March 20, 2009

Volvo Air Conditioning Problems and Fixes




Air Conditioning Volvo diagnose, fix, recharge, DIY!

Helpful Volvo air conditioning related questions and answers found here, drawn primarily from threads from my Volvo Forum.

If you have a question about your Volvo’s air conditioning, please become an MVS member (free!) and post it to the correct area of the Volvo Forum. If you want to contribute your AC-related fix or experience, please go to the relevant forum and click the NEW TOPIC button and write what you know.

The Volvo Repair Database has a section dedicated to this stuff: AC and other climate control problems/fixes.

Recent AC Library Additions (June 2014)




Recent AC Library Additions (June 2013)

 





AC Compressor Cycling? AC Air Not Cold?

It’s probably the level of refridgerant — R134a — or it’s the clutch. If it’s the refrigerant level, you need a can or two of 134a and a guage, and it’s something you can do at home fairly easily. Read below for instructions on recharging your Volvo’s AC. If it’s not the refrigerant level, it’s probably the clutch. Read below for how to add a shim to the clutch, which also is something you can do at home.

Shim the AC Clutch

When the AC clutch doesn’t meet the belt correctly you’ll have similar symptoms to low refrigerant charge… warm air, revs dropping every 10 or 20 seconds, etc.. Here’s how to shim the AC clutch on an S60. Here’s how to shim the AC clutch on an 850, V70/XC70 up to 2000, S70, or C70.

2001+ V70 Low Pressure Port Location

Do not use the high pressure port that is right up front above the radiator. That’s the high side for shops with pro AC refill equipment. Instead, move a couple items out of the way and use the AC low port.

How to Recharge Volvo S80 Air Conditioner System

Per VADIS, the A/C system should be recharged on the high side. Finding this to be not only odd, but dangerous, I recharged my sytem on the low side (port is underneath the power steering reservoir). Per other posts I read, it’s impossible to overcharge, since the DIY kits available at local parts stores do not allow for overcharging-they simply stop transfering refrigerant when the maximum system pressure is reached. … [more]

How To Recharge Volvo 850 Air Conditioning System

A good forum thread on compressor cycling, recharging and pressure… [more]

Another good How To on recharging the refrigerant yourself.

“Cool Zone #390 complete recharge kit” I bought from autozone $48 bucks, it has 3 cans of refrigerant they each have the charge…” [more] Warning: please be very careful. Recharging AC isn’t for the inexperienced.

How AC Recharge Kits Attach

Volvo 850 AC-Related Capacities

From Haynes 850 manual: Coolant Capacity: turbo: 7.6 quarts non-turbo: 6.4 quarts type: r-134a Refridgerant Capacity: cold climates: 20 ounces hot climates: 26 ounce. 850 High Side AC discharge hose is 1/2 inch in diameter.

Volvo 850 Low Pressure Line

Low port on an 850:

It is located on the passenger side of the engine compartment near the radiator and is marked with a 70NM [more]

Replacing the AC’s Evaporator

The best photo documentation on how to get to the Volvo 850, S70 and V70 evaporator, period: Changing an Evaporator Core – in Pictures

“The only special tool I needed besides a bunch or Torx bits was the spring coupler set. I got mine from snap-on part number: ACT118B The description says its for Fords but it works for the Volvo A/C line/evaporator connection. You MUST use this tool (not necessarily this specific set from snap-on) to disconnect the evaporator from the A/C lines otherwise you will most likely damage the A/C lines…” [Volvo Evaporator Replacement: Step-by-Step guide with photos]

Flashing AC and RECIRC Lights

Question

The leds on A/C and RECIRCULATE did flash for 20 sec. I know it tells that there is a problem with the A/C. Does anyone knows what triggers the flashing of the leds?

Answer

The manual reads the A/C unit is faulty. Symtoms on my 1997 S70 was either there was a qucik fan blow, everything stopped then the two lights flashed for 20 secs or nothing happened the two lights just flashed, no A/C and no fan. I took it to the dealer for a very expensive repair close to 700 dollars and the fix was a fan motor drawing excessive current. So if you are a DIY, check the fan first or the eletronic part that controls it for any burned or failed components. I would do it if this happens again as I strongly beleieve it was the electronics that was likely faulty. By the way my A/C is a ECC unit. [more]

Duracool

Well went into the dealer that sells this stuff and a sales rep added duracool to my system and the temp went from 60 to 40F. Took him 5 minutes and the job was done. The kit comes with 2 cans and the adapter hose to do the job. Now i have 1 can left over for next year incase i do miss out. [more]

Flashing AC and RECIRC Lights

Question

Can it be an electrical problem?

Answer

Spent close to $1000 australian to fix and it was the fan motor drawing too much current tripping the guard circuit. They did not explain why but I guess replacing the fan is the way they went about to fix it. [more]

My 1993 850 AC Story

A comment by Jan in Phoenix

I just responded to flashing rec/ac lights in the forum as that was my starting point for no ac. My code came back (Haynes manual) as “Passenger’s side interior temperature inlet fan seized” After bypassing the control panel and connected to another (not sure what – sun roof and locks?) the heater fan motor came on full force, like it used to. However, if the car is turned off, the fan motor still goes full force. Suggesting to others with a/c knowledge that the control panel switch which is supposed to be gradual low to high was bad.

Went to wrecking yards for the control panel. $195 to $175 was the price. I asked the last guy what was my recourse if it didn’t fix the problem. This guy was nice enough to come out and try for ourselves his control panel and low and behold I would have thrown away $175 if he hadn’t. Because it did the same thing as mine.

The same thing as mine is: no fan and a tiny bit of coolness but if you put your ear close, yes, the fan works on real low or else we would not have any coolness, not even a tiny bit. Correct?

Not the Heater fan motor, not the control panel! The wrecking guy said his belief wasthe bushings are going on the fan motor. Now how can that be when it goes full force when bypassed? Well 12 volts is 12 volts thinking. Testing the plug that goes into the fan motor tested once at 5 volts and again at 7 volts. Testing the plug we bypassed to tested at 12.5 volts. So, maybe the guy is right. But, back to my dilemma again – if bushings are going out – I buy a used fan motor and again that not being the problem.Couldn’t it be one of the sensors (there’s 3 altogether, I think) or the fan motor resistor. How do I test those before buying the whole fan motor, plusremoving the motor involves removing air bag. Ugh!

But, one more thing – going back to the fault code. “Passenger’s side interior temperature inlet fan seized” We know the passenger and driver each have their own manual control. Does this code mean there is another one or two fans other than the heater motor fan, which is the ac motor fan also? Do tell, somebody.

That’s my story up to now except for demographics – I live in Phoenix and the past week has been 4 days of record breaking 109 and 110 degree days. I think I may die before figuring this out.

Official MVS Forum 850/S70/V70/XC70 AC Thread

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56 responses to “Volvo Air Conditioning Problems and Fixes”

  1. Jim Rollins says:

    A/C won’t work when its hot (S-60)
    Since this is getting to be a very common problem, I thought I would pass it on.
    My 2002 S-60 simply will not consistantly cool when its really hot outside, like over 90F. Two different shops maintain its slow failure of the magnets that engage the clutch and the only fix is changing the compressor (the clutch and compressor are integral on some newer Volvos). Thats going to be expensive but after research, it appears to be the correct action.
    What I tried:
    I tried re-charging. Some help for a while.
    I Looked for defective high pressure switch: apparently there is none on this car and thats just stupid!
    Tried overcharging: made it worse so I went back to Volvo specified PSI at idle and at 2000 RPM.

    If there are any other S-60 owners with better advise, let me know.
    JBRollo@aol.com

  2. MARCO ESPARZA says:

    My 1989 Volvo 240 DL is not working. I have the option of going to a junk yard and getting the missing piece from junked cars. I supply the labor, the part is cheap. What is the sequence for testing what is wrong with the ac. the fan works, the compressor seems to work, there is a part that has two hoses coming to it. It has a window that shows what appears to be fluid level (gas) This does not show any liquid in it. I am told that to even start I have to at least put in a small cannister of gas to see if it leaks. I am told that the input valve is located in the bottom of the motor. Is this hard to get to for a weekend machanic?
    Thank youl;

  3. Mark says:

    Where do I locate the AC Clutch Relay Control Circuit in a 1999 Volvo V70 Base model, and replace it.

  4. hiele says:

    Merci de me dire ou je trouve le tuyau d’evacuation des condensats de la clim ?

  5. Volvo Rot says:

    […] an owner would be an Matthews Volvo Forum member and know that they have alternatives, actually many alternatives, but in the real world, MVS members are a minority, […]

  6. Roger says:

    I recently discharged my A/C on a 96 850 to repair a leak, now with a full charge there is no voltage at either sensor to start the system. Any ideas?

  7. Jared says:

    I had the problem with the AC not blowing after 30 minutes of time and not blowing ice cold. Eventually I just broke down and replaced the clutch. You can get it from anywhere but I one good place is partsgeek.com. After having my technician put it in he couldn’t have been more stupid. JUST FYI to ALL: there is a LIMIT on how much FREON you should put into your vehicle! On volvo v70’s 1999 I know it is between 25 and 40. He put it all the way up to 110 psi. Don’t be stupid. Only do what is required, the more freon you put in doesn’t mean the more cold it is going to blow. It may actually blow out one of your hoses or ac unit! ONLY PUT IN THE REQUIRED AMOUNT – DON’T LET A TECH PUT IN ANY MORE THAN WHAT IS REQUIRE – 25 PSI – 40 PSI.

  8. Will says:

    i need to recharge the A/C on my 1991 volvo 240, could yoo please tell me how to do it and what i need to buy in order to do this, oh and a cost estimate would be helpfull

  9. mr lister says:

    I’m trying to identify my a/c system I own a V70 1998 but all the diagrams for the system show me something completely different to whats there, the receiver is different, the compressor as a single twin hose connector instead of the 2 on the one shown in the diagrams, also I seam to have a valve on the back of the evaporator, and on the the receiver, can someone please help me identify this as I need to replace the compressor hoses.

  10. Bruce says:

    I have an odd problem. I can’t get my air conditioning to come on when I manually press the on button. If I press the front window defrost then it will come on. So one would think it’s not a fuse problem and the a/c unit seems to work. With the defrost on you can’t activate he other blowers so the air flow is much less — not enough for summer

  11. Jeff Chavis says:

    1999 S70 Volvo A/C works fine for a while(time varies) blowing very cold then turns humid and hot. Suggestions please??

  12. Richard says:

    We have a 09 S 60. We have noticed that on trips of more than 30 minutes with the AC on that when returning home and after the AC, fan and ignition are turned off the AC/Heater fan continues to run and in some cases for well over an hour. When this occurs, one must insert the ignition key turn on and off then the fan ceases to blow. In addition, unlike most vehicles, after running the AC for long periods the tell tale puddle of water weeping from the AC system is absence. Any one else experience this problem?

  13. Jeannine Koski says:

    2006 V50 Volvo A/C works fine for a while(time varies) blowing very cold then turns humid and hot. Suggestions please??

  14. Gary says:

    I need to recharge the A/C on my 98 v70 awd. the owner’s manual talks about R-12 and converted R134a, how do I tell which is in the car? I bought a can of R134a but I don’t know if I should put that in the system if it is R-12.

  15. don says:

    i have a 98 volvo v70 and having problems with the ac compresser it will kick off after a while running and i have to jump the relay to get the compresser to kick on any one have any tips

  16. Trudy S. says:

    I have a 2005 V50, the A.C. will not work when it is 80 -105 degrees, my internal gauge shows 41 degrees, and proceeds to spiral down to -4 degrees F. Then out of the clear blue, it starts working, and the temp climbs upto 41 degrees and then all of a sudden it is 88 degrees!
    The dealership where I live are awful, so I go into Orlando to get help. They told me it would be $200 + labor, for the part that is located in the rear-view mirror on the driver’s side. Now I am wondering it if it is the coolant that I really need? I think I am being given a crock, I have 52,000+ miles. I have no faith in the repair people here, everyone wants to make a buck, or maybe Many Bucks!!!
    The car is second owner, may have been in an accident, it showed some alignment, and other clues that may have occurred; it may have been injured on the drivers side. Hence the previous damage maybe the reason the problem has cropped up. The problem started three months ago after the dealership replaced my ignition switch that had gone south, it frozen up and would not turn on, drained the battery, that was over $500 +. I told them it happened after they touched the car, now they say oh it is just a part that wore out.
    Please advise some remedies I may attempt to save the expense of the replacement parts.
    Thank you in advance.

  17. Betty says:

    My AC works fine on the passenger side of the car. The blower works fine on both sides but the air is not cold on the driver’s side.

  18. andrew says:

    my girlfriend has a 96 volvo 850 t5. ive been fighting the damn a/c for over a year now. ive taken it to a few shops and no one can fix it. it worked flawlessly for ever untill one day it just didnt work. fans blow,a/c light turns on,clutch doesnt! but if you hook up a system (say to charge it) the clutch clicks on and off. can anyone tell me what that means? ac has charge, never leaked out. fans work. never failed yet. my family acually has three volvos all around same years and none of the a/c systems work. to me it seems like thats just a volvo flaw. if you got information please email. andrewkenji@hotmail.com

  19. Zackery says:

    as Betty stated on #17, My 2001 Volvo V-70 T5 today started doing the same as hers but it’s cold on the drivers side and hot on the passenger side. I cycled through the climate control to think it was stuck or something but going from 80 back to 60 didn’t change the passenger side temp. The Drivers side went from cold to hot and back to cold after putting it back to 60. I live in Florida so it’s only going to get hotter. Any help or recommendations is greatly appreciated!
    Thank you!

  20. NEOFYTOS NICOLAOU says:

    please inform me if you have high pressure hose from compressor to condenser line for Volvo S40 (2005) 4-Doors B4164S3 IB5

    Vin : YV1MS204252091124

    part number in Cyprus 30738975 and how much it will be cost including the shipping to Cyprus(Europe)

    I would be very much obliged if you have it send me photo to confirm if is the correct part .
    THANK IN ADVANCE
    NEOFYTOS NICOLAOU

  21. CARITINA says:

    I HAVE A 2004 VOLVO S80. THE PROBLEM IS THAT THE AC ON DRIVER SIDE WORKS FINE, BUT THE PASSENGER SIDE DONES’T COOL ENOUGH. IS THAT AN ELECTRONIC PROBLEM OR NEEDS COOLANT?

  22. Brad L says:

    2006 Volvo S60. Air conditioning is blowing cold and with force at floor, but not from dash or at windshield. Replaced cabin filter. No change.
    The air flow control on panel shows lights coming on
    when we switch outlet. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  23. perry pettway says:

    where is rec button 1987 volvo

  24. eduardo sánchez says:

    The air conditioning of my S80 Volvo car works right for the fisrt hour or so, then the air ceases to flow inside the car, so no more air conditioning.
    The strange thing is that I continue to hear the noise of the device. It seems that simply the air is diverted to other par or stopped from coming into the car cabin.
    Any suggestion?

  25. Judy Pilson says:

    Need specifics on 97 960 wagon air problems. Comes on at erratic times; does not blow very cold when driving, but mechanics can get it very cold when the car is sitting at shop; fan area has had rodent village–need instr as to how to get to fan. Air cuts out when car accelerates. also. can you help?

  26. Jerry Andersch says:

    Judy,
    You are experiencing a very common problem for the 960. The vacuum motors that open and close the vents leak causing the dash vents to close upon acceleration. You often can remedy this
    by disconnecting the yellow vacuum line to the floor vents and putting a golf tee in the line to seal it. Details on this and many other Volvo fixes can be found on the “Brickboard.com”
    Great Volvo site…look in the 900 FAQ under AC. If you own a Volvo you need to visit this site.
    Good Luck…. Jerry A

  27. Jon Jensen says:

    The A/C line that runs from the compressor to the condenser on my ’02 S80 blew today. The fitting the holds the metal hose and the rubber hose together somehow separated and the rubber hose blew out of the connector. I’ve done some looking around and have been told that I need to replace the entire line and that there is no way to reconnect the hoses into that metal fitting. Has anyone ever replaced this before? If so, what is the best way to reconnect the hose to the condenser and compressor? Any help would be appreciated.

  28. ahiable aaron says:

    my volvo c8o aircondition blower is not going off when i off the key i have to remove the life wire from the battery please help.

  29. cameron brown says:

    I am having some trouble. Only the passenger side heat/AC works properly. In the warm weather the driver’s side blew hot air and now that it’s turned cold, the driver’s side blows cool air. Again, the passenger side is functioning as it should. I drive ’98 s70. Any help?

  30. David Grima says:

    I have a S70 1997 model the heater fan does not work on the first three clicks but works fine on the maximum will a later model control panel work I am not sure as this car does not have EEC. it’s starting to warm up for summer here in australia and I need to fix this bugger as I have a baby girl and we live in the country so it gets up to 40+c degrees here.

  31. darren morgan says:

    hi the acc on my 1996 volvo 850 r is not working properly when slide to aut nothing happens but when i slide to 0 blow on full force very cold but the more i move it across the slower it blows.
    any ideas please.
    darren

  32. Bruce says:

    I have a 1998 S70 glt and when the climate function knob is in the defrost position, the recirculate button will not turn on when pushed. As a result the A/C is on and will not turn off. The recirculate will turn on when the function button is in other positions, just not the defrost. Any ideas?
    Thanks

  33. ed carr says:

    I was looking for an reply to betty’s problem. My 2001 xc-70 does the dame thing except the ac blows cooler on driver and not so cool on passenger.

  34. Tom says:

    2006 V-50 T5 AWD in Denver. I too have exactly the same problem as Betty and Ed — left side vents do not blow in heated nor cooled air, just ambient. Mechanic at dealer suggested trying to disconnect the battery to see if it is a faulty vent control element that would re-program itself when battery is re-connected, otherwise it could be a very expensive fix. Battery disconnect did not fix it. Help!

  35. mary priest says:

    Hi there, my 1998 volvo 5 cyl station wagon slowly, but surly, lost the blower for the a/c and heater. Again, it started slowing not to work and now doesn’t work at all. It does however blow nice cold air while on the freeway but nothing at a stop or slow speed. I don’t have the money to even buy a chilton or haynes man but could use some helpful step by step hints as to what to look for. I am fairly mechanical but nothing to write home about and now have very limited tools. help in albuquerque!!!

  36. mark says:

    I have a 2008 C70 Volvo that I need to add freon to. Can anyone tell me where the correct port is and how to add freon safely? Thanks

  37. Plinio Filho says:

    The a/c of my 2001 v70 works for 3 or 3 minutes and stop,. The wipers stop working too and the back wipers works but not stop at the correct position. My other v70 2004 the back wiper not work after a new battery who I buy at napa start on fire alone and burn part of cables,also start a message at computer saying need urgent repair at air bag (the napa and the batt. manufct. don’t care with the situation and now I go to court over they).It;s unrespect to the costumers.
    I have 3 volvos 850 ’96 and one I put a reconditioned compressor for a/c but It no works.What.s the problem and repair?

  38. carlton snead says:

    I have a 2000 volvo s80 2.9 the ECC has no power (air conditioner, fan , heated seat. I have checked the Regular fuses all seam fine any ideas?

  39. Norman Morton says:

    The A/C compressor on my Volvo V50 works perfectly for about 20 minutes then shuts off (blower stays on). Turn switch off then on in 20 seconds and A/C compressor kicks back on and runs perfectly for another 20 minutes. What’s up? What to do?

  40. captgary says:

    I have a 96 850 and the ac blows cold when moving but if at a red light or parked it blows warm air and shortly after staert moving it gets cold again

  41. John says:

    Could air conditioning be knocked out of working order by a side impact crash in my 1996 850 Glt Sedan? What should I look for? How can it be fixed? How much can I expect to pay to get it fixed?

  42. terry says:

    Any one help, 01 v70 climate control In-op after cleaning cabin temp sensor fan now no funtion at all, fan will now run just moves back and forth no A/c and its HOT

  43. Mike says:

    I have a 96 volvo wagon non turbo. I hd trouble with the a/c so a guy put lube and rerigerant into the system. The lube ended up leaking under the carpet on the drivers side floor. Any ideas?
    Mike

  44. Bob Harvey says:

    My grandaughter has a 2003 Volvo with and air conditioning problem.
    cools when temp outside temp is 85 or below. If outside is higher it does not cool at all. Compressor runs and has been recharged.

  45. Carol Besch says:

    Hi, I am driving my mother’s 1987 240 DL. She let it sit for 10 years. It only has 24,000 miles on it and runs great but no a/c. I am not mechanically inclined and unemployed so money is an issue. Do I dare try to do it myself? Or… being so old might it be something different? Thanks for your help…

    Carol in CA

  46. Marangely Guzman says:

    I have a Volvo V70 2001 and the air conditioner works like for two minutes and star to hot air. I hope that you can help me.

  47. Scott says:

    My AC switch light goes on, but compressor doesn’t switch on (clutch doesn’t turn) I checked relay continuity. It registers resistance with power on or off to the ground and live lead. Is this normal? Can it be that the coolant charge is so low that the compressor doesn’t turn on? I’ve seen other threads about comp switching on and off due to this.

  48. Giavani says:

    Hi Guys, I have a 2007 C70t. The problem is my air con gets warm once we reach 2000RPM. The fan stays on ect but the air coming out of the vents is at 15degree celcius, when the car again goes below 2000 RPM the air goes cold again at about 6 degree celcius. The gas lines are dripping with condesation so Im sure that there is plenty of gas in the lines. You can hear a ticking sound as if a switch or relay is turning on and off at about 5 second intervals. This sound is heard in the cabin under the dash but more towards or in the engine compartment or near the firewall. This only occurs above 2000RPM.Any help or advise would be much appretiated

  49. ronnie winslow says:

    I have an issue to where my defrost never truly shuts completely off when in floor mood which burns my face up. Have this issue on two different cars actually. I am aware of the blend door diaphram that leaks and makes the panel vents go to defrost under acceleration, and repaired several of these any ideas?

  50. Tuan Le says:

    i’m driving a 99 volvo s70 T5. I got a problem with the A/C. When turn on the A/C, hot air come from 2 vents on driver side, cold air come from 2 vents on passenger side. what was it and how to fix that.
    Thanks for any helps. Tuan

  51. first of all thanks there is online option like this website. ok 04 V70 VOLVO. I CHANGE THE AC COMPRESSOR.SOME REASON THE USE COMPRESSOR THAT I DID PUT.IT BACK TO MY CAR VOLVO V70 IS AC COMPRESSOR HOSE.I THINK IS THE SAMEWAY DESIGN. TO GO BACK TO THE AC COMPRESSOR. SO I FORGOT TOTALY WHICH HOSE IS RIGHT TO. INSTALL IT BACK TO THE COMPRESSOR. BUT BOUGHT HOSE FITTINGS IS THE SAME SIZE. I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE WHICH HOLE IN TYHE BACK OF THE COMPRESSOR.HOSE IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE RIGHT CONNECTION.THE WAY INSTALLED THE AC COMPRESSOR TO MY CAR IS IN THE BACK OF THE AC COMPRESSOR IS 1LEFTHOLE AND 1RIGHTHOLE THE RIGHT HOLE IS.IS JUST LITTLE DOWN.COMPARE TO LEFTHOLE NOT MUCH SO I COULD TELL LIKE LEFT—RIGHT CONNECTION…PLS HELP SHOW AND EXPLAIN TO ME FOR MY CAR THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS

  52. Claudette says:

    Your help will be very much appreciated. I owned a volvo s40 2002. It will not start, even with a jump-start. Can someone please help me with the diagnosis? Thanks

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  54. JM says:

    Weird problem that just started today. ’95 850. My a/c system is not working due to a faulty compressor. That’s okay. Anyway, now when the a/c switch is set to off, the compressor continually kicks on and off as if the a/c was set to “auto”. Its annoying as now I can’t even get any air flowing into the cabin without constant noise from the compressor and load on the engine. Obviously the system now thinks a/c is always on. Any fix? No flashing lights on startup.

  55. John says:

    I got a 414 and 418 obd. pulled the driv side handrail and blew out and lube’d the inlet fan, still same codes. do I need to replace the inlet fan or is it safe to bypass it with a jumper?

  56. […] Relief is attainable. Stop sweating in your car. Just pick up a wrench and visit Air Conditioning Fixes Page. […]

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