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1996/1997 ECC Codes - reading and clearing without a scan tool. YES, you can!

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, including 850 R, 850 T-5R, 850 T-5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

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Year and Model: 1996 850 Turbo Wagon
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1996/1997 ECC Codes - reading and clearing without a scan tool. YES, you can!

Post by AKJeeper »

Hello all,

Recently, my '96 Platinum Wagon started having an issue where the Electronic Climate Control (ECC) system would blink the REC and AC lights for 20 seconds whenever I turned on the blower motor. With my car being strictly an OBD-II model (no engine compartment diagnostic connectors like on '95 and earlier models), I figured that I'd have to use my scan tool (OTC Genisys) to retrieve the ECC codes. As I found out from a good buddy who worked at a Volvo dealership in the 90's, the ECC codes on '96 and '97 models can be retrieved via the OBD-II connector using the "blink method" with an easily-constructed blink code reader tool. Good thing too, because my Genisys refused to 'talk' to the ECC module on my car (weird, the Genisys worked on a '00 V70 XC ECC module).

To make the tool - only a few parts are needed. A 12-volt LED, a "momentary on" push-button switch (single pole, single throw), some female spade crimp connectors, some fork crimp connectors, and some wire (I used 14ga). Attached is the wire diagram that I created of my blink code reader tool.
Volvo Blink Code Adapter.jpg
Here's a video showing how to read and clear ECC codes with this blink code tool. I figured a video would be much easier than typing up instructions.

My car had code 417 in the ECC module's fault code memory. Code 417 means: passenger side temperature sensor inlet fan seized. On these cars, there are two temperature sensors in the passenger compartment. They are located behind the grab handles above the front passenger and driver. Each sensor has a little fan that blows cabin compartment air past a thermistor and this is how the ECC system figures out the temperature on the driver and passenger sides of the vehicle. These fans start getting a build up of lint and dust over time, and could eventually cause the fan motor to seize. In my case, a few quick blasts of canned compressed air cleared up the fan blade and allowed the sensor to work again. Here's the video to my repair.

Lastly, I've attached a .pdf with a list of the various ECC codes.

I hope this information is helpful!
Volvo Blink Code Adapter.pdf
(108.52 KiB) Downloaded 1060 times
Volvo ECC Fault Codes.pdf
(97.28 KiB) Downloaded 1863 times

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Post by xHeart »

Very cool tool!
Golden-German Shepherd | 2014D VIDA DiCE | 2020 V60CC (Frska) | 2013A XC90 +160mi/257km (Electra) | 2001 V70XC +210mi/338km (Nautica)
Past: Golden Retriever | 1997 Volvo 854 | 1989 Volvo 740 GL | 1979 Volvo 240

Posts: 179
Joined: 06 Jul 2015, 13:43
Year and Model: 850 1996
Location: Iowa

Post by bugs11 »

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