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Dash Warning Lights come on and stay on while driving

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

Dash Warning Lights come on and stay on while driving

Postby yodielon » 03 Oct 2010, 17:44

Recently my dash lights started coming on while driving. At first i though it was just a short somewhere because i did not affect the car at all while driving. After about a week of this happening i was driving and noticed my dash lights start to dim out, my car then died a minute or two later. I had someone jump it and tried to get it back home. It died halfway there, i tried to jump it again, but as soon as i took the jumper cables off the car lights would dim and the car would die completely a minute later. Had to have it towed back to my house. Charged the battery overnight, tried to start the car and it started. Although all the dash warning lights were still on (low fuel, brake failure, parking brake, bulb failure, battery, SRS and check coolant) and the interior lights dim. Had the battery and alternator tested at Advanced Auto Parts a week before (while none of the dash warning lights were on) and they said both were fine. A little bit of background on the car, when i bought it the oil return lines were leaking and dripping onto the alternator, got them replaced and cleaned up the alternator. Car ran fine for the first month i had it after doing this. My guess is the alternator is bad but i want to be sure before paying $200 for a new one. Any help would be greatly appreciated, This is my first Volvo and i love it!

Stats: Volvo 850 t-5 Auto trans, 140,000 miles
Posts: 2
Joined: 22 Aug 2010, 21:08
Location: Virginia
Model and Year: 850 T-5, 1997

Re: Dash Warning Lights come on and stay on while driving

Postby Ozark Lee » 03 Oct 2010, 21:17

The way the idiot lights are wired a bad alternator would account for all of your problems. Charge the battery fully and go to the nearest chain auto parts store and have them test it.

Mine tested (kinda) good and I changed it anyway - the problem remained. In my case it was a chaffed wire under the dash that fed the SRS shorting out to the frame and it burned the wiring harness all the way back to the alternator. It was not a pleasant job to repair the damage.

'94 850 N/A
'96 850 N/A
'96 Platinum Edition Turbo
'98 S70 T5
'99 V70XC - RIP Killed by a drunk driver.
'99 V70XC - Nautic Blue
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1986 740 GLT
1972 142 Grand Luxe
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