2006 Volvo S40 Air Conditioning

Tiny
FINNADDICT9898
  • MEMBER
  • 2006 VOLVO S40
  • 3.1L
  • 5 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 120,000 MILES
From time to time the AC just starts blowing hot air. Then for no apparentreason it starts blowing ice cold again. Any suggestions as to what this may be? Im considering buying one of the over the counter "freon" fills and adding it. But I dont know whre the service port is that Id connect the bottle to, anyone know where that is?
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Thursday, July 10th, 2014 AT 9:48 AM

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Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
NO, NO, you don't want to do that. You can destroy the entire system. That has a specific, measured charge of refrigerant.

The first thing you have to do is the next time it blows warm, determine if the compressor is still engaged.
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Thursday, July 10th, 2014 AT 11:43 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
If it cools properly at times, low charge is most likely not the issue. The next time it quits, check right away underneath to see if water is dripping next to the right front tire. If it is not, the evaporator is getting too cold and the condensation is freezing and blocking air flow. I suspect that isn't the cause of the problem because it wouldn't melt and start working again until the system was turned off for quite a while.

Another common cause is moisture in the system. That happens when it is opened to replace a part, then it isn't evacuated for a half hour before recharging with refrigerant. When air gets in the lines, humidity is in it too. That moisture will freeze when it goes through the metering valve. That stops the flow of refrigerant, but the ice will melt on its own fairly quickly. At that point the cooling will take place again until the next time that droplet of water circulates around.

The orifice tube could be hanging up too. That is more likely to occur with a new one than with one that's been working fine for a few years.

There's no way to tell if the system is low on charge except to recover what's in it now, then charge it with a measured amount. The do-it-yourself cans rarely have the exact amount of refrigerant needed to install the correct charge. Unlike home refrigerators, automotive systems can handle a little over-charge, but too much can allow liquid to slosh into the compressor and lock it up.

If you do try to add to the system, be aware that refrigerant can cause blindness and frostbite. Professionals wear gloves, safety glasses, and a face shield. The cans charge through the low side port which will be on the hose between the firewall and compressor.
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Thursday, July 10th, 2014 AT 11:48 AM

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