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Hi there! Newbie needs help (don't we all)

Old 10-19-2016, 08:09 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2016
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Default Hi there! Newbie needs help (don't we all)

Hi everyone! I'm here for my sister in law. She's having problems with her car. It sat in a garage for a few years but has less that 50k miles. Still new to me as I usually drive my cars to 250k or so Well, her problem is that her heat isn't working. She has it set to hot and it blows kinda warm for a few minutes(usually up to 15 or so minutes) then blows cold air. She went all last winter that way and here in the norther suburbs of Chicago it gets a little too cold to go without heat. My hubby checked the radiator & heater core and changed the thermostat & housing temp sensor. What else can it be?? It's driving him crazy! Any help would be greatly appreciated. We don't want to have to take it to the dealer and have to take out a second mortgage Thanks in advance! Ellen (LN)
Old 10-20-2016, 07:59 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 12

As I'm also new to Volvo's, this is just experience with other modern vehicles.
There's something called a blend door actuator. We had one go out in our 09 Silverado this summer, one side blew cold and the other hot. Our truck with the dual zone auto climate controls had 4 of these suckers, luckily it was the one that was easiest to get to replace. changed it out and worked like it should do.

The blend door actuator is probably the culprit in your sister-in-law's car too.
Old 10-25-2016, 10:15 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 61

Also don't forget you can always purchase an electric heater cheap that you can plug into your cigarette lighter, they're not the best solutions but help out in the cold when your heater is gone on vacation.
Old 10-26-2016, 12:21 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 8

Just a shot in the dark but you may have air in the system. This can stop the coolant from moving through the heater core (happened to me on an old ford). To check this, remove the radiator cap with the engine cold (never a warm or hot engine). Start the car and slightly rev the motor from the engine compartment, do this for a few minutes and see if air/bubbles come out the top of the rad. Turn off motor, replace cap and see if you get heat.

Good luck!
Old 10-26-2016, 01:26 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Ridgefield, CT
Posts: 4,591

yes Volvos use blend doors to control heat and AC. the coolant always runs through the heater core (no water valves) - your heat is controlled by the doors routing the airflow. There are 5 motors in the system. Problems can include motors out of sync (ie stuck in wrong position confuses the climate computer), actuator arms from the motors to the doors can get stuck or disconnect, or the computer may be getting erroneous signals say from a temp sensor. You should be able to get a shop or a fully featured code reader tool (ie a VIDA DICE) to see if there are any fault codes stored in the climate control computer to suggest where to start.
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