Car: 2006 Honda Civic EX i-VTEC S-A, 1.8 Petrol, i-Shift. 120k miles.
I have always recharged my air conditioning (A/C) at Halfords every 2 years without any problems. Always switched the A/C on during the winter every 1-2 weeks as advised in various guides online, to ensure the system remains faultless. Similarly, this year I went back to Halfords in order to recharge the A/C and to my surprise, they have found an issue. The gauge was showing an extremely high pressure in the A/C system (was in the red warning region) and thus they were unable to recharge the system for me. They have advised me to visit a local mechanic to identify the cause.
Today I have taken my car to a mechanic who has used the professional A/C service machine to diagnose my car. The system did not identify any problems (no leaks too) and thus recharged my A/C with new gas. After the machine has finished the procedure (took almost 1 hour) I was told my A/C is now fully working and it indeed blew very cold air. I happily paid for the recharge and started driving home.
During this journey, I have discovered that the system started cycling hot and cold air. In about 5-minute intervals it would switch from cold to hot and so on. By the time I got home, I went through 3 warm air and 2 cold air phases. I must note though, there are no noises, everything seems to be working as before. I have tried restarting the car, switching the A/C on and off, changing A/C speed and modes but it had no effect. Therefore, I have decided to head back to my mechanic to discover what is wrong. Upon arrival, he was 90% sure that it is the faulty compressor and told me that they are quite expensive to replace. He advised me that I can source one myself and he would fit it. Quick search gave me relevant results in the region of £155 to £396 for the new compressor alone.
As a result, I would like to hear opinions from the other people as I am not sure what to do now. I have the following questions:
- Based on my story, how likely is it that the compressor is faulty?
- Are there any tests which I could perform to test the compressor myself?
- Could it be anything else?
- If anyone has purchased compressor before, can you recommend any particular store?
- It could potentially be faulty relay, but then the A/C would not work at all, would it?
- Is it safe to continue driving with this issue, as in, can it affect any other modules in my car?
I would highly appreciate any advice!