Loud AC - 2012 Volvo S60 T5 Long-Term Road Test

2012 Volvo S60 Long-Term Road Test

2012 Volvo S60 T5: Loud AC

January 16, 2012

Volvo AC.jpg

"What was that?" Riswick says as this raspy metal-on-metal grinding noise starts up right when I tip into the throttle.

We're carpooling and inching along in the usual nightmarish traffic on the 10 freeway (caused by the even more nightmarish traffic on the 405) and then all of a sudden the noise happens. It sounds like the noise they use to let the audience know that a movie serial killer is about to strike. It sounds like knives sharpening. James didn't notice that between the first few starts and this one I'd turned on the AC.

The noise happens for just under a second right as you transition from idle to on-throttle. Smash the go pedal and there's no such noise. Ease into it to avoid hitting the car in front of you and there it is again. It's a noise I've heard on some newer AC systems, ones with fancy clutches to try and be as un-parasitic as possible, but this one happens slightly more often and slightly louder. It's noticeable with talk radio on, but inaudible with music.

I don't think it's broken, just annoying in a car with so few actual faults.

Mike Magrath, Features Editor

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