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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello to everyone,

I'm having an issue with the AC in my Volvo XC90 3.2 AWD 2008. I started to notice the issue for a month ago.
The issue is to start with when I turn on the car (having the AC on Auto mode) it's starts to blow only warm air for like 5 to 10 minutes before starting cool down inside the car.
Alongside with the cooling delay, when the car starts to blow colder air, it's not that cold and the fan isn't that powerful especially for rear seats (not blowing well as it used to) it's like I'm having the fan on medium speed although I have it on Max.
When I'm stuck in a traffic jam for only like 5 minutes (even when I stop at the red light for example) the cool air is gone and The AC only blow hot air again.

All these problems/symptoms are making it really difficult for me and my family when we go for a ride (even if it's only 10 min ride)

The car is in Dubai and the temperature here is pretty high in summers (it's normal to say that the temperature can hit between 46°C - 52°C (=115 F - 125 F) ich.

I was at the dealership for regular service last month, they told me that 2 faults I have in my car that can cause a poor cooling AC.
1.The Condenser' fins are starting to close up due to age of car.
2. Compressor control valve.

I took my car to a Volvo garage (not at the dealership) just to have another thought and to make sure what's is the issue. The guy in the garage checked the pressure in the Compressor and the air temperature that comes out from the AC inside the car. He told me that the low pressure in the Compressor is very hight, its around 70 and it should be between 45 - 55. So he suggested to replace the whole Compressor. I took a photo of what the clocks showed and I'm attaching it here so you can read it as well.
127419


Have anyone had a similar problem? How did you solve it? Or have anyone thoughts about my issue. I'm really thankful for your suggestions.

Thanks in advance
Z. Badr
 

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Someone can probably provide you with additional detail (and perhaps another place to look) but as your dealer had noted, the control valve is a very common item noted for odd AC behavior with the V8 and 3.2 engines (variable displacement compressor). See these examples, there are more if you follow a search for "compressor solenoid" in the forum- Air Conditioning A/C trouble - odd pressure readings? | SwedeSpeed - Volvo Performance Forum , Question about 2010 XC90 3.2 AC Issue | SwedeSpeed - Volvo Performance Forum
 

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I'm having an issue with the AC in my Volvo XC90 3.2 AWD 2008....
1.The Condenser' fins are starting to close up due to age of car.
2. Compressor control valve.
Considering the age of the car #1 makes a lot of sense. With the temperatures you are seeing I would have a new condenser fitted.

If you have a good mechanic you could go with an after market part.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Someone can probably provide you with additional detail (and perhaps another place to look) but as your dealer had noted, the control valve is a very common item noted for odd AC behavior with the V8 and 3.2 engines (variable displacement compressor). See these examples, there are more if you follow a search for "compressor solenoid" in the forum- Air Conditioning A/C trouble - odd pressure readings? | SwedeSpeed - Volvo Performance Forum , Question about 2010 XC90 3.2 AC Issue | SwedeSpeed - Volvo Performance Forum
Thank you for your reply,

I took a look at the examples you provided, I think all of them are describing one part of the symptoms I'm facing with ac system in my car, and most of them mentioned the Compressor control valve to be the solution to their issues. I welcome the idea of changing the control valve and hope it will solve the problem after seeing the dealership report and also reading stories of others in this forum.
But as I mentioned when I took my car to another garage they told me that the whole compressor needs to be replaced, that made me confused is it only the valve or the whole compressor that should be replaced?
I'm thinking what could have caused high pressure at the lower pressure in compressor, according to the mechanic I went to it should be arround 45 to 55, but it showed 70. I'm not a mechanic or technician so I don't really know what's the control valve job in the Compressor, can it cause higher or lower pressure?

Thank you again
Z. Badr
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Considering the age of the car #1 makes a lot of sense. With the temperatures you are seeing I would have a new condenser fitted.

If you have a good mechanic you could go with an after market part.
Thank you for your reply,

I think that can be a true fact actually, but I was reading the other day about this subject in this forum. I've read that if the fins of the condenser started to close up, you can actually open them again with a material (I'm not sure what's called but I guess ''Condenser fins comp''). Although I'm not sure if this would solve the issue I'm facing. Do you have any idea about this? Another question, can the condenser cause a higher pressure in the low pressure in the Compressor or is this compressor/control valve job?

Unfortunately, I still didn't find a really trusted mechanic for Volvos here in Dubai. There is several garages that can service volvo as they say, but they also do service for many other cars American, Japanese or even German. And I don't know if I should worry about taking my volvo to any of those garages like if I have a BMW, If I own a BMW I would definitely not take my car to any mechanic because untrusted mechanics with no experience in BMW can cause faults In the cars instead of fixing them. Is it the same situation for Volvos?

Thank you
Z. Badr
 

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It's a Valeo compressor, bunch of vehicle manufacturers use them (Land Rover for example). As noted in one of the links, some dealers will replace the entire compressor rather than just the valve. It's a business decision for them.

If you can find a decent mechanic that you can trust, have them follow the procedure in the first link with or without condenser. Some mention in the link of doing drier as well, given the humidity you have in Dubai that's probably a smart move. Do some more searches and see what comes up then decide but personally the compressor is the last thing I would replace given time and cost, especially on a 3.2 engine.

For sure someone in Dubai will have done more than one of these before, perhaps not on a Volvo but the overall system is the same.

Good luck with your repair.
 

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I would go with the dealer, at least there's a warranty for parts.
The picture of the gauges would indicate that the mechanic has a bad high-pressure side gauge, the service valve isn't open, or he's hooked it up in reverse. There should be no way for the high side gauge to read less than the low side gauge. The low side pressure without a comparison to an accurate high side pressure is meaningless.
As ggleavitt points out, there's lots of history here in Swedespeed. The pressure valve seems to qualify as the usual suspect.
A condenser with obstructed air flow will show as exceptionally elevated high-side pressures. Condensers can get clogged with debris, the aluminum heat exchange fins can corrode, and the fins can get damaged from rough handling (flattened). Fins can be "combed" much like hair. Passing the comb along the fins with correct spacing can realign the fins. Maybe where you are, the condenser could be packed with sand? Possibly, the coolant radiator could be removed and debris could be jetted towards the front from behind
 

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My blower fan stopped working. It was a pain yo get to under the glovebox, but i simply sprayed silicon lube on the spinning axle and it fixed it. But this probably isn't your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It's a Valeo compressor, bunch of vehicle manufacturers use them (Land Rover for example). As noted in one of the links, some dealers will replace the entire compressor rather than just the valve. It's a business decision for them.

If you can find a decent mechanic that you can trust, have them follow the procedure in the first link with or without condenser. Some mention in the link of doing drier as well, given the humidity you have in Dubai that's probably a smart move. Do some more searches and see what comes up then decide but personally the compressor is the last thing I would replace given time and cost, especially on a 3.2 engine.

For sure someone in Dubai will have done more than one of these before, perhaps not on a Volvo but the overall system is the same.

Good luck with your repair.
I took my car to one more mechanic today and checked the pressure of the ac. Again it showed high pressure on low-pressure gauge. And again he suggested to replace the whole ac compressor. One thing I noticed when speaking to both of the mechanic guys that they didn't know that Volvo can provide The control valve separately therefore they suggested to replace the whole compressor.

I agree with you, the Compressor is the last thing I would think about replacing it. I'm willing to replace the condenser because it's clearly looking bad with many fins closed up, but when I replace the condenser the the drier will follow with the condenser I believe right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I would go with the dealer, at least there's a warranty for parts.
The picture of the gauges would indicate that the mechanic has a bad high-pressure side gauge, the service valve isn't open, or he's hooked it up in reverse. There should be no way for the high side gauge to read less than the low side gauge. The low side pressure without a comparison to an accurate high side pressure is meaningless.
As ggleavitt points out, there's lots of history here in Swedespeed. The pressure valve seems to qualify as the usual suspect.
A condenser with obstructed air flow will show as exceptionally elevated high-side pressures. Condensers can get clogged with debris, the aluminum heat exchange fins can corrode, and the fins can get damaged from rough handling (flattened). Fins can be "combed" much like hair. Passing the comb along the fins with correct spacing can realign the fins. Maybe where you are, the condenser could be packed with sand? Possibly, the coolant radiator could be removed and debris could be jetted towards the front from behind
Thank you for your reply, the control valve I'll get it from the dealership because it is the genuine part with warranty, but the condenser is way to expensive at the dealership so I'll rather go with aftermarket condenser. But after read what you wrote I have this hope that the condenser will work fine if I just combed the fins.

Regarding the gauge, you are right I think the gauge shows wrong on the high-side pressure. I don't think that the high-side gauge was connected as you can see in the picture only low-side gauge was connected and measured the pressure inside. Anyway today when I took my car to another garage they checked the pressure for me again and it showed high pressure at the low-side gauge about 70 psi, but unfortunately I don't remember what was the high side gauge showing exactly, but I believe in Middle of between 100 - 150 psi.

I might going to replace the control valve only after flushing the refrigerator gas. And after that I can recharge it again. And I will comb the condenser's fins. But I'm wondering if I should comb fins before recharge the gas or that doesn't matter? I mean can I comb the fins after replacing the control valve and recharging the gas?

Thank you again for your sharing your opinion.
Z. Badr
 

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Any clarity on the high-side pressure? An obstructed condenser would result in both high and low-side pressures
The fact that they didn't know about the valve availability rather speaks to their level of expertise in their field. Another plus for going with the dealer might be that they would have the facility to accurately charge the correct amount of gas by weight in the system, not to mention having access to the correct specifications for your vehicle configuration. Either under or overcharging the system would negatively affect performance.
Interesting about the condenser fins. I just had a look at mine, and can see that a fin-comb would not work on that type of condenser, but someone with a small tool could sit there and straighten the fins individually. A question of time versus money.
Having looked at mine, I think I'll try blowing it out from behind and vacuuming the front side. There are a few insects mounted on the fins. Mine also has a few localized areas of bent closed fins up to an inch in diameter. It wouldn't take long to groom those areas. Less than a one six-pack job 😊
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My blower fan stopped working. It was a pain yo get to under the glovebox, but i simply sprayed silicon lube on the spinning axle and it fixed it. But this probably isn't your problem.
Thank you for your reply,

I don't think the blower is the problem since there is still air blowing inside the car. But I think I would clean the blower motor as soon as I have a possibility. That would maybe raise the blow power so the rear seats will get more blowing air.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Z. Badr
 

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You can get a new Valeo compressor from RockAuto for about $275 (search for part number 813142), and that includes a control valve. Why bother spending half that just for the control valve, the amount of work to change the valve is almost the same a changing the compressor; both need to have the refrigerant drained and refilled.

You'll also be getting a newer compressor that will likely be much quieter than the old one.
 

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There's an argument for a one-and-done as noted above. The person above me is maybe not taking shipping into account for Dubai as a function of the total repair but it's still a matter of time and effort. I have a tendency to go with the inexpensive stuff first but I know the frustration of having intermittent A/C in that geographic region, it plain sucks. And if it's not the valve then you're double working the job.

Maybe bite your tongue hard, get someone to replace the compressor, ask about a new drier and get the condenser cleaned and/or re-finned with a refill. Make sure they warranty it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Any clarity on the high-side pressure? An obstructed condenser would result in both high and low-side pressures
The fact that they didn't know about the valve availability rather speaks to their level of expertise in their field. Another plus for going with the dealer might be that they would have the facility to accurately charge the correct amount of gas by weight in the system, not to mention having access to the correct specifications for your vehicle configuration. Either under or overcharging the system would negatively affect performance.
Interesting about the condenser fins. I just had a look at mine, and can see that a fin-comb would not work on that type of condenser, but someone with a small tool could sit there and straighten the fins individually. A question of time versus money.
Having looked at mine, I think I'll try blowing it out from behind and vacuuming the front side. There are a few insects mounted on the fins. Mine also has a few localized areas of bent closed fins up to an inch in diameter. It wouldn't take long to groom those areas. Less than a one six-pack job ?
I have actually mentioned the high-side pressure in the text above yours. Although I don't have the exact number, only it was between 100 and 150 psi.

Regarding the recharge, it's not that hard if the garage just follow the instructions somewhere in the car for amount of refrigerant gas to charge the ac system.

I don't take the replacing or comb the fins of the Compressor as money versus time. I don't have problem replacing the condenser, but I have to find a garage that I trust to leave my car at and to make sure that will not break anything while they work on the condenser. When you're gonna change the condenser, you have to take off the front bumper and other part from underneath the car. Or is there another way to replace the condenser?

I have some options of aftermarket condensers in the market. Here I found a Taiwan made condenser in local store in Dubai. Or a polish condenser shipped from Europe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You can get a new Valeo compressor from RockAuto for about $275 (search for part number 813142), and that includes a control valve. Why bother spending half that just for the control valve, the amount of work to change the valve is almost the same a changing the compressor; both need to have the refrigerant drained and refilled.

You'll also be getting a newer compressor that will likely be much quieter than the old one.
Thank you for your reply
You have another opinion that somehow can make sense, but I'm sure that the price mentioned above is not including the shipping costs to Dubai. When I'm going to change the control valve its has a warranty from the dealership. They have from beginning suggested to replace the control valve and condenser so I'm following their suggestions.
If the valve will not solve the issue then I'm going to return it to them.

The cost of replacing the Compressor is higher and its not only about the refrigerant gas flushing and recharging. It's also about the time of replacing the Compressor and all that comes in account later in the bill :)

Yesterday evening the ac worked fine, therefore I don't think it's about the Compressor, if the Compressor is the problem then ac will have the bad performance always, right?

Thank you for sharing your opinion.
Z. Badr
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
There's an argument for a one-and-done as noted above. The person above me is maybe not taking shipping into account for Dubai as a function of the total repair but it's still a matter of time and effort. I have a tendency to go with the inexpensive stuff first but I know the frustration of having intermittent A/C in that geographic region, it plain sucks. And if it's not the valve then you're double working the job.

Maybe bite your tongue hard, get someone to replace the compressor, ask about a new drier and get the condenser cleaned and/or re-finned with a refill. Make sure they warranty it.
I have replied to that one-and-done idea. You can check my answer there.

I still have the same feeling that the control valve is the one behind whole the issue as the dealership pointed to. If this won't work then I'm going to change the Compressor for one here local. Maybe even if it's used. Otherwise I'll keep my volvo as winter ride.

Here's a question comes up again, when I buy a new condenser the drier will come with it? Then I don't have to buy drier separately, right?
 

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I forgot you're in Dubai, you're right that it doesn't make sense to ship a compressor from the US. I'd still price out a Valeo compressor locally and see what the price difference is from just the valve. Even if the valve replacement works, you still have a 10+ year old compressor with wear and tear on the bearing and clutch that goes along with 10+ years of use.

I replaced my compressor a couple years ago due to a failed bearing (it spun on the housing) and it really is an easy job on the XC90. Loosen the belt and remove a few bolts and out it comes. Most of the effort is in draining and refilling the system.
 

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Hello to everyone,

I'm having an issue with the AC in my Volvo XC90 3.2 AWD 2008. I started to notice the issue for a month ago.
The issue is to start with when I turn on the car (having the AC on Auto mode) it's starts to blow only warm air for like 5 to 10 minutes before starting cool down inside the car.
Alongside with the cooling delay, when the car starts to blow colder air, it's not that cold and the fan isn't that powerful especially for rear seats (not blowing well as it used to) it's like I'm having the fan on medium speed although I have it on Max.
When I'm stuck in a traffic jam for only like 5 minutes (even when I stop at the red light for example) the cool air is gone and The AC only blow hot air again.

All these problems/symptoms are making it really difficult for me and my family when we go for a ride (even if it's only 10 min ride)

The car is in Dubai and the temperature here is pretty high in summers (it's normal to say that the temperature can hit between 46°C - 52°C (=115 F - 125 F) ich.

I was at the dealership for regular service last month, they told me that 2 faults I have in my car that can cause a poor cooling AC.
1.The Condenser' fins are starting to close up due to age of car.
2. Compressor control valve.

I took my car to a Volvo garage (not at the dealership) just to have another thought and to make sure what's is the issue. The guy in the garage checked the pressure in the Compressor and the air temperature that comes out from the AC inside the car. He told me that the low pressure in the Compressor is very hight, its around 70 and it should be between 45 - 55. So he suggested to replace the whole Compressor. I took a photo of what the clocks showed and I'm attaching it here so you can read it as well. View attachment 127419

Have anyone had a similar problem? How did you solve it? Or have anyone thoughts about my issue. I'm really thankful for your suggestions.

Thanks in advance
Z. Badr
looks like a bad compressor, if the reading is right that's a high pressure on low side and low pressure on high side. Compressor is not doing what it's supposed to do (kaput) Control valve issue only happens when you notice it cools only at certain speed (highway) and warms up on city driving. Also if the control valve is sticky, it will not cool at random. You could also try spraying water in the front of your car and see if it makes a difference in the temperature (just to check if the ac condenser is not cooling properly due to age or fin gaps closed)
 

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The high side gauge isn't even connected to the system. Low side reading is about right for a system not running, but you can't tell much without the high side reading and running conditions.
 
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