850 Turbo A/C doesn't get cold

Discussion in 'Volvo 850' started by djisfree, May 9, 2007.

  1. djisfree

    djisfree Guest

    I have a 1996 850 that I just bought in November and when I turn on
    the A/C it doesn't get cold. I looked at the manual and it called for
    a certain type of freon which I couldn't find in Autozone. I was
    wondering what do I need to get some cold air blowing? Break this
    down like I am an eight year old. I read something about converting
    the system over to a r134 whatever that means.


    djisfree, May 9, 2007
  2. It's time to take it to a refrigeration professional.

    The manual indicates your system uses R-12, which is not legally available
    to unlicensed people because of our signing on to the Montreal treaty two
    decades ago. However, that may not be true; your system may actually use the
    newer R-134a. It was made around the time of the changeover, and I thought
    all '96s used 134a. Stickers under the hood will tell the truth.

    Here's how it boils down. R-12 could be recharged by a moderately
    experienced Do-It-Yourselfer. R-134a really can't. DIYers can't get R-12 any
    more (and it is shockingly expensive now anyway) and can't make good use of
    R-134a. After all that the problem may be something else entirely. A
    professional can figure it out.

    Michael Pardee, May 9, 2007
  3. djisfree

    James Sweet Guest

    Your 850 will be new enough that it will use R-134a, at least in the US it
    will. I know Volvo switched the 240 series in '91ish so I'm not sure why
    they would have stuck with R-12 in other models.

    AC is not difficult to work on in a mechanical sense, but you'll need some
    special tools and there's a bit of a learning curve. You need to figure out
    why the AC isn't working, you can't just add refrigerant willy-nilly and
    expect it to work. You have to figure out how much refrigerant is in the
    system and then carefully add more if required, the quantity is somewhat
    critical in order for the system to operate at anywhere near peak
    efficiency. If the system is empty, a leak needs to be fixed, in which case
    you also need to replace the reciever/dryer cannister, vacuum down the
    system and then charge it.

    In a nutshell, if you're not an experienced shadetree mechanic who doesn't
    mind scrounging or fabricating some tools, leave the plumbing side of the AC
    to a professional beyond measuring the pressure to see if you have anything
    resembling a charge in the system. It's possible for there to be electrical
    failures such as the pressure cutout switch, clutch, or even a fuse which
    can prevent the AC from functioning.
    James Sweet, May 9, 2007
  4. djisfree

    Tim.. Guest

    The 850 is not old enough to want R12 refridgerant. It'll be R134a.

    The reason your's isnt working could be down to many reasons. Get a
    reputable mobile a/c specialist to take a look at it initially. It could be
    just down to low charge (good- system is probably workable), if its out of
    gas entirely then making it work depends on how long its leaked and why it

    800's / 70 series cars are slightly peculiar in their operation compared to
    others, especially when it comes to correctly charging them, and also they
    often sufffer from a burst evaporator, which is a 6hr dash out job to
    replace. Compressor clutches are another weakpoint, as is the overheat cut

    Your a/c guy will leak detect the system and where its leaking hinges in
    what you do to fix it (if anything)

    Tim.., May 9, 2007
  5. djisfree

    djisfree Guest

    Oh Lawd... How much is this going to cost me? Is this something that
    one of the quick lube places can do for me or do I need to pay a volvo
    mechanic 90.00 an hour to take a look at it?

    Thanks for all of your helpful replies.

    djisfree, May 10, 2007
  6. djisfree

    Tim.. Guest

    I wouldnt trust one of the quick lube places to dunk toast soldiers into a
    boiled egg, let alone diagnose an a/c problem!!

    You need a professional, proper a/c *specialist*....

    Tim.., May 10, 2007
  7. djisfree

    INotBe Guest

    Definitely see a reputable Volvo dealer. I went the route of an indy
    mechanic (that was rated extremely high by a local consumer magazine) a
    couple of years ago to save a couple of hundered dollars on the AC
    evaporator replacement. Ended up having to have Volvo do it over. Cost
    to replace evaporator is very high - was about $1600 for my 1995 850
    turbo sedan.
    INotBe, May 10, 2007
  8. djisfree

    James Sweet Guest

    Take it to an AC specialty shop, it doesn't have to be Volvo specific. A
    Volvo dealer can fix it, but they'll rake you over the coals.
    James Sweet, May 10, 2007
  9. Never a Quick Lube place. Volvo is a safe bet, but air conditioning
    specialty shops are good, too. A simple service and recharge will run in the
    $100 range, but there may be a different problem. Any way you slice it,
    other ways of doing it are more expensive. This is not something to trust to

    Michael Pardee, May 10, 2007
  10. djisfree

    djisfree Guest

    Well I stopped by an auto repair shop and he added some freon to the
    car for me. While he was adding it he said that he didn't have time
    to check it for leaks today but if it was just blowing hot then some
    freon should take care of it. And for 69.95 it took care of it for
    all of 10 minutes. Then the air got hot again. And when I turn it
    off for a few minutes and back on it gets cold for around 5 minutes
    and return to warm. Before he added the freon the compressor would
    turn on/off every few seconds. While he was adding the freon, the
    compressor stopped making the clicking sound. He put a temperature
    guage up to the vent and it got as cold as 40 degrees, but it was
    never ICE cold.

    So now I am going to try and find an A/C specialist in hopes of saving
    some dollars. One mechanic here told me he could look at it towards
    the end of next week. It is 85 degrees here today... I would hate to
    wait that long.
    djisfree, May 10, 2007
  11. djisfree

    Mike Lindsay Guest

    Had the same trouble with 1997 V70 SDI.

    Have you checked the fuse?
    Mike Lindsay, May 10, 2007
  12. djisfree

    c.fiedler Guest

    DJ, if you're in the US, the system is already 134. My '93 240 uses
    R134. There are a number of things that *could* be wrong with the
    system -- fuse, low refrigerant, misgapped compressor clutch, bad
    dryer, leaking heater valve, etc.

    A decent A/C guy can diagnose this for about $50 with the repair
    costing whatever it costs. My '97 850 turns out <40F air at the vent
    and some days gets so cold I have to up the heat to keep from being
    uncomfortable so it *can* be done -- BTW, I'm in Texas and it tends to
    get hot here.

    Chuck Fiedler
    Nothing but Volvo since 1974
    c.fiedler, May 11, 2007
  13. djisfree

    James Sweet Guest

    Sounds like it's leaking, which is no surprise as refrigerant had to be
    added. As the pressure drops the compressor will start to cycle. If a system
    is low, it has a leak that needs to be fixed, just adding refrigerant
    without first fixing the leak is a waste of time and money.
    James Sweet, May 11, 2007
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