Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

8.0

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$1,974.00
Average Mileage:
82,790 miles
Total Complaints:
33 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace entire a/c system, all components (17 reports)
  2. new compressor (5 reports)
  3. not sure (4 reports)
  4. dealer replaced just the compressor (3 reports)
  5. dealer changed entire system (2 reports)
  6. vehicle needs to be recalled (2 reports)
2003 Honda CR-V AC / heater problems

AC / heater problem

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2003 Honda CR-V Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #33

May 012011

CR-V ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,500 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

There was a class action lawsuit against Honda, but the benefits or repair needed tapered out after about 80,000 miles. I thought the AC compressor should have lasted longer than that

- , Boulder, CO, USA

problem #32

Aug 282015

CR-V

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

click to see larger images

a/c compressor blew up

Well, a big hole blew out of it, and damaged the expansion valve, too. Our mechanic told us to google the problem and boy howdy, is there a lot of chatter about it. This really needs to be a recall or class-action suit as it seems too common/known of a problem to be statistically insignificant.

- , Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #31

Jul 182015

CR-V EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Add our vehicle to the growing list of 03 Honda CRV's that had the air compressor blow up! There was a recall on 2005-2007 models for this problem, but with all the 03 owners that appear to be having the same problem, why isn't there also a recall to cover the 03 models? I'm out $1800 because of this, which seems to be a very frequent problem with CRV's!

NOT HAPPY ABOUT THIS, HONDA!!!!!

- , Aldie, VA, USA

problem #30

Aug 032014

CR-V EX 2.4L K20

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I HAVE CHANGED 3 COMPRESSORS SINCE I BOUGHT MY CRV, 2 STARTERS, AMONG MANY OTHER PARTS.... THIS IS GETTING TO BE A NUISANCE BECAUSE ITS VERY EXPENSIVE TO MAINTAIN THIS VEHICLE... THE HONDA COMPANY CHARGES 3 -4 TIMES WHAT I WOULD PAY AT A PARTS PLACE... I WON'T ADVISE ANYONE TO PURCHASE A HONDA VEHICLE.... THE WORST....

- , San Fernando, San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago

problem #29

Jul 092013

CR-V LX 2.4L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,318 miles

While driving with the A/C on I heard a bang under the hood. I noticed the A/C vents stopped putting out cold air. I turned off the A/C. I took it to a reputable repair shop recommended by Angie's List. They had seen several 2003 Honda CR-V A/C compressor failures. But mine was the most extreme they had seen, the casing was blown apart. Because they had done other CR-V A/C units they suggested I replace the compressor, condensor, dryer kit and recharge, no evaporator replacement. Their suggested repair has worked fine for 6 months. The cost was $1,364, very reasonable. I think Honda should have issued a safety recall because the compressor casing exploding could have caused a tire blowout or loss of power steering.

- , Danvers, MA, USA

problem #28

Jul 012012

CR-V

  • 100,000 miles

Make sure you take this to a Honda Dealer because I had a small repair shop do it and they didn't replace the whole system. They replaced a part and this caused it to fail for a second time, blowing up and causing more damage. The repair shop wouldn't reimburse me even though they were negligent.

- , Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #27

Jul 112006

CR-V LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,878 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Crazy but true... turns out there was a class action lawsuit about this exact compressor issue. All I had to do was send in a copy of the repair invoice (which I randomly found in all my paperwork!) I received a check for $985 in 2012 for a repair I did in 2006! Lesson learned, save the paperwork for the big stuff!

- , Arvada, CO, USA

problem #26

Sep 282012

CR-V ES 4 cyl Vetec

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles

On my 2003 Honda at around 66.000 miles the air conditioning quit working. Although I hardly use A/C since I only have a short drive to work. I took the vehicle into a Honda dealer. It was reported that the A/C Blew Up and was contaminated throughout the system. I had to replace everything including lines. Although they claim this happens, I'm concerned since the A/C was rarely used. Clearly a defect in the A/C. Ive owned other vehicles with only having to do regular maintenance on the A/C with no problems. This repair cost 2,611.70. I had an extended warranty which did not help much either, they only paid for a compressor that they found somewhere and to flush the system. The Honda dealer feels this is not going to work and the A/C may get contaminated again. I have been told or read other problems with the A/C in Hondas. Please help.

The Honda dealer i worked with was good to me and gave some discounts.

- , Manassas, VA, USA

problem #25

Sep 012012

CR-V EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

On 8/31/12 the AC was working and on 9/1/12 it just stopped cooling! No sound, no light, no warning!

When I took it in I was told that the compressor had blown up and contaminated the entire system and that whole thing would have to be replaced at a cost of approximately $4k!!! I had to sit down as I had never encountered a number like that for a car repair before.

Come to find out that this was a known problem and there had even been a class action suit settled by Honda!

The dealer did offer me a discount of 15% and also put me in touch with Honda corporate who after many weeks of phone tag gave me a discount of 30%. I did go ahead and get vehicle repaired as it was starting to get cold and I needed the system to work to defrost.

So what is my complaint???

As a loyal customer, who has the car serviced only at the dealer, I can't believe that they knew about this timebomb in my car and didn't bother to tell me!!!!

If I had known, I could have just had the compressor replaced (according to the dealer the new ones don't contaminate the whole system!) at a lot less than $2,600!!! Seems to me that that is all I should have had to pay for this problem. I argued that with the case manager assigned by Honda but got absolutely nowhere. She actually had the audacity to tell me that my vehicle was too old!! Isn't that one of Honda's selling points? That you can drive their cars practically forever? Certainly longer than the approximately 48,000 miles that were on mine at the time.

I feel this was unfair and Honda owes me at least the difference. After all this was a known design flaw with their vehicle that they could have warned me about!!!

While I was completely sold on Honda before this, unless I get my money back, don't know that I will consider another one!

- , Lincoln, NE, USA

problem #24

Apr 072011

CR-V ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Had noise under the hood while driving and ac stopped working. Paid $130 to dealer to check. Dealer gave a quote of $3400. I called Honda and they did not help.

- , Novi, MI, USA

problem #23

Aug 302012

CR-V 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

My a/c system stopped working, took it to the dealership the weekend it happened. The estimate they gave me.....$4041.61. We bought this car brand new in 2003, NEVER had one problem with it since that day. We also bought the extended warranty but rarely used it, I love my CRV but I see there are issues with the a/c compressor. When the service manager brought me a chunk of the casing when the a/c compressor blew up in the shop...it felt like cheap aluminum.

- , Centreville, VA, USA

problem #22

May 272005

CR-V

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles

The car was almost new,I never had this kind of experience with other cars one day without a car costs money and time.

- , Washington, DC, USA

problem #21

Jun 022011

CR-V

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

The second time since car was purchased was too much indicates there is a major problem which needs to be solved by honda company for the future buyers.

- , Washington, DC, USA

problem #20

Aug 052012

CR-V

  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,000 miles

This is the 3rd time for the ac compressor to be changed.I had the worst experience on a Sunday coming from church and no auto shops open.I had to leave my car on the street near a shop.It was too hot and humid.

II is a bad car, you cant rely on it.

- , Washington, DC, USA

problem #19

Nov 072011

CR-V EX 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 128,000 miles

I've been driving my CRV very happily for the last 4 years, at least until last week. My car was making a strange noise under the hood when my a/c was engaged, so I turned it off and went to Airport Honda to have it looked at. They told me the air compressor blew up. I WAS SHOCKED!! This same problem that occurred 4 years ago when the car was 4 years old was happening again! They told me I would have to have the whole unit replaced and gave me a cost of almost $2000 for one, and $3000 for the other option. When I asked why the second was so much more, I was told because it's a genuine quality Honda part. I was like, did you just say the word quality Honda part to me??? And why are you showing me prices anyway. You just put another defective compressor back in my car 4 years ago! I can't put a new compressor in my car every 4 years, it's completely unacceptable. I told them they needed to fix it. The manager told me that he would contact Honda to see what they could do and would call me the next day. That was Wednesday, still no word. So, when I call him tomorrow, I'll find out exactly what they're going to do. If I have to pay a dime to get it fixed, it will be by someone other than Honda. If they do not fix this problem, they will have lost a long lover of Hondas, and will have gained an enemy. Not only will I never personally buy a Honda again, I will make sure that I Post, Tweet, Status, Rant, and tell everyone who will listen about this experience and to ABSOLUTELY AVOID BUYING A HONDA, NEW OR USED! I still have faith that they will come through, but if they don't my long love affair with the Honda name is OVER!

- , Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #18

Sep 012007

CR-V EX 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 50,000 miles

I bought my Honda CRV in July of 2003. I love my car, it was absolutely perfect. Then four years down the line, the air compressor blew up while I was moving from South Carolina to Tennessee. It is still pretty warm and sometimes hot that time of year, so I was driving and sweating, just tring to get home. I had it looked at at Airport Honda in Knoxville, TN. They told be the problem, and said that Honda would assist with the cost and get it down to $1500. I was shocked, but I loved my Honda so much I did it. I figure there's gonna be a bad part here and there in the world. So, they fixed it, and I went on my merry way, still loving my car.

- , Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #17

Jul 012009

CR-V LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

This SUV comes with a lot of challenges. I bought the Honda CRV SUV new in 2003 and has had a problem with the compressor as well as the dim headlights (seems like some sort of moisture builds up in them), the door locks stopped working, the windows at one point had to be repaired because they would not go up or down, the fabric in the interior wears out and the carpet gets worn fast.

- , New Castle, DE, USA

problem #16

Feb 142011

CR-V EX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,900 miles

I purchased this vehicle from a reputable local dealer for 13800.00 on 12/24/2010, and have only made one payment on a four year loan and driven for 1000 miles when this unthinkable nightmare occurred. The sales rep who sold me this car said he had never heard of such a thing happening and said there was nothing he could do! I am faced with a total replacement of the a/c system at the "helping out" cost from the dealer of 2730.20!! This is the most significant auto purchase of my life and I simply dont have the financial ability to cover the repair.

I contacted Honda America and was given a case number with the advice to wait for 24 to 48 hours for a response and did hear from Alex, my case manager, within that time frame. He told me that Honda could not offer any help, but would contact the dealer and see if they would help me. In the meantime I heard back from the sales rep at the dealer who asked how my problem was going. I informed him that I was trying to find an independent mechanic to fix the "system", and he actually told me I should be carefull to only use Honda parts!!! I told him that the car already has Honda parts in it and look how well that has worked out for me. After researching this problem and finding the myriad of other owners who have experienced the same catastrophic failure of their a/c system, I can't help but feel that my only recourse is to always put the word out about this "BLACK DEATH" situation that plagues owners of this awfull vehicle, and is not backed by it's manufacturer.

I am faced with four years of payments for a vehicle that the sales rep said would solve all my transportation problems for the forseeable future. Right on! I intend to paint the car with viable information regarding this issue, informing potential buyers of mine and others predicament and the uncaring dealer and manufacturer who sold and manufactured it.

- , Napa, CA, USA

problem #15

Feb 022011

CR-V CRV

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,565 miles

Class action for this problem in USA - no help in Australia. Very common complaint

- , Taylors Lakes, VIC, Australia

problem #14

May 012009

CR-V EX

  • Manual transmission
  • 64,000 miles

It's sad that when a car with the reputed reliability such as Honda has a problem with a system component, such as the AC compressor, that the entire system is recommended to be replaced. The engineering on this system was definitely sub-standard.

- , Reno, NV, USA

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