2011 Civic A/C Stops Blowing Cold Air >~10 Minutes

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6,064
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northern Alabama
Thread starter
2011 Honda Civic LX 1.8L with ~ 210k miles. A/C stopped blowing cold air last summer. The large relay was replaced which got the A/C going again until a few weeks ago. Now the problem is that the a/c will work for ~ 10 minutes or so & then will stop blowing cold air. The small relay was replaced but did not fix the issue. Was told that compressor clutch is worn out causing resistance to increase after running a bit which results in the relay being very hot to the touch. Therefore, the compressor should be replaced. Is this a plausible diagnosis? If so, then the clutch can be bought from Honda I'm pretty sure. Would the system even have to be opened up then? If so, I assume best practice is to always replace the receiver drier especially since never opened (I'm pretty sure). I don't see any reason to replace the condensor since this was not a catastrophic compressor failure. I assume that the system would need to be flushed though as a good rule of thumb. However, I can't understand a reason to replace the expansion valve in any case unless the diagnosis was bad. BTW, if the compressor needs replacing, then the plan is to go with a new Denso unit from parts store (AutoZone perhaps). Receiver drier would come from Honda. What say ye? Thanks.
 
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509
Location
VA
Going through a similar issue with my wife's 2008 CR-V. I found the clutch was more expensive than a Denso compressor from Rock Auto.
 
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2,700
Location
USA
Take the shim out. You can get the clutch plate close to the pulley as long as it doesn't drag when off. Likely the relay always gets hot. The clutch won't affect what the relay does. If you are still having problems with intermittent clutch engagement, check if the clutch wire is energized when the compressor should be running but it is not.
 
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373
Location
Minnesota
Originally Posted By: klt1986
Going through a similar issue with my wife's 2008 CR-V. I found the clutch was more expensive than a Denso compressor from Rock Auto.
There are some sellers on E-bay that sell these clutches relatively cheap. We installed one a couple years ago on my sons civic and it works flawless. Alot of good reviews out here on these after market clutches
 
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4,094
Location
Texas
I know next to nothing about Hondas . On 90's & 2000's GM compressors , the clutch can be services with out opening up the system . So , no reason to replace any other parts . As long as the refrigerant level never reaches atmospheric pressure . If you have positive pressure in the system , air / moisture can not enter the system . I saw Eric O. , South Main Auto remove a clutch shim & repair , what I think was a Honda . Check the video link some one else provided . You can " borrow " the clutch removal tool form the major parts stores . Remember , if the electromagnet is able to fully engage the clutch , the compressor should run OK . If it has no other problems .
 
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2,113
Location
Texas
A bad clutch is a distinct possibility, but, the OEM Honda compressors manufactured by Sanden are also known to fail and will typically loose compression when they get hot just before they fail completely. The Denso replacement is a better compressor, but you could run into problems with finding repair/replacement parts if your A/C goes out on the road somewhere and you need to get it fixed. NEW Sanden compressors are readily available from various aftermarket suppliers, complete with a NEW clutch, for under $200 (some suppliers sell them for as low as $150). If it is a Sanden for your specific Honda year and model it is exactly the same as the OEM part that Honda sells for over 3 times the price.
 
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Messages
543
Location
st louis, mo
Originally Posted By: Char Baby
Try removing the clutch plate and remove ONE shim. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNx0X4INfiw
Didn't watch the video, but... This is a very common problem on Volvos, and the fix is removing the shim. Symptoms are the same as OP: A/C works for a while, then quits. Or you can try the "bread clip" trick (Google it). (I did the shim on my s40, and did not try the bread clip).
 
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12,782
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
Strange that this subject came up as this just happened to the Mazda(daughter's car) in my signature. This happened about 2 yrs ago and and I removed a shim and all was well til today. I'll have to go in and check the system again when I get the car. Clutch isn't engaging. I check the belt, fuse, clutch engagement, and AC pressure. Praying!
 
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