I've searched around and found questions that may be related but aren't quite the same problem as what I have, so I'm hoping you can give me some advice.

I have a 2002 Honda Civic Ex with 185k miles. Within the past year, the A/C cycles on and off. I turn it and the fan on and it works for a few minutes blowing cold air, then it starts blowing hot air. If I shut the A/C off for a few minutes then turn it back on, it usually blows cold air again for a few minutes before blowing hot.

I've taken it to two separate places, and each of them flushed the system and refilled the refrigerant and claimed that it worked again, but this has not been true.

I have expertise enough to change my own oil and whatnot, but probably not enough to fix this problem on my own unless the solution was simple. Is there any advice you can give me that I could take to a mechanic to get them looking in the right place?

2 Answers 2


could be the high pressure sensor of your a/c

when turned on the pressure in your a/c system builds up towards a couple of bar and then the sensor kicks in, because the pressure is too high.

is your airco fan spinning? when stationary the fan should be starting after a minute or so.

had the same problem on my golf mk4

  • Thanks for contributing, and welcome to the site! Could you give OP more specific advice on how to check if his high pressure sensor is working? Thanks again! Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 15:55
  • Hi, thanks for the advice! When I turned on the A/C and got cold air, I saw the fan spinning. When I got home and the A/C wasn't working, I left everything running and checked the fan to discover that it was still spinning.
    – elynnaie
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 22:09
  • at best you can go to a mechanic to let them read your OBD. they can see every sensor and check them
    – raymon
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 6:36

The A/C compressor has a clutch that engages when the A/C needs to run. It could be that the clutch/compressor is bad. You can verify this by looking at the end of the A/C compressor: within the pully wheel there is a disc that moves independently of the pully. I believe it should rotate most of the time when the system is cooling.

  • I just took her for a spin. First let her idle with the A/C on, and it maintained 55 degrees with the clutch engaged. After driving for a few minutes, it got down to 44 degrees before blowing warm air again. Checked the clutch, and it was not spinning. Do you think next step would be to replace the clutch assembly and see if that does the trick? Why would it work for a time then decide to turn off?
    – elynnaie
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 0:17
  • I don't think I can say any more without guessing. I just wanted you to be aware of one of the main parts of the A/C system, and be aware of how to tell if its engaged. I'm not a pro, but I'd assume the compressor works like a refrigerator compressor, so it may stop when the system is cold enough or when it needs a defrost cycle. Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 0:52

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