Question about a/c problem with 2008 Honda Civic

deanabowman
0

Asked by deanabowman Oct 08, 2008 at 05:28 PM about the 2008 Honda Civic Coupe EX

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

When my car is idling, i.e. sitting in traffic (I live in Houston, TX), the a/c does not blow very cold.  However, it does blow cold when the car is in gear and moving.  There is an extreme difference between the two.  I took it into the dealership and they said that's how it is and to keep my a/c on recirculate.  But given that I live in Texas, when my car has been sitting in the sun all day and then I start it up and move directly into stop and go traffic, I'm dying from the heat.  Does anyone else have a 2008 Civic and is experiencing the same problem?  I wonder if all of them do this, or if I have a defective auto.

49 Answers

Jason Pan
35

yea i had ahonda civic ex...nd i hink theres somethin messed up dere lol u mite wanna get tht checked out...not in a honda dealership either lol

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Mike Peake
75

I live in the UK. Haven't used my a/c yet!! But remember that the compressor runs off the engine so wont perform quite so well at idle.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
brendaj7
100

Similar issue with my 2008 Honda Civic. I live in South Florida and the air blows medium cool to cool, and unable to regulate. Worse yet, the total A/C system shuts down every month or two...no fan, no cool air, nothing. Dealer said they can't fix unless I bring it in the moment it experiences the problem. Usually have the issue when starting the car after it sits awhile but it kicks back in eventually. I'm in agreement that there is something very wrong with the a/c. This is my 5th Honda and none of the others have been such a problem.

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.
twh
110

i allso live in s.fl and have the same shut down problem.i've been told the same thing from the dealer and left it there for a couble days and they said it did'nt happen for them.there's no warning or reasons.cold or hot/city or highway just happens.i've driven close to 200 miles without it kicking back in.ready to start protesting the dealer cause that computer on board tells them everything and it must not be a cheap fixe and they hope the warrenty will run out first.anyone have any answers?

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.
mamabrinks
150

We live in Central Florida and have two 2010 Honda Civics, the first one had the same A/C problems. After the car sat for a long period in the hot sun the a/c wouldn't work, but would start working after you had driven it for some time. When we got to the dealers it would have started working again and they would tell us there was no code. It took several times of driving the car to the dealers before we got it there in time, where they saw the a/c not working. It started working for them after we got it there, and they started to tell us no code again, then they said they found a resister problem. Well now it is happening to our other Honda civic, again they are telling us no code! It is frustrating to know that this is happening to others as well! I just wonder how long this problem has been going on for? And why this hasn't been addressed as something that needs corrected in the Civics!

12 out of 12 people think this is helpful.
havecarproblems
80

Same problem with my 2008 Honda CIVIC. Car sat in the hot FL sun all day and the A/C would not turn on until I reached highway speed. I am wondering if there is a temp sensor that prevents it from turning on until it cools? This has only happended once in 2 1/2 years.

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.
Jeff Leeper
Not Active

does the car have the stock crank pulley, or did a previous owner install underdrive pulleys on it?

mamabrinks
150

Having two of the 2010 Honda Civics, and having this problem with both of them I have started to do some research. This seems to be a problem that dates back to 1993- at least that when it started showing up on web pages. Also, try taking it to different dealers..we have had more luck with a dealer that is closer to my daughters college then the one that we bought the two cars from.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
crvproblems
50

Hi, I have the exact same problem. I have a 2008 CRV. My warranty expires in 3 months. On very hot days, it feels like the AC goes into fan mode when I stop at red lights, and it stays in fan mode for about 1-2 minutes before the AC kicks back in. I took it to a Honda dealership last year, and all they did was fill up the freon and charge me $150 for a flat maintenance fee. That obvioulsy didn't resolve the problem. It was a complete outrage. I was wondering if I have a defective auto too, but it looks like that's how they are built. I had a Rav 4 before and never had this issue. I am about to write to Honda to complain and you should too.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
papa
Not Active

the problem is not only your car its all that use the r 134 a ,you have to be moveing for it to cool when sitting at idle or stop and go traffic it wont cool,it is just how the product is.their is nothing wrong with your cooling system.you can blame DUPONT for this.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
Mayday
70

There is definitely a problem here I have a 2008 civic with cool, not cold air and intermittent complete a/c failure.So far it has always come back on, eventually. As a mechanic myself I know It is usually a waste of time and money to take it to the dealer when no symptoms are present. So I'm looking for patterns and Info to help the with the diagnosis, my gut feeling is the problem is in the ac control head.

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.
twh
110

to mayday i finally was able to get it to the dealer while it was down and just has i told them a year and a half ago it was the blower motor which it seem like they new it right away i just came out of warrenty has i new would happen but they gave me a discount since i did have it in the past for same thing.bastardsif not running try hiting or kicking the motor below the glove box and see what happens thats all they did.good luck

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
Mayday
70

Thanks, very much for the info, a good find, I actually have seen that problem in the past many years ago,but had completly forgotten about it.Different type of vehicle but same symptom.An inoperative blower fan would appear to be inop. ac. The vehicles I have seen this on were not ac equipped, so the problem was no heater fan.If a sharp rap on the blower motor gets it going its a good bet the motor is on its way out.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
ssims
20

I have experienced the same thing, living in Nashville, TN and this summer ,these 100 degree temps, no air or hot fan air sucks. I think there is some connection to power generated when vehicle is moving vs. idlling. Unfortunately, I have everyone beat...my air also cuts out on hot evenings/nights when I go to turn the headlights on, or the left turn signal. However once speeds reached past 30 miles an hour or been driving for a little while, sometimes all resumes in working order. The windshield wipers also some times will not work if the left turn signal light is illuminated (like the when the bulb needs changing) is on. On cool mornings though, the left turn signal works again fine and the light is off. I was hoping to find some kind of electrical recall information because i am jut outside of warranty. Or even know if anyone else is experiencing a link with the temperature heat, lights, left turn signal, windshield wipers and A/C cutting off all together. As with others, when going to get it checked out, everything resumes working. As I'm typing this, I have the feeling I have a lemon...will write Honda next.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Mayday
70

Here's something to try, when the left signal / headlights/ wipers are not working stop and try moving the steering wheel in many different positions.If the problem clears, even temporarly, it may indicate a wiring problem in the steering column. keep in mind all the wiring for those items is in the steering column is a pretty tight fit. Best of luck fighting the forces of evil.

MS25
30

I have/had the same problem with my 2008 honda civic lx. it blows out cold air for about 2 minutes and if i stop at a light then hot air starts blowing out. I took it to the dealership in the summer of 2011 and they said it just needed to get pumped with extra freon and charged me $100 for it. I just took it to another dealership and they said my compressor malfunctioned and it has ruined the rest of the ac parts in my car. They recommended i get the entire ac unit replaced which would have cost about $4K but since i purchased the extra warrenty (honda care - 5 yr/100,000miles) on it when i bought it, honda is taking in the cost.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
You think this is helpful.
tgibson727
25

HAVE YOUR CONDENSOR FAN CHECKED FOR OPERATION,NO AIR FLOW WHEN SETTING AT LIGHT A BAD CONDENSOR FAN WOULD CAUSE THIS COMPLAINT

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Scott Steensen
35

at your honda dealership you should be able to have them do a a/c performance test on the system. but like some of the other comments the a/c system is going to work alot better if the car is moving. if there is an electrical issue that comes and goes its just as aggrivating to the "customer" as is the tech to try and find the problem. i have never seen a newer civic that needs the whole a/c system but i have seen the crv's needing the a/c system. also make sure the condensor isnt plugged with anything and the compressor and condensor fan is kicking on at the same time.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Becca Avelino
120

I have a 2008 Honda Civic, the A/C works intermittently, sometimes it cools sometimes it does not. I have it checked by a dealership and a Firestone shop, they said the 'freon' level and pressure is OK and both recommended to replace the compressor, etc. If the compressor is broken then why does it still work (on and off)? I've read in some of the forums that there are a lot of Honda Civic 2008 owners had the same problem. Is there a recall or class-action complaint about this? Is there a fix where you don't need to spend tons of money on it?

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.
Mayday
70

To Becca does the fan blow air , inside the car ?

Muhammad Zaid
905

the simple solution to this is that u put your foot down on the pedal only to get it to 1000 RPMs when ac is on it will do the trick (usually the RPMs r 800 ) this is a problem which occur in most of the car because a ac compressor takes alot of power from the engine to work and also if u can Use a sensor safe throttle body cleaner on it while running becasue a ac work with throttle body which has a fast idle in it for the ac which is small and gets chock because of dust getting in it even a small amount will chock it ! so try it and tell if any progress

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
Jonathan Ford
2,205

asked 3 years ago and still getting answers love it!!

Becca Avelino
120

@Mayday, thanks, the fan blows and appears to be normal. I ran the a/c in my covered driveway for almost an hour and it was fine but as soon a you run on the highway, the compressor shuts down and the fan blows hot air.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
Simas Laurinavicius
225

when idling every cars a/c becomes weaker that's just the way it is

tretre2012
40

I have a 2008 Honda Civic. I experienced the AC shut off for the first time yesterday. I left my car sitting for about 4 hours in the hot sun and I too live in Florida. When I got into the car, the AC never turned on at all. No sound, no blowing, nothing. Once I got home, about 20 minutes later, it started working again. So frustrating. I wonder if it has something to do with the Summer heat.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
John_W
160

I have an 08 LX Civic. Becca's issue sounds similiar to what my AC has done last two days. At highway speeds, the AC simply stopped cooling. Fan was running in cabin, I stopped and verified both cooling fans at radiator and condenser were working. It worked fine when I first left work for 30 min commute and faded out in last 10 minutes. Next morning, the AC blew ambient temperature air for first 10 minutes of an hour-long drive, then started blowing ice-cold air again. It continued to blow cold for remainder of trip. This suggests that: 1) fans are fine and 2) freon amount is fine. At this time I think there is a switch or relay that is intermittently satisfied. I believe there is an interlock to keep the compressor from engaging if it does not first see the cabin fan engaged. That is my first suspect...

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.
brendaj7
100

Well, I'm finally able to tell you I was able to bring it to the mechanic WHILE the no A/C issue was happening. I was in front of a Honda dealership when the AC stopped so I drove right into the service center and they experienced the shut-down. They replaced the A/C blower assembly and I haven't had the problem since. With so many having the same complaint, there definitely is an issue with the 2008 Civic A/C.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
John_W
160

Update on my A/C issue. The day after my previous post, I made a 5 hour drive. The A/C worked for the first 3 hours and then the compressor kicked out again. It didn't work on the way home either. Not ideal... Investigation revealed that my civic has a single pressure switch that will keep the compressor from running if the system is over or under charged. On the theory that my system might have lost a little freon (or the switch went bad) I found instructions on how to "jumper" the switch to run the compressor... a running compressor is necessary to add freon if your low anyway. When the compressor wouldn't start, I got suspicious of the relays. I put the pressure swith back to normal and swapped the condenser fan and compressor relays. VOILA! the fan wouldn't run and the compressor kicked in. I had a bad relay. It's worth noting that without the fan you still get plenty of cooling as long as the car is moving. This discovery was on the weekend and none of the auto part stores had the replacement relay. I waited through the weekend for Honda to open, and $7.50 later the system was back to normal.

10 out of 10 people think this is helpful.
Ross Krup
10

I got the same problem Honda Civic 2008 my next car toyota toyota toyota , think smart buy Toyota

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
cklow
40

i own a 2008 honda civic ex sedan. i experienced the same problems too, found no leak under the hood, the ac runs, cool but not cold, then decided to add a couple ozs. of R134a to the system, measured with hvac thermometer range 61 to 77 degrees as the ac system active and disengage , the closed vents blowed air a few degree lower than before adding freon but not very cold likeues to be in the 50 degrees. then i used TIF5000 leak detector checked the closed circulating air over the vents, and it ticked beeping sound which tells that R134a is present in the blowing air, it occured when the compressor kicked in and air temperature started to drop( i had the hvac thermometer measuring the air temp. at the same time). this shows that evaporator core or expansion valve connections leaks. i was surprised and angry to find this out. and it explained that the last few months why i was experiencing headache, fainting and uneasy breathing during and after driving as i turned ac on with closed air circulating inside the car, i had been inhaling R134a for the last few months while driving. i can't believe it, a 2008 honda civic with 80k miles has a defective evaporating system. for the last 23 years, i owned a civic crx, a honda accord, a honda civic lx, a trooper lx 1995(bought it from local honda dealer), they never had this problem. and i just replaced the ac condenser for the 95 trooper due to corrosion. and my wife drives a 2005 sienna awd with120k miles on it, the ac coils(condenser and evaporator) still, are good except once the ac clutch went bad. now i have no confidence with honda products, gone the 2013 pilot( i was planning to get one next year) so guys, if you haven't found out why your 2008 civics ac cool not cold, check the evaporating system. it is painful experience!

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
You think this is helpful.
jo070342
5

just replaced the A/C compressor on a 2004 Honda Civic and it still does not cool well. Had the freon checked its ok. Beginning to wonder if Hond does not have a good A/C system

FranikiB
10

I have a 2008 Honda Civic and also live in Houston, TX. A/C is pretty much needed 10 out of 12 months. My A/C also COMPLETLY stooped working on several occasions some times for 2-3 days at a time. If I have'nt driven my car in a few days and turn the A/C it will then again start working. This is the second issue that I've had with my car, the first being the car overheating due to a malfunction in how Honda built the engine. I can't wait to get a new car, it definantly won't be a Honda.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
brendaj7
100

I've been a Honda fan so the '08 Civic is my 5th Honda. None have given me the trouble this one has. The dealer says the only issue with the '08 Honda Civic is the visors. Yes, I've had those replaced. But something is NOT right with the AC system in this car. As you said, my next car will definitely NOT be a Honda. They aren't what they used to be.

drgonzal
10

oh my! i have the same issue with my 2008 civic, in louisiana. hot as hell. it takes about 5-10 min for the air to star blowing cool. and once in a while it wont come on at all, but eventually starts up!! WTF?!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
You think this is helpful.
techlead1
10

Thnks to all of your posts and otherrs and getting an understanding of the Civic electronics, I have confirmed and solved one issue with no fans or A/C in hot climate. Here's how it works. This is current draw sensor that is part of the contol electronics for the cabin on the inside fan. if that fan is not drawing any current as in not running, nothing else will run in the A/C circuit except for a minor cycling of the compressor. Today was the day of proof. A warrm day in Maryland and no A/C or fans. With out touching a thing went over to the passenger side and banged once on the bottom of the fan unit and guess whatm ? Everything starting working. The fan is a POS needs to be replaced and you can find online for about $40 and 1 hour of work as it sits on the bottom of the assembly. So it's 3 screws, one wiring harness and that's it. Hope that helps some of you out

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
MiamiJ
30

Same boat here, 2008 Honda Civic EX sedan, South FL with a bad AC. First issue was the blower fan. Took it into the shop and of course no problem. Paid my bill for some tires got in the car and the fan had stopped again. I ran inside and got my service rep out to the car so he could see for himself. They quickly replaced the fan and everything was back to normal. Fast forward about a year and a half and the same problem starts happening. Thanks to knowing what the problem was I knew I could "tap" the underside of the passenger dash to wake up the blower fan. Took the car in 1.5 weeks ago for a bunch of other issues along with the ac and they had to replace a controller in the dash along with the fan because it was shorting out the fan. Now, the compressor doesn't cycle on at all. The fan blows, but nothing except hot and humid Florida air comes out. :( I'm taking it back; strange since they said they did a full inspection of the ac. Thank god I bought the extended warranty! I'll post the results when I find out what's going on now...

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
MiamiJ
30

As others have posted, my ac went out on Tuesday, took it in Wednesday morning and left it there two days. The ac blew fine the entire time so the couldn't fix it. At least they have me a free rental. I asked about checking the computer but apparently the ac system is not on the on oars computer for diagnostics so it doesn't throw an error code for them to read. They said to bring it in immediately the next time it happens.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
msiness
0

Had the same problem on my 08. The mechanic couldn't figure it out because it kept working for him for a whole week. Finally called yesterday and said the compressor was out. Will see if this took care of it!

stereoblue
10

Same (or similiar) problem. 2007 Civic EX. First time my independent mechanic switched out some sort of breaker (it was 6 months ago, I forget the exact part) and it mostly fixed the problem. Before fix it had gotten to the point where there was mostly no AC. After fix, the AC worked except for little occasional burst of heat. After 6 month, back to mostly hot air. Mechanic replaced compressor, ac clutch, and one other part. Back to AC, but then at a stop light the AC cut out and hot air blew out again. What is going on? I'm guessing some sort of electrical problem?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
smudger
10

Same on my wifes 2008 Civic...........AC works fine for about 5-10 mins then blows warm air out. Garage replaced condenser at a cost of nearly $700, 1st hot day after that & still no AC after 5-10mins. We bought a Honda for their legendary reliability..............next car will be North American once again, same reliability as Honda & half the price. I have no more money to throw at this car so guess we'll be suffering all summer...................

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
David Tamez
0

I have a honda civic lx 2008, i currently have problems with my a/c, in and out the dealer, there is a problem with the condenser! http://www.newjerseyclassactionlawyer.net/honda-cr-v-tsx-and-odyssey- ac-defects/

OldeSchool
25

Have an 08 Civic EX with 84K miles - AC has never been all that good (does not blow as hard as other cars) - now works intermittently and unpredictably - my mech has replaced relays and added a "heat protect set" - so far $350 with no improvement - I am retired and had every intention of keeping this car - 36 MPG on highway, and very comfortable and reliable - recently rented a car for a long road trip because I don't trust the Civic's AC - if I have to replace it my next one will be a Toyota or Subaru - seems to me Honda America should help us out or risk losing loyal customers!

D_aevedo
0

i have a 08 honda civic ex and my a/c is being weird like when i turn the a/c on no air comes out but when am on the highway the a/c starts working what can this be?

OldeSchool
25

I haven't checked with the dealer but intend to - have you?

OldeSchool
25

no have put it off but warm weather is coming will do so next week

OldeSchool
25

finally went to dealer- after checking it out service tech said it was definitely the compressor clutch which was hanging up - won't know if I took it in the shorts for awhile but paid $1,100 to have compressor replaced - my 4th Civic - have never done anything previously besides routine maintenance - hope my faith in Honda is not misplaced. Peace.

LyndenG
10

Wow!! I though it was just my car. I also have a 2008 Honda Civic. I cant begin to tell you how much money I have spent on trying to resolve this ac issue in my car. I have changed just about all of the major ac parts (compressor, condenser, etc) and it is still having the issue. When I take it to an AC place, they would say that it has enough gas but don't know why it is not cooling.. Frustrating...

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Landa79
0

I have a 2008 civic ex and ive been having ac problems since about 30k miles. Honda fixed the problem twice but now that im out of warranty, of course it would happen again. Im at 80k miles and the ac works when it wants. Come on Honda, you're better than this .

OldeSchool
25

3 months into new compressor AC working fine - recent trip to Oak Island, NC with no issues - still disappointed that Honda won't acknowledge the problem but hoping I can keep this otherwise very good car for a few more years.

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