Clarity A/C problem

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Benoit Paquette, Jul 25, 2019.

  1. Valente

    Valente Active Member

    The first time my AC broke down they said they used dye to see if there was a leak and they found no leak. I think you're right - it was laziness and/or incompetence or ignorance. When a new model like the Clarity plug-in comes out, I think they're kinda stupid when it comes fixing problems. When I purchased the car I asked the salesman a lot of questions that he couldn't answer because "it was a new model." I guess same for the mechanics. Seems as though people on this forum know more about the car than Honda mechanics!!! Great that you're here!! Thanks.
  2. Rich Shaffer

    Rich Shaffer New Member

    2018 Clarity Plug in. Had our first 90 degree day of the season. warm air from the vents. A/C Compressor not coming on. 16000 miles on the clock. Appointment tomorrow. Wish me luck! Don't think Toledo Ohio dealers see many of these.
  3. Valente

    Valente Active Member

    Good luck. Don't let them try and talk you into charging you $300 for refrigerant. Tell them there's a forum where lots of Clarity owners are having AC problems. Refrigerant leakage...a KNOWN problem!! Mine was evaporator core. Others a bad compressor.
  4. Rich Shaffer

    Rich Shaffer New Member

    Picked up car. Claimed it was low on refrigerant. Evacuated, added dye to check for leaks, and refilled. Seemed fine. No charge, billed to Honda. Fingers crossed. 3 yr bumper to bumper runs out Jan 1. Conflicted on whether or not to get extended warranty.
  5. Geor99

    Geor99 Active Member

    My dealer couldn't get started until tomorrow even though I had an appointment for today.

    I brought up the 24k mile refrigerant limit. It was news to him and he said that he has always used a 36k mile limit on refrigerant.

    We'll see tomorrow when I actually pick up the car what the deal is.
  6. Insighter

    Insighter Active Member


    When you think about it, the 24K mile limit on the refrigerant makes no sense. If it leaks out before 36K miles, it would really have to be a failure of a component of the AC system, and they say it is covered if it's part of replacing a component. Is there any way the refrigerant could leak out before 36K miles without such a failure? I guess some sort of physical damage could cause it, but that would never be covered by the warranty, anyway.
  7. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member

    It's almost like they are trying to say that a leak requiring refrigerant every 2 years is expected (and therefore is not covered).
    They are saying that your A/C system is "OK" if it has this kind of leak and therefore you are not entitled to a warranty repair.

    This is nonsensical however because everyone (including the EPA) would probably agree that losing your refrigerant every 2 years is NOT acceptable.

    This comes down to the temperment of your service manager. It seems to me that a 'reasonable' person (maybe like @Geor99 mentioned) would use the 3 year / 36K criteria and ignore the odd text about 2 years (UNLESS there is some evidence of physical damage that appears to not be a manufacturing defect).
    Insighter likes this.
  8. Valente

    Valente Active Member

    I don't see how leakage could occur if it's "supposedly" a closed system. All the cars I've ever owned have never had AC problems even up to 75,000 miles. The rep with the extended warranty I purchased (Century Service Automotive Service Corp) said that Honda Clarity plug-ins are notorious for having AC problems.
  9. Geor99

    Geor99 Active Member


    The service manager today said that he has been there for 11 years, and he's never heard of anything having a 24,000 mile limit.

    I showed him the text that someone on this forum posted. The guy told me "let's just ignore that and go with 36k miles."
    This sounds good, but I will delay my celebration until I actually pick up the correctly repaired car without a charge:)

    I'll definitely post what happens here so that it might help someone one day.
    Insighter likes this.
  10. aapitten

    aapitten Member

    Hey everyone, an update on mine. To summarize for those that haven't read the thread, took it to the dealer on 5/19. After an extensive (nearly full day) diagnosis they determined the condenser had a leak and would be replaced under warranty.

    The replacement condenser arrived quickly (within a day or two) but I am still (5/31) waiting for the 'special' AC oil our cars require. I am in NE Ohio - the oil was shipping from Cali and supposed to be here on 5/26. The latest update is that they 'hope' it will be here this Tuesday (two weeks later.)

    The good news, they gave me a fully-loaded Accord Hybrid as a loaner. Probably the closest thing to a Clarity that they can loan.

    I love my Clarity but am impressed with the Accord's MPG. Happy to see they added a much-needed 'EV-Only' mode (which would make even more sense on a PHEV....) and the Accord gets the HUD (which, when I bought the car in 2017 I thought I may be getting before I found out it was only on the BEV and Fuel-Cell), rain sensing wipers (which I believe we were supposed to have), and auto-dimming highbeams (which we were DEFINITELY supposed to have based on an early screenshot of the Honda site I have from a few days after I purchased my car.)
    Insighter likes this.
  11. Insighter

    Insighter Active Member

    Does it sit lower or higher than the Clarity? Is it more roomy or less roomy for the driver?

    A moonroof, ventilated front seats, HUD and the larger tablet are all things that drew me to the Accord. But, it isn't a plug in and doesn't get the rebate and tax credit.
  12. aapitten

    aapitten Member

    My girlfriend thinks it is lower (but she is also used to driving an Outback.) I think it is pretty close to the same ride height. The moonroof is definitely nice.

    I'm not sure the tablet is any lager, but it is definitely a newer generation system and has physical buttons. I actually don't love the physical menu buttons, but do like having the knobs.

    I will say, it is strange 'feeling' the engine so much. I've gotten very spoiled to not usually feeling a running ICE while going around town in my Clarity.
    Insighter likes this.
  13. Insighter

    Insighter Active Member

    I wanted to add a moonroof to mine (I had it done on a Maxima, and it looked perfect inside & out), but I'm pretty sure it can't be done given the ridges in the roof. Plus, if you look at the Clarity on the Honda website, they make a lot of the fact that the roof on the Clarity is specially engineered to be extra strong and rigid. They say it is a seamlessly laser-welded roof that greatly improves body strength and rigidity. I imagine they did that for a reason. I don't know if other Hondas have similar roofs, but I don't see any mention of it with the Accord.
  14. Valente

    Valente Active Member

    Everyone beware of AC problems! I found this in the Warranty booklet:

    "Air conditioner refrigerant is covered for the first 2 years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first, unless required as part of a warranty repair."

    I was told by someone at Honda Corp that all Clarity plug ins are having AC problems - mainly the evaporator core. If it goes out after 36,000 mi or 3 years, it will cost around $2,000 to have replaced. This is a known problem. You would think they would issue a recall alert.
  15. Insighter

    Insighter Active Member

    There's another thread discussing the wisdom of extended warranties. I think this shows why you should buy one!

    I'm not sure why you'd think Honda would issue a recall alert. It's not a safety issue that would force them to issue such an alert, and doing so will cost them a lot of money. I'm not that optimistic about any corporation's resolve to act morally.
  16. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Active Member

    Valente: One post you say the warranty company is saying the Clarity A/C is prone to failure. Next post it is 'someone with Honda Corp'. So, which is it? If the 'expert' is with the warranty company then OF COURSE they will tell you these parts fail... they're trying to SELL you a warranty!
  17. Adding to the fun, have a 2018 Clarity Touring PHEV 43k miles - AC condenser went out yesterday (6/1/20).
    Dealership quoted me ~$1200 parts + labor to replace.

    Asked Service Tech to file a claim with the Honda America Rep to see if they could assist with costs as I've read others have done so. Not holding my breath.

    As we sadly all know the quality of cars these days have gone down hill and sticking the cost to the consumer. Good way to lose a first time customer, especially I was looking at getting an Accord in a few months!
  18. Valente

    Valente Active Member

    Both have said the Honda Clarity has AC problems. I purchased an extended warranty when I purchased the car. Unfortunately, dealership did not tell me that it was not HONDACARE. This warranty is a separate company that does not cover as much as HONDACARE. And I can only use it at the dealership where I purchased the car which I have come to despise! So many lies and deceit.
  19. Valente

    Valente Active Member

    Wow!! I'm surprised that your parts arrived so quickly. Lucky you! I was told my AC Evaporator core would take 3 months to arrive from Japan to CA. Just guessing but it sounds like evaporator cores are in demand?
    Insighter likes this.
  20. Valente

    Valente Active Member

    $1200? I was quoted $2,000 from another dealer. Such ripoffs! UGH. Would be nice to file a class action lawsuit but have no idea how to go about finding a lawyer. After mine is fixed, I'm gonna sell it and buy something else. Don't know what yet because I really do like driving EVs.

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