XC90 (5 cylinder): Solenoid Causing Weak AC

The Volvo XC90 (5 cylinder) is a first generation mid size luxury crossover SUV. It was first made and marketed in 2002 and was sold globally with great fanfare. The car did perform well but over the next decade, there were varied complaints about the AC. The production of this car ended in 2014 but the AC problems continue to persist. Even to this day, one part of the AC in volvo XC90 (5 cylinder) that has malfunctioned is the solenoid.

A malfunctioning air conditioning solenoid does this:

  • no cooling at all
  • intermittent cooling
  • delayed cooling and
  • partial cooling

For owners of the XC90 this can be a very frustrating experience because the diagnosis of a malfunctioning AC solenoid is not always easy. The role of the device is to function like a valve controlling the flow of gas/liquid. In the Volvo XC90, the solenoid simply turns the flow of refrigerant on and off

Problems that may prevent functioning of the solenoid include uneven pressure, power failure, corrosion, collection of dirt under the diaphragm, using the wrong voltage, or a burnt coil.

What is a solenoid? It’s a valve.

The key is to narrow down the problem to locate the problem so that it can be fixed. If your volvo XC90 (5 cylinder) has been having AC problems, the best advice is to take it to a reputable mechanic. Thankfully, today Volvo mechanics do have the right tools to locate issues that deal with poor or inadequate AC function.

Diagnosis of device malfunction is not difficult. There are parts available today that are relatively cheap and work well. 

Volvo XC90 V8 -  silver, XC90 V8
Silver XC90, exterior

Caution: the unfortunate thing is that there are many other parts of the entire AC that can also present with similar problems seen with the solenoid. The key is to check the entire AC with emphasis on the solenoid; and in some cases, a replacement will do the trick. But at the same time, the mechanic should check out the other parts to ensure that they are not involved in the poor cooling of the vehicle.

It is not a software repair.

That XC90 has variable displacement compressor and the electric compressor control solenoid sticks. When the compressor gets warm often the expansion will allow the solenoid to operate and the compressor will not pump as it needs to and it will cool. If this describes your problem then the solenoid/new compressor with solenoid will fix it.

The solenoid is operated by the ECM and is monitored there. The evaporator temperature is monitored by the CCM and it sends request for compressor function level to the ECM.

XC90 Air Conditioning Solenoid Fix

Leave a Reply