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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does the ac in our cars generally leave a lot to be desired? I've had this car (2011 EX sedan) for a couple years now, but in the peak summer months here in NC, it just doesn't cut it. The air blowing out of the vents is cold, but it just doesn't cool down the cabin satisfactorily. I've replaced the cabin filter, verified system has no leaks (holds pressure just fine from one year to the next), and refrigerant capacity is maxxed out to the top of the recommended range.
The only thing I can think of is maybe some air got in the system at some point in the past and whoever worked on it didn't completely evacuate the system thoroughly, but I don't have a reclaim tank and very much prefer not to just dump the refrigerant to the atmosphere, pull a vacuum, then refill the entire system all based on a desperation bid that has only maybe a 50/50 chance of any significant improvement. Nor do I have any desire to pay a shop to do it.

Anyone?
 

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The Civic is a cheap economy car even if you have the Si model.
DITTO ! you said the same thing I was going to say
The Civic is designed for best fuel economy so the AC system was made weak, even in the winter the heater is weak - engine runs most efficiently when hot, running the heater on a cold day takes that away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We all know exactly what market segment the Civic was originally designed to fill but isn't that the point of enthusiast communities, to improve on what the factory gave us? I mean ffs if the ac can't do it's job when you most need it there's almost no point in having it at all. Does anybody know of any tricks to improve cooling in our systems? Maybe a higher output compressor? Converting to different refrigerant? I don't know if trying to space the condenser core from the radiator a little bit more and/or trying to make more effective shrouding would make any difference seeing that the air flow should be pulling the vast majority of the radiator heat away from the condenser...
 

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My 2008 at 165K miles, original AC, nothing done, nothing replaced, my AC gets colder when I am running it at higher speeds - RPM's normal highway speeds, but caught going slow in stop and go traffic it doesn't get as cold. I am comfortable at 90 degree humid weather.
Did you clean the condenser ? ( they make a special spray foam chemical you simply spray on the outside fins and hose it off ) Change the cabin air filter? Clean the evaporator ? Switch on recirculate ? that makes a big difference! Overcharging it will destroy the compressor - that's not the answer
I also heard - don't know if it's true or not that some Civic's that are sold in the hotter southern states have a better, modified, more powerful AC system than the Civic's sold in the colder climate northern states?
btw: you never try to improve what the factory gave us! the people that engineered the Civic knows more than any of us, the only way to satisfy you is choose another vehicle, but that other vehicle will have different failures you don't like even more, nobody is totally satisfied with the vehicle they own, nobody makes the perfect car, but the Civic is close to the most perfect one, it's a car that will last for 400K miles, to the year 2045, people that don't own one are jealous of your Civic, they dream they owned your car !
You need to appreciate your Civic more, be glad you own one! You're one of the lucky ones that own the 8th generation that was the best Civic model ever made, it's 10 times better than a new 2022 Civic where the new ones have much worse, major problems! If you get rid of it, you'll regret it later!
 

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My AC works well on the highway, but is terrible around town. I have 130k miles on my 2008.

My condenser has never been cleaned and the engine fans are probably a little undersized for the car originally.

The only thing you can do is get tinted windows and clean the condenser with a chemical cleaner.
 

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You could always try cycling the temp from cold all the way to hot and back to cold again. Sometimes the blend doors can stick and cause your A/C to be warmer. I own 2 8th gens and they both stick every now and then. There's also the well known issues of the A/C compressor and condenser fan relays being junk as well as the compressor clutch having issues.
 

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2008 Honda Civic Si 2.0 Coupe
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My AC works well on the highway, but is terrible around town. I have 130k miles on my 2008.

My condenser has never been cleaned and the engine fans are probably a little undersized for the car originally.

The only thing you can do is get tinted windows and clean the condenser with a chemical cleaner.
Clean it with a steam cleaner 👌
 

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I find anything over 30C/86F outside and it's insufficient. Was 28 out today & it was doing just fine. :D Worst part is when it's hot out, the output air fluctuates in temp. (Air goes warmer for a while - still cool, just not very.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the replies all. I have already done all of the suggested things including cleaning the condenser. My blend door does stick from time to time but it typically sticks on the face mode which is the max a/c setting and the way I normally keep it set anyways.

For anyone else suffering from the same issues, I came across this-

I had never realized the lack of sealing/shrouding between the two cores but definitely planning on getting that fixed in the next few days. I was also already aware of the lack of a heater control valve on the 8th gen cars and have been considering installing one as a summer bypass as well. If/when I do I will post results of that also.
 

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I think my A/C works just fine on my SI when I leave me car out in the sun and just get in it take like 9 minutes to cool the car down after I turn on the A/C sometimes it even gets a bit chilly but personally I am a skinny person who gets cold easily but anyone else’s SI have great A/C or do I just think I have good A/C?
 

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Hey on this topic. My ac was getting ice cold on highway speeds and barely cold when idle. Took it to a mechanic and they discover the system was low on freon. They added 1 lbs and ask me to return in 2 weeks to check for leaks. thank god no leaks found. Now is prefroming better. btw I have a 2009 si with 106 miles. So check your freon in case you are low ppl
 

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I still have the original compressor on my 2008 lx, I did have to replace a fan and condenser and so for that has helped alot especially living in Alabama but my compressor is on its last leg
 

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I've had the typical problems on my 2010 Civic Coupe EX. Had to replace the c. Clutch twice. Blows cold here in TN, even when it's near 95 outside. Then again, it's a coupe. If it's around 95 outside, it still blows 48 at the center vents. Wouldn't expect that outta a sedan tho. If your suspecting a prob, your best bet would be an evac/recharge done professionally. I retired from Firestone after 25 years, did a lot of a/c work in my time, and sounds about normal to me for a Honda. Try unplugging it for a week, you'll be happy with it when you plug it back up.
 

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I have a 2008 LX and when I originally got it in 2016 the AC left ALOT to be desired and really didn’t do much. I too tried to read up on it and there was a huge mix of people saying it blows perfectly cold for them and others say it never worked well (for the record I’m not a fan of the no heater coolant valve).

finally I got frustrated enough that instead of the stupid cheap and ineffective can recharge, I took the tike to fully evacuate and drain the system then refill to the exact specified weight on the sticker (weight is preferred to charge to instead of pressure).

I’m happy to say afterwards there was a huge improvement, almost like it was undercharged from the factory or something because it’s never leaked anything out again but the AC is WAY better. Now it’s noticeably cooler at idle and in traffic and on the freeway it actually blows legitimately cold even in the 100+ out here in AZ.

now being honest it’s still not the greatest AC ever and it does noticeably warm up at stop lights, but it blows cold pretty quick after start and for an economy car it’s still better than others I’ve been in. Hope this helps
Jarod
 

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to each their own
I work outside all day in hot and cold weather - I have found out my body adapts to it so the AC spoils me I would ratter keep my body adapted to the hot weather than to cool down and have to suffer adapting all over again - same thing in the winter, when I am outside all day in sub freezing temps I have no problem, don't feel cold, it's when I sit in my vehicle with the heater on or coming home inside a warm house is when I start feeling cold and shivering - my comments are based on my personal feelings about the climate system of the Honda Civic - it's weak but that's perfect for me, but may be too weak for others
 

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You CAN switch over to R12, if you can find it. You'll have to do some searching though. I mean, it is lajit, and perfectly legal, but the cost is up there. You'll need a conversion kit as well too. The kit is cheap, it's just a couple of shrader valves and caps, but you'll need to be certified or know someone who is to buy the R12. I am.
 

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Nope t
Does the ac in our cars generally leave a lot to be desired? I've had this car (2011 EX sedan) for a couple years now, but in the peak summer months here in NC, it just doesn't cut it. The air blowing out of the vents is cold, but it just doesn't cool down the cabin satisfactorily. I've replaced the cabin filter, verified system has no leaks (holds pressure just fine from one year to the next), and refrigerant capacity is maxxed out to the top of the recommended range.
The only thing I can think of is maybe some air got in the system at some point in the past and whoever worked on it didn't completely evacuate the system thoroughly, but I don't have a reclaim tank and very much prefer not to just dump the refrigerant to the atmosphere, pull a vacuum, then refill the entire system all based on a desperation bid that has only maybe a 50/50 chance of any significant improvement. Nor do I have any desire to pay a shop to do it.

Anyone?
Nope they suck . I have 8th gen civic coupe and mines is crap unless on highway. Honda uses crap compressors always weak . But you gotta take good w bad and decide if it’s worth replacing financially. Engine runs string still pulls good for a 07 270k on it
 
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