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Help a Beginner with Troubleshooting a Few Issues (mainly AC)

 
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Old 07-21-2012, 07:09 PM
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Help a Beginner with Troubleshooting a Few Issues (mainly AC)

Hey guys! I am a college student who just got a 4th Gen Prelude as a daily driver for school and work. I really love the car, and we bought it fairly cheap, but with a few issues (honestly think it was previously wrecked in a minor front end collision). Until now I have not known much at all about cars, as my dad was more of a carpenter. However, I am very interested in learning and really would like to do most of my own work on this car (plus I need the money for college ha!). With a little help I did an oil change, replaced the spark plugs, and rotated the tires. This and a bottle of something in the tank (less heavy duty version of Seafoam, don't remember brand) has resolved most of the issues with the car.

Currently, the biggest problem is the lack of working AC and fans. After doing some reading I pulled out my climate control circuit board and re-soldered the pins (to the best of my abilities). Now the light comes on when I press the AC button, however the compressor (what I think is the compressor ha!) does not turn. I heard this might mean I just need a recharge (due to compressor sensor thresholds not being met), however, when I took it in for a recharge (when I first got the car, there was a special being run, and I hadn't done any research at that point), the mechanic told me I had R12 fittings and that they would need to be changed to R134 first (although the service manual says it has an R134 system already) and I couldn't afford the work at the time.

As far as the fans go, only level 4 fan speed works (highest setting). I was under the impression that a fuse box went bad? I was slightly confused by the service manual, but I found a box on the fuse board near the driver's feet. When tested with a DMM, no current passed through any of the 4 leads. However, I read somewhere that the fan fuse box was over the passenger's feet by the blower?

I wonder if the problem with the AC was caused by a wreck before I bought the car. Perhaps the previous owner didn't recharge the system? A unknowledgable mechanic "fixed" it with R12 fittings? Not sure where to go from here.

Thanks for the help in advance (and for reading that long first post). Let me know if I left information out. Thanks!
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:27 PM
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Re: Help a Beginner with Troubleshooting a Few Issues (mainly AC)

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Originally Posted by swimpat16 View Post
As far as the fans go, only level 4 fan speed works (highest setting). I was under the impression that a fuse box went bad? I was slightly confused by the service manual, but I found a box on the fuse board near the driver's feet. When tested with a DMM, no current passed through any of the 4 leads. However, I read somewhere that the fan fuse box was over the passenger's feet by the blower?
i will adress this specifically because youre pretty much on the right track with the other stuff. you have to get it changed back to r134a asap because its actually illegal for anyone to sell r12.
now unless honda decided to be different for this particular car, there is no fusebox for the different fan speeds. there is a resistor box. how that works is there are coils set up so that depending on what speed you select, the current goes through 1,2,3, or all of the coils. the less it goes through, the faster the fan speed. and on max, it normally skips that box completely. so when the box goes out, the only speed that works is max. whatever you do though if you plan to try and remove that yourself, do it when the car has been off all night because if theres any current at all running through that box, it will be hot enough to burn through the carpet in a few seconds.
i suggest you find an electrical diagram of your system to confirm this, as well as a repair manual picture of the location of the box. its normally in the air duct to cool it down but i could be wrong
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:38 PM
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Re: Help a Beginner with Troubleshooting a Few Issues (mainly AC)

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Originally Posted by 671 View Post
i will adress this specifically because youre pretty much on the right track with the other stuff. you have to get it changed back to r134a asap because its actually illegal for anyone to sell r12.
I was under the impression that R134a was a more environmentally friendly alternative to R12, and was used as a replacement in new vehicles starting a while ago. However, I was also under the impression that it was still possible to obtain R12 for vehicles that still used it, under some sort of grandfather claus. Will the compressor work with both types of fluids, just the fittings/hoses are different? Or will I need other new parts? Again, under the impression that kits are available to 'upgrade' fittings for around $40. Not sure what they include, what work they entail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 671 View Post
is no fusebox for the different fan speeds. there is a resistor box. how that works is there are coils set up so that depending on what speed you select, the current goes through 1,2,3, or all of the coils. the less it goes through, the faster the fan speed. and on max, it normally skips that box completely. so when the box goes out, the only speed that works is max. whatever you do though if you plan to try and remove that yourself, do it when the car has been off all night because if theres any current at all running through that box, it will be hot enough to burn through the carpet in a few seconds.
i suggest you find an electrical diagram of your system to confirm this, as well as a repair manual picture of the location of the box. its normally in the air duct to cool it down but i could be
With your description of what I'm looking for, and another scan through the service manual, I think what I pulled out was the blower motor relay. I will look for this resister set. I think it is supposed to be on the passenger side behind the glove compartment. I take it that the resister set will be exposed then, and not enclosed in a box of some sort? Any idea of the easiest way to get to it? Thanks!
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Old 07-22-2012, 02:18 PM
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Re: Help a Beginner with Troubleshooting a Few Issues (mainly AC)

Im not quite sure how the 4th gens run with the resistor but i had a 5th gen and my A/C was exactly like yours. Only fourth fan blew blah blah blah. But what i did was just replaced the A/c blower resistor. Go to like OReilys and ask them to order you one for like $30 with a life time warranty instead of autozone thats like $27 without warranty... Haha
But basically just unlatch your glove box, look in there and you'll see it.

Basically it looks like this...
Google Image Result for http://cdn0.autopartsnetwork.com/images/catalog/brand/four-seasons/640/20042.jpg

Well thats for 5th gen atleast, i doubt 4th gen would be different.
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:20 PM
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Re: Help a Beginner with Troubleshooting a Few Issues (mainly AC)

I took a look on alldata and yeah its right behind the glove compartment. I'll post the picture up for you when I get home.

Im not sure about getting r12 charged legally unless its a state law and not a federal law. But I do know that r134a uses denser hose material, and different oil so if you do revert it back to r134a you'll need to evacuate every last bit of refrigerant out. Then remove your compressor and dump all the oil out. Im not sure if there's a way to flush it. Then reinstall and charge with r134a. Check another 4th gen for recommended amount and oil.
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:39 PM
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Re: Help a Beginner with Troubleshooting a Few Issues (mainly AC)

Your local autoparts store sells R12 to R134a retrofit kits. But you will need to get R134a hoses like 671 said. As far as R12 sales, any and all work on R12 systems or R12 freon itself must be handled and disposed of by a certified professional. And they are pretty serious about shops not messing with that.
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Old 07-22-2012, 11:29 PM
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Re: Help a Beginner with Troubleshooting a Few Issues (mainly AC)

and heres that photo
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