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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I use automotive forums very frequently but rarely give back to the community. I wanted to share some insight. The following is just my experience and is probably not very by the book.

Basically my passenger floor mat was getting coolant on it. I searched the forums and found similar issues but nothing that matched my vehicle. I took it to a volvo mechanic for diagnosis and he said it was a bad o-ring on the heater core pipe (correct). Although he quoted me $900 to repair and said the dash would need to be removed (incorrect). The following will try to discuss my issue and my journey that took 8 hours, yet if I were to do it again it would only take 2 hours. Also my car has a previous owner and per AllData your car will only have this issue if the heater core has been replaced. I did not know that the heater core had been changed, but I guess it had.

First go to IPD or a dealership and buy new o-rings and clips. I suggest 2 o rings in case you loose one underneath the carpet...





Complete the following steps:

1. Remove battery cables (seriously... you'll see why later)
2. Remove plastic skid plate underneath car
3. Access red petcock valve underneath radiator and drain out about a gallon or two of coolant (clean container to reuse)

Inside the car
2. Remove carpet retaining plastic screw thing on the right
3. Remove the black fabric that hides the computer/fuse box thing (you can see I am very technical)
4. Peel back floor carpet from the door to the radio
5. Lower fuse box by unlocking the plastic tabs
6. Take fuse box completely out of the white metal frame, this will take some negotiating
7. Unplug some of the harnesses that are nearest the center of the car to create better access to pipes (this is why you need to disconnect the battery. I didn't and when I unplugged wires my car freaked out)

By now you should be able to see which o-ring is leaking. Mine was the lower pipe and the retaining clip had popped off as well (if yours is still on take it off by prying upwards with a flathead screwdriver where the retainer clips together).
The objective will be to separate the pipes. This is way easier then you may think. Instructions are to follow:

1. Use a smaller torx (I forget the size) and loosen the screw that is holding the pipe in place at the firewall
2. From the engine compartment pull on the hose that is connected to the pipe you are trying to separate. Note: I did not have to disconnect any of these connections, rather keeping the connections fixed helped me slide the pipe out through the firewall a little.


The hoses to the right are for the heater core

3. Inside the car you should see the pipes separated enough to access the o-ring.
4. When installing the new o-ring you must accurately seat it in the female section of the pipe. DO NOT slide over the male end... it will not compress together.
5. From the interior pull the pipe on the firewall side into the other pipe. This should get completely closed and you will not see the o-ring.
6. Reattach NEW clip (new just to ensure tight fit)
7. Reverse remaining instructions.

Good luck and PM me with any questions. I should be alerted via email and will try to help out. Really helps to have 2 people. I had my dad and I am not sure what I would have done without him. *Sorry for the lack of pictures. I must have deleted them and can't find them anywhere.

Peace!
 

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hey alexthiemann,

I just replaced these o-rings tonight and you were right about putting them in the female section first! I tried the other end and struggled for about 30 minutes before finding this! lifesaver!!
 

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Spot on with your How-To. I did this job about a year ago and wish I had your write-up and diagram. The only thing that I would add is the instruction for reconnecting the battery. Per VADIS, put the key in position II when reconnecting the battery. I did not do this at first and got an air bag light and my sun roof would not work. I thought I must have messed up reconnecting the fuse block but it was not that. I disconnected the battery, waited a few minutes and reconnected with key in position II and all was good.

My dealer didn't seem to want to do the job and told me about $900, saying that the A/C would need to be evacuated and dash pulled. Since I took the opportunity to replace my coolant, the job cost me about $30. DIY is great!

Stan
 

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Thanks for doing this write-up.

I had to do this job recently and you saved me a ton of time and money. My car had been leaking coolant through these O-rings for some time and had flooded the entire area under the carpets. I had been trying to track down the leak for a while and kept adding coolant while searching for it. In addition to replacing the O rings, I had to remove the whole interior and hose down/steam clean all the carpets to get the coolant out. It took a good few days for the foam under the carpet to dry out even after going at it with a shop vac. I can only imagine what the stealership would have charged me!

One other thing I found that helped was spraying the rings with a little silicone lubricant before sliding things back together. This made it go a bit easier and made sure I didn't twist or unseat the O rings while pushing the lines back together.

Thanks again.

Duncan
 

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I am in the process of doing this job AGAIN. Found one leaking and tried some generic O-rings from the local parts store. Unfortunately, they are too thick and I can't get the pipe to slide in. I have to wait for the Volvo parts dept to open tomorrow.
 

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Well it is not the O-ring. I replaced what I though was leaking and when I refilled the cooling system, coolant ran out the condensation drain under the car. Than means the heater core is leaking. Ugggggggg!

For now I bypassed the heater core by connecting the hoses together under the hood. No heat but at least I can drive the car.

Volvo service wants $1400 to do the job. The part alone is $568. I just ordered one from Tasca for $399 + ship. I figure I have enough experience now to DIY and save the grand.



After ordering the part, it looks like I may have had alternatives. Apparently the Mazda 3 and several Ford cars use the same heater core (according to Nissens fitment catalog). I may have been able to save around $200. I also wonder if any of the Ford or Mazda dealers would have had it in stock. Still not sure if it is an exact match though and it may be worth the extra $200 to know I got the exact part.

Stan
 

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I feel for you. Can you just plug the two hoses in to each other under the hood? I never looked that closely at them.

Post pictures when you do the repair. It doesn't look like it should be too bad, but all depends on how the core is secured in there. Remove waterfall, maybe center console for room.

Andy
 

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The hoses under the hood have some special connectors on them. I had to cut the clamps that held the hoses on these conectors, remove the hoses from the connectors and join them together.

Yes, the center console and waterfall have to be removed. It really isn't too bad to get those out. I do wonder about removing the air box and the core.
Stan
 

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I did it! I replaced the heater core this past weekend. The job really was not that bad. The hardest part was getting the air box back together and in place. That and replacing the cabin air filter (what were they thinking!). I took photos of the job but just need to write it up and post.

The old core was cracked just below where one of the pipes attach. There was no sign of corrosion. I am guessing that the metal fatigued after 164K miles or it was a bad weld.
Stan
 

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Unfortunately I don't have the air box in quite right and the dash underneath gets really hot and it gets a little hot in the car.
 

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Just did this job over the weekend. I had a leaking o-ring which flooded the passenger side footwell. I also replaced heater core which I got at autozone for $90.
Not too complicated. Worst part is removing center console and all the plastic peaces....









 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey Guys. Haven't been here for a while. Glad that this has helped some.

I was informed that the pictures are not showing. I will try to fix this soon.

Regards,

Alex
 

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Excellent how-to and pics
 

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more to the V50 o ring saga

Our V50 developed the same problem as described above. Our car is right hand drive though so it was the wifes left foot that got wet when the leak started up. The idea of the silly plastic retaining clip is a real Ford hangover and in our case with the heat of the pipe lost its tension over time slipping over the larger side of the union. After replacing the o ring I machined up a replacement and held it in place with a hose clip, a much better idea!
 

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The lower O ring is leaking on the V50 and Volvo won't have any in stock for a few days. Right now I have prevented the leak with some plumbers tape, but I need to get this fixed ASAP.

Does anyone know the size of the O ring? Trying to source something local.
 

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Old O ring vs. new.


Drained the coolant from the radiator and didn't have too much trouble getting the pipe apart. Putting them back together was the real challenge. I eventually removed the fuse box for better access.


I must say, this pipe is one of the worst designs I have ever seen in this car. Two metal pipe, mated with a tiny rubber O ring in the middle, expecting them to be held together by a plastic clip?!?! Yeah... No.
I bought a new plastic clip, but considered this to be a weak point. Especially since less than 1mm of separation in the pipe will result in a failed seal and another leak. So I replaced it with a rubber coolant line and hose clamps. It's nice and tight, even if the pipes do slightly separate and the new O ring fails, this shouldn't ever leak again.
 

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A not so elegant, yet in deed a brilliant solution.
 

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Did you install the plastic clip under that tube?

Good job by the way. Wish I would have done that. You probably done even need the o-ring and clip.

Andy

Sent from my STUDIO ENERGY 2 using Tapatalk
 

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Did you install the plastic clip under that tube?
I did not. I figured the hose would be good enough and any hose which could fit over that clip would be too big to make a tight seal against the pipe.
 

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Did you find that the leaking o ring was causing a significant leak, or just dripping coolant onto the carpet? After experiencing a CEM on the fritz, I just discovered that my carpet has got some coolant on it. It isn't flooded and that makes me think o-ring vs. heater core.
 
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