OPINIONS - 1990 740 with intercooler & auto trans losing power in warm weather

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1990 740 with intercooler & auto trans losing power in warm weather

Hi. I own a turbocharged 1990 740 wagon with an intercooler and have been having problems with lack of power in hot weather. If I have to stay in low gear for a while (driving downtown, for example, with stoplights at every corner), the engine tends to bog down after about 20 minutes, and when I am able to go faster again it will not accelerate easily. This is especially true on any kind of incline or hill, where the car will go into turbocharged mode just to climb an easy grade.

I have had A LOT of work done on this car in the last eight weeks, including a head gasket repair (to avoid the possibility of the gasket blowing entirely; the car had been leaking coolant on account of a leak in the head gasket; the water pump had to be resealed since it had already cracked). Two weeks after that repair, I had to replace the power brake booster (major hissing sound whenever the brake pedal was depressed, along with spongy brakes).

The shop that has done the repairs is a three-generation place that specializes in Volvos. They thought the low-power problem might have to do with the a/c compressor sitting slightly sideways, causing the a/c belt to run loose and wear, thus producing the rubbery smell under the hood. I had them replace the a/c belt and two bushings that hold up the compressor, but the problem with power still lingers, along with the rubbery smell. The car was fine driving to work and then to the gym after work. The low power happened again as I was driving home and was stuck behind several slow-moving vehicles before having to climb a hill.

Any suggestions on what could be causing the low power?

I've thought that the turbocharger could be affected by city driving in the heat. It has been desert-hot here the past few days (102 Heat Index), and the turbocharger could be impaired. Other possibilities I've thought of: timing belt (replaced about 40K miles back) spark plugs (which the mechanic says are OK), clogged fuel injector(s), or worst, botched repairs on the head gasket.

I'm not a mechanic and am at my wit's end dealing with this car's eccentricities. It was driven as a California car for it's first 27 years of life, and since I brought it to a temperate climate with extremes of heat and cold it has not been doing well.

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    1990 740 with intercooler & auto trans losing power in warm weather

    Check your air cleaner - in our '90 744 TI the foam rubber liner of the box turned to powder and clogged the air filter.

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    1990 740 with intercooler & auto trans losing power in warm weather

    Try posting this in the RWD 700 cars forum. You should have better luck there. This is the Opinions forum.


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