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Hey gents,

Last summer my AC on my Daytona worked perfectly. I’ve put about 6,000 miles on the car this winter without using the AC and now that it’s getting warm again I seem to have an issue and the car doesn’t cool.

When I activate the AC button, the compressor activates but only for about 2 seconds before turning off. Wait about 15 seconds and it starts again for a few seconds and does the same thing. The weirdest thing is every time it starts, the electric fan starts as well, and it shuts off when the AC does as well. It’s like they are wired together.

Any suggestions on what I should be checking?
 

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Hey gents,

Last summer my AC on my Daytona worked perfectly. I’ve put about 6,000 miles on the car this winter without using the AC and now that it’s getting warm again I seem to have an issue and the car doesn’t cool.

When I activate the AC button, the compressor activates but only for about 2 seconds before turning off. Wait about 15 seconds and it starts again for a few seconds and does the same thing. The weirdest thing is every time it starts, the electric fan starts as well, and it shuts off when the AC does as well. It’s like they are wired together.

Any suggestions on what I should be checking?
Everything you state here points to Freon being low. The radiator fan is supposed to come on whenever the AC compressor is engaged. Low pressure switch is shutting off compressor because it doesn't have enough freon (and hence refrigerant oil) to lubricate AC compressor. The fan needs to run to dissipate heat from AC condenser that is in front of radiator. All basic AC 101. That is how the system is supposed to work.
Bring it to refrigeration guy if you don't know how or don't have the tools to recharge the system.
 

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Hey gents,

Last summer my AC on my Daytona worked perfectly. I’ve put about 6,000 miles on the car this winter without using the AC and now that it’s getting warm again I seem to have an issue and the car doesn’t cool.

When I activate the AC button, the compressor activates but only for about 2 seconds before turning off. Wait about 15 seconds and it starts again for a few seconds and does the same thing. The weirdest thing is every time it starts, the electric fan starts as well, and it shuts off when the AC does as well. It’s like they are wired together.

Any suggestions on what I should be checking?
Good morning.

I've done a lot of A/C work on these cars - have an '86 Daytona myself - and fully concur with the low refrigerant diagnosis. Now you have to find out the "why?" The A/C systems are basically "closed" systems, meaning a low refrigerant charge most often = leak. FWIW most leaks I've seen are so small it could take months for you to get as low on charge as you presently are.

Although you drove all the car winter, you did (in all likelihood) use the A/C with almost every use of your windshield defroster (which activates the compressor).

If you're not properly equipped, agree with taking it to a refrigeration expert. There are, however, a few places you can visually inspect for leaks to possibly aid with your diagnosis. Leak spots are often characterized by small oily/sooty areas where refrigerant and refrigerant oil may have hissed out. Put eyes on all the gasketed joints, such as:

1. Suction and discharge lines on the front of the compressor (right in front & easy to see)
2. Discharge line at the condenser (passenger side, just in front of the radiator)
3. Line connections at the receiver-drier (passenger side of engine compartment, all the way to the right)
4. Line connection to the expansion valve (aluminum block mounted to evaporator lines, right side against firewall)
5. Expansion valve to evaporator lines (you have two separate connections here - valve to evaporator and refrigerant line to valve)

Also check out the front of the condenser from below the nose of the car. I had a similar issue with my Sundance last summer and eventually discovered the condenser must have taken a shot from road debris, which caused a puncture and subsequent oily mess of about 3 X 3 inches (I always add a bit of that nuclear-green dye to my compressor oil...makes leak finding very easy).

Finally, check around the high- and low-pressure Schrader-type valves (one on the compressor, one on the discharge line). I've had both thread leaks and leaks where the needle valve screws in (just like on a tire).

Bottom line is the refrigerant under pressure will try to escape via the path of least resistance. There are many potential places for leaks (including the lines themselves, front compressor seal, etc.). By visually inspecting every possible leak source, you might very well find it with nothing more than your eyeballs. Luckily, the A/C systems on our cars are almost 100% out in the open for easy viewing.

In any case (leak area discovered or not), your system is still under pressure and must be properly discharged before opening up. You may have such a small leak that a technician may have to inject some type of UV dye into the system and locate it with a blacklight. Once discovered, the leak (or leaks) can be repaired. Highly recommend replacing the receiver-drier once the system is opened, as this part serves as a desiccant to keep moisture out of the system. They cost only 10-20 bucks online.

After repairing, the system should be hooked to a vacuum pump and manifold gauges and drawn down to 28-30 in Hg for a minimum of about 30 minutes (opinions vary on the time). This will remove any residual moisture from the system and will ensure the system is leak-free.

After that, it's recharge & go. I am assuming this is an R-134a conversion and not the original R-12. If it is a -134 conversion, it's important to know the system only takes about 80% of the original R-12 charge. I made an under-hood label for my '86 Daytona showing an R-134a charge of 30.5 oz (versus 38 oz R-12).

It is not unheard of for cars of this vintage to maintain R-12. A few years ago I sold an '86 Laser which still had a fully functional R-12 system. Same goes for the '85 Reliant wagon I recently picked up (although I'll be converting it to R-134a soon due to low charge and relative rarity of R-12).

I have three 80's FWD Mopars and got so tired of taking the cars in for A/C service, I broke down and bought the required equipment a few years ago. I actually enjoy working on A/C on these cars, as I find it to be pretty easy and somewhat of a fun challenge to get the R-134a conversions down to 38-40 degrees. A lot of the parts can be had pretty cheaply as well from eBay or Rock Auto.

Hope this helps a bit.
 

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I had the same issue with my 06" S40. The system would cool for about 5 minutes and then push out hot air. Replaced freon, the pressure switch, the cabin air sensor and it would still kick off.Took the wheel off and watched the compressor clutch. When it got hot, it would start to slip.When clutch cold, I checked the gap and it was 9.5mm, yikes! Pulled the clutch as shown in your video, removed .5mm spacer, reinstalled clutch. Checked gap again, down to spec again 3.7mm. Started car and watched for contact, had wife turn A/C on and off, watched clutch engage and disengage. Had her leave it on as I watched the clutch. Five minutes later she was complaining that the car was getting too cold..Thanks for Posting your Volvo A/C fix!, it really worked and saved me $$$!
snaptube vidmate
 
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