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Tech Article

Volvo 240 Heater Valve Replacement

Last Updated: 12/05/2016
   
Parts Group: Heater valve
This article discusses the heater valve for the Volvo 240 series with the main focus being on removing the old part and installing a replacement. If you're not here for removal-and-replacement guidance, but would rather buy a used unit from us, guaranteed to work and fit, then please select the link below.Then again, if you love car-geeky subject matter, here's an in-depth technical article that I wrote about this part, a few months ago: Volvo 240 Heater Valve Technical Analysis

The information herein is based on my own car.

Yesterday, I replaced the heater valve on my 1991 Volvo 245 wagon. The process was a success but next time I’d do things in a different sequence, with more of a focus on beginning the work with the hoses warm, and having as much work as possible done ahead of time, before removing the hose clamps. With the hoses warmed up, they are more flexible and easier to remove from the old valve and push onto the new valve. In the passages below, I arranged the steps into the sequence I recommend, not the sequence I followed.

Tools I needed:

  • Two Vice Grips of the variation optimized to clamp shut heater hoses with a reduced chance of damaging them
  • For the hose clamps, a 7mm socket on a ¼" ratchet
  • A smaller-yet socket, for the screw atop the valve, that wedges the cable into position
  • A medium-sized Philips screwdriver, to remove the screw that wedges the sleeve of the cable against the valveand the two screws that attach the heater valve to the mounting bracket
  • Various screwdrivers and pliers to coax the hose off and onto the heater valve nipples
  • Various screwdrivers and picks to coax the grommet off and onto the ducting
To prepare the area, I loosened the corner of the carpeting by the accelerator pedal, and I folded the edge of the carpeting away from that area so that coolant would leak under the carpet, not onto it. Into the crease opened up by the carpet being folded back, I stuffed paper towels to catch the coolant that would leak. I know of no way to prevent at least some minimal amount of coolant leaking.

I loosened the top screw that wedged the cable onto the valve, and I removed the black Philips screw that I wedged the sleeve of the cable against the valve. I removed the little bracket that came loose when I removed the black screw.
I removed the glove compartment. I also removed the two screws that attach the heater valve to the mounting bracket.

Attached to the valve is a hollow copper wire that goes through a grommet, into the ducting. I removed the grommet, the copper coil and what it was coiled around.

Up to that point in time, the engine could have been running with the heater on, this making the hoses more flexible. Obviously, there is the risk that the coolant is so hot that it can burn you so ... be logical. Let the hoses cool down as much as needed, too.

With the glove compartment removed, I could see one of the two heater hoses to be clamped., and I clamped it there while keeping in mind that at some point I’d want to yank that heater hose towards the driver side, and if the clamp prevented that, it needs to be placed better. The place to clamp the second hose was in the general area of the valve but as far away from the actual valve as possible, so as to not clamp too close to the nipple.

I preferred to use a 7 mm socket to undo the screws on the hose clamps but a short screwdriver might work too. I loosened the hose clamps and then put them onto the new valve while the hoses were still toasty warm and flexible. Hopefully your new valve has a replacement grommet too, attached to the base on the copper coil -- otherwise it’s a tricky business and might need some lubrication. Also, to get the grommet back into the ducting required some was used for some patience.

It is difficult to see in that area, so I found it useful to use the sort of flashlight that has a magnetic backing so that it stays in position without me having to hold it manually.

The remainder of the steps were as you’d expect: essentially the reverse of the disassembly process.

I had a hard time getting the hoses to slide onto the new valve all the way so I got them somewhat securely onto the nipples, then tightened the hose clamps and then ran the engine with the heater valve open, so that the hoses once again got warmed up, and thus more fixable and better able to slide into their final position.

One important subtlety is that the copper coil is in close proximity to the heater fan. I found this out the hard way, by shoving the coil too deep into the ducting, so that the fna blades impacted the coil and made an alarming noise. Simply puiling it out slightly fixed the problem.

I like to use a dial thermometer to measure the heat of the air flow out of the heater vents. With the valve closed, the air coming out was ambient: 50 degrees or so. With the valve open, 110 degrees or so. Better!
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