Question about 2000 Volvo S80

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Volvo S80 Yr. 2000 2.9 \r\nVolvo S80 2000 2.9

Volvo S80 Yr. 2000 2.9 Volvo S80 2000 2.9

I am trying to help a mechanic friend with the following problems. This is not my car so I do not know much about.

1)Temperature gauge wont work. Changed gauge and still wont work. Changed sensor at water outlet and check cooling system. Wont overheat. O.K.

2)A/C clutch will not engage. It activates only if giving ground to the cycle switch at the condenser area.

No other known history of problems.

Posted by on

  • elsxray Dec 14, 2009

    I had replied to the solution offered that the A/C system had been fully checked and completely charged as per Volvo specs even before I asked for your opinion. We have double check as per your suggestion and the system is 100% charged and still the clutch will not engage.

    As per the trouble with the temperature gauge, I had said before that the gauge was changed and a new one installed. What do you mean with getting the entire panel?

    I do not have the schematic diagrams to follow but I think I will have to get one to trobleshoot this problem.

  • elsxray Dec 15, 2009

    Hi Molson02536:

    Your solutions are very logical. I will check the A/C system once again just to make sure the system is OK and as per the trouble with the temperature gauge I will follow your recommendation I will keep looking for a break in the line that I have not been able to find. I do not know where this car have been before but it is like in new condition, great shape, low milage. Location: Miami, FL.

    Thank you for your help and I will keep you informed.



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Check the wires on the coolant temp for continuity the A/c system may be empty it has to full to engage the compressor

Posted on Dec 15, 2009

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As for the Coolant temperature, disconnect the wire harness from the sensor and see if there is any moments on the gauge and then ground it and see if there is any readings. If there is no readings then there is no power to the Gauge on the dash or there is a break on the ground wire from the sensor to the gauge. Common cause is a bad ground from the gauge to the gauge, most likely from the sensor. As for the A/C compressor not working, you may be low on R134a in the system which will not activate the Compressor to keep it from burning out. When you grounding out the a/c line pressure switch the compressor clutch will activate which is a good thing to know that it's not your compressor. The a/c line pressure with out the engine running should be around 100 PSI and with the a/c running the line pressure should be 200 on the high side and 30 on the low side

The important thing to keep in mind is static pressure changes based on temperature. Any change of temperature brings with it a change of pressure. The greater the temperature, the greater the pressure. You can use a refrigerant pressure chart to find static pressures at various temperatures. Static pressure will not be used to determine if a system is fully charged. Using the chart below, if the R-134a system has a static pressure of 88 psi at 80 degrees F., we can then assume the system has some amount of liquid refrigerant. The system may be full -or - may not be. At the same temperature, if the system showed only 75 psi, we could say with confidence, the system is low.

Most systems will have a low pressure cut off switch that turns the system off at approximately 20 psi. The compressor will not function again until the pressure reaches approximately 45 psi. So, In most cases, you will need a static pressure of at least 45 psi before you begin to see the compressor operate.

You can begin testing with only 45 psi. You won't get any cold air, but you should should start to see some compressor engagement. As soon as the compressor engages, it will cycle off rather quickly when the suction side of the compressor draws the pressure on the low side below 20 psi.. You will see the low side gauge at 45 psi, drop quickly to 20 psi, at which point the compressor will cycle off. Then the low side gauge will climb back up to 45 psi as the high and low side equalize. At this point, he compressor will kick back on and the cycle will repeat itself. This is called short cycling. This rapid cycling of the compressor is a good indication that the system is low of refrigerant.

System design, blower speed, mode setting, refrigerant type, all cause variance in high and low side pressure. For this reason we simply can't say 30 on the low side and 200 on the high side. Though I might add, that's about where you'll usually end up. The reason 30 psi on the low side is just about right is because that translates into an evaporator temperature somewhere around the freezing point of water. The low side pressure translates into evaporator temperature. Since moisture collects on the evaporator, we would like to keep the evaporator temperature slightly above the freezing point. R134a low side pressure will be be slightly lower (27 PSI) at this temperature. Again, refrigerant type is one of those variables we have to consider.

Good luck and hope this helps. Keep me posted and if the A/C pressure is correct in the system, then you have a faulty A/C line pressure switch.

Posted on Dec 15, 2009

  • Harvey N Tawatao
    Harvey N Tawatao Dec 15, 2009

    Your A/C switch needs to be replaced and note also the out side temperature dictates the activation of the A/C system. As for the gauge not working, your going to have to see if there is a faulty harness such as mentioned to having a break in the wire for a bad ground causing the gauge not to work. Common on older cars, the Volvo is almost 10 years old and with out any history where the car has been most of it's life like being in any coastal area most of it's time will have more wire harness corrosion then if it was in Arizona most of it's life. Good luck and hope you get the car running 100% again soon.


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The AC is a gas problem it has low gas pressure so it will not engage the pump ,evan if you ground the switch to force the pump on it might blow a bit of cold but the gas volume by weight is what makes it cut in so a simple gas recharge will cure this.To cure the temp reading i think you may have to fit a new panel complete ,remember that this is a volvo and ford own volvo so it is no doubt the same unit as a focus ,these have the same problem with the gauges ,best advice here is fit an add on temp gauge it will be cheaper in the long run

Posted on Dec 11, 2009

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