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1997 S90: dash vents..occurs with the temp control selector…

During hot Summer days when...
During hot Summer days when I start up the car (1997 S90), the air flow will not come out any of the main dash vents. This occurs with the temp control selector in the dash vent position or the auto position. All of the air flow is coming out of the foot vent. After driving and keeping the A/C on for about 10 minutes, you can hear the deflector [valve] in the center console change position and the air flow will start to flow out of the main dash vents and finally cool things down. In addition, once the A/C air has been properly coming out of the main dash vents, the air will be deflected down to the foot vent [even with the temp control selector in the main cabin position] when the car starts to accelerate from a stop from red light. The temp control valve was replaced [very expensive] and the problem still occurs. in addition. all of the 90 degree rubber elbows that were dry rotted on the vacuum lines going in to the firewall were also replaced. Can you provide any help, please?

Lloyd
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Answered in 11 hours by:
6/28/2010
Edward
Edward, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Volvo
Satisfied Customers: 3,769
Experience: I've had 10 years of experience on the car line at 2 Volvo dealerships, Quality level Volvo tech.
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Hello, the problem is your vaccuum bellows. Thats a common problem on that particular model. there is a rubber diaphragm in the vacuum bellows that moves the distribution doors to the proper setting. When the diaphragm breaks you'll get the symptoms your describing. Most likely it is the double diaphragm bellows which is on your drivers side up on the top of the heater case. Now, this is not an easy job. Actually the proper way to replace the vacuum bellows is removal of the dash and heater case. You have to split the heater case and remove the nuts that fasten the bellows to the heater case and those are on the inside. BUT, there is a short cut. You can cut the heater case with a die grinder under the bellows. Then you can get to the nuts that hold it to the side of the case. After replacing the bellows your can epoxy the piece you cut off the case back in place. Here's some more info on this problem. You might leave this up to a shop unless you can stand laying in your floorboard on your head for a few hours. Its not a fun job.

http://www.swedishbricks.net/700900FAQ/HeatingAirConditioning1.html#960%20A/C%20Vent%20Stops%20Working%20Upon%20Acceleration


APPLICATION PART # PRICE Click to enlarge!
960 1992-1997 Vacuum Bellows Circulation opens and closes the vents OES 9463042 $ 56.92 Buy Now AC VACUUM BELLOWS Volvo 960
960 1992-1997 Vacuum Bellows RE-Circulation Cars with Auto Climate Control, opens and closes the vents OES 9463040 $ 38.95 Buy Now
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Edward
Edward, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Volvo
Satisfied Customers: 3,769
Experience: I've had 10 years of experience on the car line at 2 Volvo dealerships, Quality level Volvo tech.
Verified
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Thank you for your promt response! Just called the Volvo dealer...$1050-$1200 to replace the vacume bellow (s). Are there one or two bellows in the system? Is there anyway the deflector valve can be taped or wired to the vent position. The other positions are rarely used.

Thank you,
Lloyd
jeez. Didn't know it was that high.. Yes Lloyd, It can be fixed to the vent position. But, your gonna have to do some dash work to make that happen. If you'll pull down the lower dash panel on the drivers side and remove the knee bolster. You can see the Vacuum Bellows on the side of the heater case. I believe the one that breaks and causes your problem has a yellow and blue vacuum line going to it. But I'm not positive on the color. Anyway, It will be the bellows with 2 vacuum lines going to it. not just 1. When you can get the air to blow out the defrost I'd pull both vacuum lines off that bellows and plug them with a screw so you don't have a vacuum leak. Then the door will most likely stay in the vent position. I haven't done that before but it makes sense to me. I'm in North Carolina where are you?
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Yor message was cut off at the end, Edward. Can I fix it to the vent position without taking off a bunch of parts?
cut off? thats weird let me post it again.

It can be fixed to the vent position. But, your gonna have to do some dash work to make that happen. If you'll pull down the lower dash panel on the drivers side and remove the knee bolster. You can see the Vacuum Bellows on the side of the heater case. I believe the one that breaks and causes your problem has a yellow and blue vacuum line going to it. But I'm not positive on the color. Anyway, It will be the bellows with 2 vacuum lines going to it. Not just 1 line. When you can get the air to blow out the defrost I'd pull both vacuum lines off that bellows and plug them with a screw so you don't have a vacuum leak. Then the door will most likely stay in the vent position. I haven't done that before but it makes sense to me.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
That sounds like a good alternative instead of the extreme price to replace the part. I am in Richmond, VA.
There has got to be an independent import shop around there that works on Volvo's correct Lloyd? I would think they had seen that problem before as common as it is. Might get out for 4 or 500 at an independent shop. I'd do it for $250 plus parts but I'm 4 hours away. If you want to try my earlier suggestion to get it on vent that may work.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Thank you for all of your time, Eddie. You have been most helpful! Let me try to fix the valve to the vent position and see how that works.

>>>Best regards,
Lloyd
You got it Lloyd! I wish there was a quick easy fix but there really isn't.. Good luck!!
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