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Volvo 240 weak cooling after new compressor

240Volvo on Tue July 09, 2013 3:35 PM User is offline

Year: 1987
Make: Volvo
Model: 240
Engine Size: 2.3
Refrigerant Type: R12
Ambient Temp: 85
Pressure Low: 35
Pressure High: 190
Country of Origin: Sweden

Front seal gave up on original DKS compressor after 290K miles. With old compressor vent temps in the 45-50F range on a 90 degree day.
Put in Seltec compressor with new drier, flushed condenser, evacuated for 2 hrs, no leaks. Friend mechanic charged with 3 pounds R12 by weight from 30 lb cylinder he bought off of Craigslist several years ago.

Now vent temps are in the 55-60F range while driving, and around 62F when stopped. Clearly not as cold as before the compressor replacement.

checked some temps with a digital probe.

90F ambient
115F at condenser inlet
100 condenser outlet
58F at both inlet and outlet of evaporator
38F at compressor inlet
200 psi high side
35 psi low side
all measured at 2000 rpm

At idle, high side went to 240 psi and low side went to 50 psi

On a 75F ambient day, the vent temp is much colder, around 45F

I wonder if the R12 he bought off Craigslist is pure? Would that account for the difference?


TRB on Tue July 09, 2013 11:28 PM User is offlineView users profile

It sure can.


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mk378 on Wed July 10, 2013 9:23 AM User is offline

Watch out for hydrocarbonn substitutes that have "12" in the name, but aren't R12 at all.

Cussboy on Wed July 10, 2013 2:55 PM User is offline

Good ideas; I'd go over to his shop, and take a look - a good look - at his refrigerant canister. R-12 is dichlorodifluoroethane, and only R-12 made by DuPont or maybe licensed by DuPont can be called freon or freon-12. It might be a different chemical. Take some good detailed photos and upload to and link here so we can see.

And how did he weigh in the 3 pounds? I doubt that he has a dedicated R-12 recovery/weighing machine, there's not that much demand for such these days, mostly only specialized AC repair facilities would have those (I'd guess that AMA has this capacity in Phoenix). Did he just use a bathroom scale, or maybe a more-specialized scale? Did he accidently get air into the system between evacuation and charging?

From your description of the ambient temperature of 75F, sounds like you're not in the Phoenix area, or I could do analysis on the refrigerant itself if you could capture a few drops in a tightly-sealed bottle.

240Volvo on Wed July 10, 2013 6:05 PM User is offline

Thanks for the help guys.
I am located about 30 miles east of Los Angeles, so the temps vary some, but can hit 105F in the summer.

When he charged the system he used a digital postal scale and tried to account for the amount in the hoses. The sight glass has only a few occasional bubbles. After he evacuated the system, he put in some R12 and then opened the high side slightly to allow a bit to escape. He said that would purge any air if there was any.

I am curious why the evap temp was in the 58F range while the inlet to the compressor was 38F. Is this normal?

I would like to send in a sample of the R12, how would you suggest I do it? Can i take it from the vehicle?

By the way he bought the 30lb container off Craigslist, but it was half full at the time. Could someone actually put non R12 in that container?

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