So as I mentioned in my original post about Postis (my disgustingly yellow Volvo v40), I indicated that when you buy a car for so such a small amount of money, there may/undoubtedly will be some issues that will arise. So last week, I found myself back in Bilfix (thanks to Jonaton Steen) with the car up on stands….
Fortunately, the Idle Air Control valve is working fine now after I took it apart and cleaned it, however the day before we were going to travel to Stockholm, the old dog decided to lose all power again whilst Teresa was driving it to work. I was pretty sure it would have been the same problem as last time with the intercooler for the turbo freezing again and blocking the air flow to the engine.
Surely enough, when I swapped cars with Teresa so that she could get to work, I looked under the bonnet and that same top intercooler hose was collapsing under suction, starving the engine of air. This time it was even worse than before and could only manage about 30km/hr as I limped it home. Last time this had happened, I just left it in the warm garage over night, and when I started it again it was fine again and I was just revving the engine hard to suck any moisture through and out of the system. This was just the easy fix solution, and not so good for the engine, but without any tools, it was all I could do. Obviously there must have been a lot of moisture still in the system for it to block up again!
So here I was, out in -22 with a hair dryer blowing hot air down through the outlet of the intercooler in our car park. At first it seemed useless and even I was having my doubts and was thinking that maybe the turbo was in fact throwing in the towel and I had mis-diagnosed. It was a sure possibility, but if the turbo was in fact causing the lack of airflow, the bottom tube going into the inlet of the intercooler would be sucking down also which it wasn’t. So I kept on, as I had no other choice! I couldn’t drive it to Bilfix as now the issue had become worse meaning the engine would stall if it revved harder than an idle. So after 45mins had passed and the Tessa’s hairdryer had overheated 4 times, I finally decided to try one last time. And amazingly it worked and some form of power was regained!
So I quickly took drove it in to Bilfix where Jonaton has a sweet 22 degree C mechanics workshop with a bunch of tools. Getting the undertray of the car off was the first nightmare. Something that should be so simple took almost 50mins! Every bolt had ceased with rust and it was frustratingly tedious work trying to pry the buggers off! Meanwhile I was getting dripped on by all the melting snow and frozen road grime melting off the car!
After finally gaining access and removing the lower intercooler pipe, I had never been so relieved to see so much oily water!
Not to mention seeing this big junk of ice!
This meant that my diagnosis was in fact correct! So after removing the ice and blowing hot air through the intercooler, I successfully fixed the problem entirely. All it cost was a few hours of my time and a bloody good shower afterwards. So the lessen to learn is that these older Volvo’s need to have cardboard or leather placed over part of their radiator/intercooler to avoid the moisture from the air condensing and then freezing at such low temperatures. An old pizza box is therefore my latest modification to Postis 😉