Is Your Volvo’s AC Compressor Starting And Stopping Intermittently

Driving during summer with friends with your car windows open is fun until the wind becomes too much and you have to roll up the windows and turn on the A/C.  To your surprise, the A/C works up on you when you need it the most. It keeps on starting and stopping intermittently. This strikes you as strange because the A/C worked just fine the previous day. In simple words, it never showed signs of failure. So what could be causing the intermittent stops? Here is a list of possible reasons why this could be happening.

No Air Coming Out

Little air coming out or no air coming out completely will send your Volvo’s A/C compressor into a functional roller coaster. It is easy to understand why an irregular air flow can cause intermittent failures.  The A/C system is made up of a series of blowers, tubes and fans. The system also features an expansion valve, a compressor, a condenser and an evaporator. Even the slightest malfunction in any of these components can easily mean a compromised A/C system.  So air may come in but find it hard to go out because of a damaged tube or blower.


Modern Volvo levels are equipped with safety features that prevent their A/C systems from engaging anytime there is a refrigerant or oil leak. Note that leaks can happen because of several reasons.  Damage from debris on the road, corrosion, undone welds and loose connections are examples of common glitches that can cause leaks.  Leaks while still minor can also cause the A/C to stop intermittently. There’s nothing you can do on your own to fix the problem. Your best option is to have an A/C technician fix the problem.

Warm Air Coming Out

Your car’s air conditioning system may blow some warm air the first few minutes you turn the system on.  The system should then cycle for some time before releasing cool air. So when the system keeps on blowing warm air when you haven’t turned on heat, you know for sure there is a problem. The most likely culprit here is the condenser.  It is designed with coils and a fan to push warm air through the coil. This cools the warm refrigerant that cools the air in the evaporator. If the coils get dirty or become clogged, the refrigerant will find it hard to cool. It may actually fail to cool completely. This will cause the system to sudden stops which can be annoying. Have a professional troubleshoot the problem.

Cold Air Blowing Intermittently

Your car’s AC can suddenly switch to blowing warm air or even stop working completely when all you need is some cool air on a freezing winter morning. The A/C may then start on its own and work again like nothing happened.  Many car owners complain of this. It is hard to know why this happens sometimes. Frozen system components or a glitch in their air valve are the most common culprits. The evaporator could be covered in ice which slowly melts then sends back the evaporator into cooling air. To prevent this from happening, ensure your cabin air filter is not dirty or blocked.