Rough idle with A/C on - Drive Accord Honda Forums
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post #1 of 23 Old 11-04-2012, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Rough idle with A/C on

Hello,

New here to DA, but not car forums. I've got a 03 Accord DX Sedan, I4, 5MT, 125k Miles. Great car and barebones.

One of the very few gripes I have with this otherwise tremendously reliable car is that anytime I run the A/C the car seems to idle particularly rough (idle speed being about 700 rpm. If I press the gas, while in neutral, and increase the rpms to 900/1k, it goes away.

Additionally, A/C really seems to sap power from the car during acceleration or going up hills and I seem to notice an unusual drop in mpg.

I don't use the A/C much, but this annoys me and I'd like to fix it. Without A/C on, the car is very smooth in the NVH realm.

Searched around for answers already with no luck.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 23 Old 11-04-2012, 07:19 PM
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It sounds normal operation to me.

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post #3 of 23 Old 11-04-2012, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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I haven't driven every car made on the planet, but I've got to say I'm pretty sure that this is not normal.

Without just conjecture, has anyone else experienced this problem?
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post #4 of 23 Old 11-04-2012, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlainAccordDX View Post
I haven't driven every car made on the planet, but I've got to say I'm pretty sure that this is not normal.

Without just conjecture, has anyone else experienced this problem?
I use AC all the time in summer the rpm goes up and down which is normal. Compressor kicks in engine takes load thus rpm goes up. This goes on and on.

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post #5 of 23 Old 11-04-2012, 07:39 PM
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Yea same here all my cars have always done this. It's just a load on the engine


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post #6 of 23 Old 11-04-2012, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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O.k. Now I'm seeing that other's rpm rise when the compressor comes on. Mine doesn't budge. Stays right where it was at (when idling), 700 or so rpm.

With that, it seems that my rpms should go up. Any ideas why the rpms are not rising?

And FWIW, without inviting you all over to see this, the roughness is beyond what any reasonable person would consider normal. The car does not bounce up and down. But I've never seen roughness like this in another car, merely by turning on the AC.
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post #7 of 23 Old 11-04-2012, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlainAccordDX View Post
O.k. Now I'm seeing that other's rpm rise when the compressor comes on. Mine doesn't budge. Stays right where it was at (when idling), 700 or so rpm.

With that, it seems that my rpms should go up. Any ideas why the rpms are not rising?

And FWIW, without inviting you all over to see this, the roughness is beyond what any reasonable person would consider normal. The car does not bounce up and down. But I've never seen roughness like this in another car, merely by turning on the AC.
Have to admit that 7th Gen do have "roughness" to it at idle when AC is on. Now I don't know what kind of roughness you're facing unless if you can post a video of it or something?

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post #8 of 23 Old 11-04-2012, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
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Have to admit that 7th Gen do have "roughness" to it at idle when AC is on. Now I don't know what kind of roughness you're facing unless if you can post a video of it or something?
It sounds usual for the 4 cylinder, unless its extreme. A luxury car the 7th gen Accord is not.

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post #9 of 23 Old 11-04-2012, 08:14 PM
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Sounds normal.


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post #10 of 23 Old 11-04-2012, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Bad news-My cars idles rough.

Good news-This is normal and I don't have to fix anything.

Settled. Thanks!
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post #11 of 23 Old 11-04-2012, 09:16 PM
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Try synthetic oil. Mine use to do this when I was on regular oil. Now it's smooth.

Have you changed your drive belt yet?

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post #12 of 23 Old 11-04-2012, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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Been on synthetic for years. No Change.
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post #13 of 23 Old 11-04-2012, 10:19 PM
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I'll try my ac tomorrow and see what the rpm is at idle.

I use to drive older cars where I couldn't run ac on city streets. It would stall the car. My accord has been smooth.

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post #14 of 23 Old 11-04-2012, 10:57 PM
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It all has to due with the front engine mount.

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post #15 of 23 Old 11-05-2012, 08:33 AM
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I turned on the AC this morning while stopped at light. It was idling at around 800rpm before the AC, turned on the AC and it flickered for half a second. Then idled at the same 800rpm. It held the rpm solid.

My Accord is smooth. I have no engine mods and keep up with preventive maintenance.

I have USB OBD reader. It has software to show a lot of real time data. I should plug it in one of these days to see what the exact idle number is at and note it to have a reference if things seems out of place.

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