AC Problem in 95 Accord

My AC seem to work sometimes then not. Fan fuctions normally, but AC goes from very cool to warm. Usually starts off cool when first getting onto car,
then goes warm. This sounds like a symptom of low coolant (freon?).
Could it be something else? How do you check coolant level and if low what should I expect this would cost?
john
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The only accurate way to check freon level is to get a set of manifold guages and hook them up to the low and high pressure sides of your system. The pressures should be within the range specified by Honda. They vary depending on outside temperature and humidity.
If you take it in they might charge you a $100 or so depending on where you live. Some shops may want to do a leak test and if they find anything leaking the may refuse to fill your system up until you repair it...could cost hundreds at that point.
Personally I would go to the local parts store and get one of those cans of freon with the built in guage for about $20 and recharge it myself.

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In a '95 it must be R134a. The guages will tell if the amount of charge is the problem (if the low side draws vacuum and the high side is also low), but the experts are consistent in saying the only way to get the charge correct with 134a is to evacuate and put in the correct charge by weight. Having a pro do that also eliminates a minor suspect - traces of water icing up the expansion control. The symptoms are consistent with traces of water in the freon (starts working then doesn't work, starts working again for a moment then quits again...) but a lot of things can do that.
Overcharging can do bad things to the compressor and clutch (something has to give if the compressor liquid locks, and I've seen that happen!) so I advise against adding refrigerant blindly. I used to recharge my own in the R12 and sightglass days, but have quit now that all the cars I have here are R134a. I just don't have the equipment to do a competent job.
Mike
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John Roche wrote:

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It's normal for the AC to cycle on and off, but if it's going to WARM, above the ambient temp outside, the heater box controls need to be adjusted a bit. Your AC is fighting your heater. There's a PDF available. I'll send it to you.
'Curly'
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On 2005-04-20 snipped-for-privacy@nyc.rr.com said: >Newsgroups: alt.autos.honda >My AC seem to work sometimes then not. Fan fuctions normally, but >AC goes from very cool to warm. Usually starts off cool when first >getting onto car, then goes warm. This sounds like a symptom of low >coolant (freon?). >Could it be something else? How do you check coolant level and if >low what should I expect this would cost? >john I'm gonna throw this into the pot, just in case...
Few years ago my AC started quitting when ambient exceeded 90 F, and the failure temperature gradually dropped with time (months). AC would start cooling just fine, compressor would not restart after cycling off. Problem turned out to be wear in the compressor clutch, giving excessive plate-to-plate gap, and clutch coil magnetic field couldn't flex plate enough to engage clutch. Altering shim pack that sets plate gap fixed it.
Gave me a fit figuring what might be wrong because the failure temp. was so consistent.
Tom Willmon near Mountainair, (mid) New Mexico, USA
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