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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,
I have a 2003 ex with 120K miles.
A short while ago the AC stopped working. I'm not much of a mechanic, but I decided to try to work out the problem. I bought the honda service repair manual and tried to figure it out. After some digging around, I figured out that the condenser fan was not working. I tested all the fuses and the relay. When I hooked the old fan direct to the battery it didn't work. I bought a new fan on Ebay and replaced it as per a few good youtube videos. The new fan works great but the AC is still blowing hot. Any ideas?
Thanks
Alec
 

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Hi; having the same car but only 80K miles, my AC stopped working too. In the end I found out it was the solenoid(?) magnetic switch which connects the AC pump to the drive system when you push the AC button; a rather expensive device ( I let the mecanics do the job) but problem (my - ) solved.
How to find out? I do not exactly know, but I gather you can sense the switch working when laying your hand on it and pushing the button (2 persons required). It is a circular magnet ring on the right side of the motor (do not let it run when trying [email protected])
succes! Herman
(sorry for the worse grammar, bloody foreigner I am)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi; having the same car but only 80K miles, my AC stopped working too. In the end I found out it was the solenoid(?) magnetic switch which connects the AC pump to the drive system when you push the AC button; a rather expensive device ( I let the mecanics do the job) but problem (my - ) solved.
How to find out? I do not exactly know, but I gather you can sense the switch working when laying your hand on it and pushing the button (2 persons required). It is a circular magnet ring on the right side of the motor (do not let it run when trying [email protected])
succes! Herman
(sorry for the worse grammar, bloody foreigner I am)
Thanks endoherman, I'll look for/at the solenoid.
 

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Hi; having the same car but only 80K miles, my AC stopped working too. In the end I found out it was the solenoid(?) magnetic switch which connects the AC pump to the drive system when you push the AC button; a rather expensive device ( I let the mecanics do the job) but problem (my - ) solved.
How to find out? I do not exactly know, but I gather you can sense the switch working when laying your hand on it and pushing the button (2 persons required). It is a circular magnet ring on the right side of the motor (do not let it run when trying [email protected])
succes! Herman
(sorry for the worse grammar, bloody foreigner I am)
How expensive was that to fix? That might be my problem too.
 

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I'll try to simplify this to whom it concerns. This is how I go about checking the A/C system these days. First step; turn a/c to max both radiator fan driver side & condenser fan passenger should turn on. If one is not turning on check for 12v at each plug. Step two; check the under hood fuse for the condenser fan and relays related to the ac system. In some cases the relays go bad or the fan motor will over heat causing the fuse to trip. Third step; check for 12v at ac compressor if there's 12v you got a bad compressor coil if there's no 12v you can work your way up. Forth step; if the blower inside is dead no air coming out you got a bad thermo transistor. Multimeter is a must and there cheap these days. These steps seem to be the most common issues with Elements.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Bross:
I assume that I should approach the compressor from below? I can hardly see the thing from the top side. I plan to use jump cables from the battery to the compressor itself. From what I've read online, if I only check for 12 V at the compressor, I'll be checking an unloaded circuit which may not be accurate. I need to have an electrical load present also (I think).
 

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Yep I should have been more detailed on the compressor coil 12v check. But yes you can jump 12v to compressor, the connection tab will be located on the bottom of the condenser fan housing right in the middle. You can pry back the plastic under guard or remove the tabs to make more room. It's all pretty straight forward.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
update:
I followed Bross's advice.
Looking at the schematic a few times, I now understand a little about the system. There is a basic circuit from the battery to the compressor, and a secondary, controlling circuit that manages the basic circuit by means of the relay.
This basic circuit only has one switch - the relay located under the hood. The compressor itself is ground to the engine block. After checking the fuses and relay (working), I got under the car and checked the single hot wire that originates in the relay and ends connecting to the compressor. I checked the wire at its connector at the base of the compressor fan. With a multimeter I got no voltage difference between the hot wire and ground (engine block).
I then ran a simple jump wire from the hot terminal of the battery to the underneath of the car. I checked this jump wire with the multimeter against the same ground and got 12V. When I tried to jump the compressor I got no click.
That means a bad wire and a bad compressor. However, that seems unlikely. What are the chances of both going bad at the exact same time?
Any ideas would be appreciated
 

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I'll try to simplify this to whom it concerns. This is how I go about checking the A/C system these days. First step; turn a/c to max both radiator fan driver side & condenser fan passenger should turn on. If one is not turning on check for 12v at each plug. Step two; check the under hood fuse for the condenser fan and relays related to the ac system. In some cases the relays go bad or the fan motor will over heat causing the fuse to trip. Third step; check for 12v at ac compressor if there's 12v you got a bad compressor coil if there's no 12v you can work your way up. Forth step; if the blower inside is dead no air coming out you got a bad thermo transistor. Multimeter is a must and there cheap these days. These steps seem to be the most common issues with Elements.
In step #2, how do you know if the relay is bad without replacing them?

Edit: Holy ship! I just pulled out Relay 1, 3, and 4 on one of my Elements and switched it with the other one. Presto! AC now works. So I guess I just replace them unless I could easily figure out which one of the 3 it was...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
In step #2, how do you know if the relay is bad without replacing them?

Edit: Holy ship! I just pulled out Relay 1, 3, and 4 on one of my Elements and switched it with the other one. Presto! AC now works. So I guess I just replace them unless I could easily figure out which one of the 3 it was...
Leadfoot, that's what I did. I switched the relays 1 and 2 with no effect. (relay 1 is to the radiator fan and rely 2 is for the AC compressor). The radiator fan works fine with either relay, the compressor does not work with either relay. I also "bench tested" the compressor relay by hooking it up to 12 volts and testing for continuity between the other two terminals.
 

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Leadfoot, that's what I did. I switched the relays 1 and 2 with no effect. (relay 1 is to the radiator fan and rely 2 is for the AC compressor). The radiator fan works fine with either relay, the compressor does not work with either relay. I also "bench tested" the compressor relay by hooking it up to 12 volts and testing for continuity between the other two terminals.
I pulled all 3 of them and lost which order they were in after I picked them up from the ground (should have marked them). Since they are all the same, rather than plug and test over and over until I figure out which one is burned out, I just bought 3 new ones so now both Elements are working fine with AC. Could have been a $6 fix, but will cost me $18 due to replacing all three. Oh well...

By the way - this thread should be a sticky or in the FAQ for the 4 steps to check out one's AC on the Element!!!
 

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In step #2, how do you know if the relay is bad without replacing them?

Edit: Holy ship! I just pulled out Relay 1, 3, and 4 on one of my Elements and switched it with the other one. Presto! AC now works. So I guess I just replace them unless I could easily figure out which one of the 3 it was...
So mark them so you can tell them apart. There are what, only 3 combinations. Leave the working ones in and swap them out with the old ones one at a time. The time the AC cuts out - there you have it.
 

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So mark them so you can tell them apart. There are what, only 3 combinations. Leave the working ones in and swap them out with the old ones one at a time. The time the AC cuts out - there you have it.
Yes, that would be the logical solution. All 3 are stored in a box to be tested and used for spares when, and if needed. Temps were about 48 as I did this today, so I snagged 3 new and popped them in to be done with it when I heard that the tool to check them was about $45 at NAPA.

So I purchased 2 more than I needed knowing I would end up with 2 spares and have a set of 3 new for the next 10 years.;-)
 

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ALec you don't have a bad wire! When my compressor "clutch coil" took a dump I was not getting 12v before the pin connector. I put that off as a fail safe to not burn up the compressor or whatever. After the new compressor- should have just replaced the coil was install I got 12v again. So just replace the clutch coil and you should be up and running.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
ALec you don't have a bad wire! When my compressor "clutch coil" took a dump I was not getting 12v before the pin connector. I put that off as a fail safe to not burn up the compressor or whatever. After the new compressor- should have just replaced the coil was install I got 12v again. So just replace the clutch coil and you should be up and running.
Thanks Bross. I'll change the compressor and see what happens.
 

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It's cheaper to just replace the clutch coil FWIW. Get two bids, one mechanic just the compressor another just the clutch coil.
 

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2004 EX 185K miles, AC cycles on and off at idle

My AC seems to work great when running down the road. When I stop at a light and the engine is at idle, the AC cycles on and off. I hear a "pop" sounding noise when it cycle on and off.

Does this sound like a relay getting ready to go bad? The compressor seems to work fine otherwise.
 

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That's most likely your condenser fan. Open the hood and set the AC to full blast. Check the fan on the passenger side, it should be moving.

The car has the air it needs when moving, but not when stopped (when the fan is out).
 
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