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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Good day,

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:
  1. Based on my story, how likely is it that the compressor is faulty?
  2. Are there any tests which I could perform to test the compressor myself?
  3. Could it be anything else?
  4. If anyone has purchased compressor before, can you recommend any particular store?
  5. It could potentially be faulty relay, but then the A/C would not work at all, would it?
  6. 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!

Cheers.
 

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I've got similar issues with mine at the moment. After searching for info on this it might be the compressor clutch tripping in and out if its worn past service limits. Not saying it's not the compressor as well but its a cheaper thing to check/fix first. It could well be something else entirely of course.
 

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I would suggest you take it to an Air con specialist rather then going to various places who will just be guessing.


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Pretty much the same fault as I had last year, and its a well known issue. I swapped out the shim behind the compressor clutch for a thinner one and touch wood its been fine since. Id certainly be trying this £1 fix before spending hundreds on a new compressor.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you everyone for your suggestions.

I have now watched some YouTube videos and tried diagnosing the problem myself, before taking the car to another mechanic. My condenser was recently checked which does not have any issues, the condenser fans are also starting to rotate when I power the A/C on. However, when it comes to compressor clutch, it does not rotate when I switch the A/C on and I have constant hot air coming from all vents. Today, I have not been able to get any cold air out from my car, which makes me think it could be a faulty relay. I have therefore taken the relay out and tried shaking it to identify any loose parts. There was very little noise when shaking it so I am not sure if it is damaged. Anyway, I shall be ordering a new relay (39794-SDA-A05) to see if that is the cause. If that does not solve it, I will be looking at swapping then shim behind the compressor.
 
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