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850 Air Conditioning Woes

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, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
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Re: 850 Air Conditioning Woes

Post by sventastic » Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:23 pm

Richard99 wrote:
Fri Apr 10, 2020 10:48 am
You mentioned that you recharged the A/C with your A/C compressor not working. How did you do that? It usually won't take a charge unless the compressor is running. I had to jump my compressor to get the gas in last time I did it.
It may have been working intermittently or very poorly at the time, I don't remember completely (almost 2 years ago now) but referenced an old post that I made in my Swedespeed thread 1 week before getting the AC recharged. In that post I mentioned the compressor stopped clicking on and off at all
1996 854R | M56H | 16T | 268k | BC, Canada

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Re: 850 Air Conditioning Woes

Post by zaina1 » Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:07 am

I had this car too when I was in Dubai. Then the ac of my car not working well. So I contacted ac maintenance in Dubai as I couldn't contact with the car company. They fixed my ac problem.

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Re: 850 Air Conditioning Woes

Post by JimBee » Thu Jun 18, 2020 10:45 am

Eric the Car Guy made the off-hand comment that 80% of freon leaks are at Schrader valve in the filler port. It looks like a tire stem but it's a little bigger and you need a special tool to change it. NAPA has them for ~ $8.00 branded for GM but appears to be the same thing Volvo used on the P80's.
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Re: 850 Air Conditioning Woes

Post by abscate » Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:22 pm

80% of statistics are flawed , including this one

Wcm and I played with a $20 sniffer from HF to track down a bad o ring (s) on His P80

I’ve done about a dozen AC jobs now, Evaps were half of them, two leaky compressors , two rusted out driers, one space alien , and the rest bad orings in lines.
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Re: 850 Air Conditioning Woes

Post by smacknab » Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:00 pm

Not sure how often the lines fail, but I rented an ac cleaner kit that hooked up to an air compressor from my parts store (US) for free and bought some cleaner fluid to flush them out. Not sure if that helps, but so far they seem to be fine on my car with 215k miles.

The positive is the evap isn't that expensive just make sure you but a set o-rings as Abscate outlines. I bought two of the AC o-rings kits from FCP euro and it covered me with extras. (I don't remember if I needed two, but it was cheap insurance). If you have a squaky dash like I did, it could be a good time to fix the dash mounts.

There is a diy PDF on this site that I used, and RobertDIY has some youtube videos to help you through it as well.
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Re: 850 Air Conditioning Woes

Post by abscate » Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:26 pm

Just did some P80 AC work recently and noticed that FCP didn't have the Scantech AC Oring kits anymore.

??

I also documented in this Forum that these kits don't have a complete set of o-rings, so get to the Volvo webstore and buy these from the Volvo Diagram
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Re: 850 Air Conditioning Woes

Post by sventastic » Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:10 pm

smacknab wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:00 pm
Not sure how often the lines fail, but I rented an ac cleaner kit that hooked up to an air compressor from my parts store (US) for free and bought some cleaner fluid to flush them out. Not sure if that helps, but so far they seem to be fine on my car with 215k miles.

The positive is the evap isn't that expensive just make sure you but a set o-rings as Abscate outlines. I bought two of the AC o-rings kits from FCP euro and it covered me with extras. (I don't remember if I needed two, but it was cheap insurance). If you have a squaky dash like I did, it could be a good time to fix the dash mounts.

There is a diy PDF on this site that I used, and RobertDIY has some youtube videos to help you through it as well.
Thanks for the info! Thankfully I don't have a squeaky dash :)
abscate wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:26 pm
Just did some P80 AC work recently and noticed that FCP didn't have the Scantech AC Oring kits anymore.

??

I also documented in this Forum that these kits don't have a complete set of o-rings, so get to the Volvo webstore and buy these from the Volvo Diagram
Good to know, thank you!

I think I'm going to relegate the A/C work to a fall/winter job and just deal with it for next summer. We're having a very cool summer so far and I'm filling my weekends with backpacking and biking so I'll suck it up for the time being :lol: I'm also not looking forward to doing this work, so that makes it easier to put off :lol: That said, I do have a power steering pump that needs replacement asap!
1996 854R | M56H | 16T | 268k | BC, Canada

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Re: 850 Air Conditioning Woes

Post by Roger_850T » Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:46 pm

abscate wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:22 pm
80% of statistics are flawed , including this one

Wcm and I played with a $20 sniffer from HF to track down a bad o ring (s) on His P80

I’ve done about a dozen AC jobs now, Evaps were half of them, two leaky compressors , two rusted out driers, one space alien , and the rest bad orings in lines.
I like this approach - before randomly replacing parts, test and determine where the fault lies. The way it stopped working over time suggests it may be just a slow leak and is now empty. Or it may be a rusted component. Test and see!

1. Get a gauge, check for any pressure in the system. Likely zero if it's all leaked out, but check first. If it has a charge, then need to determine why it doesn't turn on.

2. If no pressure, then get a vacuum pump and draw it down, see if it holds vacuum or not.

3. Consider adding some refrigerant with the UV Dye in it.

4. Visual inspection of evaporator and compressor and accumulator may suggest issues. (i.e. visible rust and corrosion may be an indicator.)

5. Use the halogen detector as Abscate did, and see where it's actually leaking from.

6. Once the leak is determined, replace as necessary.

I hope this helps - good luck!

Roger
'05 XC90 V8 140k
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Re: 850 Air Conditioning Woes

Post by Eddystone » Sun Jul 05, 2020 6:25 am

"Remember they have a 100% failure rate. And if it's older than say 8 -10 years it's shot. The original would have been gone years ago..."

I could be wrong, but I would beware of categorical blanket statements like this, especially given the cost and labor involved in swapping in a new one. Where I live,P80s with 150k in quite decent shape are going for $1500-1800, and I find that any non-enthusiast using these as daily drivers are not putting that kind of money into these cars. In fact, when they need something as simple as lower control arms, people don't want to foot the bill to have a mechanic do the work on a high mileage car that's over20 years old. That means that many of them have the original condensor or have been junked. Neither of my P80s have issues with leaking condensors, and one came with extensive service records, so I am with Misha on this one.

That's not to say that the car in this thread doesn't have a bad condensor or that even a good one will fail sometime before the sun expands and absorbs the inner planets.
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Re: 850 Air Conditioning Woes

Post by abscate » Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:53 pm

That's not to say that the car in this thread doesn't have a bad condensor or that even a good one will fail sometime before the sun expands and absorbs the inner planets.
Wait, what?

Well, screw getting that new battery then. It’s still got a good 15 minutes of reserve if I leave the parking lights on.
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