Question about 1992 Honda Civic

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A/C not reliable in '92 Civic...

I bought my '92 Civic just over a year ago, I have no idea what A/C maintenance has been done. The A/C works randomly, it's fine in warm-ish weather but once it gets above 84F or so it only works when it feels like it. I've been told this means it's low on refrigerant. Does this mean my system is leaking? How much should a charge cost? How much might it run if there is a leak? Thanks!

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  • valerie_higg May 20, 2009

    1) Local Honda dealership no longer services R12 systems (I've been finding that a lot with different auto repair places).

    2) I can't seem to find anyplace that would charge less than $125, should I keep looking?

    3) It blows air, it's just not cool anymore, if I play with the buttons sometimes it'll cool off but once it gets really warm (over about 95F) it's rarely cool.

    Thanks for your help. ^_^

    I just don't want to have the wool pulled over my eyes.



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If you're still having the problem mainly in hot weather only, you may be experiencing a problem with the A/C "on/off" switch located as part of the Heater Control Assembly on the dash.
After an exhaustive search on the internet, I found that a few others had been battling this problem also. Mine went on for a couple of summers before I finally got serious enough to find it.
It seems that some of the solder joints in the Heater Control Assembly were a bit weak and although the green A/C indicator light may come on and go off when you press the button on your Heater Control Assembly, the switching never actually occurs. This is because there are another four solder joints for this switch alone. That's right, if my memory is correct, there are a total of six solder joints for that A/C switch, located inside the Heater Control Assembly.
When the weather is cool or only warm, the solder joints seem to be OK, but when things get hot, the metals expand, and you will lose the connection.
It's quite a lot of work to remove the Heater Control Assembly, and you need to be careful pulling apart the unit once out of the car, but if you're mechanically inclined, it can be done for just the price of a little solder.
If you don't trust yourself with pulling apart the assembly and resoldering the connections, you can also replace the assembly. I found it listed on-line at Majestic Honda for about $240.
I hope this helps.
Good-luck, Mark

Posted on Jul 29, 2009

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This is one of those "we have to see what it's going to need problems." I don't like those kind of estimates. Cost will vary widely, unfortunately. Automotive AC systens naturally lose their charge over time due to hoses and high pressures. To make it worse, only certified facilities and people are supposed to work on them, with proper equipment. Though many mechanics are capable to recharge the system properly, They are rarely prone to open solicitation. Your best bet is the dealership as far as warranty. A simple boost can range from 50.00 to 100.00. Major repairs are dictated by cost of parts and labor. I'm sorry for the downside. It may only be a minor thing and only a qualified person can determine that.

Posted on May 20, 2009

  • Ned C Cook
    Ned C Cook May 21, 2009


    Has anyone informed you your sysrem can be charged with134A?

    Of course there is a conversion process and it isn't as expensive as replacing the car.. Considering many things, Like the age of the car. In fact UI'm here for solutions and can tell you how to do it yourself and you can evaluate your own potential, but it would be inappropriate to solicit any services.


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Posted on May 20, 2009

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