How to Troubleshoot My 2001 Honda Accord's Air Conditioning

by Ross Glyn
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Keep the air conditioning up and running in your 2001 Honda Accord before temperatures start to soar in the summertime. Many of the problems that occur with AC systems are simple to diagnose, whether it be an issue with the valve control or insufficient AC pressure. Before taking your Honda Accord in for a service, there are a few basic troubleshooting steps you can run through on your own.

Step 1

Check the fuse box for any blown or damaged fuses. The fuse box for the 2001 Honda Accord is directly under the steering column. Consult the schematic on the inside cover of the fuse box to locate the fuse connected to the AC system. If the metal strip inside the glass fuse tube is broken, replace it with another of the exact same amperage rating.

Step 2

Turn on the electric fan and AC with the engine running to check if any of the AC controls are loose or resistant. If the fan does not turn on, a fuse may have blown or the fan itself could be faulty. If the controls are damaged, have a mechanic replace them for you.

Step 3

Inspect the AC compressor for any oily residue or leaks. The compressor is painted silver and is attached to the right side of the engine (facing the vehicle) near the front of the vehicle. It has a rubber drive belt attached to it. If you notice any leakage, have a mechanic replace the compressor. Check the AC hoses for leakage. Replace the hoses, if necessary.

Step 4

Ensure that the valve control is operating correctly. Start the engine and check the two AC/heater hoses protruding from the left side of the firewall (facing the vehicle) under the hood. The hoses are aluminum and are roughly the thickness of a regular garden hose. The firewall is the thin metal partition between the passenger and engine compartments. Both hoses should be warm, but one should be somewhat cooler than the other. If the hoses are both the same temperature, the valve control may be faulty. Have a mechanic investigate further for you.

Step 5

Check the AC system for sufficient pressure. Attach the AC pressure test gauge with the engine off. Remove the black caps from the high and low service ports. Screw the blue hose to the low-side service port and the red hose to the high-side port. A normal reading should be between 50 and 80 PSI. If the reading is out of this range, have a mechanic investigate further, as there may be a leak in the system. The low-side port is between the evaporator, which is inside the vehicle, and the compressor, which is in the engine compartment. Follow the aluminum hoses protruding out of the engine compartment firewall until you find the low-side port on the hose that goes to the compressor. The high pressure port is on the line closer to the radiator area, leading back to the compressor and is a larger port.

Step 6

Turn the AC controls to the coldest setting with the engine running. Check under the hood to see if the magnetic clutch attached to the AC compressor engages. You will be able to see and hear it turn over. If the clutch does not turn, the system may be low on refrigerant. Have the system refilled with refrigerant. Ensure that the drive belt is tightly connected to the compressor. If the clutch is receiving adequate voltage but the compressor is still not engaging, the clutch could be defective and may need to be replaced. If you notice leakage around the compressor shaft seal, the seal also needs replacement.

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