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1998 Volvo V70 XC Question: entire life of this car . .it has not started intermittently .it always reoccurs

 

Question

notagain, w/o Turbo, Denver, CO, August 09, 2009, 23:31
 Rookie

Purchased this car from a friend (for next to nothing with 85K miles -every and all recommended services were always done on this vehicle!! , , i would say at unusually high maintenance expense!1)). .with full knowledge of the continuous problems they have endured with it not starting.
They purchased it about 2 yrs old from the manager or dealer rep of the local Volvo dealership . . .they had it for approx 6-7 yrs . .always a problem.
I purchased it in Dec 2008 and have put over 3K into repairs . .the electrical/starting problem still persists (Repairs involved various other issues as well . .
It has not started now prob 7 times in the last 2-3 weeks.
I'm so frustrated I have been online now over 5-6 hours today and m very excited to have found your site but I'm too exhausted at this moment to list all the repairs that have been done to try to cure the problem . . and ll the $$ spent to have people troubleshoot piossible shorts etc.
I can tell you it has had batteries replaced within only about 13 month , same with the alternator (which would be the thirdalternator!)which I just replaced .had been repaced 13 months earlier . .(of course only a 12 mo warranty) , battery cables replaced, just did the air mass deal and immediately the CEL (Check Engine Light) went on again . code indicated some kind of barometer was bad).but someone said maybe the car doesn't quite realize - this was a mechanic- that the air mass has actually been replaced -he turned off the CEL . .and it didn't come on again . . YEA . ) I'm saying Yea as theyCEL has never stayed off since I've owned the car for more than 10-14 days after it been serviced . . never!!!(prior owners had same constant problem with the CEL constantly on!) it has been a couple months now and no CEL on at all !!!!! the longest time ever!!. . not even now when it fails to start . .Takes a jump immediately . .battery tests fine . .sometimes it is toally dead and other time accessory equipment that was left on will come on for a split second then its totally dead . .after being jumped I can drive as little as a couple miles stop at the grocery and it starts fine when I come out and for another 2-3 days -sometime weeks . . nothing makes sense . . .usually these episodes do not require that I reset the radio and clock (as you do when you change bateries and totally unconnect electrical system . .but once out of the recent 6-7 non-starts did require I reset both of these . .weird . .and that also happened once several months ago . .when I had like three other incidents in a row . .then fine for 6 weeks or so . .
The independant volvo mechnic that I'm currently trying is beside himself ( used to go to his dad for prob 15 year when I had three different P1800's ). .he pulled door panels and got wiring diagrams to try to trace shorts, resolddered a batt cable , found a few sort-of loose wires into the fuse box, did the new alternator and I can remember what else .that was in January , ,no problem for about 5 month . .now its back with a vengence . I'm scheduled to take the car in again tommorrow and decided this a.m there has to be an answer somewhere on the internet, this model has been around too long and of course I now know way too much about the high servicing needed and the problems of this model now . .I'm not certain I can afford to keep this car!!! But the only clues from all these hours f research that I did . .I think actually from your site are maybe there is a problem with the RPM guage or the fuel gauge . .(I don't nkow if this is from general repair info or info on this model . .assume the car has these parts. . .but not sure.)
After a long converstion with this mechanic on Friday - four non-starts in 2 days - . .we decided to try replacing the ignition electrical only - not the cylinder - although the key has to be jiggeled after the car starts. .when it starts . .to get the gear shift out of park . .it used to be only ocassionally but its more frequently required now to get into gear from park . . .????? I've told him this . .he said yes a problem but not connected to starting problems . . .
I do like this car . . but I'm single and it is hard for me to get it in and out of so much servicing -transportation wise . .and guess who ends up jumping me 9 out of 10 times . . the person I bought it from . .he didn't get rid of his problems , ,but, couldn't sell it to anyone in good conscious!! So, this is a horrible situation . .last week I got stranded with my 91 yr old Mom on oxygen .
Well, I'd be glad to submit my entire servicce records , ,and what I have of their records . .quite a bit . .which I've kept religiously . .if anyone can help . . .I have treid to notice all symptoms everytime this occurs . . but the symptoms seems to be diff each time . .there have been clicks , ,short whines . . but never the same noise or symptoms . . but I write it all down in case there is some consistancy that I'm not recalling.

.had a 1990 740 for 15 yrs . 120K great condition . .but getting very old . ..needed this newer car . .I figured I could afford to put some $ into this one . . but nothing seems to fix it. Any possible suggestions would be appreciated . . and I really like your site and learned a lot today . plse excuse all my typos and inversions . . I'm so tired . & need to get up early to get the car in . .

Also liked the "DISC" on the dash answer under the 1998 V70 XC Q&A's . . I have that happening too . .now I finally know why . . that is irratic too so I alway forget to ask about it . .think I tried the manual once . but it had always been a mystery . THanks so much!
Susan alias "notagain" in Denver

1 Answer
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  • Answer #1

    Bret Bodas from RepairPal Test Shop, August 10, 2009, 13:38
     Master

    Susan, You have done an excellent job of providing as much information as possible. I need to get a few things straight before I can give you some answers.
    Is your vehicle a 1998 V70 XC?
    Do you have any aftermarket items on the vehicle? (e.g. Car Alarm, engine block heater, GPS?)
    The main problem you are having is that the battery is draining, causing a no-start condition?
    How long has the car been sitting when you find the battery dead?

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    notagain, August 11, 2009, 07:51
     Rookie

    Gosh Bret . .was so thrilled to get your answer yesterday afternoon ,was just leaving to p-u the car with the new ignition electrical, which was only 145 total, they had to recharge the battery and then it was very low after about 5 repeated starts, not holding load, it is an Interstate date 10/07 -he said it should be replaced free under 2 years . .so that is my mission today . . . but we all know it wasn't a faulty battery (it and the alternator were replaced 10/07 and as I mentioned the alternator had to be replaced again after 13 mos. -just out of warranty - (also they were volvo replacement parts. . not knock-offs or whatever you auto people would call them!)
    To try to answer your questions:
    My car is a 1998 V70 XC . . no aftermarket parts that I'm aware of . . .
    I'm not certain if the problem is battery drain or someother electrical componant . .but it is a starting problem . . . one which does not present itself with the starter clicking . when I spoke to the mechanic ysterday and suggested the other two ideas . . RPM relay & fuel pump relay . .he said there is strong fuel pressure . . and strong "crank" so not RPM sensor . . .and we talked about the PNP switch and his comment was " PNP switch will not allow starter to click- n/a here is this case".
    So after replacing electrical part on iginition & charging battery it is running . . haven't tried this a.m. yet . .but need that new battery . .and we prob still have the problem of why is draining it and eatting alternators.
    Is there any way that if that spring in the ignition fails to spring back that it could cause a drain in the electrical system . .I'm thinking it is either ON or OFF . . .
    This the mechanic couldn't answer when I asked - he said he also thought it would either be on or off . . wouldn't the accessory stuff still be active if the car wasn't really turned off? . . so, you'd be very aware it was still on?
    Regarding your question on how long sitting . .can be 5 min. when I run in to do an errand (after starting and stopping to do other errands 5 time in same trip . .it can be overnight . .twice in last couple weeks, I just moved my car from street pkg. at work to behind the building to the shade around 3-3:30 p.m.- after spaces ease up. .( not allowed to park there during day) - to cool off car . .then came out at 5:30-6:00 p.m. to a dead car. There is absolutely no pattern. (This will not be a problem anymore, as I was "let go" last week - no job!! Ha!!! Bad times out there!) As I said before, I can be jumped, drive a very insignificant distance . do shopping , come out .and it starts fine the next four times that day and next day . .then is dead again.
    I've gotten very good of flagging down strangers for a "jump' but I'm tiring of it!!!!
    I wasn't going to respond this a.m.m due to commitments already today . . but am so excited you responded . .do not think this is over . .I'm going to enter the complete service record in your site . .perhaps that will be some help but will need to do that later today if possible.
    I did clarify with the previous owner and found out that it has not actaullly been a problem from the beginning as I had thought . . .. . probably about 4 years old on - they did get a warranty for either 2 or 3 yrs- buying from the dealer "used" 2 yrs old (late 2000) . .he said no significant problems during that period. .I'm not so cetain of that myself . .perhaps he is not remembering since they were under warranty . he said about 2-3 yrs in, the unrelenting problems started . . non-stop CEL, and the unrelenting "no-start" problem which was the most annoying to them, unreasonablely expensive constant repairs .
    As I said, they did and could afford to do every recommended repair. The starting problem which to this day appears to have never been resolved he says began say in 2002-2003.... so that tells me some part got faulty . .and it still has never been replaced . .just don't understand how the problem can be so elusive and always rear its ugly head again in 4-6 months without fail!!!
    Thanks so much Bret . .will try to get all service info entered late today or tonight if possible . . .Susan

    I'm finding the site confusing . . .now I'm done with my comments -editorial . .back to you and I see no send button . .just "edit comments" . .once "in" (saved) is it "sent" ?It is confusing .something should indicate this . .as I feel everything I've written will be lost if I sign-off now . . .just feedback for the site . .hoping all these comments get to you . . Susan

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    Bret Bodas, August 11, 2009, 09:53
     Master

    Susan,
    I'm still unclear on what the symptoms of the "no start" is.

    When the car wont start, do you: see any lights on in the dash? Hear any noise from the starter? If so, what noise?

    Is the check engine light on now?

    Have you tried putting the transmission in neutral to see if the car starts?

    The ignition switch on these Volvo's were very problematic, but I never saw them cause this problem, but it is a good idea to replace it because of the failure rate of the part.

    I have some other ideas, but answer these questions first so we don't get to far ahead of ourselves.

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    Visitor, June 24, 2010, 21:48

    I had a problem with my V70R AWD Saffron starting in the morning especially in the cold weather for over a year, always thought it was the battery and got it replaced. Finally the ignition control switch was changed by a great mechanic I found, who has been good at diagnosing other chronic issues I have had with the car, it has never been an issue again. I think this was always the problem, replacing two batteries needlessly. Maybe helpful as above, worked like a charm for me.

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