Volvo’s Electronic Throttle Module (ETM)

Share This

Volvo's Electronic Throttle Module (ETM)

Volvo’s ETM fiasco is here, it’s bad, and here’s what you can do about it.

Volvos Affected by ETM Failure

Before 1999, Volvo used a good old mechanical set of parts to control the throttle. In 1999, they switched to a “fly-by-wire” module. Volvo’s 1999-2002 ETM fails because there is physical contact between two small parts that results in wear, then damage, then failure. This design affects almost a half-million Volvo gasoline cars.

If you’ve got a 1999-2002 Volvo that goes into “limp home” mode or has erratic throttle behavior, your Volvo may be suffering Electronic Throttle Module (ETM) failure, and you’re probably angry.

Where Things Stand Now

Owners are still “on their own” with this failure, but less “on their own” than they were before 2006. Now Volvo will pay to have the ETM replaced under a 2006 recall, but this can follow great cost to the owner because dealers require many parts be in 100% working order before a new ETM replacement work order is declared.

ETM Resources Here on MVS

First, we’ve got an entire sub-forum dedicated to the Volvo ETM problem. It’s called Don’s ETM Room, named after Colorado (US) native Don Willson, a man who has spent over three years (and counting) working to make Volvo take responsibility for this part.

Recently a company named XeMODeX introduced a $600 service that refurbs your ETM with new, non-contacting parts.

Volvo ETM Forum Posts

In addition, we’ve got various posts in the Volvo Forum.

There are many many more ETM posts here, just use the Search This Site box at the very top of all MVS pages, and please get back to us with your ETM story, experience or solution. Please register and share your thoughts in Don’s ETM Room.

If you’re lost, see the Help page for information on how to find information and how to register and post to the Volvo Forum.

31 responses to “Volvo’s Electronic Throttle Module (ETM)”

  1. […] has been over a year since we have introduced the Non – Contacting ETM upgrade. The purpose of this post is to make all of you Do It Yourselfers aware of the potential […]

  2. […] 1998 and earlier Volvos only. 1999+ uses an electronic system (ETM) with no mechanical […]

  3. […] in the many pages I have read here (I think) I read that the ETM from P2 models could be used from years 2001 – 2009, is this true? If this is possible, […]

  4. scot koepke says:

    i have a 2001 xc that is out of warranty as far as etm replace 130000 miles i will try cleening it also this car is a repairable haveing been rear ended lightly now air bag service message is on and some options dont work .sun roof,right rear view mirror fuses are good any ideas? bags did not deploy and seat belts are all good awsome car i hope i wont regret buying it

  5. steveraynor says:

    I think its digraceful and ignorant for volvo not to put things right ,perhaps there earning too much money ,putting there probem right,,,errrrrr wont be buying another one.

  6. colin says:

    volvo v70 2001 car has had throttle body replacement replacement air mass car revs up and down and no power goe into limp mode .please could somebody tell what could be wrong ??????

  7. Ed Echenque says:

    Multiple failure with the volvo ETC.No consideration to their loyal clients. Bye Bye Volvo, Hello BMW. No more loyalty to Volvo.

  8. Mary Burris says:

    I have a 1999 Volvo V70GLT Wagon, was just diagnosed needing a new ETM. As my car is over 10 yrs old it is beyond the 10 recall extension Volvo gave I assume I am S.O.L. Sad because my mileage is less then 140K. Any advice? I was just quoted $972 to replace/fix it. Oh by the way I am self employed as a Real Estate agent in St. Petersburg, FL. Anyone want to buy a house or condo from me so that I can fix my car? LOL Any advice is appreciated. Mary

  9. Jon says:

    I have a 2006 S80 2.5T FWD. (93K miles) It just started yesterday having problems while idling. The engine shakes, there’s a low rumbling noise and sometimes the engine will have low power on acceleration. I’ve heard it might be the ETM or the Idle Air Control, but I’m unable to know for sure. I did a OBD check when the light came on and got P0507, P0101, P0300, P0302, P0304, and P0305. Any ideas??

  10. james says:

    Xemodex is the way to go. The whole affair which after having my heart broken by volvo was completely stressless. The hefty price tag is the only downside to the whole affair. I got the part the next am and it was configured by xemodex using my vin #. I simply put the new part in and drove away. Not a problem since. Car runs great again.

  11. ziyad says:

    I want an electronic throttal to volvo s80 . 2006 . mottor 2000 turbo ?

  12. sumner atkins says:

    I have a 2000 volvo c70 conv. I am bringing it to germaine volvo naples florida on17 dec 12 for elec. throttle system failure. Will inform readers of results.

  13. kosta says:

    do not waste time and money.
    I you are handyman and can check error codes
    if any related to ETM’s Pos.sensor signals
    {low pedal signal} or P0221,222,1610,1620
    get XeMODeX. go to company web
    There is checkup chart and video how to do your self.
    Personaly I had trouble [on my 4th volvo and on S40 also]
    I was happy seen my volvo wasted less fuel than
    volvos ratings for 1/2 litar,I recorded and boom.
    Dillers ask for 1200 plus taxes comes to 1500can$
    I was lacky to faund XeMODeX at 50km plus on my way to work.Personaly delivered my module and got
    new-rebuild,one day job done. I start the car next morning so I slept well and runs as sowing machine. consumption same as original but well responding. [1% accurancy – 13%volvo???]
    I’m driving 250km each day or its past 10000 with
    new module.XeMODeX it’s the profetionals not side shop.

  14. Donald C. Cramer says:

    Our 2nd Volvo ETM was dying. We only get about 50,000 mi. from these Volvo ETM’s. I purchased one of the Xemodex ETM’s. Part arrived when promised. Part was pre-programed so all my mechanic had to do was bolt it to the engine and plug it into the electrical harnass. Total labor, incl. tax, was $155. My mechanic was very impressed. I drove our V70XC home and no “ETS” light. I’m sending my core back to Xemodex in their pre-paid UPS mailer. This should be the end of the crappy Volvo ETM problems.

    Don Cramer

  15. Harry says:

    Volvo S60, 2001, 260,000km. Stalled on hwy, replaced with a used engine, all seem okay with engine except for the emission system message displays, engine light on, and passenger door won’t unlock with the remote sometimes opened with the door switch, driver door won’t open with the remote used the key. i used the key to open the doors and that seems to reset something temporary. subsequencely the problem will return. i suspect the electronic control module,ECM,. please advise what i can do to fix, correct the problems?

  16. Richard Ray says:

    ’99 S70 turbo with 165 K miles is showing signs of ETM trouble. It is a white-label unit, never replaced by Volvo or anyone else. Not into limp home mode yet. I see a contactless unit from Israel for $150 or less.
    It replaces one end on the OEM ETM and will not require any programming, so they say. Seller references this site for instructions on how to repair the ETM itself, not the R & R procedure.
    1) where is this link?
    2) is this the cheapest solution?
    3) If I find a yello-label ETM from a later 5 cylinder turbo will it require re-programming?

    Please understand that the programming issue is the heart of my concerns. Some sellers say none required, but then admit that they get their info from the various Volvo Forums. Looking to find the truth and obtain the cheapest repair.


  17. Tamas Porkolab says:

    I wonder if this company can provide the service to Europe, too?

    Thank you

  18. anna says:

    About Volvo TPS sensor, These throttle bodys have two different problems in general: one is broken sensor(90%), the other one is loose wire in the controller(10%).
    As to problem from sensor, you just need to replace new TPS sensor.

  19. allan says:


  20. Pete Dixon says:

    Hi, ETM problem ??
    Just got my Volvo XC90 5D 2008 from a friend who is gone to Euro for 12 month. First Volvo so very disappointing.
    There is only 49,500km (Low!) and has had all servicing done by Trivett Volvo Sydney, where is was purchased. Can any one advise me on how should I deal with this as bill is $1800 to fix and I would have thought this should be cover by warranty ?

    Kind regard
    Disappointed, Pete Dixon

  21. Jabu Mtolo says:

    Volvo S60, when pulling off there is a delay as if it’s on gear 5, display shows transmission service required and skid…….They did gear box and programing but still. Is it the gear box electronic device?

  22. Anne Beyer says:

    I just purchased a used 2001 cv70. I ve only had this vehicle for 3 months now. I’ve had nothing but problems with it. I’ve replace all 5 coils, mass air flow sensor, now I’m sitting here without my car because of the throttle cable is bad :/ which is going to cost me $600.00 or more. I’ve looked up the recalls on my cross country. Unfortunately when I read the forums on the throttle cable many people spoke of stalling/ loss of power. I hadn’t experienced the stalling but loss of power. My question is . Do you think these parts that I have replaced so far, will Volvo consider reimbursement for what I’ve spent since the parts are on so many complaints

    Thank you in anyone has answer for me

  23. Morgan says:

    will Volvo still fix my car involved in a recall for the Electronic Throttle Sytem even if I didn’t purchase from a volvo dealership?

  24. jonjac says:

    I found an ETM remanufacturing firm that will charge you $249.96 and free shipping with a lifetime warranty and you most likely will not have to have any reprogramming done. Here is where I found it.. Go to ebay and type in: bba-reman volvo etm remanufacturing.

  25. John Byrne says:

    Hi. Have just bought a second hand ETM for my 1999 v70. The problem has got worse over about three years. First the car would stall when you come to a T Junction but start immediately and continue most of the time with no further problems and drive ok for several days or months. Now the car cuts out and will only start after 10/15 mins but then continues for miles and miles with no problems. On Friday 23rd August, it cut out 27 times in 6 miles. Car has never went into “limp home mode” during all these times and when I phoned VOLVO they tell me “Oh no, you cannot fit a donor ETM as the ETM needs to be programed and you cannot re-program a second hand part, you have to buy a new one – £350 plus labour.” Is it the ETM at fault? Suggestions please.

  26. Red T5 says:

    I purchased an after market contact-less unit, this is a 1999 S70 T5, installed as directed by the seller on e-bay. The car was in limp home mode, wouldn’t go over 30 mph prior to the installation.
    NOW, the car is misfiring, running extremely rough idle, below 900, trying to go into limp home mode, will reset if you turn the key off while coasting, no cruise control, at a total loss here with what happened with the car. These weren’t issues prior to the installation, help!

  27. Fernando says:

    Hi to all – I work for a Diplomatic mission here in Brazil and we have a Volvo XC90 year 2010 but we just start driving it on March 2011 that was the date when the car was delivered here.So less than 3 year it had a few problems first year,AC problem AND now the worst problem…ETM (the mechanic at the Volvo dealer was detected THROTTLE BODY PROBLEM.They are charging something around $3.500,00 to replace the throttle body.That’s ridiculous .Does anybody could send me a store in the U.S.A where it costs less.????Thank you very much.VOLVO?NO MORE!!!!

  28. Adewumi Tunde says:

    I have ETM problem with my Volvo S80 2.9 2000 model,please can somebody tell me how reliable is new module.XeMODeX if I get one from there can it work for my car without any programing?

  29. E Rollins says:

    Need a Xemodex ETM Contless plug in for 2002 V70 AWL Volvo

  30. brian says:

    i have a 2001 2.4t and the etm went out but i will get a new one from they go for 100.00 on line look it up

  31. Clarence Tillery says:

    Bought a v70t, had all the symptoms of etm. On the air filter housing it had TBA ok and a date painted on it. Wasnt gonna pay the 1600 we paid on my wifes c70 when it went bad, so i visited a local pull-a-part. Paid $35 for a yellow label etm from an s60 (apparently the same as a 5cyl turbo). Installed and allowed the car to sit 10 min, switch on, to learn zero position. Car runs fine now. Mine may have had computer update already, dont know, but a used yellow label etm in place of the bad white label for $35 cant be beat.

Leave a Reply