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Broken AC in my Civic

Originally published at Dustin's Weblog. Please leave any comments there.

I’m posting this here for anyone who runs into the same problem on their Civic Hybrid and doesn’t feel like shelling out the $600+ to fix the AC.

Over the past few weeks my 2004 Honda Civic Hybrid has started making a horrible squealing sound, stalling, making a burning smell and the AC has been intermittent. My first thought was that the belt had just come loose or something, but the problem turned out to be much more expensive. After replacing the original belt (with the help of my wife’s small hands) with one purchased from the dealership (Part 38920-PZA-505) the squealing continued. Doing a little bit of research online it sounded like this could be due to the AC Compressor seizing up. I removed the belt, reached in and tried to turn all the pulleys by hand while the car was off, two moved and two didn’t, this confirmed for me that the AC compressor was locked up. Since I don’t have enough cash to get this repaired and I still need my car, I decided to bypass the AC compressor for now with a smaller belt. As I have never done anything like this before, I called on my dad’s auto expertise. We measured the new belt route with a string and found a part at Advance Auto Parts that would fit (Dayco Part #  3290040). Since I couldn’t find much documentation about doing this, I am providing a crude diagram of the belt routing for anyone else that might need it:

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By drunnells at 2010-09-22

I hope this helps someone! Someday I’ll get the AC fixed.. but for now this seems to be working.


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