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AC only gets cold at high speed

Help, Advice, Owners' Discussion and DIY Tutorials on Volvo XC90s. The XC90 proved to be very popular, and very good for Volvo's sales numbers, since its introduction in model year 2003 (North America).
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AC only gets cold at high speed

Post by cegast » Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:24 pm

MY 2010 XC-90 AC will only get cold once I reach highway speeds. After that it will usually stay cold even at lower stop and go speeds until the next morning...Then doesn't work again?!?!?! I can see the clutch engage and disengage when turned on/off. The cooling fan is working. I had the system checked and was told I have a bad compressor but it is only 4 years old! I really can't believe that.

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Re: AC only gets cold at high speed

Post by ogatrulle » Fri Jun 21, 2019 4:01 pm

There seems to be a common issue with the xc90 ac compressors that have variable displacement (based on what I've read). There is some kind of piston that gets stuck when it is cold, and then when the engine compartment heats up, it gets unstuck.

I have exactly these symptoms. Have read that it is possible to replace just the piston part (less expensive than the entire compressor), but I think it still requires evacuating the refrigerant and then refilling after. I think it can be done without removing the compressor. Maybe someone else here will chime in with confirmation/further details.
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2006 v70 2.5T; 2008 xc90 3.2

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