850 Turbo A/C doesn't get cold

I have a 1996 850 that I just bought in November and when I turn on the A/C it doesn't get cold. I looked at the manual and it called for
a certain type of freon which I couldn't find in Autozone. I was wondering what do I need to get some cold air blowing? Break this down like I am an eight year old. I read something about converting the system over to a r134 whatever that means.
Thanks
DJ
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It's time to take it to a refrigeration professional.
The manual indicates your system uses R-12, which is not legally available to unlicensed people because of our signing on to the Montreal treaty two decades ago. However, that may not be true; your system may actually use the newer R-134a. It was made around the time of the changeover, and I thought all '96s used 134a. Stickers under the hood will tell the truth.
Here's how it boils down. R-12 could be recharged by a moderately experienced Do-It-Yourselfer. R-134a really can't. DIYers can't get R-12 any more (and it is shockingly expensive now anyway) and can't make good use of R-134a. After all that the problem may be something else entirely. A professional can figure it out.
Mike
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Your 850 will be new enough that it will use R-134a, at least in the US it will. I know Volvo switched the 240 series in '91ish so I'm not sure why they would have stuck with R-12 in other models.
AC is not difficult to work on in a mechanical sense, but you'll need some special tools and there's a bit of a learning curve. You need to figure out why the AC isn't working, you can't just add refrigerant willy-nilly and expect it to work. You have to figure out how much refrigerant is in the system and then carefully add more if required, the quantity is somewhat critical in order for the system to operate at anywhere near peak efficiency. If the system is empty, a leak needs to be fixed, in which case you also need to replace the reciever/dryer cannister, vacuum down the system and then charge it.
In a nutshell, if you're not an experienced shadetree mechanic who doesn't mind scrounging or fabricating some tools, leave the plumbing side of the AC to a professional beyond measuring the pressure to see if you have anything resembling a charge in the system. It's possible for there to be electrical failures such as the pressure cutout switch, clutch, or even a fuse which can prevent the AC from functioning.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com writes

Had the same trouble with 1997 V70 SDI.
Have you checked the fuse?
--
Mike Lindsay

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DJ, if you're in the US, the system is already 134. My '93 240 uses R134. There are a number of things that *could* be wrong with the system -- fuse, low refrigerant, misgapped compressor clutch, bad dryer, leaking heater valve, etc.
A decent A/C guy can diagnose this for about $50 with the repair costing whatever it costs. My '97 850 turns out <40F air at the vent and some days gets so cold I have to up the heat to keep from being uncomfortable so it *can* be done -- BTW, I'm in Texas and it tends to get hot here.
Chuck Fiedler Nothing but Volvo since 1974
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