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Was hit in front...now car won't start

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

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Was hit in front...now car won't start

Post by Almightymaximus » Mon Jun 20, 2016 2:41 pm

Hi all,
I am new to the forum but have read alot on the forums. I was in a car accident with my Volvo 850 non turbo 1996. After this, my car will not start at the ignition but if I take two screwdrivers and stick one into the spot on the starter where the green wire is and use the other to spark it, my engine will turn over with key in ignition. I haven't had any prior issues starting this car, just after this accident. But I don't know if the starter is bad because it works when I use the screwdrivers. Any help is appreciated.

Ozark Lee
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Ozark Lee

Re: Was hit in front...now car won't start

Post by Ozark Lee » Mon Jun 20, 2016 3:20 pm

If you can jump it at the solenoid with the screwdriver(s) and it cranks then the starter itself is OK. When you say that it won't start does it crank and not start or not crank when you use the key? If it will not crank then you can try a couple of things to narrow the problem down.

First try to start the car using the service starter connection. That connection is a wire with a terminal attached to it that sticks out of the wiring harness as it passes by the strut mount on the left side (driver's side) of the car. It is usually a green wire with a red stripe and it is actuated by running a wire from the positive battery terminal to the connector. It is somewhat hidden but if you look at the harness between the fuse box and the top of the strut you can find it.

If the car cranks from there then the problem is likely with the immobilizer. If it still doesn't crank from there then the problem is likely in the PNP switch on the transmission. Try moving the shifter to neutral and try again. The collision could have shifted the PNP switch and it can be readjusted. We have instructions in the repair database that I think include pictures but you basically loosen a couple of bolts and then twist the switch to get it to the proper position. The easy way to set the PNP is to set the parking brake, chock the wheels, and put the car in reverse. Adjust the switch to the midpoint of where the reverse light are on and the tighten it down.

If the car is cranking but simply won't start then the place to look after a front end collision is the master fuel system relay. That relay is on the fan shroud and it is a gray colored relay. The wiring to that relay is somewhat fragile it can easily get broken after a smack to the front of the car.

'94 850 N/A 5 speed
'96 Platinum Edition Turbo
1999 V70XC - Nautic Blue - Totaled while parked.
1999 V70XC - RIP - Wrecked Parts Car.
1998 S70 T5
1996 850 N/A
1989 740 GLT
1986 740 GLT
1972 142 Grand Luxe

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