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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    418

    Default A/C System Refill Issues

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    I am in the process of recharging my AC system. It's not that cold inside the car.
    From the vent at full blast, I get 48F.

    With car stationary and running in full blast, the compressor engages and disengages
    in ten seconds intervals. When driving, it does not seem to engage and disengage.
    Isn't the ten-second intervals abnormal; the intervals are also consistent while stationary.

    I have AC/Pro refill cans. With my readings, I could not fill the system with the
    refrigerant with UV so as to use the black light to search for possible leak. So, I do
    not know if there is a leak somewhere.

    Thanks in advance.
    2001 Volvo XC70/AWD/Auto/Turbo/146kMiles (Brown)
    2001 Volvo V70XC/AWD/Auto/Turbo/144kMiles (Maroon)
    2006 Toyota Sienna LE/AWD 93K (Green)
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1985 BMW (E23) 735i(US)/AUTO/209K Miles (Parked since 2011)
    1997 Mazda MPV/AUTO/4WD/173K Miles (Parked since 2008)
    2002 Subaru Outback L.L. Bean/3.0/131K/AWD (Parked since 2017)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Western Head, Nova Scotia
    Posts
    3,089

    Default

    Jeez, Oka, AC up your way? Over this way we just open the windows a bit since the temp rarely gets above high 70sF. Beauty of that is, is that the AC clutch and compressor last nearly forever.

    Cheers,

    Bill
    Western Head, NS CDN

    '08 BMW 750i (Black Sapphire)-204K kms to-date
    '05 XC70 (Lava Sand)-296K kms to-date
    '02 V70XC-gone @393K kms
    '05 V70R (Magic Blue)-120K mi to-date - gone
    '96 854R (Red)-real CDN-spec 5-speed R - gone @270k kms
    And other Volvos and misc. Euro stuff

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Pleasanton CA USA
    Posts
    404

    Default

    Oka, what was the outdoor ambient temperature when you got 48F at the vent? If it was 55F, you have a problem. If it was 75F, it's working well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    418

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by billr99 View Post
    Jeez, Oka, AC up your way? Over this way we just open the windows a bit since the temp rarely gets above high 70sF. Beauty of that is, is that the AC clutch and compressor last nearly forever.

    Cheers,

    Bill
    I must confess that my body is kinda unique, I sweat easily which is why I feel comfortable in Anchorage. Whenever I go home to Africa, I don't use handkachief, I use small towels.
    One other big factor is, I ALWAYS listen to music in the car. It's been kinda a little windy for use lately. So my option would be, put the windows up and turn on the A/C to be able to
    hear every part of the music. Just a habit!
    2001 Volvo XC70/AWD/Auto/Turbo/146kMiles (Brown)
    2001 Volvo V70XC/AWD/Auto/Turbo/144kMiles (Maroon)
    2006 Toyota Sienna LE/AWD 93K (Green)
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1985 BMW (E23) 735i(US)/AUTO/209K Miles (Parked since 2011)
    1997 Mazda MPV/AUTO/4WD/173K Miles (Parked since 2008)
    2002 Subaru Outback L.L. Bean/3.0/131K/AWD (Parked since 2017)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    418

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pbierre View Post
    Oka, what was the outdoor ambient temperature when you got 48F at the vent? If it was 55F, you have a problem. If it was 75F, it's working well.
    Think it was about 62F.
    2001 Volvo XC70/AWD/Auto/Turbo/146kMiles (Brown)
    2001 Volvo V70XC/AWD/Auto/Turbo/144kMiles (Maroon)
    2006 Toyota Sienna LE/AWD 93K (Green)
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1985 BMW (E23) 735i(US)/AUTO/209K Miles (Parked since 2011)
    1997 Mazda MPV/AUTO/4WD/173K Miles (Parked since 2008)
    2002 Subaru Outback L.L. Bean/3.0/131K/AWD (Parked since 2017)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Virginia Beach
    Posts
    3,852

    Default

    The system takes 2.2 lbs (I think, check the sticker under your hood).

    Too much freon, and it won't work.

    Too little freon, and it won't work.

    How are you measuring what you put in?
    Current Fleet:
    2016 Tundra Crewmax 4WD 1794
    2005 MB S600 (100K, Michelin AS3+, M1 0W40)
    2002 V70-XC (238K, Castrol Edge 0W40)
    2002 V70-T5 (195K, IPD bars, Bilsteins)
    2001 V70-T5 (76K)
    1932 Packard Sedan (straight 8, dual sidemounts, original paint and interior, Shell Rotella 15W40)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    418

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Astro14 View Post
    The system takes 2.2 lbs (I think, check the sticker under your hood).

    Too much freon, and it won't work.

    Too little freon, and it won't work.

    How are you measuring what you put in?
    I have not put anything in yet. Looking at the images, the gauge says it's 'fully charged', so, I did not put any refrigerant in yet.
    Just plugging on the gauge adapter would give you the reading of what's inside the system.
    2001 Volvo XC70/AWD/Auto/Turbo/146kMiles (Brown)
    2001 Volvo V70XC/AWD/Auto/Turbo/144kMiles (Maroon)
    2006 Toyota Sienna LE/AWD 93K (Green)
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1985 BMW (E23) 735i(US)/AUTO/209K Miles (Parked since 2011)
    1997 Mazda MPV/AUTO/4WD/173K Miles (Parked since 2008)
    2002 Subaru Outback L.L. Bean/3.0/131K/AWD (Parked since 2017)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    2,394

    Default

    Isn't the only reliable way to weigh the refrigerant?
    144 GL (1974)--->244 GL (1982)--->940 GLE 2.3i (1992)--->XC70 2.5T (2004)--->XC90 T5 (2018)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    GA
    Posts
    1,320

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Willy View Post
    Isn't the only reliable way to weigh the refrigerant?
    Yes, and pull a good vacuum on the system before adding the exact amount specified. Any air or moisture in the system, possibly introduced though bad/diy charging/checking procedures will cause the system to not cool properly. Even with appropriate pressures showing on gauges, there may contaminates (air/water) in the system that can cause the system to operate poorly. Many times I have simply evacuated and recharged what I thought was a properly charged system and have it cool better afterward.

    That's not to say you MIGHT get it right squirting some random amount of r134 with the diy can from the auto parts store. Just please don't use the stuff with leak stop in it - it can/will clog a pro AC machine the next time a machine is used on that car.

    Have never seen this cause a reduction in cooling performance but - with home units the first thing the ac tech does is change the air filter - has the cabin air filter been changed recently?

    I have seen corroded condensers (from northern/coastal states) cause A/C cooling problems, the fins rot away from salt indigestion and simply can't cool the refrigerant properly.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth Texas or thereabouts
    Posts
    400

    Default

    First: The cans with a gauge don't seem to ever tell you that a/c pressures are to be checked with engine speed elevated so the compressor pumping capability is nearly 100% The low side pressure will be high and high side pressure will be lower with engine idling. The pressure difference being reduced between those two upsets expansion valve regulation and reduces evaporation potential of the refrigerant. Regardless, 48F is more than I know is normal vent temp for P2 of that vintage but not by much. I would expect 42 from the vent on a cool day with the controls set properly. "properly" in Volvo terms, standard testing for all most all makes, is fan med hi, temp controls full cold, recirculated air, 5 minutes or so for stabilized interior temps, and windows/doors closed.

    That system uses a temp probe reading the air temp off the evaporator maybe 1/2 inch from evaporator. The evaporator temp is monitored by the climate control module and then it will request no compressor over CAN to the ECM which controls compressor relay. Cycling that fast will happen with everything working properly with low fan speed.
    That system uses warm air mixing with the door regulating warm air volume control being controlled by an electric motor.

    First thing to do is to cycle the temp knobs to full hot, wait 2 min, then cycle them to full cold and wait 2 minutes and then see if vent temps cool down more. The damper motors can get some drift and the CCM knows the position from motor counts, not from a potentiometer reporting current position. If they drift the full range motion of FULL hot and FULL cold end points on control range forces the motors to move doors to the stops and if the positions had deviations from the count derived position then it would be updated. A calibration of sorts would be accomplished by this.
    If it cools better after this then it is fixed.

    On P2 models, on many makes/models for that matter, if all else is working and it is low on charge there is often vent temp differences caused by evaporator not being consistently cold across entire face due to low charge. When fully charged the evpaorator has enough refrigerant for liquid-vapor change to occur consistently. When low the evaporator warms in an area. Due to air flow the warming will cause vent temp differences that do not necessarily follow the left/right temp zones.

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