volvo evaporators - andy n
what is it with volvo and air con systems?? ive just had the evaporator replaced under warranty in my v70 the same problem arose with a 850 i owned previously, talking to the dealer who carried out the repair he reckons a 4 year life is average, outragaeous in a car costing 30k surely its not beyond the wit of volvo to manufacture the damn things out of decent material? any one any idea of how to extend the service life as next time i`ll be replacing it myself as dealers currently charge around a grand for this \"routine\" repair
volvo evaporators - Dave N
It is certainly the achilles heel of the 850/V70 range. Very common, and certainly not difficult to make them out of decent material. I guess while people still keep buying them and paying for the repairs, they'll still use the same material/design. As your experience shows, some don't even make it out of warranty.

There's no way to extend their life, as the material just perforates all over the place. Difficult to diagnose as well, as you can't get to the evap, and ther's often little evidence. More a process of elimination. As for doing it yourself, best of luck. It's an awful job as everything you see in front of you has to come out. And all sorts of things can need resetting with the Volvo computer when it all goes back together. Think yourself lucky it's not an S class merc, as they take 22.5 hours to do!

All japanese cars have a seperate evap box that takes about 30 mins to remove. Although even some late Toyotas are now going the 'european' route and incorporating the evap in the main heater box.

For anyone interested, other vehicles that are notorious for evap leaks, and usually cost about £1000 to repair, are:- All Chryslers/Jeeps, Galaxies/Sharan/Alhambra, Audi A4's (early), and Merc S class's.
volvo evaporators - Aprilia
It is amazing how manufacturers persist with components they know will fail - only the Japanese seem to really learn from their mistakes.

As an aside, I replaced the climate control ECU on a W140 S-Class last year (not mine, thank God) - cost about £1200. Now the evap has just gone! All things considered the owner would have found that transportation by taxi over the last 12 months would be cheaper!
volvo evaporators - kal
Hi Dave does going down the "European" route imply that the design is better or worse than before. How many hours of labour will it require on avergae to change on a Toyota.

Thanks
volvo evaporators - Dave N
Kal, the 'european' route is bad. Essentially, everything is assembled into the heater box which is bolted to the firewall. Then they assemble everything else around it. Most Japanese and Korean stuff has a seperate evap box behind the glove box that bridges the gap between the blower motor and the heater box. Usual time to replace on a Toyota is about an hour. I think it also helps that Jap cars are designed from day one to be right hand drive, rather than the other way round. I've only ever seen 1 evap failure on a jap car, and that was an elderly Mitsubishi GTO. On Volvo 850/70, about 90% I see are evaps, Chryslers/jeeps 75%, Audi A4's 80% and S class mercs 25%.

I've given up doing evaps on anything other than Jap stuff, as they're such a nightmare. Takes about a day on average, and another day to rectify everything that broke/doesn't work anymore/rattles etc. Not to mention that you have to disconnect the battery which leads to all sorts of problems regarding resetting airbag lights, recoding keys, alarms etc. Many of which can only be done by the dealer. Some items, like CC ecu's seem to suffer from shock at being disconnected and never recover, leaving me or the customer with a huge bill. Again, most jap cars can be safely disconnected as everything sorts itself out when reconnected. They seem to think about these things and make them easy, whereas the germans especially, seem to go out of their way to make everything as difficult as possible. Having said that, some of the jap stuff seems to be going the same way, probably the influence of the european/us companies that now have a controlling interest, ie. Nissan/Renault, Subaru/GM, Mazda/Ford.
volvo evaporators - Claude
Thats very interesting. Have you any experience of evap on ,Rangerovers 1995-2002? I'm just having my condenser and receiver/dryer replaced due to a leak. I'd hoped it wouldn't be the evap because I know its about 7 hours labour to do that. My vehicle is 1995 so the evap has lasted better than some Volvos, am I lucky or its made of a better material ?
volvo evaporators - Dave N
Claude, I've not seen any myself, but a friend has a Land Rover specialist workshop, and they've seen a couple that have cracked where the pipe enters the matrix. Condensors are much more common, and very expensive also, as they only come complete with fans. A supplier did get hold of some aftermarket ones without fans, but his description of the quality was 'nasty', so he never stocked them. On the last one I did the pipe-nuts were corroded solid to the condensor, so I hade to buy 2 new pipes as well.
volvo evaporators - pettaw
Re: the 850/x70 evaporator failures. They are the Achilles' heel of the Volvo 850/x70 range and as people have said earlier, means everything out and lots of $$$$$'s. There are aftermarket evaporators around which are made of copper and are supposed to be more durable. Motto: Keep your evaporator dry and muck free by regularly renewing the pollen filter and letting the system dry out by switching a/c off ten minutes before your journey ends. this hopefully should stop the muck growing on your evaporators leading to premature failure. Also use your A/C regularly to keep your hoses and compressor lubricated.
volvo evaporators - Claude
I dont understand the reference to pollen filter and switching off ten minutes to allow it to dry out. The expansion valve is inside a closed system, there is no access from the outside via a pollen filter (or any other filter) so no way that 'muck' can get in. Also moisture in the system is removed by the receiver/dryer, if excessive moisture is suspected that needs to be replaced and, in any event, should always be renewed when the system has been opened, for example when replacing the compressor/condenser/evap etc. No amount of switching off the aircon will act to 'dry it out'.
volvo evaporators - Aprilia
I think he means muck and condensation on the *outside* of the evap!
 

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