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Check Engine & Flashing Arrow

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.
1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

Check Engine & Flashing Arrow

Postby dave1432 » 24 Oct 2009, 01:41

Today while driving my dashboard lights when on-(what seemed like all of them) than they went off & the check engine light stayed on and the arrow
just stayed on and kept flashing-
any idea what might cause this-
Thanks-
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Re: Check Engine & Flashing Arrow

Postby polskamafia mjl » 24 Oct 2009, 01:43

Transmission may need to be replaced, but that's just a guess. You need to retrieve the codes and post them back here so we can figure out what's wrong.
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Re: Check Engine & Flashing Arrow

Postby JRL » 24 Oct 2009, 01:53

First "row" the shifter back and forth about 15-20 times, engine on, brake on.
If this helps, you have a bad PNP switch that will need to be replaced ASAP
However, if after the switch is replaced and you still have a problem, your tranny has packed itself in.
You need to have the codes read at a Volvo dealer a generic reader will not do
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Re: Check Engine & Flashing Arrow

Postby dave1432 » 24 Oct 2009, 18:29

Is it ok to drive it like this?
and If it is the tranny-can I drive it like this-it seems to run fine-
also, what is a guesstimate to replace the tranny-
2000 s70-
thanks-
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Model and Year: 2000 s70

Re: Check Engine & Flashing Arrow

Postby galadrielk » 26 Nov 2009, 03:42

I have the same problem with my 1998 C70. I had no problems with it and suddenly the CEL and flashing arrow came on. It does seem to hesitate slightly when shifting once those lights came on. I added clean transmission fluid, as it was low. Can it be driven to the dealer like this - what are the odds that the entire transmission needs replacement, rather than just the PNP switch, or that it could be a sticky mode switch?
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Re: Check Engine & Flashing Arrow

Postby Ozark Lee » 26 Nov 2009, 04:02

Anytime you get the flashing arrow you will get a CEL - I guess they just wanted to add urgency to the issue when they wrote the firmware for the ECU and TCU.

9 times out of 10 it is a PNP switch problem at least with my 850s. On the 850s I can read the transmission codes just fine with a standard OBD-II scanner, on the later models that may be different. I will defer to JRL since he has much more knowledge on the later model cars than I but I thought that federal law required that any power train (P) code be readable via an standard OBD-II scanner.

Once the flashing arrow sequence is initiated it has usually gone into "limp home" mode which means that the car is basically stuck in 3rd gear. Anything beyond "limping home" is really tough on the transmission internals. A series of short trips shouldn't kill you but limit driving as much as possible until the problem is dealt with.

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Re: Check Engine & Flashing Arrow

Postby galadrielk » 27 Nov 2009, 18:49

Thanks. I tried rowing the gearshift lever, but the flashing arrow and CEL are still on. Additionally, and I did not notice if it was doing this before, but the mode selector is switching back and forth between "S" and "W", or "E" and "W". The light is blinking back and forth between the 2. It is also revving pretty high. The volvo dealership is 25 miles from my house, so I do not think I should attempt to drive it there. Any advice or thoughts on this?
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Re: Check Engine & Flashing Arrow

Postby iselloil » 27 Nov 2009, 19:26

If all of the dash lights came on also,the the ABS module could be the issue,also the electrical side of the ignition switch is know to cause this.
When mu ABS module went bad the das looked like a christmas tree.
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Re: Check Engine & Flashing Arrow

Postby galadrielk » 27 Nov 2009, 19:32

Nope, the dash is fine. I just have the CEL and the flashing arrow on the dash, and now the back and forth lights on the mode selector switch below the gearshift.
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Re: Check Engine & Flashing Arrow

Postby Ozark Lee » 27 Nov 2009, 20:53

You can make it 25 miles with no problem but accelerate slowly, the car will act like it has an anchor tied behind it when you leave from a stop but don't floor it to try to overcome that. Hopefully much of the 25 miles is highway without a lot of stop and go starts.

...Lee
'94 850 N/A
'96 850 N/A
'96 Platinum Edition Turbo
'98 S70 T5
'99 V70XC - RIP Killed by a drunk driver.
Previous: 1989 740 GLT
1986 740 GLT
1972 142 Grand Luxe
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Re: Check Engine & Flashing Arrow

Postby galadrielk » 27 Nov 2009, 21:44

It IS mostly highway driving - thanks! I just hope it does not need a new transmission, because that would really suck before the holidays (not that it would be great anytime)!
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Re: Check Engine & Flashing Arrow

Postby jerr-burr » 19 Dec 2009, 21:33

I just had the same thing happen on my 2000 V70 XC. It occurred right after I had cleaned the engine. Could I have causes it by getting an electrical connector wet??
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Re: Check Engine & Flashing Arrow

Postby polskamafia mjl » 19 Dec 2009, 22:22

Quite possibly. In my experience it is never a good idea to "wash" the engine bay with water. If you have a CEL you can read your codes to see whats wrong and then get back to us.
OVLOV

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Re: Check Engine & Flashing Arrow

Postby jerr-burr » 20 Dec 2009, 00:07

Just had it checked. It appears I have a bad torque converter. Code was trans high temp sensor. I had not noticed from inside the car but there is also an abnormal noise when the trans is in drive.

I have a hard decision on whether to fix it or buy a new car. Could get in for around $3K if they can find a low mileage used converter. Not great news a week before Christmas :-(
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