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> '96 850 - Overheating, Heater Core To Blame?, '96 850 has developed a sudden overheating problem. Heater Core?
Lord VolvoMort
post Aug 1 2009, 12:19 AM
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Drives: 1996 850



Greetings!

Our '96 850 has developed a sudden overheating problem. Most-likely cause that I have found (after reading up here on Volvo-Forums) is the heater core.

Last week was one of record temps (100-115 daily). We ran the a/c for the first time in years. Ran it on three consecutive days, less than 10 minutes each. We noticed it was getting humid the last time and stopped using it. Assumed it just needed a recharge.

Today we drove for an hour in high temp (85 to 90 degree) stop-and-go traffic. Did not run the a/c. Nothing seemed to be going wrong. Restarted the car after shopping and headed for the freeway. On the entrance ramp we noticed a strong smell of coolant. Within seconds steam was fogging the windshield, shooting out of the vents and from the steering column (!), and the low coolant light blinked on. In that order. Got it off the freeway FAST.

Got to a gas station. Water dripping from underside behind drivers seat. Reservoir bone dry. Filled up and drove. Overheated within a mile. Another gas station, more water. Drove with the heater on full. Coolant temp stayed steady. Made it 20 miles back home.

She is now parked. Water on the drivers side floor and the floor behind the passenger seat. Smells strongly of coolant.

Purely amateur diagnosis: Heater Core. Feh.

Questions:

We had the coolant system pressure tested, cleaned, and refilled in April. Could this have anything to do with our present issues?

Any advice or instruction on how to replace/repair? Links are made in several posts here to repair instructions, but do not seem to be active.

Considering how far we drove with the coolant issue, is it possible we could have done any further damage? If so, what parts/systems should we check to ensure a complete repair?

Thank you all for your time, greatly appreciated!

Lord Volvomort
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some-beach!
post Aug 1 2009, 06:03 AM
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Drives: '96 Jeep Cherokee Country ~ '98 Jaguar XJ6 ~ '96 Volvo 850 Turbo wagon Platinum Edition



QUOTE (Lord VolvoMort @ Aug 1 2009, 01:19 AM)
Greetings!

Our '96 850 has developed a sudden overheating problem. Most-likely cause that I have found (after reading up here on Volvo-Forums) is the heater core.

Last week was one of record temps (100-115 daily). We ran the a/c for the first time in years. Ran it on three consecutive days, less than 10 minutes each. We noticed it was getting humid the last time and stopped using it. Assumed it just needed a recharge.

Today we drove for an hour in high temp (85 to 90 degree) stop-and-go traffic. Did not run the a/c. Nothing seemed to be going wrong. Restarted the car after shopping and headed for the freeway. On the entrance ramp we noticed a strong smell of coolant. Within seconds steam was fogging the windshield, shooting out of the vents and from the steering column (!), and the low coolant light blinked on. In that order. Got it off the freeway FAST.

Got to a gas station. Water dripping from underside behind drivers seat. Reservoir bone dry. Filled up and drove. Overheated within a mile. Another gas station, more water. Drove with the heater on full. Coolant temp stayed steady. Made it 20 miles back home.

She is now parked. Water on the drivers side floor and the floor behind the passenger seat. Smells strongly of coolant.

Purely amateur diagnosis: Heater Core. Feh.

Questions:

We had the coolant system pressure tested, cleaned, and refilled in April. Could this have anything to do with our present issues?

Any advice or instruction on how to replace/repair? Links are made in several posts here to repair instructions, but do not seem to be active.

Considering how far we drove with the coolant issue, is it possible we could have done any further damage? If so, what parts/systems should we check to ensure a complete repair?

Thank you all for your time, greatly appreciated!

Lord Volvomort


Yep, it sounds like a heater core. The related links work for me. You may have blown the head gasket, warped the head or ? You'll need to get it checked out. If so, a $70 tow would have seemed like a real bargain.
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Lord VolvoMort
post Aug 12 2009, 08:24 PM
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Member No.: 12,547
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Location: USA
Drives: 1996 850



Yep, it's the heater core.

Good news is that the head and all gaskets appear to be good. Indeed all systems are solid - except of course for the swamp that has the front and back seats.

Bad news is there are no heater cores (new, refurbished, or used) within 50 miles and the 850 is our only means of transportation.

So, again, a few questions for you all...

1. Can the heater core be by-passed and driven SAFELY for this distance (aprox 1 hour each way)? 'Bear, if you're out there, I seem to recall you mentioning a few months back that you are familiar with this procedure, any tips?

2. Bhaskara3's post titled "How To Change Changing Heater Core, instructions attached" (Apr 12 2006) has links that promise to reveal the mysteries inherent in replacing the heater core. Sadly, when clicked I get this message:

"Sorry, some required files are missing, if you intended to view a topic, it's possible that it's been moved or deleted. Please go back and try again."

Anyone know where/how I could get the instructions?

Thanks in advance,

L. Volvomort (Esq.)
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FCPGroton
post Aug 13 2009, 11:47 AM
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Drives: 2002 CLK 430



You can get the heater core here.

As for installing it, you can find that here. It is for an S80, but it will help give you and idea of what is evolved.
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