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Volvo 850 intermittent a/c

Carlton on Sun August 03, 2008 7:33 PM User is offlineView users profile

Year: 1996
Make: Volvo
Model: 850 cd tdi
Engine Size: 2500
Refrigerant Type: 134a
Ambient Temp: 30
Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Someone else had this problem in May but never finished the post. Volvo 850 diesel auto. The facts;

Aircon never very good and started switching off after 10 mins when engine hot this year. Fine until engine warms up. Started this year and worse when it is hot outside.

At motorway speeds where ram effect on condensor good, will still do it unless manually turn fan down on to mid way when it is more successful. Cooling getting worse as time goes on but can't decide whether that is my imagination?

Had it regassed and much cooler, only 370g r134 vs 750g at capacity. Problem still apparent the next day but not on the day it was regassed. Very wet receiver drier which took ages to vacuum dry.

My thoughts;

1) Gas leaked out again (but no evidence of this with dye)

2) Receiver drier being wet meant it has broken up and clogged condensor

3) Failure of two speed fan machanism, only slow working? Ram effect on motorway does not resolve issue so probably not this.

4) Leaking evaporator?

5) Maladjusted clutch


As at least one person has had this happen, there is likely to be a hierarchy of probability as to where the problem lies. Access on the 850 seems very poor due to 5 cylinder transverse engine and it is quite tricky to see what is going on. Is it true the Volvo only has a low side port?

mk378 on Sun August 03, 2008 10:10 PM User is offline

Vacuum will not remove water from the desiccant in the receiver drier. You have to replace the unit with a new dry one. It's an expendable part like an oil filter.

Is the compressor running when it is not cooling? If not, is the clutch getting power and trying to engage?

Carlton on Sun August 03, 2008 11:45 PM User is offlineView users profile

Could it also be that voltage drop of max fan(30A), max radiator fan (30A), lights (20A), charging circuit (?), radio (?) cause clutch to disengage? How suseptible to voltage would a compressor clutch be? You are nearly at (brand new) alternator capacity without any allowance for wear and tear.

Ill check this out as well!

Karl Hofmann on Mon August 04, 2008 5:39 AM User is offlineView users profile

It is a pretty common problem for Volvos here in the UK... The temps never get really hot and the compressor cycles on and off constantly, thus wearing the clutch plate.. The clutch pulls in when the car is cold, but as soon as it warms up it will let go... Check the clutch gap, it should be no greater than a business cards thickness. It can be adjusted by popping the clutch plate off and re shimming though you may need a clutch puller

Never knock on deaths door... Ring the doorbell and run away, death really hates that!

Carlton on Mon August 04, 2008 7:49 AM User is offlineView users profile

Brilliant - that is very helpful.

I'll repost when it is resolve so that someone else can make use of it.

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