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Thread: Too many stone dents in radiator; poor airflow

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    Pleasanton CA USA
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    Default Too many stone dents in radiator; poor airflow

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ID:	8958When I bought my '13 T6 late last year, I didn't inspect the radiator. Approximately 50% of the fins are flattened by stone dents. As the hot weather returned this week, I decided to read out the coolant temp with my OBD-II scanner. It wavered between 95-100 C (ambient 27 C), which is getting close to the boiling point of 106 C.

    I found a great You Tube video showing how to remove the front bumper assy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNcD67ib4Tk&t=852s
    The dents in the radiator fins were extensive. These radiators have very fragile, thin aluminum fins -- a bb-size stone is enough to leave a crater.
    The plastic "fin comb" I bought online was useless, and I ended up using the point of an awl to open up the fins where smashed flat. We're talking several hours of tedium. Several times I wondered if dropping in a new radiator might be easier.

    As a test of airflow, I used a shop vac, pressing the hose end against the radiator to gauge the suction force. The most heavily pocked areas put up so much resistance to airflow that the hose glued to the surface -- after depocking, the vacuum hose breaks free, as you would expect with good airflow.

    Put back together, I retested the coolant temp....got a steady 88 C. This is back to normal.

    Next time I buy a used Volvo, add one more visual inspection item. It's weird enough that Volvo eliminated the temp. gauge, but come to find out the radiator is prone to stone-dent degradation.
    Last edited by pbierre; 04-21-2019 at 12:01 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    Pleasanton CA USA
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    NOTE: If you have proximity sensors (Park Assist) on the front bumper, I found out the hard way that starting up the engine (just to steer the front wheel angle) with the sensors unplugged results in a DTC that doesn't clear when everything gets plugged back in. Actually, we hated the "beep...beep..beep" proximity warnings, and now they're defeated.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    California
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    Very nice!!!!

    Your 2013 T6 is very well loved.

    I have a 2010 3.2 S80 that I am taking care of see this link https://www.matthewsvolvosite.com/fo...p?f=31&t=87687

    I did a quick search for the cost off the AC Condenser (the radiator shown in you picture) and Volvo has a list price of over $600

    For my S80 I found the following

    Volvo Rover A/C Condenser (S80 V70 XC60) - Behr 30794544 (This part should fit your Volvo as well)

    And FCP for example sells an aftermarket A/C Condenser for $119

    Some thing to consider if you can't straighten out the fins

    Thanks for sharing

    Paul

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    BEWARE PRESSURE-WASH JET HITTING RADIATOR. You might think aluminum fins would stand up to a forceful jet of water at the local carwash. You'd be better to visualize turning the pressure wash on aluminum foil, so thin and bendable are these fins. You can destroy your radiator's function in 10 seconds!

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