AC refrigerant Low

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by BobbyB, Oct 7, 2023.

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  1. BobbyB

    BobbyB New Member

    Hi all,
    For the past couple of months, my Clarity has had some wheezing/hissing noise coming out of the dashboard fans when using ac. It always occurs when turning the fans on, but recently the hissing has started to happen during drives and has become increasingly loud.

    I took my car in for a diagnostic at my local dealership, where the service advisor initially said that they didn't hear anything. I then pointed out the noise while he was in the car and then he stated that it was likely because the freon was getting low. This car is not even 3 years old. The advisor stated that there was no leaks, but I'm suspicious that they even checked. The AC is still running cold, but the noise is bugging the heck out of me. Anyone else have something similar happen to their Clarity?

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  3. One of the symptoms of low Freon is warm air from the vents. That’s not something you’ve described as happening. Another thing that goes hand in hand with low Freon is a leak.

    If they tested for leaks and suspected low Freon, why didn’t they recommend adding more Freon?

    It is probably a correct assumption that they didn’t test for leaks. Service departments seem to be trending toward incompetence or dishonesty or believing their customers are idiots. Possibly all three.
    David Towle and BobbyB like this.
  4. BobbyB

    BobbyB New Member

    Yeah, I am inclined to agree with you. The fact that he stated that him and two mechanics couldn't hear anything while they worked on the car was what tipped me off. When I then started the fan myself to show him the hissing sound, he then quickly said that they did hear the noise and it was because of low freon. He actually did say that i can refill the refrigerant, but it would cost $350 and I declined. I questioned why the freon would be low, since I've never had this happen in my other vehicle which I owned for 10 years and he gave me the run around. This is when I asked if there was possibly a leak somewhere within the AC system, and he said no.
    After some digging in this forum, I saw that many members have had problems with their ac systems, especially with a leaking condenser. I called the service advisor and asked if this was possibly the cause of the hissing noise and possible low freon. He then got really argumentative and rude, talking over me and telling me not to read online forums since everyone's Clarity is different haha. At this point I was shocked and asked again if they checked for leaks and he said I have two choices: to wait for the freon to go empty and the AC to start blowing hot air, or to pay the $350 for a refrigerant recharge and leak check. I was so confused if they checked for a leak or not and was a bit beside myself at how I was being spoken to, so I just stated that I'll think about it and hung up.
    Sorry for the long post, but I'm pretty flustered haha
  5. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Don't be sorry for posting the complete account of what your dealer's rude service department rep put you through. Did that rude person admit there was a special extension of the AC warranty for condenser failures? The fault is often visible on the outside of the condenser, but they have to pull off the front bumper to get to it.

    I'm on my third condenser and haven't had to pay for the two replacements. I did, however, wait for the warm-air confirmation of refrigerant loss to preclude the expensive test.
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  6. I meant to include this yesterday. Feel free to inform them that you found it on an Internet forum. Would you mind sharing the name of the dealership with the other forum members?

    Last edited: Oct 8, 2023
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  8. He didn’t answer your question. That’s just rude. His responses to your other inquiries are completely inappropriate. “The lady doth protest too loudly, methinks.”

    Why would he not answer “yes” if they had checked for leaks?
    Why would the Freon go empty if there are no leaks?
    We’re you charged a diagnostic fee?
    Did they provide you with a report of their findings?
    Did they ask you to give them all 10’s when you receive the customer satisfaction survey?

    One approach to consider would be to notify the service advisor that the matter will be reported to the owner of the dealership and Honda Corporate, should it not be resolved to your satisfaction.
  9. BobbyB

    BobbyB New Member

    No, he didn't mention the extension for the warranty. I think he just wanted to get me to stop bugging him about this. Haha
  10. BobbyB

    BobbyB New Member

    Thanks for including the warranty extension. To answer your other questions, I brought the car for a oil change and diagnostic, but he had only charged me for the oil change. No report was provided and he didn't explain why the freon was running low. He just said that my vehicle was at 50000 miles as if that explains the issue. This was at Carson Honda in socal.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2023
  11. It does sound as though he may be unaware that his job is to provide service to customers.

    Being in SoCal you have nearby options, although there’s no telling if you’ll get satisfactory service from another dealer.
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  13. leop

    leop Active Member

    I found my AC condensor leak before the freon got low enough to affect the output air temperature. If the bottom of th condensor as viewed through the front grill looks dirty (and, possibly oily), the condenser may be leaking. I actually got the first warning of the leak when I noticed an oil spot on my garage floor when I did an oil change. The oil leak was beneath the condensor area and oil could be seen on the plastic undertray. The AC system holds about 4 ounces of oil and my system was 2 ounces low when the condenser was changed under the extended warranty.

  14. bpratt

    bpratt Active Member

    In the 1930’s through the early ‘90’s FREON, also known as R12, was used in all vehicle air conditioning systems. By the mid 90’s R12 was phased out and replaced by 134a refrigerant. Now, nearly 30 years after its introduction, 134a is being replaced by 1234YF Opteon™.
  15. Are we convinced that the Freon is actually low in the OP’s vehicle?
  16. leop

    leop Active Member

    My apologies to the Chemours Company for using freon as a generic term for refigerant. I do not think the Chemours Company will be too concerned since they also produce Opteon R-1234YF.

  17. MarkClarity

    MarkClarity Active Member

    They were a division of DuPont prior to 2015, I guess Freon brand ended with 134a and switched to Opteon for the Clarity R-1234yf

    Last edited: Oct 10, 2023
  18. I’d like to submit a request to change the title of this thread to: A/C Refrigerant: A Brief History.
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  19. megreyhair

    megreyhair Active Member

    A bottle of R-1234yf is like $100 while a bottle of 134a is like under $10 at Autozone :(
  20. The Clarity uses R-1234yf. Be sure to understand the potential risks of handling that product and the ramifications of using R-134a in a system designed for R-1234yf, if your goal is to save $90. IMG_3001.jpeg
  21. megreyhair

    megreyhair Active Member

    I never said to replace 1234yf with 134a. Why would anyone in their right mind want to do something like that. They are completely different animal, just like you don't want to mix blue coolant with orange coolant ( you will cause radiator corrosion). I simply stated the huge price difference between the 2. People need to stop overthinking things.
  22. Did anyone say that you said to replace one with the other? Who’s overthinking? And what’s the point in comparing the prices of two items that are not interchangeable, particularly with no context as to why the statement was made?

    People who are believed to be in their right mind, occasionally make poor decisions. It isn’t outside the realm of possibility that someone who is believed to be in their right mind might suggest, or actually do, something that is dangerous, ill-advised or ridiculous.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2023
  23. BobbyB

    BobbyB New Member

    I brought my vehicle to another dealership and they discovered the leak in the condenser. Thanks everyone for your help!

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