"normal" noise from aircon? - Volvo V40 Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Wink "normal" noise from aircon?

Hi All,


I just completed another 3500km journey over 5 days. The outside temperature varied between 38 C and 46 C during the day. This meant I was using the aircon the whole time. During this time I was lamenting the leather seats as it was causing a lot of heat and sweating.


This caused me to focus on the aircon while driving. While driving in ECO mode and the fan speed fairly low I can hear a undulating whistling sound. This undulating whistling sound was replaced by a more consistent and quieter whistling sound when I switched back to normal mode. The undulating sound also went away completely when I switched off the aircon, so I am confident it is the aircon causing the noise. Anyway, the rest of the trip was done in normal mode as I needed full aircon functionality.


I have not heard such noises in my previous cars, but have heard it before in office aircons that seem to be operating inefficiently, perhaps on low gas levels. Maybe it is a sign that the gas was never filled properly at manufacture.


The aircon performance has been consistently mediocre from the start. Even at these high temperatures it would still blow out cool air, but not really cold enough to cool down the interior to such an extent where the passengers feel comfortable.


What is interesting is that the undulating sound is in ECO mode, and this may be the way that Volvo is reducing the aircon load on the engine to save fuel.


Thank you for reading my very long and convoluted story. My questions are:


Do you also hear this undulating sound caused by your aircon when in ECO mode?
Is this normal or a defect?
Does your aircon cope with the heat?


I guess I wont be getting any responses from Europe as its probably too cold to switch on the aircon at the moment.


Cheers and all the best for 2017

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Pyrean View Post

Do you also hear this undulating sound caused by your aircon when in ECO mode?
Is this normal or a defect?
Does your aircon cope with the heat?
Heya Pyrean

I'm afraid I'm not a lot of help either mate because for me the Eco button is a complete waste of plastic!
I've never seen much (any if I'm honest) value in spending the coin for the T5 & then deliberately blunting it's performance
I want every last drop of the power I've paid for available at all times from both the engine and the a/c.

To answer you last question though... I've never felt like the a/c isn't coping with cooling the cabin even in our ridiculous summer temperatures.
I often make use of the global window down function though when approaching the car to vent the cabin fully before starting the car.
I rarely ever have back seat passengers so I can't really comment on how well the a/c travels to the rear pews.
On the rare occasions that the rear seats have been occupied I haven't had any complaints about cabin temp.
I also leave the system on full auto climate... Have never felt the need to overide either fan speed or air distribution.
I do find it highly disturbing given what Volvo charge that there are no rear a/c outlets in the V40... That's just plain wrong in a premium priced vehicle.

MY 2015 Sapphire Black T5 R-Design, DSP, Heated Front Seats, Tinted Windows, 18" Ixion II's, Bi-Xenons with ABL & AHB, Polestar.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by LateStarter View Post
Heya Pyrean

I'm afraid I'm not a lot of help either mate because for me the Eco button is a complete waste of plastic!
I've never seen much (any if I'm honest) value in spending the coin for the T5 & then deliberately blunting it's performance
I want every last drop of the power I've paid for available at all times from both the engine and the a/c.

To answer you last question though... I've never felt like the a/c isn't coping with cooling the cabin even in our ridiculous summer temperatures.
I often make use of the global window down function though when approaching the car to vent the cabin fully before starting the car.
I rarely ever have back seat passengers so I can't really comment on how well the a/c travels to the rear pews.
On the rare occasions that the rear seats have been occupied I haven't had any complaints about cabin temp.
I also leave the system on full auto climate... Have never felt the need to overide either fan speed or air distribution.
I do find it highly disturbing given what Volvo charge that there are no rear a/c outlets in the V40... That's just plain wrong in a premium priced vehicle.
I might be wrong here (will check later), but I'm sure there are outlets under the front seats pointing towards the rear ?

I also have my system set on Auto Climate, but I have to be honest I do find that the fan noise can be a bit loud now and then , especailly if the system is either trying to cool a particularly hot cabin, or heat up a very cold one on frosty mornings !

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jactac View Post
I might be wrong here (will check later), but I'm sure there are outlets under the front seats pointing towards the rear ?

I also have my system set on Auto Climate, but I have to be honest I do find that the fan noise can be a bit loud now and then , especailly if the system is either trying to cool a particularly hot cabin, or heat up a very cold one on frosty mornings !
You may be right Jactac but even if there are under seat vents that makes barely more sense than having none at all!!
In winter time maybe as hot air rises but trying to cool the rear that way especially in 40c+ temps seems pretty silly to me.

I agree that when first starting up on a real stinker of a day the fan can go ballistic for a few mins but I don't really consider that a fault when I'm after a cool cabin as fast as possible. The fact that my system at least takes very little time to produce genuinely cold air goes in Volvo's favour.

Overall I find the dual zone climate system works very well...
Now if they could just fit the b pillar vents to the V40 I'd rate it 10 out of 10.
Actually... I'd still have to deduct half a point for the silly L/R system to change the temp!!
A button each please Volvo... Like just about every other dual system I've ever used!!

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Pyrean View Post
Hi All,


I just completed another 3500km journey over 5 days. The outside temperature varied between 38 C and 46 C during the day. This meant I was using the aircon the whole time. During this time I was lamenting the leather seats as it was causing a lot of heat and sweating.


This caused me to focus on the aircon while driving. While driving in ECO mode and the fan speed fairly low I can hear a undulating whistling sound. This undulating whistling sound was replaced by a more consistent and quieter whistling sound when I switched back to normal mode. The undulating sound also went away completely when I switched off the aircon, so I am confident it is the aircon causing the noise. Anyway, the rest of the trip was done in normal mode as I needed full aircon functionality.


I have not heard such noises in my previous cars, but have heard it before in office aircons that seem to be operating inefficiently, perhaps on low gas levels. Maybe it is a sign that the gas was never filled properly at manufacture.


The aircon performance has been consistently mediocre from the start. Even at these high temperatures it would still blow out cool air, but not really cold enough to cool down the interior to such an extent where the passengers feel comfortable.


What is interesting is that the undulating sound is in ECO mode, and this may be the way that Volvo is reducing the aircon load on the engine to save fuel.


Thank you for reading my very long and convoluted story. My questions are:


Do you also hear this undulating sound caused by your aircon when in ECO mode?
Is this normal or a defect?
Does your aircon cope with the heat?


I guess I wont be getting any responses from Europe as its probably too cold to switch on the aircon at the moment.


Cheers and all the best for 2017
Travelled to Italy & back in the last two Summers, with the air con set at 20, and using Auto Climate, in Eco Mode all the way.
I have full leather, and never felt the need to change the inner temp.
Outside temp was only up to 30 for hottest part of the way, but it did climb to 40 in the Gottard Tunnel for about 20 mins.
As for any excessive fan noise, I never noticed, but then again in the the words of Sgt Schulz "I hear nothing" (TV program - Hogan's Heroes for you under 60's)
I have always had better heaters in petrol cars than Diesels, and better Air Con systems in larger engined motors.
Whether heater and Air con units increase in size with engine size I don't know.
Can you get your air con output checked ?

Only kidding now :-
If all else fails buy a 12V cooler box, fill it with the plastic frozen blocks, put it on the back seat and leave the lid off ??

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks LateStarter,
You used the term "rear pews". I've only heared that term used in reference to a church. I take this to mean that driving a T5 is a religious experience


Thank you Jactac,
My problem lies mostly with the aircon, but you did mention that the fan can be loud at times. I actually got such a big scare when I went for my first test drive of V40 due to the fan making so much noise. It was so noisy I thought there was some thing wrong and almost aborted the test drive, but fortunately the rest of the car won me over


Thanks Stuart,
My aircon seems to work quite well up to 30 C , but then struggles at higher temperatures. Unfortunately I did not get to see Hogans Heroes, partly because TV only got to South Africa in 1974, but I understand what you mean

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 10:41 AM
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Occasionally get a noticeable whistling noise from our aircon system in auto when its working harder than normal to cool the cabin, otherwise it's pretty quite. The only aspect of our system that could be more efficient is front footwell heating, in both auto and manual.

Have the fabric seats in ours and find them very comfortable all year round, however a couple of years back I had the loan for three days during the summer of a V60 with leather chairs and likewise they didn't breath well at all; quite uncomfortable in fact, so I can sympathise.


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Pyrean View Post
Thanks LateStarter,
You used the term "rear pews". I've only heared that term used in reference to a church. I take this to mean that driving a T5 is a religious experience
LOL!! When faced with clear blue skies & an empty, open & preferably winding road it certainly can be!!
In your case though I suspect I'm preaching to the converted eh?
I certainly don't regret for one second my decision to blow the budget & opt for the T5R & DSP over the T4 Luxury I went in to buy!!

The treasurer's objections were well & truly blown away in the first few days of ownership & she has been well & truly won over

That in itself is no mean feat considering how much she loves her GTS 86!!
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