Honda Accord AC Compressor Problems – Causes And Fix

Having Honda Accord AC compressor issues? Driving can be made more uncomfortable by a loss of cold air from your air conditioning system. In this comprehensive guide, we will go over the most common causes of Honda Accord AC compressor failure, as well as how to diagnose and repair the problem. With some basic mechanical skills and the right parts, you can frequently resolve AC compressor problems and restore cold air to your Honda’s cabin on your own. Continue reading to find out more..

Common Causes Of Honda Accord Ac Compressor Failure

There are several reasons why your Honda Accord AC compressor may stop functioning properly. Here are some of the most common causes:

  • Refrigerant Leaks
  • Faulty Electrical Connections
  • Mechanical Failure
  • Clogged Expansion Valve
  • Faulty AC Pressure Cycling Switch

Refrigerant Leaks

A refrigerant leak is the most common cause of AC compressor failure in Honda Accords. The AC system is a sealed, pressurized loop that operates on refrigerant gas. If there is a leak anywhere in the system, refrigerant will escape, lowering system pressure and performance. Hoses, seals, and the AC compressor itself are common leak points.

Refrigerant Leaks
Refrigerant Leaks

Faulty Electrical Connections

The AC compressor is powered by your Honda’s electrical system via a clutch. If the wiring or connections to the compressor clutch are damaged or corroded, it can prevent the clutch from properly engaging the compressor. This will make the AC blow only ambient temperature air.

Mechanical Failure

The AC compressor contains precision bearings and internal seals that can wear out over time. Contaminants in the AC system can also damage the compressor’s internal components. If the compressor can no longer turn smoothly or maintain pressure, your AC will stop blowing cold.

Mechanical Failure
Mechanical Failure

Clogged Expansion Valve

The expansion valve is responsible for metering the flow of refrigerant into the evaporator core. If it gets clogged with contaminants, it will reduce refrigerant flow, leading to reduced cooling performance.

Faulty AC Pressure Cycling Switch

This electrical switch monitors system pressure and engages the compressor clutch on and off to maintain the optimum high and low side pressures. If it malfunctions, the compressor may stop engaging even when more cooling is required.

Faulty AC Pressure Cycling Switch
Faulty AC Pressure Cycling Switch

Diagnosing Honda Accord AC Compressor Problems

Diagnosing the exact cause of your Honda Accord AC compressor problems is important before attempting any repairs. Here are some tips for pinpointing the issue:

  1. Check for obvious signs of damage – Leaking hoses, connectors etc. point to a refrigerant leak.
  2. Use an AC gauge set – Connect it to the system’s low and high side ports to check pressures. Too high/low indicates issues.
  3. Listen for compressor operation – Turn AC on max and listen for clutch engagement noise. No sound points to electrical issues.
  4. Check fuses and relays – Electrical problems can be caused by blown AC system fuses or faulty relays.
  5. Look for debris/contamination – Particles in the system oil or expansion valve can indicate worn internal compressor parts.
  6. Assess airflow temperature – Cool but not cold air indicates low refrigerant or expansion valve issues.
  7. Review compressor clutch voltage – Use a multimeter to check if compressor is receiving proper voltage.

A professional-grade scan tool can also help isolate faulty AC components by pulling diagnostic trouble codes.

Fixing Common Honda Accord AC Compressor Issues

Once you’ve diagnosed the specific problem, here are some tips on how to fix the most common Honda Accord AC compressor failures:

Refrigerant Leaks

  1. Locate leak point – Use dye injectors and UV lights if needed. Check all hoses, o-rings, seals etc.
  2. Seal/replace leaking component – For small leaks, apply sealant per your repair manual. Replace any damaged hoses or components.
  3. Evacuate and recharge – Use an AC vacuum pump to evacuate the system fully. Then recharge to factory spec levels.

Faulty Electrical Connection

  1. Inspect wiring – Check for damaged/corroded wires and connectors between AC fuse box and compressor.
  2. Test components – Use a multimeter to check continuity in wires and test compressor clutch coil resistance.
  3. Replace damaged parts – Replace any corroded wiring or bad connectors/coil as needed.

Mechanical Compressor Failure

  1. Confirm failure – Do thorough diagnosis to confirm it’s an internal compressor issue.
  2. Replace compressor – For severe internal damage, compressor replacement will be required. Use OEM Honda parts.
  3. Flush debris – Flush contaminated oil from the system using approved AC flush tools.

Clogged Expansion Valve

  1. Remove and inspect – Check valve screen/ports for contaminant blockage. Clean or replace.
  2. Flush system – Use flush solvents to clean the system of debris that may have damaged the valve.

Faulty AC Cycling Switch

  1. Check switch readings – Use a multimeter to test if the switch is providing correct system readings.
  2. Replace switch – If readings are abnormal, replace the AC pressure cycling switch.

In many cases, timely diagnosis and repair of minor issues can restore normal operation of your Honda Accord’s AC compressor. But if internal damage is severe, compressor replacement may be unavoidable.

Professional Vs Diy Honda Accord AC Compressor Repair

Compressor repair or replacement is complex and requires special equipment and skills. While DIY is possible for minor fixes like refrigerant recharges, internal issues often require professional service for reliable results.

Benefits of Professional Repair

  1. Correct diagnosis of underlying issue
  2. Ability to handle full compressor replacement
  3. Proper evacuation and recharge procedures
  4. Access to difficult fittings and components
  5. Avoid risk of improper repairs or handling of refrigerant

Benefits of DIY Repair

  1. Lower cost if you have the skills
  2. Convenience of fixing it yourself
  3. Option for minor repairs only

For most Honda Accord AC compressor problems, the benefits of professional service outweigh DIY repairs. However minor tasks like topping off refrigerant levels or replacing a hose can be DIY if you’re mechanically inclined.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Bad AC Compressor?

The most common symptoms of a failing AC compressor in your Honda Accord are: lack of cold air when the AC is turned on, strange noises when engaging the AC, reduced airflow from the vents, the compressor clutch not engaging properly, and the AC blowing warm air intermittently even when refrigerant levels are full. Leaking refrigerant, an illuminated AC warning light, and clunking noises on acceleration can also indicate compressor failure.

How Do I Know If My Honda Accord AC Compressor Is Bad?

You can confirm your Accord’s AC compressor is bad through troubleshooting steps like doing a visual inspection for damage, using AC gauges to check system pressures, listening for odd noises when the AC turns on, feeling if the compressor clutch engages and spins when activated, and checking components like fuses, wiring and switches with a multimeter. A professional diagnosis is best for conclusively determining compressor failure.

Why Do Honda AC Compressors Fail?

The most common reasons for Honda Accord AC compressor failure include leaks causing refrigerant loss, damage from debris contaminating the internal mechanisms, electrical problems stopping the clutch from engaging, worn compressor bearings, failed internal seals, and general mechanical wear over high mileage use.

How Long Does A Honda Accord AC Compressor Last?

With proper maintenance and normal use, the AC compressor in a Honda Accord typically lasts between 60,000 to 100,000 miles on average before needing repair or replacement. Compressors can fail sooner if issues like leaks, debris damage or electrical faults occur.

Can An AC Compressor Be Repaired?

It depends on the extent of damage. Minor fixes like resealing leaks, replacing bearings or cleaning blockages can repair some AC compressors. But those with severe internal damage to the pumping mechanisms require complete replacement.

Preventing Future Honda Accord AC Compressor Problems

While repairs can fix your AC system when issues occur, you can take proactive steps to prevent compressor problems in your Honda Accord:

  1. Regular cabin air filter changes to prevent debris entering system
  2. Annual inspections to catch small leaks before they become major
  3. Flushing AC system every 2-3 years to clear out oil contaminants
  4. Checking belt condition and tension to avoid clutch failures
  5. Adding stop leak products to prevent refrigerant leaks as a temporary fix

Investing in preventative maintenance will maximize the lifespan of your Honda Accord’s AC compressor and avoid unexpected failures in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are common Honda Accord AC compressor problems?

The most common issues are refrigerant leaks, faulty electrical connections, mechanical wear, blocked expansion valves, and bad AC cycling switches.

What causes a Honda Accord AC compressor to stop working?

AC compressors can fail due to loss of refrigerant, bad clutch wiring, worn internal bearings/seals, debris causing blockages, or failed electrical sensors/switches.

How can I diagnose my Honda Accord’s AC compressor problem?

Check for leaks, use AC gauges to test system pressures, listen for compressor clutch noise, inspect fuses/relays, and check components with a multimeter to isolate the issue.

Is it worth repairing vs replacing a bad Honda Accord AC compressor?

Minor fixes like leak repairs may be worthwhile, but if the internal mechanisms are damaged, replacement is usually the better option for restoring cooling performance.

Does AC compressor repair require special tools?

Yes, an AC vacuum pump, manifold gauges, leak detection tools, and possibly flush equipment are needed for comprehensive compressor diagnostics and repair.


Honda Accord AC compressor failure can happen due to refrigerant leaks, electrical faults, mechanical wear, debris accumulation and bad sensors. With the right diagnosis, many problems like leaks or wiring issues can be fixed with basic repairs. But severe internal damage will require a full compressor replacement. 

Preventative maintenance is key to minimizing compressor problems in your Honda Accord. Addressing issues promptly also helps avoid costly damage from compressor failures down the road.

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Ammar Masoud

I have had a long and fulfilling career in the automotive industry, primarily with Honda and Acura. With 15 years of experience as a Honda service technician, I became highly skilled in repair and maintenance, gaining a deep understanding of these vehicles. After many years in the automotive field, I decided to embark on a second career in industrial manufacturing. It was a significant change, but I found that the skills I had honed in the automotive industry were incredibly valuable in my new role. In my current position in industrial manufacturing, the demand for quality workmanship and meticulous attention to detail is paramount. Fortunately, these are traits that I have cultivated throughout my years in the automotive industry. I take pride in applying these skills to meet the high standards expected in the manufacturing sector.