The AC shim "trick" DOES work - 8th Generation Honda Civic Forum
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The AC shim "trick" DOES work

Hi All.
Haven't been active in a while, but I just wanted to briefly share my experience fixing my wife's 2011 Honda Civic AC. The AC was only intermittedly working, and less so when it was hot outside. I saw a few posts indicating that the space between the clutch and electrostatic magnet increases over time, causing the clutch not to engage.

The next time the AC clutch did not engage, I just stuck a big wrench down there and pushed on the clutch and it ENGAGED, confirming the space was too large.

The TRICK is removing the AC clutch and removing the shim. It just plain works, and I probably saved myself a small fortune. There are several useful DIYs out there you can reference.

Good luck!!

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Old 05-09-2019, 11:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I heard over and over that removing the shim (i understand there is only 1 or 2 or them) makes the A/C clutch engage and work like before. However I would like to add the question, how much time/mileage does this work? I had mine go last year and I had something like 250K miles on mine. I ended up getting a new A/C compressor (with new clutch) on amazon for less than $300 (denso). Cost me less then $100 to get it recharged (indy shops may charge 100-150 for same service). $400 isn't bad for a new compressor/new refrigerant in my book.

Good to hear things worked out for ya, thanks for sharing and good luck!

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Old 05-14-2019, 02:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't know how long it will last, *fingers crossed*. But it seems logical that the AC should continue working as long as the clutch engages. My wife's car has 159,000 miles on it, so if it gets through one or two more summers, I'm good.

There is also the option of replacing the clutch altogether, which is no harder than the job of removing the shim.

BUT just to be completely honest, the DIY video explaining removing the shim was a massive oversimplification. The video said the whole job would take 1 hour. It took me 8 hours. I had to experiment with the correct shim size, and each time I did it involve removing, testing, etc.
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexbrett View Post
I don't know how long it will last, *fingers crossed*. But it seems logical that the AC should continue working as long as the clutch engages. My wife's car has 159,000 miles on it, so if it gets through one or two more summers, I'm good.

There is also the option of replacing the clutch altogether, which is no harder than the job of removing the shim.

BUT just to be completely honest, the DIY video explaining removing the shim was a massive oversimplification. The video said the whole job would take 1 hour. It took me 8 hours. I had to experiment with the correct shim size, and each time I did it involve removing, testing, etc.
Yeah, those clutches do wear down so this makes sense. It's just a way to squeeze a little more toothpaste out of the tube before getting a new tube. My wife's ody had the clutch/stator keep going out. I replaced it 3 times for $100 when if was finally determined that the compressor bearing was shot. It was worth it over as by the 3rd time I replaced the clutch in less than an hour.
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Old 05-16-2019, 03:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by itcrackerjack View Post
Yeah, those clutches do wear down so this makes sense. It's just a way to squeeze a little more toothpaste out of the tube before getting a new tube. My wife's ody had the clutch/stator keep going out. I replaced it 3 times for $100 when if was finally determined that the compressor bearing was shot. It was worth it over as by the 3rd time I replaced the clutch in less than an hour.
Yeah that clutch removal definitely has a bit of a learning curve, but it gets so easy once you have done it a few time. Indeed, I am getting that last bit of toothpaste out. I'm just amazed the "trick" actually worked. These types of forums are amazing..
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Old 06-04-2019, 05:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The AC clutch in mine was also slipping. I tried replacing the relay and it worked - no more slipping and cold air was continuously blowing again. Next time, if my trick does not work anymore, I will try the shim removal trick.
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