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sprinkles08, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Volvo
Satisfied Customers: 22698
Experience:  ASE Master and Advanced level certified. Factory trained with 15 years dealership experience
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I have a 2009 volvo s80. I had problems with the A/C cutting

Customer Question

i have a 2009 volvo s80.I had problems with the A/C cutting out in traffic and when at stop lights. Occasionally i also got an engine overheating warning.My mechanic diagnosed the expansion valve was sticking. After that, i had no A/C. he said the compressor must have been bad/weakened and opening the system must have caused it to need replacement.He replaced it and I am back where we started, AC cutting out, occasional overheating. He thought the thermostat might be bad, but tested and now diagnosed a bad auxiliary fan. he said it is going on and off intermittently. He want to replace it, but isn't that part of one big dual fan assembly?I'm thinking the problem was the cooling fan all along and I wasted a lot of money on expansion valve and compressor when they were probably fine.What should I do?
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Volvo
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
This is a mechanice that supposedly specializes in european cars and is much less expensive than the dealer. I have trusted him in the past, but now I wonder.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 12 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer!

Obviously I wasn't there to diagnose the problem in person so I couldn't say for sure but it does sound like some parts were replaced unnecessarily. If the a/c worked while driving but warmed up at stops that points to lack of airflow through the condenser while sitting. When stopped or at low speeds the cooling fan has to come on to pull air through the condenser to keep it cool and keep high side pressure down. If the fan isn't working then it will cause what you described. The high pressure from the fan not working may be why they thought it needed an expansion valve.

The overheating was also almost surely caused by the fan not coming on and low speeds and when stopped, when there isn't enough natural airflow to cool the radiator.