much higher so I have gone to a five star rated local mechanic in town.
 
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