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> A/c Problem (compressor Goes Off), Compressor cuts off after a few minutes (intermittently)
Volio09
post Apr 27 2009, 10:16 PM
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Hello All,

I'm new to this forum but now after 80k (rewarding) miles with my 04.5' S40 T5 I have a frustrating problem and need help. My A/C system seems to have a intermittent issue such that the compressor cuts off after a few minutes and will not come back on until I leave it or the car off for some time. This issue just started on these hotter days (Atlanta area). I've a bit handy so I checked the refrigerent to verify the level is normal. Also, I reset the pressure switch so to rule out bad connection. I have no "MIL" lights or anything either. Again this really only happens occationally and only on hot (>80*) days... Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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russel
post May 13 2009, 08:51 AM
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I'm experiencing the exact same problem with the same model volvo s40 T5 miles~90K.
I found another guy with the same model and he is having the problem too. http://www.justanswer.com/questions/21o4s-...ncing-ac-issues
and http://www.volvo-forums.com/t26531-s-40-troubleshooting.htm

Anyway just took my car into to the shop and of course they want to just replace the compressor and everything involved; which is very expensive ($1200+).

Does anyone have a remedy for this?

They found my A/C coolant is low, but they said it wasn't low enough to induce the compressor to over heat and disengage. They also found a very small leak since the coolant is not too low and I have never recharged it since I bought the car in 04. Also I haven't checked to see if the condenser is full of debris. I found in other cars this was the root of most of my a/c problems. I'm going to pick the car up and check that because these volvo tech seem to be good at replacing parts and not so great at fixing problems.

However I do know that it could be the compressor is just bad but they checked for shorts etc and found no problems so this tells me the disengaging compressor/ over heating compressor rests with something other than the compressor itself.

Please help or post if you have the same a/c problem with you volvo s40.
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TheGreekMason
post May 13 2009, 03:40 PM
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if you have a jiffy lube close by, have the do a check. it'll run about 80 bucks +/-. they will tell you if there is a leak. if not, then get a kit and do it yourself. but for the first post, it sounds like you need freon. for the second post, it just might be that the o ring seals are drying out. if you have access to a vacuum for a/c, empty the compressor and re-cahrge with freon and compressor oil.
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robert240
post May 13 2009, 05:56 PM
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If you are absolutely sure the freon and pressure levels are OK, it could be that the low pressure switch is bad (sees the wrong pressure). Just a guess from someone with a stock R12 system from 1986 (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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russel
post May 14 2009, 07:25 AM
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Thank you for replying to this thread.

I went in to the shop and talked with the head tech there. He seem very knowledgeable and said that he has seen tons of s40's where the magnetic clutch on the a/c compressor can no longer engage when hot.

My understanding is that the clutch abrades over time and always returns to the original position unlike brake calipers that adjust position as the brake wears out. Since the clutch plate returns to the original position the magnet is no longer strong enough to engage the clutch for such a distance. The onset of this occurs when the compressor is very hot, because the magnetic field from the magnet is lower when heated.

I found where people refer to a "starter kit" ($20) for home a/c compressors to combat this problem. The "starter kit" is a relay with a capacitor which under normal operation siphons off a bit of power to store in the capacitor then the next time the a/c kicks in the capacitor drains quickly and increases the current to the electromagnet increasing the magnetic field and engaging the clutch plate.

I'm unable to find such a relay for a car, but the capacitor trick should work to increase the life of the compressor.

However, I was told the clutch life is design to fail just before the compressor, so under certain circumstances this cap/relay fix is just a band-aid that might last for an unknown amount of time (unless you really get into the permeation of the magnetic field)

If anybody has seen one of these cap/relays that will work with a S40 can you please post it.
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Platypup
post May 15 2009, 05:28 AM
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It seems it may be a good idea to not engage the compressor more than necessary to reduce wear on the magnetic clutch by switching climate control to manual control with the a/c switched off until it is really hot enough to use it. I hate to imagine how many times the clutch engages/disengages over time and the strain when the compressor is pulled into use at higher crankshaft speeds.
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Volio09
post Jun 14 2009, 03:57 PM
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Thanks everyone for your ideas. I've been traveling, but finaly had time to check things and it seems Russel's mechanic is correct. It seems the clutch is not able to lock when hot. To test the theory, I disconnected the black wire (on compressor) from the socket then wedged a piece of aluminum foil inside. Then after pushing the wire back in, I had a little test point sticking out the side. I then waited for a hot day (+85*) and drove around until the problem occured. Then with the car running, I crawled under checked for voltage with my Fluke VOM and sure enough there was voltage there!

Does anyone know where I could buy a new ac clutch on the cheap? Dealer wants around $300...

Thanks again to everyone whom contributed to this posting. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/liebe011.gif)
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kimsv50
post Jun 23 2009, 05:18 PM
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Hey Volio09 we are also in the ATL area. We have a 2005 V50 with the T5. Does your AC blow warm/hot air when it starts acting up? We never use the Auto Climate Control, we always use it in the manual mode. What dealer qouted you $300. North Point Volvo qouted us over $1000 for a new compressor. Adam.
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kimsv50
post Jun 28 2009, 07:16 PM
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As I posted on the v50 forum our car does need the ac compressor replaced. The magnetic clutch does fail when it gets hot. Our independent mechanic told us you cannot just replace the magnetic clutch, you must replace the whole ac compressor. His price was also very close to $1000. We decided to trade our car in. We were also looking at the timimg belt replacement soon. I know these two factors are not reasons to get rid of a car but we were ready for something new. The v50 will be missed. Thanks, Adam.
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jimboy
post Jun 30 2009, 02:40 PM
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2005 v50 same problem. After it cuts off I can tap center of compressor and get it to reengage. I assume this is same problem and I need a clutch or compressor. What is a reasonable price for both?
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russel
post Jun 30 2009, 07:06 PM
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QUOTE (jimboy @ Jun 30 2009, 03:40 PM)
2005 v50 same problem. After it cuts off I can tap center of compressor and get it to reengage. I assume this is same problem and I need a clutch or compressor. What is a reasonable price for both?



I don't know for the clutch, but my compressor job cost ~1100. If you are more of a DIY guy, check out

http://swedishautoparts.com/

Just found the site, they seem to have the most OEM out of all the sites I've seen.
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Volio09
post Jun 30 2009, 10:05 PM
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Hello Guys, I haven't had time yet to attempt a fix but I got a quote for around $300 for the AC clutch (part only) and around $500-600 for whole compressor (incl. clutch). Dealers don't want to do just clutch, as they say labor is more so similar money. I really don't get that, but I haven't had time to crawl under and see if I can get the clutch off easily. I will probably need some special tool but might try screw driver... If I break something, then the worst is I would have to get entire compressor anyway so why not try. I haven't had time, but since the wife is complaining a lot lately I suppose it will get done the next week or so. Let's see...
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Volio09
post Jul 28 2009, 11:15 PM
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Hi guys. I'm happy to report that I've managed to fix this AC problem by removing 2 of the 3 shim washers between clutch and clutch outer plate. I seen someone else do this on another web site on a older Volvo, but it's the same idea. See the link below. I removed the tire and inner fender plastic to see what I'm doing, but once that is done the hardest part is finding (or making) a puller tool. One thing I will suggest is measuring the clutch gap with a spark plug type gapper ("L" shaped) so you can get into the center of the clutch. You can't get an accurate measurement with a standard feeler gauge, as it will have to bend through the edge (not good). Anyway, as for me I needed to remove 2 of the 3 shims. Now, about a month later it's still working great here in +90 degree sun and traffic of ATL area.

Thanks for everyone's help and I hope many others with this problem read this too. The dealer is just taking your cash unnecessarily. Why replace the entire ac compressor (or even the clutch) if it's not needed (especially for cars with less than 100k miles).


http://www.matthewsvolvosite.com/downloads...-V70-AC-Fix.pdf
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atxvolvo
post Nov 24 2009, 11:41 PM
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It sounds like I might be having the same problem you were. My AC will kick on for a few minutes and then it stops blowing cold. Air keeps blowing but it is not cold. If I turn the AC off for a few minutes and then back on it will work for a few minutes and then stop. It first started happening when the weather was hot (in Texas) but it I am having the same problem even with the cooler weather we have had lately. Do you know a good mechanic in central Texas?



QUOTE (Volio09 @ Jul 29 2009, 12:15 AM)
Hi guys. I'm happy to report that I've managed to fix this AC problem by removing 2 of the 3 shim washers between clutch and clutch outer plate. I seen someone else do this on another web site on a older Volvo, but it's the same idea. See the link below. I removed the tire and inner fender plastic to see what I'm doing, but once that is done the hardest part is finding (or making) a puller tool. One thing I will suggest is measuring the clutch gap with a spark plug type gapper ("L" shaped) so you can get into the center of the clutch. You can't get an accurate measurement with a standard feeler gauge, as it will have to bend through the edge (not good). Anyway, as for me I needed to remove 2 of the 3 shims. Now, about a month later it's still working great here in +90 degree sun and traffic of ATL area.

Thanks for everyone's help and I hope many others with this problem read this too. The dealer is just taking your cash unnecessarily. Why replace the entire ac compressor (or even the clutch) if it's not needed (especially for cars with less than 100k miles).


http://www.matthewsvolvosite.com/downloads...-V70-AC-Fix.pdf

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Chris Ferreri
post Jun 25 2010, 09:45 AM
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Im not sure if this is a different problem but i will post it anyways just to see if anyone can help me..My air conditioner works fine until i accelerate, thats when it stops blowing out cold air and starts blowing out warm air until i turn it off and wait and then turn it back on again and it blows cold air again until i accelerate. What can be the problem?
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Platypup
post Jun 25 2010, 10:03 PM
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It's likely that the electomagnetic clutch in the a/c compressor is worn & only just engages enough to grip while the car is being driven at a constant speed. During acceleration slippage occurs generating heat which weakens the magnetic field causing the clutch to throw out and then it re-engages after it cools down again. If the a/c continues to cool when accelerating gently, but stops cooling with faster acceleration this would help to validate this explanation.
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Ghent
post Jul 5 2010, 06:59 PM
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Just had the same problem with my 2005 S40. The air conditioning cut in and out intermittently. Sometimes it would blow ice cold, 5 minutes later it be nothing but hot air. Manually switching the a/c on and off would sometimes get it to work, but not for long.

My mechanic diagnosed it as the gap had worn to far on my a/c compressor clutch. It was out of spec and the intermittent problem was that sometimes the gap was too far for the electromagnet to pull the clutch in to engage the compressor. They fixed it in one afternoon at a cost of about $300. Sure, a brand new compressor would fix the problem too, but that is overkill.
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The Doc
post Jul 15 2010, 09:22 PM
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Let me correct some of you.

1) Dealerships will, or SHOULD, replace the clutch by itself pending on the mileage. If the care is high milage (110,000+), I usually recommend a whole compressor because I hate doing a clutch and the compressor go out shortly after.

2) It is most definitely the AC compressor clutch. When it gets hot, it will disengage and you can test the single wire at the compressor and read "ubatt" (12volts) at that wire. This tells you that you have power to engage it but it wont engage.

3) YOU CAN EASILY buy/order the clutch itself from the dealership.
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pstewart
post Aug 12 2010, 03:09 PM
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I have the same problem and I am in the Dallas area. My mechanic is only recommending replacement of compressor. Does anyone have a recommendation of who can do the clutch repair?
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jobin
post Aug 24 2010, 06:32 PM
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QUOTE (Ghent @ Jul 5 2010, 06:59 PM)
Just had the same problem with my 2005 S40. The air conditioning cut in and out intermittently. Sometimes it would blow ice cold, 5 minutes later it be nothing but hot air. Manually switching the a/c on and off would sometimes get it to work, but not for long.

My mechanic diagnosed it as the gap had worn to far on my a/c compressor clutch. It was out of spec and the intermittent problem was that sometimes the gap was too far for the electromagnet to pull the clutch in to engage the compressor. They fixed it in one afternoon at a cost of about $300. Sure, a brand new compressor would fix the problem too, but that is overkill.

i have the same problem i need help
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