Engine Tune and Performance; Symptoms:                                        FAQ Home
Volvo Maintenance FAQ for 7xx/9xx/90 Cars                                                                                                                     Version 5.0


General Symptoms and B230 Engines:

Poor Performance, Idle Surge and Hunt: Dirty Throttle Body

Poor Idle; TB Cleaned; Now Idle is Too High

Fuel Intake Carbon Removal

Notes on Cleaning Up Fuel System Deposits

Engine Dies After Starting, Won't Idle; Needs Intake Cleaning

Poor Idle: Injectors Need Cleaning

Idle Speed Control on Late 7xx/9xx

No Start; Frequent Stall or Hesitation: Basic Diagnostics

Intermittent No Start or No Warm Restart: Radio Suppression, FI Relay, RPM Sensor

No Start; Tear in Air Duct Intake Hose

Runs Rich; Black Smoke; Poor Acceleration: ECT, TPS, FI.

760T Floods and Stalls: ECT?

Cold Start, Dies; Dirty or Faulty IAC

Intermittent Stalling: Faulty IAC or Hall Sensor

Slight Hesitation on Acceleration; Several Diagnostic Checks

Bad Air Mass Meter Symptoms

Hot/Cold Air Box Thermostat and AMM

Misfire and Broken Distributor Wires

Engine Failure/No Start: Bad ECU

Hesitation, Poor Idle: ECU Failure with Codes 2-3-1; 2-3-2

Poor Cold Weather Fuel Economy; Bad Engine Knock Sensor

Rough Running; Bad Knock Sensor

Rough Running; Cylinder Diagnosis

Hunting Idle; Faulty TPS or ECT

Idle Surge and High Idle: Vacuum Leak

Slight Backfiring While Coasting; TPS Mis-adjusted

Sudden Cut-Out While Driving; Electrical Causes

Engine Cuts Out at Speed: Ignition Power Stage Failure

Intermittent Ignition Shutoff: FI Relay or Ignition Switch

High-Speed Misfire, Drop in RPM

Unexplained Driveability Problems with ECU Error Codes; Oxidized Connectors

Car Runs but Won't Re-Start; Bad RPM Sensor

Car Stalls When Brakes Applied: Vacuum Leak or FI Relay

Car Stalls at RPM: FI Relay or Hall Sensor

Rich Running Problems: General Diagnostic Notes

Car Stalls; Bad FPR Likely Cause

Car Stalls During Turn; Bad Fuel Pre-Pump Likely Cause

Poor Performance; Rich Mixture Smell:  Diagnostics; Faulty FPR

Poor Perfomance, Bad Acceleration: Faulty FPR

Engine Hesitation: Bad FPR

Fuel in Oil: Faulty FPR or Injector

Car Stalls Repeatedly on Startup: Fuel Pump Check Valve

Car Stalls, Lights Die: Electrical Ground Fault

LH-2 Cold Idle Problems -Bad ECT or O2 Sensor and Wiring Harness Notes

Car Won't Start: Neutral A/T Safety Switch at Fault

Car Won't Start; Plugged Catalytic Converter

Turbo-Specific Symptoms:

Turbo has Poor Acceleration; Diagnostics

760T Misfires; FI Resistor Pack Defective

Hot Start Problems: Faulty Hall Sensor

Hot Start Problem: Power Stage Overheats

960-Specific Symptoms (see 960 section):

960 No-Start: Sticking Valves

960 Stalls: Wiring Harness

Emission Control Problems (High HC, CO, NOx):

Emission Control Problems: High HC, CO or NOx


AMM     Air Mass Meter
ECT       Engine Coolant Temperature sensor
ECU      Engine Control Unit computer (either fuel injection or ignition)
FI          Fuel Injection
FPR      Fuel Pressure Regulator
IAC        Idle Air Control solenoid valve
TB         Throttle Body
TPS       Throttle Position Sensor
VSS       Vehicle Speed Sensor

Poor Performance, Idle Surge and Hunt:  Dirty Throttle Body. My symptoms are no power to speak of below 2000 rpm. At that point turbo boost occurs and power comes up, though no where near what it should be. The engine revs smoothly but runs out of steam before 4500 rpm. I'm left to decide if the problem is the AMM or the O2 sensor.

[Diagnoses:] Please try cleaning your throttle body (TB), it can make a world of difference and save you tons of money. If your B230FT throws oil around like mine, the throttle body can easily get crudded up and cause problems exactly as you described. I thought I had a clogged cat, a clogged intercooler, bad O2 sensor, bad AMM. All these were fine, just a dirty throttle body caused the problem.

[Notes and Tips: illustration copyright RPR, used by permission]
      Buy a new TB gasket, disconnect the throttle switch from the wiring harness, remove the throttle body from the intake manifold (3 nuts, plus the actuator rod that pops off once you release the clip. Use a small flat-bladed screwdriver to loosen the little locking tab on the end of the lower ball-and-socket. The plastic ends which have the socket & ball attachment on the link rod can break when they are removed from an old engine, have access to extras first if you remove the throttle body from the manifold. One right-hand thread, the other left-hand.) It is a good idea to remove the throttle position switch/sensor first...don't want to get any carb cleaner in that (but see the discussions below.) The gasket on my car lifted right off with no fuss, but if you have to scrape be sure to use a plastic or wood scraper so as not to damage the aluminum facing. Swab it out with clean rags and lots of good quality carb cleaner.
      [from a Jag owner] The engine breather is plumbed in upstream of the butterfly. The fumes from the breather are carrying oil and combustion vapors. When this stuff attempts to past the butterfly in the mostly closed state, the pressure (and hence temperature) drop causes the fumes to condense out of the air stream... sticking to the walls of the throttle housing right around the butterfly... a petroleum snow storm. As an aside, this buildup can cause really weird problems on cars with automatic IACs (idle air control: idle speed control). The gunk will restrict the air flow through the butterfly, forcing the IAC to open farther to maintain a proper idle speed. On some cars, you end up with the IAC operating well outside it's designed range... resulting in a major ring/hunt. Killer surging. Oh, and since the butterfly is plugged, all of the air, and breather fumes, pass through the IAC. The snowstorm happens in the IAC, ruining it. Do NOT adjust the throttle stop! Clean the gunk out. 30K is about right for a XJ40. Every 15K or less on cars without a heater... BMW, Volvo.

      Note on Throttle Body and TPS Adjustments.  For more information on adjusting idle speed on 1989+  LH2.4 cars, see Throttle Body and Throttle Position Switch Adjustment.
      This expands on the notes below and presents the official procedure for adjustments.

      [More on Routine TB Cleaning, 92 940:] Try cleaning the throttle body with carb cleaner in a pressurized can. You need to unclip the throttle linkage from the TB (see tips above regarding not breaking the clips), unclip the idle/full throttle switch plug, disconnect the two vacuum lines and the 3 in rubber hose, unscrew the three nuts holding the TB on.  Run carb cleaner through there, clean all varnish off.  Use a toothbrush if needed.  Don't spray the cleaner on the TPS.  There are tiny inside vacuum holes that lead to the vacuum tubes that may be completely plugged. Check the gasket (it will probably be useable once or twice more) or replace it, and put everything back together. This off idle bog happens on my 760T every 5-6K miles when the TB gets crudded up.
      One of the threads recommended removing the idle switch assembly when cleaning the throttle body. DO NOT DO THIS unless you want to mess up the setting and have to readjust it!!   I've cleaned several throttle bodies on LH-Jetronic FI systems dozens of times and have never had to remove the idle switch or had problems with it.  Just don't soak it in carb cleaner.
      But if you can't help yourself -- take a small screwdriver or other object that will make a fine scratch and scribe a line across the edge of the throttle sensor switch's flange and it's mounting bracket, right where the Allen screws hold it tight. Doing so will get you in the ballpark when it's time for reassembly. After re-assembly, be sure to check for the "click" when the throttle butterfly comes off its stop, and adjust as necessary.

      [Tips on aligning the TPS on re-installation:] Check the idle switch on the TB before you do anything...you should hear a distinct click RIGHT as the throttle is opened signaling the switch is telling the ECU the engine wants off idle NOW. If this switch is even an RCH slow, so will your off idle response.
      [Tips on reassembly of TB shaft spring:]  I carefully took the spring off the side of the throttle body, noticing that it was under tension... one full turn, but alas... I forgot to note if it was under tension one full turn CLOCKWISE or COUNTER CLOCKWISE.   [Response:] The throttle body spring, attached to the throttle body lug that goes into the throttle body and points out from the throttle body to the radiator goes CLOCKWISE!  The spring has a little bent-out stop that catches under the idle adjustment screw. You put the spring on so that catches... twist the dang thing one turn clockwise, put your nut on, attach the throttle control rod and it's done.

      [More on TB and TPS Adjustments from Gregg Stade] The mechanical stop is a setscrew on the forward side of the TB aimed up. It has a nut (8 mm, I think) on the underside. It's right near the big coil spring that turns the throttle to idle. When you turn the throttle and allow it to return to idle position, you can see a small arm bear against this setscrew.
      The throttle switch is on the backside of the TB, opposite the setscrew, and is locked by two small screws. It has an electrical cable plugged into it.
      With the TB off the car, I first loosened the switch so it didn't inadvertently act as a stop (very bad for the switch!). I backed the setscrew out until the throttle butterfly plate was completely, jammed shut. Then I turned the setscrew in until it just touched the arm, and another 1/4 turn. This takes the mechanical force off the butterfly, so when the throttle slams shut, it doesn't wear the butterfly or damage the switch. Don't forget to tighten the locknut, and then recheck the adjustment -- tightening the locknut can change the screw position slightly.
      Then, with the throttle at idle position (the spring forces it there), you carefully turn the switch until it goes "click". Tighten the two screws. Be sure, as you rotate the throttle (TB still in your hands) you can clearly hear the switch "click" and that it does it while the arm is maybe 0.030" off the setscrew.

      [Adjustment of Pre-89 TB, TPS and Base Idle:]  The p/n's for the gaskets you will need are 1271488 and 463766. There is an o-ring on the black knob (pre-'89 only) that you will have to remove to thoroughly clean the housing p/n 947114. Do not remove the throttle cable, but with a small screwdriver unclip the small plastic linkage lock from the throttle body and swing it up , then disconnect the throttle switch . After the housing has been cleaned the throttle stop is adjusted. Loosen the 8mm lock nut and back out the screw, turn the screw back in just till it contacts the lever. Rotate the screw another 90 degrees  and lock it down. Install the throttle switch and rotate it till it clicks with the throttle plate closed. Lock it down, the switch should make a click as soon as the throttle plate is moved . Test it several times in your hand at varying opening speeds make any fine adjustments now. BTW don't loose the o-ring on the switch if you remove it; it is not available as a spare part. With the housing back on the car,  adjust the linkage rod so that the throttle plate doesn't move when it is hooked back up. After everything is hooked back up there are two more things to do.  First, adjust the cable with the threaded piece at the throttle bobbin. You just want a little slack.  Second, base idle has to be reset. (Pre-1989 only:) For this, you will need a tach/dwell meter. You need to read engine rpm. Warm the engine to operating temp. Here s the tricky part. There is a blue connector behind the battery with nothing plugged into it . There should be a blue/white wire in the connector. Ground this wire it shuts off the idle speed motor so that base idle can be adjusted with the black knob on the throttle housing. Base idle for this car should be 700 rpm. When the ground lead is disconnected the idle should go up to 750rpm's +/- 20 rpm's.
      [More on Setting Base Idle Rate:]  Just adjusting the base idle by the set screw is not a good idea. First, you must check to make sure the throttle housing is clean from oil deposits, as above.  Upon re-assembly, the base idle set screw must be backed off, then turned in till it just touches the housing. You want to turn the screw 1/2 turn then lock it down with the 8mm nut. Remount the throttle position switch and rotate it just so it clicks then lock it down. In 1989, Volvo did away with the black idle speed screw, everything is controlled by the fuel ECM .If the throttle plate doesn't return completely and energize the TP switch, the fuel ECM doesn't know the throttle has returned to idle.

Poor Idle; TB Cleaned; Now Idle is Too High.  [Query:] Well my problem is certainly gone. It now idles at 1600 rpm, but that's a steady 1600. Did I do something wrong, or was the crud in the throttle body masking another problem? The barrel of the actuator rod is threaded on both ends, did I loosen an end accidentally? Should I take it back off and remove the spring assembly from the side of the body?   Since mine had a very short assembly on the side, is that the idle adjuster? How is it adjusted? Thanks for any help anyone can provide.  [Response: Evan]  Nope, the crud WAS the problem. Crud makes the car idle lousy and slow.  Lazy mechanics simply dial up the idle to mask the problem, rather than fixing it. You just need to dial the idle back to spec.  On the end of the butterfly shaft, the end where the spring is, there's a stamped metal plate. It has a 'leg' bent down that rests against the idle stop screw. The screw is held in place with a lock nut. loosen the nut and adjust the screw. [See Throttle Body and Throttle Position Switch Adjustment for more detail on 89+ cars and Adjustment of Pre-89 TB, TPS and Base Idle: for pre-89] Be careful, the screw head has a tendency to strip out.  In retrospect, you should have taken a minute to make sure the screw was free while the TB was on the bench.
Another thought: Before you do any of the above, make sure that the 'leg' on the stamped metal plate actually touches the stop screw at idle. Some REALLY lazy mechanics just adjust the throttle cable length at the big obvious pulley, rather than adjust the stop screw

Fuel Intake Carbon Removal. Carbon Removal in Injectors, Intake Manifold, Valves and Cylinders. Snap-On decoking machine (reported very effective by Robert Price) The machine is made by Sun (Snap-On owns them). The model is #EEFS100A and is marketed mainly as an injector cleaner that also removes some carbon. It does clean injectors but it removes carbon better! Also, try Motorvac (a variation on the Sun machine.) Other techniques: As to fuel system cleaners - BG44K is the heavy duty stuff - and recommended in Volvo and BMW TSB for removing carbon deposits, particularly from intake valves and fuel injectors. Use no more often than 2/yr, and only 1/yr if your system is in reasonable condition. Pour the can in the gas tank only with the tank full. Use it when you will be able to drive out a tank of gas in a day or two. Plan on changing the oil and filter soon after use as it can contaminate the oil with unwanted chemicals. Distributor at website: http://www.bgprod.com . You can also use a special tool with reservoir and spray attachment hooked to shop air for injector cleaning. 3 BG chemicals are used, 2 in the sprayer and one in the tank. Engine is run with chemicals spraying. Takes about 15 minutes. Results were immediate. Idle before treatment was 650 rpm now 850-900. Low speed throttle response is very smooth. These products only available to professional shops. Find one in your area and try it out- I highly recommend this product. BG 44K is very effective.

[Caution from Zippy] Volvo specifically recommends AGAINST using any fuel or oil additives. I know they used to suggest it was okay, but then decided that catalytic converter damage is done when additives are used. Since about 1993 gasoline improvements have made additives unnecessary.

Notes on Cleaning Up Fuel System Deposits [Mark Burns]
Additive Packages
Some of the high end aftermarket fuel additive packages are very effective at removing deposits in the fuel injectors, intake ports, intake valves, combustion chambers, and exhaust valves. One of the best products available is the STP Complete Fuel System Cleaner. It can out perform Techron and other Techron-based products like Slick 50 and Gumout Regane with respect to intake valve and combustion chamber clean up.  These aftermarket packages can remove any and all deposits in the system if used at sufficiently high or repetitive dosages although there is some risk of crankcase lube contamination. All deposits in the system are carbonaceous. The structure of the deposits in the injectors is different from the structure of the deposits on the valves is different from the structure of the deposits on the combustion chamber, but all are carbon based. The chemistry that is able to remove each type of deposit depends on the temperature profile that each area sees and the thermal stability of the detergent in the additive package.  Since October 1, 1993, all gasoline marketers are required by the federal government, according to the Clean Air Act Amendments, to deliver a minimum level of deposit fighting additives in their fuel. Up to that time, deposit control additives had been used to differentiate branded gasoline. The major gasoline marketers usually added at least a competent package to all of their grades. The lesser known brands rarely added any additives at all. About thirty percent of the gasoline sold were not additized. The minimum level of deposit control performance that all gasoline must meet are two standard deposit control tests-the ASTM D 5500-97 BMW intake-valve deposit test and the ASTM D 5598-95 Chrysler 2.2-liter port-fuel-injector test using a test fuel that encompasses the sixty-fifth percentile of U.S. fuel severity parameters. This federally mandated requirement for gasoline has established a lowest common denominator for deposit control performance.
Gasoline additive suppliers have found ways to minimize additive dosage and "beat" these two tests. The result has been an overall reduction in the deposit control performance of U.S. gasoline. While a fuel marketer may have data demonstrating that their specific additive package once passed the BMW intake valve test and the Chrysler port fuel injection test, there are no guarantees that the gasoline they are marketing will provide adequate performance in any consumer's engine.  There are many commercial gasoline, available in the market today, including some major national brands, that, when tested in fleet test vehicles representing various drivetrain configurations, have developed more than 1000 milligrams on the intake valves. This is ten times the maximum amount of deposit allowed for passing the BMW intake valve test. There is even some evidence that the very low levels of deposit control additives being used by some gasoline marketers actually make the base gasoline create greater levels of intake valve deposits in the average engine than the unadditized gasoline would. It could be suggested that more consumers on the road today could benefit from the occasional use of a high quality aftermarket additive package than ever before. In some gasolines on the market, use of a high quality gas treatment package would certainly be advised if a driver wants a greater degree of certainty that their engine will be kept clean.

Other Approaches
There are other approaches to the fuel system cleaning besides adding aftermarket fuel additives. One is to use water as described in many of the messages posted to this list, one is the fuel tank/vacuum induction fuel system cleaning approach that many quick oil change places use and one is the high tech, expensive (some of these machines cost $4000), and complicated machine approach.  Water is a great deposit remover. It is just like steam cleaning the combustion chamber.  Unfortunately, the heavy components of fuel and fuel additives are liquid during the combustion process and don't get completely burned. About 25% of the active fuel additive components (the oligimeric detergent and fluidizer components) end up in the crankcase. These components may or may not be compatible with the oil.  As you can imagine, water does not burn. It may leave through the exhaust valve as steam or it may end up in the crankcase. Do you want 25% of the total amount of water used in the cleaning process to end up in the crankcase? You can change the oil right away or you can run the engine long enough and at a sufficient speed to distill off the water. After any of the serious fuel system cleaning, the oil should be changes anyway. You can draw your own conclusions about the effects of water in the crankcase and the prospects of getting all of it out, but you can clean up the engine just as effectively without the use of an oil insoluble actor. There are some systems out there that use water in the fuel system cleaning. I think these systems usually employ some kind of very expensive machine. I don't think they clean more effectively than the fuel tank/vacuum induction fuel system cleaner. Cars are sensitive to deposits, but not that sensitive.
Tank/Vacuum System Cleaners
The fuel tank/vacuum induction fuel system cleaner cleans injectors, intake valves and the combustion chambers through the action of the bottle of additive poured into the fuel tank. The vacuum inducted intake system cleaner is added through a vacuum line behind the throttle plate. The purpose of the intake system cleaning is to remove deposits left by the PCV and the EGR as well as aiding in cleaning up the intake valves, ports, and combustion chambers. One brand that is very effective and provides a high quality product is C.A.T. Products makers of Run Rite.
The tool used to induct the intake system cleaner into the vacuum line is usually a metal bottle with a tube in it that connects to a hose with a fitting on one end to connect to a vacuum line close to the throttle plate on the vacuum side. There will be no problem as long as the engine is running, it will suck in the cleaner. If the engine stops but the fluid keeps flowing, you can hydrolock the engine and damage valves, rods, pistons and gaskets. These tools often have a valve in line and a clear portion in the hose after the valve to adjust the feed and monitor the flow so that it is a steady drip. The fluid usually used in the bottle is an air intake/throttle plate cleaner package. Only the additized fuel in the tank goes through the injectors. Based on what I have seen, this should work as well and any injector cleaning scheme on the market.
Fuel injectors deposits are not as much of a problem now as they were a few years ago. New injectors are more resistant to deposits and most gasolines, as poor as they are at controlling most deposits today, still can keep injectors (and carburetors) clean. STP Fuel System Cleaner works very, very well. Two bottles should have them spotless and will clean the valves, ports, and the combustion chambers.  The fuel tank/vacuum induction fuel system cleaning makes an immediate difference in the way the car runs. It must have something to do with the EGR and PVC deposits. You can also try to replace the PCV.  The beauty of the vacuum induction fuel system cleaner approach is that it doesn't require a degree in mechanical engineering and a master mechanic certification to operate: pour a bottle in the tank then find a vacuum hose and suck a bottle of the intake system cleaner into the intake. I don't think the systems that utilize the expensive machines actually clean the fuel system any more thoroughly.
The problem with the machine systems hooked up to the fuel rails is that they can not clean the parts of the system that the fuel does not get to.  Cleaning through port fuel injectors can clean the injectors, intake ports, intake valves, and combustion chambers. Cleaning through the  vacuum line cleans the entire intake manifold, intake ports, intake valves and combustion chambers while the fuel additive added to the tank cleans the injectors, intake ports, intake valves, and combustion chambers, albeit at a slower rate as the fuel in the tank is burned over about 350 miles. I think the fuel tank/vacuum induction fuel system cleaner approach may, in fact, provide a more thorough cleaning.
I personally do not believe that the expensive and complicated machine/high pressure systems have any advantage over the simple approach that we are using. They do, however, have a major drawback in that there are more things to go wrong. The technician has to disconnect the fuel pump and connect to the fuel rail. There is big potential for disaster with this approach if the technician is not highly trained. It is pretty easy to pull off a vacuum line and suck in the cleaning solvent. If the vacuum line is not reconnected properly, the car will not run, but it is easy to diagnose and fix. It is also unlikely to burn the car up if the technician doesn't do something right.
The walnut shell blasting can be done without removing the head. It is a fairly difficult operation and requires the right equipment. You also have to make sure you remove all of the residual walnut shell. All in all, the aftermarket fuel additive packages or the fuel tank/vacuum induction fuel system cleaning are probably the least intrusive approaches.

Engine Dies After Starting, Won't Idle; Needs Intake Cleaning. My '85 with 230F had a similar problem. It would die after starting and put into gear when cold and Idle was not stable. Here's what I did to fix it: At this point it was running better but not perfect. Car now runs very strong.

Poor Idle: Injectors Need Cleaning.  See Injector Cleaning for more information on how to solve chronic idle problems due to dirty injectors.

Idle Speed Control on Late 7xx/9xx.  On late model cars such as yours, the idle speed is controlled by a bypass system.  When your foot is off the gas, the throttle plate is fully closed and a separate idle control valve admits the required amount of air to get the engine to idle at 750 rpm.  This separate valve is controlled by the computer.  No adjustments are possible.  It sounds like the linkage to your throttle plate may be out of adjustment.  I have a 1990 Turbo model and I think yours is very similar.  I have adjusted the linkage on mine, but I used a factory service manual while I did it.

No Start; Frequent Stall or Hesitation: Basic Diagnostics.  [Query:] I have an 88 740 non turbo 150k miles. Intermittently the engine will stall typically at lower speeds or idle. It will not restart unless I turn off the ignition and back on again as if this resets something (the computer?).  Also there is a stumble or miss when starting out from a stop. This is fairly consistent.  Another symptom is that intermittently at cruising speed of say 60mph the engine appears to cut out for only a half second, this will continue several times a minute until I shut off the engine and restart.  Plugs and wires good, throttle body clean, fuel pressure OK, O2 sensor OK, have checked all connectors that are easy to get at.  It appears that the computer sometimes gets out of whack for some reason and wants to be reset. Any suggestions?
[Basic Diagnostic and Preventive Maintenance Checklist from Paul Grimshaw]
You've either got a fuel or spark problem.  Here is a basic diagnostic checklist: Hope this helps.  Remember the merits of maintenance before trying to solve any recurring problem.

[Response: Boris] Do the spark plug test next time you have this failure.  If you have a spark, then a fuel injection relay is probably the culprit.
[Response: Mark Klein]  Sounds like you've been fairly thorough already.  There is a radio noise suppression relay on the coolant reservoir which can go bad and cause a variety of similar symptoms including not running at all.  Be sure the fuel pump relay is in good shape. It is the white one in the 2nd row back on the far left. Check the date code printed on the side. If it is the original, it wouldn't hurt to replace it anyway.  The Hall sensor sender wiring (pre-89 cars) coming out of the bottom of the distributor can short out against the distributor housing if the plastic connector breaks.  This is quite common but I doubt if this is giving your symptoms.  The FI control unit itself can go bad. One of the more common circuits which fails is the one that grounds the fuel pump relay and, in turn, turns the fuel pump on.
I doubt if an air mass meter would give the symptoms you're getting but you might try removing and reconnecting the electrical connector a few times.

Intermittent No Start or No Warm Restart: Radio Suppression, FI Relay, RPM Sensor.  [Query:] Sometimes the ’88 749GL just won't start. It seems like it's not getting gas when this happens, but after sitting for awhile (a few hours, overnight, or occasionally just a few minutes) it starts right up like nothing is wrong  [Editor:]  If your car fails to start until after it has cooled down, the three items to check are the rpm sensor, radio suppression relay and fuel injection relay solder joints. [Response 1:]  Try the fuel injection relay. Find the relay in your center console relay bank and tap it to see if this restores fuel flow (starting immediately).  [Response 2:] I have a 90 740gl that had the same problem. When you're cranking the engine and it won't start, is the tachometer needle moving a little? If not, as mine didn't, I believe you want to check into the RPM sensor. Check the RPM sensor located on the back of your engine, connected to the bell housing.  The wire runs up the back of the engine compartment towards the drivers side. Look for the part number on the wire and check if the part number ends with 399. This rpm sensor has a heat related problem: common for it to cause a no- start but able to start a little while later. Since I replaced mine for about 30$ I haven’t had the problem. [Editor: post-88 cars have this sensor; pre-88 cars have a Hall sensor inside the distributor.]  See also the Radio Suppression Relay

No Start; Tear in Air Duct Intake Hose.  [Query: David Smith, courtesy UK Volvo Club] For the last six months it has been getting harder to start. Up to now there has been no problem - has 170,000 miles. Fuses are OK and I replaced the distributor cap, rotor, installed a new wire set and replaced the spark plugs. I also noticed that one of the wires leading to the coil was also in very bad shape at the coil end. I snipped off some of the wire and replaced the female connector. I’ve been to two dealers who put it on the computer ‘scope’ - no problem shows up. One dealer cleaned the throttle body (dirty) and the other installed a new crank case sensor. A third dealer said it may be a poor ground (all seem OK) or a computer module. I said that nothing showed up on the computer analysis at two different dealers - and he said that it probably wasn’t the module in that case. Very recently it just wouldn’t start. It turned over OK and I unsuccessfully tried to jump start it from two different vehicles, a light truck and a V8 Chevy (using a good jumper set). There was spark from the plugs when turning over. We also sprayed di-ethyl ether in to the engine via the fuel injection system and engine fired OK when turned over. Tried again - turning over OK - but not starting. However, just three hours later it started up with no problem on its own and has run OK for 3 days. From what I can gather I suspect that it may be an ECU problem - but nothing has shown up on the computer scope at two dealers.  [Later reply from David:]  A local mechanic found a small tear in the large diameter air hose (has the bellows) that runs from the air mass sensor (and air filter end) up to the throttle body. He did a quick repair using a sealant. Since then everything has been fine - no more starting problems. It's very easy to inspect this air hose - just undo the clamps at either end - make sure they are tight when you put the hose back on! I spoke to another Volvo dealer recently - regarded as the best in Toronto - and they said that this air hose vibrates - hence the need for the bellows section. In addition the material used to make the hose does start to perish over time and this may lead to some brittleness and tears appearing. When that happens - it can lead to all sorts of problems they claimed. The replacement hose costs just $50 Canadian.

Runs Rich; Black Smoke; Poor Acceleration: ECT, TPS, FI.  [Query:] I have a 1985 740t with 244,000 miles and a m47 manual transmission. It has the 230ft engine that is all original including the non-liquid turbo without an overhaul. The car runs rough throughout the rpm range and put out black smoke while doing so. Lots of black smoke. Other times (less and less) it runs like a top, no problem. I replaced the fuel pressure regulator but it did not help. I am getting about 43psi at idle. When it is running in the bad mode the fuel pressure is still 43psi. When I drive the car I have to accelerate either very easy or in wide open throttle to get the car to go. It is at its worst just as boost comes on. Any Ideas?  [Response 1:] Here's one idea, but it really applies to the non-turbo engine -- so I could be a million miles off base on yours.......  The fuel mixture is influenced by the block temperature sensor (Engine Coolant Temperature ECT  see Diagnosing ECT Failures ). A cold engine requires more  fuel, and a warm engine needs less fuel. A cold sensor is a high electrical resistance. An intermittent open condition of the sensor, the connections, or the wiring harness will "trick" the FI ecu into thinking it's about -60 degrees. It will pump in tons of fuel.  On many of the engines -- and again, I'm not positive about yours -- there are two sensors. The sensor for the dash gauge is in the head, about under the intake runner for cylinder #2. The sensor for the FI system is in the head, about under the intake runner for cylinder #3. Tough to get to.
I helped fix a situation (on a '90 740, non-turbo, Rex-Regina system -- yours is Bosch) where the connector had pushed out of the plastic housing but made intermittent contact with the spade connector in the sensor. Some days, it ran great. Other days it flooded so bad it wouldn't always start.  Fixing that stupid problem made a world of difference!
[Response 2:]  Also..... be sure the throttle switch (Throttle Position Sensor TPS) is working and adjusted, and the AMM is operational.
[Response 3:] Very similar situation in my '86 745T drove me nearly crazy for about 2 months. It was a leaking fuel injector

760T Floods and Stalls: ECT?.  [Query:] I have a 1986 volvo 760 turbo with 207,000 miles on it. I recently purchased and at the time it was running on three cylinders and had sat for about six months. I replaced the flux amplifier and it ran on all cylinders. The man who sold it to me also told me that he had an intermittent problem... It would stall out occasionally. He was true to his word...If it is cold (running about 15 min. ) and you give it too much gas it starts to flood out. If you floor it while it is flooding out it starts to catch on the other cylinders and eventually will go. If you stop the car while it is flooding out it will either stall or run on 1 or 2 cylinders. One time I disconnected the map sensor while it was flooding out and it started to idle normally. While driving behind the Volvo it spits black smoke when it is flooding and sometimes even when it isn't acting up a little bit of black smoke will come out of the exhaust. The problem clears up if you drive about 30 miles on the highway at constant speed. After that you can stop it idles pretty good.... misfires a tiny bit.... and you can take off like a bat out of hell...also about a week ago I tried to start the car and it would only run on 1 cylinder, then not at all. I pulled the plugs and they were all fouled I put in new plugs and it fired right up. I tested to make sure every cylinder was firing and they were...is it my computer?? map sensor???
oxygen sensor??? (the O2 sensor must be changed every 30,000 but will it make the car flood out??? or the distributor,,, which seems pretty clean.
[Response: Don Foster] I'd consider looking at the temperature sensor or connections to it. There are two sensors -- one for the temp gauge, one for the FI ecu. The gauge sensor is a one-wire device, the FI temp sensor is a two-wire device.  The FI temp sensor is mounted in the head, under the intake manifold, approximately under runner #3. It's not impossible to get to -- just almost. (The gauge sensor is under runner #2 -- ignore it.)
The sensor is an NTC thermistor -- that's "negative temperature coefficient", or as the temperature drops, the resistance rises. If the sensor fails or if you have a bad, broken, or corroded connection at the sensor (or anywhere in the harness going to it) the FI ecu measures high or infinite resistance. The ecu thinks it's about -100 degrees, and sends tons more fuel to the engine.   And if it's an intermittent problem, your engine can be running fine and then go into gas overload 5 seconds later. And vice-versa.   I helped fix a problem in a '90 non-turbo with terrible intermittent flooding. We found one connector in the sensor plug had "loosened" so when the plug was pushed onto the sensor, the connector got pushed back up the plastic housing and sorta dangled freely -- one second it touched, the next it didn't. It took hours to zero in on this tiny failing.  See more at Diagnosing ECT Failures

Cold Start, Dies; Dirty or Faulty IAC. [Symptoms:] Cold Start: Car starts immediately with no throttle application, idles smoothly for about one second, then hesitates and dies. Ditto for my 1990 245DL. Starts up cold for one second, then dies. Sometimes, all cranking I wish to do will not restart it. If I sit and wait about 5 minutes, it will start and run like a kitten, with no problems. I have replaced all spark plugs, s.p cables, rotor, cap. If it is a computer problem, can I fix it? [Suggestions:]  Check the IAC (idle air control- This provides for more air, or faster idle on start up. The fact that it starts readily when cold indicates the cold start injector is working properly. See hints below.

[Symptom:] Poor idle. [Diagnosis:] Clean the dirty Idle Air Control Valve. I should have remembered. The car did not start at ALL. So, I took out, removed the two hoses and cleaned it by spraying it with engine grease remover. It had a lot of dirt in it. The Idle Air Control Valve is located under the intake manifold; around the second cylinder. It is about 3 inches long and about 1.5 inches in diameter (I do not have one next to me so these dimensions are from my memory.) It has two rubber hoses connected to it through a "T" connection. It also has a snap-on electrical plug. This is most likely your problem. Here is how I clean it:

If there is no improvement, repeat above process 3 or 4 times. However, if you see measured improvement, just continue cleaning it until you are satisfied. If you still have problems, then either your IAC is dead and must be replaced or the problem is somewhere else. [Editor's Note: See the IAC rebuilding procedure noted below.]

Poor/Surging Idle: Idle Speed Control Motor.  [Tip from Anonymous Source]
I have a 1987 model 780 with about 115K miles. Just wanted to share my experiences:
About 10% of the time my Idle would start to surge between 200 and 1200 rpm while sitting at a light with the foot on the brake.  This up and down action would load up the engine with fuel and it would start emitting black smoke. It seemed to be somewhat related to engine temperature.  Occasionally it would get bad enough to kill the engine, but at highway speeds it seemed to run fine.  I first looked at the idle speed motor, but it appeared to be functioning properly when the voltage was applied to the terminals per the normal checks. I then performed the disassembly and cleaning of the idle speed motor as described in this web site. Even though the inside of the motor was reasonable clean, I went ahead and polished the commutator.  I detected that the bearings that the rotor turns on were a bit gummy so I cleaned it well and lubricated it with a bit of graphite.  Ever since this little operation it has been idling like a champ. I suspect that small bits of commutator crud and wear on the brushes may have been creating dead spots and poor response to idle demands form the processor.

Intermittent Stalling: Faulty IAC or Hall Sensor. [Symptom:] Intermittent stalling/no start condition on an 86 740 (b230F) manual trans: occasionally dying (engine suddenly has absolutely no power, but the dash lights do not come on) while driving on the expressway and around town. After pulling over to the side, the car invariably will restart and seem to run fine. No rough idle or other problems were noted.

[Fixes Attempted:] Several months back (per list advice), I replaced the fuel relay, which up until the last week seems to have cured the problem. Over the last couple of days, the car has started acting up again in the same manner. Now, the car also, when it does restart, sputters and runs extremely poor for awhile, then goes back to normal. Also, in the driveway, I was able to get the car to reliably stall when he put on the brakes. I replaced the idle speed motor, which seems to have affected the brake-induced stalling (plus the car idles much better), but not the intermittent stalling. He also noticed a bare temp-sending wire, which he cleaned and re-taped (but we don't suspect that has to do with this failure.) Per past list advice, I've suggested

  [Diagnostics and Suggested Fixes:] Below you'll find two procedures [Composite from Steve
   McChesney and others]. Hope they will help. [Fix 1: Idle Air Control "IAC" Valve Rebuild] Save $150 by fixing IAC instead of replacing it. Symptoms: Solution: clean the slip ring inside the IAC (note: the IAC on newer LH cannot be dissassembled.)   The IAC is a metal can beneath the intake manifold, with two 1" hoses that feed extra intake air around the throttle body to control idle RPM, and reacts to loads like A/C or heavy electrical (alternator) loads.  The "valve" has three pins, the center is a constant 12V supply, and the outside pins are pulsed by the ECM to ground, to either open or close a circular shutter -- looks something like a revolving door.  (Except mind would only open, and close halfway.) [Another Tale of IAC Repair:] The following Idle Air Control Valve repair might be of interest to fellow tightwads who experience a HIGH idle problem. I removed the bad IAC. The valve was not frozen, but moved quite easily back and forth. That's when I decided to open it up and look inside. Opening involved prying open several tabs around the unit's waist. Out came the solenoid innards which looks like the armature of a small motor with enamel wire winding around three arms. The cap removed from the valve contains a magnetic lining along the wall and three brush contacts near the top. The top of the armature where the brushes should contact was VERY greasy. I cleaned that and the contact brushes inside the IAC cap. A multimeter confirmed that there was continuity among all three arms of the armature: ohms1to2=21, ohms2to3=21, ohms1to3=42. So apart from the grease, I could see no problems. Therefore, I put the armature back in the IAC cap. This required some trial and error because the armature keeps wanting to stick to the magnetic sides of the cap. Once back together, I bent the holding tabs back in place (keeping pressure between the two parts).

The first time I started the car after installing the cleaned IAC, the idle was still high. However, I removed the IAC again, wiggled the valve back and forth a few times, and reinstalled the IAC. I checked the resistances at the electrical connection pins and this checked out. Maybe the contact brushes hadn't quite seated themselves yet. The second start resulted in a nice idle control. In PARK, the car idled 600-700 RPM when warm as opposed to about 1600 RPM when the IAC didn't work. I've been driving with this cleaned IAC for several days now. The idle system is working fine. And I hope it stays that way! Was all this trouble worth it? Well for a tightwad, I'd have to say yes (since the IAC was successfully repaired).

[Fix 2: Check Hall Sensor] Below is the procedure to check Hall Sensor (inside distributor) for B230F/FT ignition systems: EZ-117K, EZ-118K on pre-89 cars.

Slight Hesitation on Acceleration; Several Diagnostic Checks. [Symptom:] Slight hesitation on acceleration. [Diagnosis 1:] Check the health of the knock sensor. It is an inexpensive part that "listens" to the engine, senses knock and automatically retards the timing. They get full of crud etc. and give false information. Incorrectly retarded timing will give you a noticeable hesitation.

[Diagnosis 2:] A "slightly" faulty AMM, i.e. during low air mass conditions, can output a too low "air mass" signal to the ECU causing a too narrow (lean) basic injector ON pulse width. Carefully check the AMM's wiring harness plug. Slight misalignment of the female contacts can cause ECU input problems.

[Diagnosis 3:] Clean throttle body.

[Diagnosis 4:] Is your temperature gauge correct? Is the engine heating up properly? I had the exact same problem and it was finally "cured" several weeks ago after the dealer replaced the thermostat that controls the temperature gauge. Now the engine is a lot more smoother and the car has regained some of it's power!

[Diagnosis 5:] The fuel pressure regulator is worth a careful inspection. The fuel pressure must rise instantly in response to the vacuum signal fall that accompanies a throttle opening. A hardened diaphragm might be causing the fuel pressure that has been lessened by the fuel pressure regulator to not increase as rapidly as it must and you won't get the appropriate fuel quantity in spite of lengthened injector duration. Try an acceleration test with the vacuum hose pulled off fuel pressure regulator. Easiest way to check the FPR is to pull the vacuum hose off of it while the engine is idling. If the idle picks up, your FPR is good.

Bad Air Mass Meter Symptoms. [Would someone give me give me a description of what a bad AMM feels like?] My single experience with a bad AMM was that the engine would barely run at all and was not driveable. I think it reverts to "limp home mode" if you pull the connector off. But I still think you should clean the throttle body. Since the purpose of an AMM is to regulate air flow to the throttle body, it usually sits right on top of the air cleaner or close by and there is some sort of connector on it. Remove the connector and see how your engine runs. It should run like crap, i.e. no power, idle fluctuates wildly, or engine stalls. If this is similar to the problems you're experiencing now, chances are that the AMM is bad. Another thing to check is that there aren't any air leaks between your AMM and the throttle body.

More than one inexperienced technician has failed to cure an intermittent driveability problem by replacing the mass airflow sensor. Even if your pinpoint tests suggest a failing sensor, always inspect the sensor's harness connector for loose terminals first. Be sure all the terminals are locked securely inside the connector before you condemn the mass airflow sensor. Some routinely remove a harness connector and then reinstall it to see if "reseating" the connector solves the car's problem. But reseating the connector on this Bosch airflow sensor may complicate diagnosis by pushing the loose terminal outward. So, your quick-fix trick actually makes the car run worse than before!

Hot/Cold Air Box Thermostat and AMM. Unless you live in a very cold climate I don't recommend replacing the cold/hot intake air valve and plumbing. The valve has a tendency to fail in the hot air position thus supplying your turbo with pre heated air and having a tendency to fry your air mass meter. In addition it restricts the incoming air flow as well. Check out the Turbobricks net page ( http://www.turbobricks.org/). There are instructions there on doing an "air box mod" that recommends and explains how to do away with the hot/cold air valve and plumbing and redirect the incoming air to the air box.

Though I don't know why the thermostat isn't available for 740 but it is for 240. In the case of 740 they want you to buy the complete air duct w/ thermostat. I bought a thermostat for 240 and fitted in my 740 and I checked its operation. It works perfect. The air flap is closed at +5C (41F), +10C (50F) half open, +15C (59F) only cold air.
[Editor's Note: See Air Box Thermostat Change for more information about changing the thermostat in 7xx/9xx cars.

Misfire and Broken Distributor Wires. [Symptoms: Misfire is very pronounced under heavy throttle -- think of a mechanical bull -- which leads me to suspect something in boost control. But the tach also shows about 150 RPM variation at idle, which hints that the misfire exists under no load conditions.] I had this happen to my 85 as well. It turned out to be the connector for the distributor wires under the dist. cap. had broken, and the wire insulation had disintegrated. The wires were grounding out on the distributor housing. For a while it would run fine, then it would miss like you say. I went around the barn on this and spent significant time on things that made minimal difference. I don't know if I broke the connector off or not, but the wires had fallen to the insulation eaters that befall Volvos of that era. I ended up putting in a new distributor because it was convenient and the car had completely died. I did find out that a new hall effect pickup can be installed by drilling out the rivets on the old one and screwing on a new one. To check, put your hand under the bottom of the distributor and see if there is significant wiggle in the connector there. The cap should hold it tight, but on mine, once I was told where to look, it was obvious what the problem was.

Engine Failure/No Start: Bad ECU [This note is from Car Electronic Service in the UK at http://www.carelect.demon.co.uk/index.html ]Applies to: 1988 to 1992 740 and 740 GLE with Bosch Jetronic LH 2.4 fuel injection ECUs part numbers 0280 000 590/591/594/595. Symptoms...No prior warning, car usually breaks down on road or fails to start when warm (loss of fuel pump control).
Mechanic diagnoses fuel injection ECU failure - loss of fuel pump relay control.
Diagnostic checklist:

Hesitation, Poor Idle: ECU Failure with Codes 2-3-1; 2-3-2.  [Tip from Al Nettleton] To summarize my original message (they don't always stay around long enough to pick up the thread for a status update):

                       1. Error codes 2-3-2 & 2-3-1 (Mixture too lean or rich)
                       2. O2 sensor replaced with no success
                       3. Volvo mechanics recommend ECU replacement & I posted the problem on the Brick board, describing specific additional symptoms
a. If the error codes were read & cleared, they come back almost immediately
b. If the ECU is unplugged (or the battery disconnected), the codes clear but come back after about 150 miles. For the first 50, or so, of these, idle is rough, next 50 - hesitation from a standing stop, the last 50 - runs well. BUT . . .
c. Running lean.
Thanks to Steve, Craig & Allison for making recommendations to check for vacuum leaks, clean throttle body, dielectric grease on sensor connectors (except O2), etc.

Successful repair required replacing the air mass meter (AMM), intake bellows between AMM and throttle body, and ECU. Parts swapping confirmed the need for all three.  One important finding - the air bellows can leak at the end connections, even though there are no cracks or holes in the bellows and the clamps are tight. Apparently they get to be so inflexible that a good seal is not possible.   We should now be ready for another 100K.

Poor Cold Weather Fuel Economy; Bad Engine Knock Sensor. One suggestion, replace your knock sensor. I did it on mine and I notice the difference, the temp. outside is 0 to +5C and I'm getting about 24mpg. I don't know if there is a way to check the knock sensor (Volvo manual doesn't say anything) but I check the resistance on the old knock sensor 0.3MOhms and the new one had 4.8MOhms

Rough Running; Bad Knock Sensor. [Symptom:] Higher idle, no power; running rough at RPM higher than idle. It jerks every few seconds and there is no pattern to it. It idles and starts fine.

[Diagnosis:] Check the knock sensor, it senses knock (no kidding) and retards the timing. When this gets faulty, it will make the engine have very poor power, lousy and jerky acceleration, but will start and idle fine. It's a small black plastic covered unit bolted to the block (ten mil. bolt) under the intake man. with a plug attached to it. One minute to remove. It "listens" to the engine. Only problem is I can't tell you what to look for when it's faulty. Mine had a cracked plastic cover and covered in oil. I put a used one in (new they're ~$40) and it's like I suddenly had a new car.

Rough Running; Cylinder Diagnosis  [Query: 1992 740/ B230F] The car is hard to start and when it does, it idles badly (everything shakes like it's running on 3 cylinders). Once the engine warms up, it runs smoothly and the problem disappears. [Response: Chris Mullet]  When it's running rough try to identify a particular cylinder that might be the problem by pulling spark plug wires one at a time until you find one that has little negative effect when removed. If you find a bad cylinder, make certain the intake manifold is properly torqued. While it's running rough, squirt something like light oil around the intake gasket in the area of the bad cylinder. If it smooths the idle temporarily, you found the problem. If not, try swapping injectors between two cylinders and see if the problem follows it. If not, try swapping injector wires. (You could do this on the older models, as injector timing wasn't particularly critical, so I assume you can do it on the newer ones.)

Hunting Idle; Faulty TPS or ECT. [Symptom:] In the last 2-3 weeks the engine idle speed can vary wildly or act normally. Specifically, sometimes upon first start the RPM's will hold at close to 2000. Then upon warming (3-5 min) the idle speed will swing instantaneously from near die out to about 1600 RPM's. This wild swing occurs only when in park or neutral and never shuts completely down. The RPM's will stabilize when in gear (auto trans) and holds at about 1000 RPM's and will hold at about 1600 RPM's when taken out of gear. The symptom is intermittent. When the engine is acting normal the idle in park is about 1000 RPM and in gear about 750 RPM. I cleaned the throttle body (for the third time since owning the car) about a week before the first time the unusual symptoms occurred. I have disconnected the AMM wiring during an episode and the engine speed changed but I still am not sure if I know what to look for there.

[Diagnosis:] What you describe could be the FI computer trying to limit the rpms at idle so it doesn't over rev. The control loop is rather crude and is there only to save the engine from self destroying. Something is telling the computer to rev up and it does and then cuts off things at 2000 rpm. The most obvious guess would be that the throttle position sensor (TPS) is mis-adjusted or broken. Make sure that it "clicks" just before the throttle plate closes. Also, you may want to check that the FI-unit actually sees this "click" by looking at pin 2 of the FI unit. It should be 0 Volts at idle and battery voltage when the gas pedal is depressed a bit. You say you cleaned the throttle body BEFORE the symptoms started appearing, so perhaps there's a chance you accidentally didn't adjust the TPS position properly?

The other thing to check is the engine coolant temp sensor (ECT). Look at pin 13 of the FI unit. When the engine is warm you should see 350mV. See Diagnosing ECT Failures for more information.   In addition, since you've disconnected the mass airflow sensor (MAF), the computer may have gone into limp-home mode permanently which will cloud the diagnostics, so you should really check and reset any error codes stored in the system before you do anything else. However, unless the Check Engine light has come on the MAF disconnect didn't trigger any code setting.

Idle Surge and High Idle: Vacuum Leak  [Query:] Idle surges at times between 1200-1600 RPM when car not under load. Idle Control Motor? Other?  [Response: WBain] You have a vacuum leak. Check all lines especially at the throttle body. Also if it's a turbo, look for a bad intake manifold gasket.

Slight Backfiring While Coasting; TPS Mis-adjusted.  [Query:] The car is a 945T and, after fully warmed up 30-45 minutes on the highway), makes a "pupp pupp pupp" sound when on the highway and backing off the accelerator. The sound seems to be emanating inside a "tin can" and is not loud at all. If I had to guess, I would say that unburned fuel/air mixture is getting into the exhaust system.  [Response: Abe Crombie] The injectors should go off on coast. This is controlled by the fuel control unit being able to see closed throttle via the throttle switch. If that isn't adjusted properly or has a faulty internal switch then the injectors may not be off on coast and you may very well be hearing a weak backfire in exhaust.

Sudden Cut-Out While Driving; Electrical Causes.[Symptom:] On occasion, it will just completely cut out on me going down the road. No sputtering, just "dead". Usually it starts back up on its own recognizance as I coast for 50 yards or so. Sometimes it does not, but if I pull off and let it cool down for 5 minutes, it starts right back up, and does not cut out again for a couple weeks or so. [Opinions:]

Engine Cuts Out at Speed: Ignition Power Stage Failure.  [Query:] My 1990 740 GL Wagon (186,000 miles) stalls intermittently with the tachometer immediately dropping to zero. It does it while cruising on the highway or while idling. I'm able to restart it sometimes with the clutch if I'm moving along, otherwise with the key after I get to the side of the road. If it sits for a few minutes that seems to help in restarting. It appears that all other electrical components are not affected when this happens (radio works, blower, flashers, etc.). It now happens almost daily, but started months ago happening 1-2 times a month, then 1-2 times a week, etc. It's getting worse. My mechanic has replaced some likely components: FP relay (behind fuse box), radio relay (on the coolant reservoir) and crank sensor (with the white band - I had replaced this at 90K as well). I also had a cracked distributor cap that was replaced. Plug wires are in good shape.  [Another similar case:]  My symptoms were, the tach dropping to zero and then the engine would bump start at speed and at a stop the car would shudder and then die unless the motor is revved up at a stop to bump start the car.  [Response: Lincoln] I would check your power stage, it amplifies the signal from the computer to the coil. I had the same thing happen to me two months ago. I think another person had it happen to them too. I think I paid $90 for the part and $100 for them to find the problem. The part is located to the right of the battery on the fender.  [Response 2: Fred Guest] In our case it is caused by a bad connection at a plug connecting the power stage mounted on the left inner fender. We unplug the connector, clean the spade terminals with emery cloth and squeeze the female connectors with needlenose pliers if we have them with us, then put it back together and it is fine for a while. [Editor’s Note: use electronic connection de-oxidizer instead]  I believe the round things on the fender have something to do with the fuel injection. Since your tach goes to zero I expect you have a similar corroded connector problem - but probably in the ignition system rather than in the fuel injection.

High-Speed Misfire, Drop in RPM. [Symptom:] The engine idles and runs very smoothly until the engine is pushed to RPMs exceeding about 3,100 to 3,200 RPM. Once those RPMs are reached, the engine begins to shimmy, shake and bog down such that RPMs (if the accelerator pedal is held down) actually drop down to about 2,200 RPM. Only when the 3,100 RPM "wall" is breached does the problem manifest itself. The problem occurs regardless of whether the car is being driven or is sitting in neutral. This is an 89 745, 230F with an engine from a 93 940. I have swapped or replaced the following items since engine replacement (and since discovering the problem) without any noticeable effect occurring re. the 3,100 RPM wall problem: cap and rotor; spark plugs; spark plug wires; all fuel injectors; fuel pressure regulator; in-tank fuel pump (new); fuel filter (new); and crankshaft/RPM Hall Effect sensor(new). I also tested the fuel pressure under static and load conditions. Under static conditions the fuel pressure on the high side of the fuel rail is about 45 psi. Under load conditions (i.e., engine running) the fuel pressure is about 40 psi, and does not decrease when the 3,100 RPM "wall" is hit (it actually increases a little bit to about 42-43 psi). The "Check Engine" light is not on. I disconnected the air mass meter when the car was idling with no noticeable effect on performance occurring.

Intermittent Ignition Shutoff: FI Relay or Ignition Switch.  [Query:] I have had my Volvo 760GLE for over a year. Currently it has 214K miles. Lately it has been cutting off (the ignition) while driving. It happens only when the car is warm, say 10-15 minutes after driving. It first started while driving on the highways. Without any prior signal it would abruptly shut of f. (indicated by all the dash lights coming on) once or twice it start back up on its own a second or two while still cruising and I would drive as usual.  Sometimes I would coast it down to the side of the highway, try starting a few times, wait, try again, and it would start again. By the way it shuts off, it seems very unlikely that it is a fuel system problem (does not sputter or hesitate, just shuts off abruptly) Looks more like an ignition problem: could it be the ignition module, coil or simply a poor ground ?   [Response 1:] Try removing the fuel injection relay and replacing. Your symptoms sound very much like a failing FI relay. Many of them fail through solder fatigue on the back of the board inside, and you can try to R&R the unit by resoldering where you see cracks or dull solder. FYI, the FI relay is above the fuse board under the cigarette lighter. Take off the pop-on cigarette lighter cover, remove the two screws holding the storage box and pull the box out.  You then have full access to the relays. The rectangular white one in the middle row, driver's side, is the FI relay.   I carry a spare relay around in the back of my 1990 740 in case of failure on a long trip.  They seem to last around eight to ten years.  [Response 2:] In addition to the fuel relay mentioned the ignition switch can do that to you and it is certainly a candidate to be failed at 214K miles.  I would replace it and see, if it's not that then it won't be wasted effort as it will fail soon if it has not already. The switch can somewhat be checked by twisting ignition key a few degrees either way the next time it does its shutdown number on you.

Unexplained Driveability Problems with ECU Error Codes; Oxidized Connectors. The recent steamcleaning problems with a 240 and connector problems with another 240 bring to mind a recent Volvo Tech Service Bulletin from March, 1993 which describes a procedure for cleaning, de-oxidizing and protecting engine electrical connectors to eliminate driveability problems when unexplained error codes appear at the ECU. Apparently, they started using protective grease at the factory in 940 chassis numbers 128400 and 945: 079100; before this, the connectors are unprotected. No 7xx cars have grease applied at the factory. It helps to have a Volvo wiring diagram at hand to locate all of the appropriate connectors, each of which has to be disconnected, cleaned and greased. You use a cleaning/deoxidizing spray such as "DeoxIt" from Caig (available at electronic stores) and a low-temperature silicone dielectric (non-conductive) grease for electrical connectors, available at auto stores. Don't use "OxGuard", which is conductive. You turn off the ignition and disconnect, clean and grease the following connectors leading to the sensors noted: DON'T do this to the oxygen sensor connector. The deoxidizing spray is applied to both connector halves, then you squeeze the grease in and around the connector (but don't fill the protective boot), then reconnect. After everything is back together, you turn on the ignition and start the engine. They note that this procedure is supposed to be used for driveability problems or if oxidation is noticed, but I can imagine that it would be good practice as a PM technique on higher mileage engines on older 240/7xx cars.

Car Runs but Won't Re-Start; Bad RPM Sensor. I recently posted a starting problem with a 1991 240, where it would start fine when it was cold and would start fine hot if restarted immediately after cutting off the engine. However, if it were left for 10 minutes or more after cutting it off hot, the starter motor would just turn and turn until it finally started - sometimes it did not and the battery just ran down. As it turns out, it was the RPM sensor, which is also a crankshaft position sensor. The heat soak after turning off the engine made the sensor open circuit most of the time - during starting, apparently, the computer did not pick up enough crankshaft position information to start the car. However, since the car ran fine if it did start, the sensor must have been intermittently putting out a signal, enough to update the computer in order to correctly operate the fuel injection and ignition systems after starting. After replacing the sensor, I have had no further problems with starting. Just thought y'all might like to know the solution to this problem, in case your brick ever acts like this. Thanks for all your inputs to my problem.

Car Stalls When Brakes Applied: Vacuum Leak or FI Relay.  [Query:] I am having a problem stalling under hard braking.  I have had it checked for vacuum leaks and they appear OK.  It only happens when the car is warm and I apply the brakes hard.  [Response 1:] I would look in the direction of the power brake booster.  Right after you brake, you fill up the booster with air, which has to be evacuated by the engine.  If your idle is somewhat shaky, throttle plate is out of adjustment or you have a lazy idle air motor the idle can drop enough to stall it.  The check valve in hose from intake manifold to booster has an arrow on it indicating the direction of installation  Take it out of the line and suck on it to see it opens and shuts correctly.  [Response 2:] Check the solder joints on the fuel pump relay. Cracked joints will sometimes cause a warm relay to drop out when the engine speed drops and the alternator slows and the system voltage drops.

Car Stalls at RPM: FI Relay or Hall Sensor.  [Query:] Car is 1986 740T with B230 engine and A/T. Occasionally, while accelerating, RPM at approx. 2500 the engine will start to hesitate, choke, and die. I pull over to the side of the road where it will restart on first attempt. I take off and all is well for days and weeks. I thought that once the engine shuts off, and the car still moving  from inertia I could move the shifter into Neutral, and restart the  engine. Starter will Not even engage. However, with the car stopped, it will start in Neutral. Why is this ? Fuel pump relay is about a year old. Other than this, car runs and idles fine.  [Response 1: FI relay] It sounds like the fuel pump relay is cutting out. Behind the ashtray is the fuse box and relay panel. About the ashtray should be the lighter and a storage bin. Pull the lighter out and remove the square piece of trim , there are two screws , remove them and the whole box should come out. The fuel pump relay should be the relay located directly below the big red round one. It is rectangular and white the  current p/n is 3523608 . The relay should have six terminals on it.  [Response 2: Hall sensor] The easiest way I know of checking the distributor is to remove it with the plug for the pickup still attached. Turn the key to the run position, and spin the dist.  If the injectors start clicking the pickup is good. If the pickup is bad , good news bad news. The good news is there is a replacement pickup p/n 1346792 ( the black plastic plug is also available it doesn't come with the pickup p/n1346793)  The bad news , the pickup is riveted to the distributor body, and you run maybe  a 50/50 percent chance of breaking the housing. A rebuilt distributor is available from Volvo it comes with a new cap and rotor, but more importantly a new shaft seal in the housing that is not available as a spare part (dist p/n 8111214)  Either way get new o-rings for the dist. p/n 969330 & 969331.

Rich Running Problems: General Diagnostic Notes.  [Tips from Duane Hoberg] For the LH system injectors to function properly, three items are sampled at all times and are used to determine the injector pulse time based upon the fuel pressure at a specific pressure. Those items are critical to a normal running engine.

Causes of Running Rich Problems in LH Systems.

The idle control valve only controls idle. It allows measured air to bypass the throttle plate based upon a specific fuel pressure and the tach signal.

Car Stalls; Bad Fuel Pressure Regulator Likely Cause. [Variety of "car won't restart or is driving along and stalls abruptly" problems.] There have been a number of these problems recently--the car won't start after I drive it 20 minutes, the car won't start after I turn it off after driving a short distance unless I wait several minutes, the car made me wait 20 minutes at the grocery store then started and ran fine...ones like this, that all sound to me similar to the problem that afflicted me a while back, which was cured by a new fuel pump relay. My problem was sporadic, and the symptoms varied, but boiled down to a well-running car simply, now and then, refusing to start. Given that it now seems clear that the FPR is fairly often culprit in these cases, and given its low cost, I'm wondering if maybe trying to replace the fuel pump relay, after checking for loose wires and that the fuses are content, shouldn't be the first line of attack. What I mean is that intermittent failure in the FPR is not uncommon once you get into years and miles, it's something most of us would not have a hard time replacing, and it seems, from many of the postings, to be not only the usual suspect, but actually the real culprit. Sure, there are lots of other things it *could* be, but it seems that this is what it comes down to more than 2/3 of the time. Starting with the FPR should, on average, save most people a lot of time I think.

Car Stalls During Turn; Bad Fuel Pre-Pump Likely Cause.  See Fuel Pre-Pump Problems  for more information about pre-pump problems causing odd stalling situations.

Poor Performance; Rich Mixture Smell:  Diagnostics; Faulty FPR  [Query: Jarrod Stenberg] My non-turbo, auto transmission car has been running real crappy for a while now; I think it was gradual. Sometimes when I start it it takes forever. This can include some backfiring. When it finally does start it sometimes spits  out a cloud of smoke. It often smells like gas as well.  Seems to be running rich. The oil smelled like gas. I replaced it since this scares me for good reason. Of course this improved nothing but my peace of mind. When idling it will race a bit and cycle back down to near stall (to and fro to and fro but not REAL bad).  Things I have checked and symptoms:  Weak spark? Replaced the plugs and I have new wires. Checked the distributor cap and rotor. All are good.  I have done the easy checks for vacuum leaks: sprayed wd40 around and listened for the engine to choke on it. I am pretty certain this is not it.
[Diagnostic Notes: Don Foster]
First, it certainly could be a failing fuel pressure regulator. Pull the small vacuum line and sniff for gas -- possibly the diaphragm has a pinhole and is bypassing fuel directly into the intake manifold.  But even if no gas smell, the regulator could have increased the fuel pressure creating an always-rich condition -- this is not uncommon.
Second, my favorite is the connections at the temperature sensor -- the two-connector sensor  under intake runner #3. (The single connector sensor under runner #2 is for the dashboard temp gauge.)   This sensor uses an NTC (negative temperature coefficient) thermistor. When the temp is low, the resistance is high, and when it's hot, the resistance is low. The FI ecu adjusts the injector pulse duration based partly on this reading to compensate for engine temperature.  So a failed sensor, a bad or broken connector, corroded connections, or broken wire would create very high resistance and simulate a very cold engine (like minus 50 degrees). The ecu would adjust fuel delivery accordingly.
Third -- a bad AMM. There's always the old "limp home" trick. If you find the engine runs well (with the AMM unplugged) above about 30-35 mph, then you probably have TOO much fuel pressure. If it were my car in this case, I'd suspect the regulator.  But if the engine can't get above 30 mph, more or less, then it's probably the AMM.
Fourth [Don Willson]  Check the ground wires on the injectors. Remove the manifold bolts and solder the ground wires to the crimp lugs. Wire brush the connector and around the manifold bolt and tighten the lugs down securely. A smart mechanic said this is the first thing he "fixes" on any European car that comes in. When these ground wires develop a high resistance an injector starts to misfire sending excess oxygen to the O2 sensor which it thinks is a lean condition and calls for more gas.  Let us know if this works.
[Solution: Jarrod]  I pulled the little vacuum hose off the fuel pressure regulator and it did stink like gas. Then once started I removed it and it was squirting gas out.  I've found the problem.

Poor Perfomance, Bad Acceleration: Faulty FPR.  [Query: Aidan  ] I have a problem which I just can't seem to figure out- what would make my '89 744 GL with just a tad over 105k go from running beautifully smooth to not-so-good nearly overnight? Basically, the car has been running great for a couple of months, ever since I had some (relatively) minor work done on it. Everything has been absolutely wonderful- until yesterday evening. Literally, all of a sudden the car started giving a great deal of resistance when I would accelerate- the RPM's would jump back and forth like crazy, and the car would shudder and jerk when accelerating and idling... (like, say, at a stop light.) This is all while the car has a full tank of gas. It began to do this pretty much as soon as I started the car, but continued even after it had been running for about an hour. The temperature just dropped a great deal up here in MA, and as it was late at night after getting home, I didn't really have a chance to take a look at it. I didn't use the car again until tonight, so it had been sitting cold for about 9 hours. When I tried it was VERY hard to start, so hard that I feared that for the first time ever I wouldn't actually be able to get it started. When it did start, the engine jumped around a great deal between .75 and 2 RPM's while in Park, and the car continued to shudder a great deal even after the engine had warmed up and was put in both Drive and in Reverse. The car seems most unresponsive to acceleration when the engine is running under 2 RPM's, though trying to accelerate causes the same reaction from the engine at nearly any speed/RPM.  After taking a look under the hood, I noticed that when the engine can be seen shaking a great deal more than it should, literally jerking itself back and forth. It often sounds like the engine is just going to cut out, only to rev up again. (it repeats this process indefinitely, warm or cold.)  Without saying, the car is very difficult to drive like this, and I fear that one of these times its either just not going to start, or going to cut out while driving- both things I'm not looking forward to. Does anyone have any suggestions about what could cause it do this, or have any ideas about what I should be looking at/for? Any help/ideas/suggestions would be MUCH
[Final Diagnosis and Fix: Aidan] After fiddling around and trying a variety of different things, I've come upon what seems to be the solution- a faulty fuel pressure regulator. After replacing it first with a test part and finally a new one for $58.87, I have not experienced any kind of problem in running, idling, or starting.  I came upon finding it pretty much by trial and error- the AMM checked out and appeared fine, as did the thermostat in the air filter.

Engine Hesitation: Bad Fuel Pressure Regulator. [Symptoms:] occasional stalling engine at idle; occasional stumble at cruising speed, resulting in 1-2 seconds of deceleration like I'd turned the key off. [Diagnosis:] The bottom line is the fuel pressure regulator was bad, causing too high pressure; replace pressure regulator. This whole problem was compounded by the fact that there isn't a commonly available pressure gauge that fits a Bosch FI system; even my mechanic has a homemade one. I delayed and delayed getting the gauge in place, which would've immediately solved the problem when it first started occurring! Excuses: I was unable to get the fuel rail to unbolt from the hose to the pump either, so I eventually cut the fuel line itself, which was a two-piece construction (rubber outside, poly liner inside). I purchased Sunpro ($35) fuel gauge because it had a hose (with GM/Ford fittings) that I could remove; and I basically purchased one of every part at the local plumbing supply shop. Anyway, putting the gauge in instantly revealed too high pressure. Jumpering the fuel pump was easy too. And nothing could've been easier than replacing the pressure regulator -- two screws and it's out. The hardest part was swallowing the $80.00. Note: Imparts carries nice 1.5" fuel pressure gauges (you mount them directly in line) #153008 60psi - 1/8" 27NPT connection $21 USSummit carries nice small aluminum connector for those gauges - hose to hose to 1/8" 27NPT thread - part # SUM-G1710 $5.99 they have gauges at the same price as well.

Note: I had a hose assembly made at the local hydraulic shop. the fittings were made by GATES (the hose people) The sizes are 14mm with a 1.2 mm/pitch and a 37(?) degree JIS flare.

Fuel in Oil: Faulty FPR or Injector.  [Query:] My brother's 740  with a B230FT has gas in the oil. I lent him my fuel pressure gauge to check for over pressure, guessing that it was a bad fuel pressure regulator. Bad news is that his pressure is right on the money, I think he said about 45 psi.  Anyway, the only thing we could think of is a leaky injector that's dribbling when the car's off. The problem with that diagnosis is that if gas was leaking from an injector, the car would take a few extra turns to start in the morning since fuel pressure would be down. He says that it starts right up. I should probably have him leave the pressure gauge on overnight and check the pressure in the morning.   Anyone have any ideas?   [Response: Steve Seekins]
There are only two sources for fuel in the crankcase. First one is the fuel pressure regulator - however, this may not affect the working pressure!  With the engine running, disconnect and plug the vacuum line to the intake manifold. If fuel comes out of the regulator vacuum line, there is a hole in the diaphragm and that is the source of the fuel. Replace the regulator and change the oil and filter. This is a fairly common problem.
The second source of fuel in the crankcase is an over-rich engine. First, if this is your problem, your mileage will be terrible - on the order of 12 to 16 mpg. If so, it can be EITHER leaking injector OR a clogged injector, or possibly a bad oxygen sensor. Leaking injector can be checked by removing the injectors, leaving them connected to the injector rail. Cycle the fuel pump several times with the starter, then wipe the injector tips and observe for droplets forming. Also, have someone crank the engine while you observe the injector spray patterns (CAUTION _ RAW FUEL WILL BE SPRAYED. BE SURE TO DISCONNECT THE SPARK AND OBSERVE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS.) Look for spurts, squirts, etc - basically anything other than a nice even cone-shaped spray. Poorly atomized fuel may not burn completely and result in some fuel getting to the crankcase. Also look for a CLOGGED injector. A clogged injector will make one cylinder run very lean, but the computer which looks at the average will try to compensate by richening up ALL injectors and net result is engine running very rich on 3 cylinders and lean on 1 cylinder. Don't forget to check the cold start injector if installed - some engines have them, others do not depending on year and type of injection system.

Car Stalls Repeatedly on Startup: Fuel Pump Check Valve.  [Query:] I have a 1985 740 GLE and every morning when I start my car it will stall approx. 3 times before leaving the driveway. After this it works fine, and if I park the car and then come back a while later it starts right up and is fine. It just seems to have a problem when it’s been sitting a while, i.e. overnight and getting to/leaving for work. It has new Bosch platinum plugs as well as new ignition wires.  And this problem occurs regardless of the temperature both summer and winter in upstate NY.  [Response: Steve Seekins] This sounds like a classic fuel pump check valve problem. The check valve is there to prevent the fuel from draining back to the tank when shut off. In the AM, try ticking the starter just enough to make the fuel pump run for a second or so - but not enough to start the car. Do this 3 times, then start the car. If it starts and runs normally without stalling, replace the check valve located back at the fuel pump. Other things to check - make sure that throttle body is clean, check injector seals, wiring harness, etc. Clean, replace, repair as needed. Consider running a can of BG44K through the fuel system to clean it -particularly if this car has not had regular maintenance of the fuel system.

Car Stalls, Lights Die: Electrical Ground Fault.  [Query:] Does anyone know if the bulb out sensor box can cause a dim headlight intermittantly. Sometimes if at a stop light or parked, if I turn on the brights the engine will die. Also sometimes the rt. turn sign and bright indicator on the dash appear to be dim when they shouldn't be lit at all.   [Response:] There is a ground bar on each inner front fender. Make sure all of these wire connectors are clean and tight. I forget what else grounds here but a dirty/loose ground at this grounding point will cause the engine to die and also dim headlights. Check both ground points  for the inner fender area for being loose and/or dirty.

LH-2 Cold Idle Problems -Bad ECT or O2 Sensor and Wiring Harness Notes (BB)The block temperature sensor (ECT engine coolant temperature sensor under the intake manifold) plays a big part in cold running decisions and could pre-maturely allow the O2 sensor signal being used before the engine is warm. Because of this a cold idle problem rarely involves a faulty O2 sensor, but may involve the temp sensor and more specifically the wiring at the temp sensor. My experience is that this usually leads to quite rough running at all times, but fast idle and poor acceleration are known symptoms. With the ignition on and all wiring in place, you should see voltage at the temp sensor terminal connected to the blue (or orange) wire that goes back to the ECU. See Diagnosing ECT Failures  for more information.  No volts means broken wiring or bad ECU. A bad ECU may actually just be a bad ground at the ECU, so be warned. A cold engine should read 2-4 volts, a fully warmed engine 0-2 volts. If you see the full supply voltage of 4-5 volts (the reading you should get from the ECU when the connector is pulled off the temp sensor) then the temp sensor or its ground wire are faulty.

The temp sensor wiring goes into the wiring harness and along the firewall before joining with the O2 sensor wiring and going through the firewall to the ECU behind the right side kick panel. If you have a general wiring harness deterioration problem then a fair bit of digging and careful tracing may be required to isolate the problem. You can splice in your own repairs, but for extensive problems a total wiring harness replacement may be needed.

Automotive wiring from your local retailer is often not up to the job of being near a hot engine. If possible, make your splices using heat resistant wiring (like oven/stove wiring from an appliance parts/service shop). Also use heat resistant connectors (nickel or copper) rather than auto grade (aluminum), you should be able to get them at the same place. Heat shrink tubing can be used to insulate the connectors and can also be used to insulate short runs of bare wire. Better quality shrink tubing is available from electronics/electrical or appliance supply houses.

BTW Cheap PVC clad wire, electrical tape, shrink tubing, dielectric grease, etc. should not be used at the O2 sensor lest it melt and burn from all the exhaust manifold heat. If in doubt, test a scrap for heat resistance.

So, with wiring harness problems in mind, resolve to keep your engine compartment a little cleaner so that engine oil and road grunge buildup on the wiring doesn't hasten deterioration of the insulation. If your engine is weeping oil onto the head then get the valve cover gasket and/or camshaft seals attended to. You don't have to become a fanatic and start waxing the firewall, just use detergent and an old wash mitt and maybe the occasional spray-can of engine degreaser. When rinsing off, avoid drowning your distributor and ignition control unit. Everything else is pretty much waterproof (actually the ICU is also normally waterproof, but why take chances).

Car Won't Start: Neutral A/T Safety Switch at Fault.  [Query:]  Starter will not operate when ignition turned to "start".  [Response:]  I've had a starting problem with my 89 744GL, and discovered that the 'neutral safety switch' was the culprit. It's a device in the base of the (automatic) shifter that will only allow the car to start in neutral or park. Mine had worn to where the contact wasn't always made in neutral or park either, so I bought a new one at the dealer ($48) and it was simple enough to install.

Car Won't Start; Plugged Catalytic Converter. I hate to post another "my car won't start" question, but "my car won't start!" This is an '87 240 B230F, 196k miles, LH-J 2.2, Chrysler Ignition with Bosch Distributor. The car cranks over properly. Fuel pumps both verified running. Injectors generate "clicking" noise indicating operation. Measured resistance of all 4 injectors - all correct. Sparks happen at spark plugs. Verified distributor points at #1 when both #1 cam lobes point up. Spark plugs fire at correct time (as close as I could estimate with timing light.) Tested all I/O to ECU - all points had correct continuity/resistance/voltage per Bentley testing procedure. Tested Air Mass Meter - proper voltage & resistance on all points; no change when unplugged. Tested fuel pump delivery volume - ok. Checked resistance of coil - within spec. Suspected gas; drained tank and fuel lines, and added 3.5 gallons of fresh fuel. Installed new Cap/Rotor/Plugs/Wires. Verified proper operation of throttle switch. Compression good at 190/190/190/180. Two instances of flaky wiring noted, on oil pressure sensor and temperature sensor; verified both not shorting or grounding. All other wires look clean and almost new. Still no go. At this point, the car *almost* runs when you crank it. It sounds like it would if you just cranked it for long enough, but it never does. Occasionally, after standing a while, it will run badly for 10-15 seconds before dying. Spark plugs are wet after cranking. I have run out of things to check - I'm stumped. [Diagnosis:] Have you checked for a plugged exhaust system? [Result:] I pulled the plug from the test port just ahead of the cat, and it started and ran, with a loud hissing coming from the port. I disconnected the catalytic converter at the inlet, and found that the cat had broken up inside. A large piece had bounced forwards and become firmly lodged in the inlet, blocking almost all flow. I removed the piece, and the engine started up promptly and ran very well, albeit loudly.

Turbo has Poor Acceleration; Diagnostics.  [Query:] Symptoms: When I give it gas the turbo boost goes into the yellow, however, acceleration is sluggish.  The car fights me all through acceleration.  It starts fine and has a new turbo.  My mechanics diagnostic computer finds no problems.
[Response 1: Paul Grimshaw]  Assuming that the car has been tuned-up regularly (wires, plugs, filters (including gasoline filter)) and is otherwise in good working order, I would check the following:
1. Check for vacuum leaks.  This can be done with a piece of rubber hose attached to a propane torch.  Open the valve, do not ignite the torch, and move the hose around the intake manifold.  Whenever the idle increases slightly, you have found a vacuum leak;
2. Check the fuel pressure regulator against specification (it is around 43 psi, I believe).  If the diaphragm is shot, your engine is not receiving enough fuel;
3. Examine all of the underhood wiring carefully.  Turbos can be very hard on the wiring and you may have a number of hidden electrical problems.  I've seen 10 wire bundles almost devoid of insulation due to the effects of oil and heat.  Replace any faulty or damaged harnesses.  You could try to solder in repair pieces, but it is always better to replace the harness!
4. Try replacing the coil.  Yes, coils can be checked, but an intermittent fault in an ignition coil is very difficult to re-create.
5.  [Response 2: J. Dally]  I would also suggest checking for a plugged catalytic converter.  If
your turbo died, it probably blew oil past its seals.  That oil then clogged up your cat.

760T Misfires; FI Resistor Pack Defective.  [Symptom:] My 86 Volvo 760 turbo is running very rough.. when I tested the cylinders  the #2 cylinder wasn't firing. After many hours of frustration I found a relay which is located next to the battery. This relay is a little box with  four cylinders in it The cylinders are about 3 inches long with a radius of about 3/8 of an inch. five wires go into the box One attached to each cylinder and one going down the center. I presume the lone one is the constant power. On this box I saw one wire was dislocated. I re-attached this wire but the cylinder still wasn't firing. I then took of another wire and the #4 cylinder stopped working. I then attached the working electrode (off the box) to the #3 cylinder but it still wouldn't fire. I also though have a periodic problem. Sometimes when I am driving normally my car will start to misfire. If I floor it will eventually catch (3-4)seconds later. If I keep it floored it does go.. but when I release the gas to 1/2 it starts to putter out. Could this be the same problem? What is the name of this part? [Response:] What you are describing is the resistor pack for the fuel injectors. Only the turbo's have them. The Volvo p/n is 3531339 and Volvo lists it for $59.39 dollars US. There is one resistor per injector. We have seen the batteries corrode the connector over a period of time, from the lack of battery maintenance.

Hot Start Problems: Faulty Hall Sensor. [Note from Steve Seekins:] Note that if your car is a turbo, you do not have the crank position sensor, but you do have  a hall effect sensor in the distributor that can also be the problem (cars with the crank  position sensor do not have the hall sensor in the distributor).

Hot Start Problem: Power Stage Overheats.  [Note from Boris]   I had a hot start problem on my car. It drove me bananas. I would pop the hood just slightly after each frequent stop, and this reduced the frequency of the problem drastically. Why do you ask?  Volvos, especially the turbo models generate enormous amount of heat once parked after a drive. This heat has no place to escape. It just sits under hood for a LONG time and can damage various components.  I believed whatever part was malfunctioning must be under hood  and not on relay board. Replaced Hall sensor needlessly.  Problem was in the Power stage. Took it off, cleaned the contacts very well, and coated with dielectric grease. Next, I coated the heat sink side of it with thermal compound which to my surprise was not there before. This helps keep it cooler. For extra protection I taped a styrofoam cup over it (Yes I too can be frugal…)  Problem gone. I was stuck the other day going 11 miles in 3 hours, and the car ran fine. It was so hot under the hood, I could have baked a good lunch under there.

Emission Control Problems: High HC, CO or NOx.  Below are some generic diagnosis notes (non-Volvo-specific) to help you begin pinpointing why you failed the smog/emissions/MoT etc. tests.
[Excerpted from "Exhaust Emissions Diagnosis: The Precursor to Finding Engine Performance Problems", Larry Carley, ImportCar, June 2000 at http://www.underhoodservice.com/magnav.htm]

GENERAL DIAGNOSIS. Elevated hydrocarbon (HC) emissions usually indicate ignition misfire due to fouled spark plugs or a bad plug. But high HC emissions can also be caused by burned exhaust valves (check compression), lean misfire (check for vacuum leaks, low fuel pressure or dirty injectors), or rich fuel conditions (excessive fuel pressure, leaky injectors or a dead O2 sensor).

High carbon monoxide (CO) emissions are a telltale sign of a rich fuel mixture. On newer vehicles with feedback fuel controls and fuel injection, leaky injectors, excessive fuel pressure and sluggish or contaminated O2 sensors are all possibilities to investigate.

Harder to diagnose are elevated oxides of nitrogen (NOX) emissions. Causes here may include a defective EGR valve, EGR vacuum solenoid or motor, plugged EGR ports in the manifold, over-advanced ignition timing or engine overheating.

IDLE EMISSIONS.  A vehicle that has sharply elevated HC or CO emissions at idle will usually have a noticeable misfire and/or rough idle. The most likely causes here would be:
• Fouled spark plug(s);
• Shorted spark plug wire(s) or defective plug boot(s);
• Vacuum leak;
• EGR valve stuck open;
• Burned exhaust valve;

An extremely rich fuel condition can also cause elevated HC and CO at idle, while an extremely lean condition will only cause HC to rise abnormally. A leaky EGR valve can act like a vacuum leak and cause a lean misfire at idle.  HC and CO will be somewhat higher as a cold engine warms up because the fuel system may still be running in open loop. Until the engine reaches a predetermined temperature and/or the oxygen sensor gets hot enough to produce a good signal, the ECU will supply a relatively rich mixture while the system is in open loop. A faulty thermostat that is stuck open or a defective coolant sensor may prevent the system from going into closed loop.

NOX emissions are always lowest during idle and decel because that’s when engine load and combustion temperatures are lowest.

ACCELERATION EMISSIONS. During acceleration, the engine momentarily drops out of closed loop and receives a richer fuel mixture for more power. During this time (depending on the system), the Airflow Sensor and the TPS sensor play critical roles in controlling the fuel mixture.
Most fuel-injected engines have either a throttle position sensor or switch that indicates when the engine is at idle. When this device indicates that the engine is no longer at idle, the on time of the injectors is increased to temporarily richen the fuel mixture. The same thing happens any time the engine comes under load and manifold vacuum drops. The AMM sensor tells the computer the engine is under load, and the computer responds by adding more fuel.
It is normal to see some spikes in CO during acceleration, but unusually high CO readings indicates that the fuel mixture is too rich. Possible causes might include:
• Flooded charcoal canister or a leaky purge valve;
• Defective mass airflow (MAF) sensor,  or
• Defective throttle position sensor.

If the feedback fuel control system is working properly and there are no apparent sensor or purge valve problems, the catalytic converter may be contaminated or not functioning.
Elevated HC readings during acceleration indicate ignition misfire under load. The causes could be:
• Defective knock sensor;
• Weak ignition coil(s);
• Excessive resistance in spark plug wires;
• Arcing inside the distributor cap;
• Worn, fouled or incorrectly gapped spark plugs;
• Over-advanced ignition timing; or
• Lean air/fuel mixture.

NOX readings will rise sharply during acceleration and will peak a few seconds after the
cruising speed is reached. If the EGR system fails to recirculate exhaust back into the intake manifold, combustion temperatures will rise causing an increase in NOX. The higher temperatures may also cause some detonation (spark knock) to occur, which may be audible when the engine is under load. Causes of elevated NOX emissions during acceleration include:
• Defective EGR valve;
• Leaky EGR valve plumbing or control solenoid;
• Carbon deposits in EGR manifold passageways;
• Carbon buildup on pistons and in combustion chamber;
• Over-advanced ignition timing;
• Defective knock sensor;
• Engine overheating (check thermostat, fan, coolant level);
• Exhaust restrictions.

CRUISE EMISSIONS.  At cruise, the engine is lightly loaded and running at high rpm. Under these conditions, HC and CO should be low if the oxygen sensor and feed back control system are working properly, and the catalytic converter is in good condition.

High CO readings during cruise indicate a rich fuel condition. Causes here may include:
• Defective O2 sensor;
• Exhaust leaks upstream of the O2 sensor (check manifold gaskets and air plumbing
• Defective AMM sensor;
High HC during cruise would indicate a steady misfire or loss of compression (leaky exhaust valve).

DECEL EMISSIONS.  When decelerating, the engine will typically either lean out the fuel mixture or shut the fuel off completely (some fuel-injected engines). The computer typically uses inputs from the Vehicle Speed Sensor, TPS, Airflow sensor, and engine rpm to determine when this occurs. When the throttle closes and manifold vacuum shoots up, the computer cuts back on the fuel. Normally, HC, CO and NOX emissions drop during deceleration because the engine is no longer under load and is receiving little or no fuel.

If CO emissions remain high during deceleration, the engine is receiving too much fuel.
Causes may include:
• Leaky fuel injectors; and
• Faulty VSS, TPS, or airflow sensor.

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