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96 Civic, M/T, Idle bounces with AC on


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Ok, first, yes, I used the search feature. I also checked the FAQ thread pinned to the top of this forum. Didn't find any answers that seem to match my specific problem, but if I overlooked something, by all means, point me in the right direction.


That said, I have a 96 Civic EX, 5-speed, stock, daily driver, with 156k miles. I had the AC serviced last year (recovered, vacuumed, refilled with a scale) and it worked fine. This year it's acting odd. When I'm at idle with the AC on, the tach bounces all over the place - it'll dip down until the engine nearly stalls, then jump back up to around 1k rpms. Each dip is accompanied by the A/C compressor cutting out just before the engine actually stalls out, and when it revs back up, the compressor comes back on. Turn the AC off and it smooths right out and idles at about 600 RPM.


The car runs fine at speed - this problem is only evident at idle. It's also intermittent. Sometimes it purrs along just fine. I have also not noted any correlation between engine temperature and the issue - it seems to happen just as often with a cold motor as it does with a warm one.


I do have a service manual for the proper year (the Honda shop one) but frankly, I know less than nothing about AC, so I have no idea how to even begin troubleshooting the issue. Pointers, possible things to test, or advice are all appreciated.





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if you use google and type in something along the lines of 'car almost dies while ac is on' there are multiple threads from multiple forums that pop up


anyway first things first i would check the IAC (idle air control)






Edited by DelSolSweetie
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The IAC and accompanying rev bouncing is a very common failure point for 90's honda products. That would be one of the first things to look at in all cases were idel is not constant.

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i remember when i cleaned mine


smashed my hand on the firewall because the bolts were on there pretty good


i would have have some liquid wrench or similar handy just in case laugh.gif



I'll give that a look. Thanks for the tip.

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