1998 Honda Civic, A/C Cool But Not Cold

This 1998 Honda Civic came in with the complaint that the a/c was cool but not cold. The owner had already repaired a couple of minor leaks and charged the system. Both he and I we unsure if the correct amount of refrigerant had been installed. For good measure I recovered, measured and recharged the a/c system. It had been slightly over charged. I took the vehicle for a test drive after working with the refrigerant system and found that the vent temperatures were cycling between 45 and 51 degrees F. Not bad except that it was not comfortable in the car after ten minutes of driving. The outside air temperature  was 80 F and the humidity was 60%. This along with a blower motor that sounded slightly off key made me want to look and see if there was a restricted cabin air filter.

I started by removing the two 8 mm headed screws at each lower corner of the glove box.

After the two screws were removed it took just a little wiggling to pull the glove box completely out of the dash.

I saw what looked like an access panel to a cabin air filter but there was a wiring harness bracket that was in the way. A phillip’s headed screw driver removed the bracket fastener.

Now there was enough room to work with the access panel.

I pulled the latch at the bottom of the panel.

Then I pulled the panel up and off of the hook at the top of the box.

I do believe this is the problem.

I used a vacuum cleaner with a rubber hose adapter that I made to pull most of the debris from the evaporator core. I then took a rubber tipped air blow gun and used it to remove the stuck on crud. I had the engine running, the blower set on high and the a/c OFF while I cleaned the evaporator case out. This allowed the case and its contents to dry out.

It took a good while to get the case cleaned out. Then it took a little more time to vacuum out the stuff that got spread all over the inside of the car.

I thought that the cabin air filter had been removed from this vehicle but since I found no listings for replacement filters, I had to assume it never had one. Anyway I put it all back together again and the interior of this Honda Civic is cold again. In case you were wondering the debris build up was interfering with BTU absorption in the evaporator core.

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