Honda is extending the warranty on AC condensers to a full ten years for select models like its Civic. Torque News expects that this warranty extension may spread to other models. If you own a Clarity, Accord, Insight, or other Honda model and your AC condenser fails outside of the vehicle's 3-year, 36,000-mile warranty period, you should visit a dealer and ask if Honda will cover the needed repairs.
This is not a recall. It is important to understand that recalls are related to safety, and a condenser may not fall under that category. The number of owners reporting condenser failures seems to be at a high point for models built from 2018 through 2020. Here is what one 2018 Honda Accord owner reported to CarComplaints.com: "It was warm outside today, so on my lunch break at work I went to go get food, got in the car to find no AC. The A/C seats were blowing cold air, but not the vents.I went to Honda, he said the systems are separate. He confirmed the AC was not working. They found out that all the refrigerant was leaking out. He said during manufacturing it must’ve gotten caught on something. AC system had to be replaced. Under warranty."
What To Do If Your Honda's AC Condenser Fails
If your Honda's AC condenser fails we suggest taking the vehicle to an authorized Honda dealer. Ask that it be repaired under Honda's extended warranty program. If the dealer declines to cover the cost, phone Honda's owner hotline and ask for help. The number is (800) 999-1009. Ask if there are any technical service bulletins (like this one)describing condenser issues for your vehicle, and if Honda can cover your repair costs. If they agree, Honda will work with the dealer and you will have saved hundreds.
If Honda declines, consider taking the vehicle to an independent repair shop. You may pay less there than at a Honda dealer. It is important to get a detailed receipt and to retain that receipt in case Honda later settles a class action suit and pays owners for repairs already conducted.
What Is An AC Condener?
An air conditioning condenser is one of the key parts of any HVAC cooling system, Replacing an AC condenser in a Honda can cost between $500 and $900 at a dealer. Independent shops may charge less.
How Do I Know If My Condenser Fails?
If your Honda's AC is not blowing cold, it could be a minor issue. The first thing to check is your engine's coolant level. You can see how to do that in your manual. If it is not a simple problem, the AC compressor may have a leak that let the refrigerant levels drop to a point where the system cannot blow cold.
If you have a Honda and your AC required repairs, please tell us about it in the comments section below. Your experience may help a fellow owner.
John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. John's interest in EVs goes back to 1990 when he designed the thermal control system for an EV battery as part of an academic team. After earning his mechanical engineering degree, John completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers, in the semiconductor industry, and in biotech. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on TikTok @ToknCars, on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin