Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Rock knocked out my AC, is it bad quality?

asked by on

Apparently a rock bounced up and broke the AC compressor in my 2006 Honda Odyssey. I don’t mean to be nit-picky, but shouldn’t a car that is made to exist in the same world as actual roads at least be able to handle small pebbles bouncing around? Did Honda think the roads here were all spotless? Is there some way to protect the condenser once I replace it? This van is at 40,000 miles and I do not want to replace this part again.

A: Honda knows about this condition on the Ody...

Honda knows about this condition on the Odyssey model (along with other models) and there is plenty of evidence on this issue. The issue is that a small rock (pebble) is able penetrate the front grille at a sufficient speed to impact the air conditioning condenser with damaging force. The only way it affects the air conditioning system is when it punctures the condenser causing the refrigerant to leak, rendering the system incapable of producing cold air. So if your A/C still works, even with the impact on it(minimal in size), it is not required to replace any components at this time. If the impact caused a puncture then the air conditioning condenser needs to be replaced and the system recharged with refrigerant. Honda and its dealers have no corrective action to perform in order for this not to happen again but an aftermarket repair company such as YourMechanic could help you with this repair and offer some options that are available protection against this happening again (such as a grille insert). It comes down to the fact that the Honda air conditioning condenser is unduly prone to damage caused by “normal” road debris that does not affect other auto manufacturer’s designs. While Honda could offer simple available corrective measures to prevent this, they would rather not admit to a mistake (paying to fix them), so they classified it as normal and working according to design, merely affected by “road hazards”. Road hazards are not covered under warranty (like a rock hitting the windshield).

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: How do I turn on the automatic climate control air conditioning?

The air conditioning system provides cold air to your cabin, to help keep you comfortable on hot days. To turn on the air conditioning in the automatic climate control system, press the A/C button on the right side of the...

Q: A/C makes loud humming sound

The blower fan motor has something caught in it or the air filter is not in position and hitting the blower fan. Have the person or shop that did the work fix it. The filter may be out of position...

Q: There is a violent shaking once you start to go over 55 mph

The first question I would ask you is have you added any tire sealant in a tire recently? There are a few things that could cause the vibration. The first is a tire that is not balanced if the weights...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...