1999 Volvo V70 (base) Quit for No Reason?

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1992 - 1997 850, including 850 R, 850 T-5R, 850 T-5, 850 GLT
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tripeldubbel
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1999 Volvo V70 (base) Quit for No Reason?

Post by tripeldubbel »

Hello Everyone,
I'm hoping someone with really good ears can figure this one out. I've been driving my 1999 Volvo V70 non-turbo for about 18 months, out of no where the engine just doesn't want to start. Here's a link to a video I took of it:

After doing some research on here I was hoping it would be a simple fix, like replacing the fuel pump relay or unplugging the MAF sensor, unfortunately none of those worked. As far as I can tell the fuel pump is turning on when I engage the key to position (ll), I tried to capture that sound in the video. But I'm not sure how long it should be running. I've heard one second and two seconds, mine is definitely running for only one second, so if it's supposed to be two full seconds maybe that is the issue. I've also read about immobilizer issues, but I wasn't sure if the car would turn over when the immobilizer is the issue.

Here's some info that might help with the background of the car.
- Miles: 115,423
- Accidents: None
- Regularly maintained: Yes
- Biggest issues: mostly stuff that ISN'T under the bonnet, haha. Trunk latch, passenger window button housing, driver window button housing, gear shift knob, 12V socket fuse, etc. (all replaced).
- Location it has lived in: California (0K-50K miles) and Michigan (50K-115K, came to Michigan around 2011). Always garaged.
- Weather outside when engine failed: Coldish (35-45 degrees F, 1.6-7.2 C)

I've been in love with this car ever since my grandparents in California purchased it back in 1999, so I'm hoping I can avoid expensive repairs by an auto shop and do whatever I can myself. I know realistically, though, that I'll probably just have to take it in if the suggestions I receive are just too advanced. I've done small amateur stuff like changing the oil and oil filter, replacing the engine and cabin air filters, replacing the fuel filter, etc. I'm hoping as my knowledge/experience grows I'll be able to do a little more advanced repairs.

Thank you very much in advance for any insight or info. I apologize if I've made any obvious errors when posting this message, this isn't the first post I've made on MVS, it's the first post I've ever made on an auto forum!

Thanks!

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E Showell
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Post by E Showell »

Low battery voltage can be an issue. How old is the battery? Will it start with a jump?
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Post by Ozark Lee »

The way it sounds I'm leaning toward little or no fuel pressure. The fuel pump can simply quit pumping even though the motor still turns. The battery obviously sounds low, likely from cranking it and it not starting.

Start by checking the fuel pressure. There is a Schrader valve on the end of the fuel rail on the right hand side of the engine as you are looking at it from under the hood. Although not terribly accurate I have used a tire pressure gauge when I don't have my actual fuel pressure gauge handy. You are looking for something in the 40 to 50 PSI range.

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Post by precopster »

Yeah it wants to start so I'm also leaning with Ozark on the fuel issue.

If no pressure at the fuel valve after depressing the valve with the end of the blue cap I would venture to take off the fuse panel (torx 25 X 4) on the driver's side of the engine bay and locate relay 103 usually it's pink or green. You can short the contacts on the car that would have gone across 30 and 87 with a paper clip to see if fuel pressure is restored.

Also that battery would be getting low after so much cranking so it wouldn't hurt to put it on a charger.
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abscate
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Post by abscate »

Your 1999 immobilizer inhibits spark and fuel, not cranking.

You can try the tire gauge fuel pressure reading or spray a three second shot f ether ( starting fluid) to confirm a fuel delivery problem.

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Post by SuperHerman »

Before listening to the video -seeing the mileage I said timing belt. So before going forward - has your timing belt been changed as it is due. You have a potential engine wreck coming if you are on the original 20 year old timing belt.

Did you have any symptoms before or is this a sudden event? Any lights on before? Did it always turn over so slow? Looking to see if you have a failed electrical part or something else so any details help.

Otherwise I am in agreement with the other posts on where and what to look for.

Question to other members more familiar with this car - does it have a crank position sensor or similar sensor that could cause a complete non start upon fail?

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Post by abscate »

It does have a crank sensor and cam sensor but the starter fluid approach will point to that as failed ignition, further down the diagnostic approach.

After 20 years the ignition switch is suspect too, that will show up as bad voltage on the coil and injection bus, also led to by starter fluid test.

The Magnetti Marelli throttle body has about a 150k life but could fail that early, quick test there is on power up it should whine for 8 seconds, then click. If the ETS light isn't on in the dash, ignore this for now.
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tripeldubbel
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Post by tripeldubbel »

THANK YOU all for the comments. I'm going to head to the shop as soon as I get off work tomorrow to get a fuel pressure gauge and get my battery charged per the suggestions. After that I'll start trying to troubleshoot fuel delivery problems. I'll keep you all updated!

Here are my answers to questions by everyone in the order they were received.

E Showell:
I bought the battery about a year ago. I tried to jump it with my wife’s CR-V, but no luck. After I get it charged and check the fuel pressure I'll try again.

Lee:
Thanks for the advice! I will do that ASAP. It looks like a fuel pressure gauge is something I can easily pick up at my local auto shop so I’ll get one and let you know what it reads.

Precopster:
Thanks for the advice as well! And the pic. I just tried replacing the fuel relay on Monday so I can definitely get in there and try your advice.

Abscate:
Thanks for clearing up the immobilizer thought I was having. I appreciate the advice.
No ETS warning light, yet…. :/ The ignition switch looks like a relatively inexpensive/quick fix, assuming it's the original do you think I should just go ahead and replace it to cross that off my list?

Superherman:
I talked to the previous owner (my mom, haha) and she said the timing belt had been replaced before I took ownership (about 18 months ago). The engine has always sounded good to me and turned on quickly (at least in my opinion). I am coming from a Ford Focus wagon that was constantly giving me engine issues, so I might be biased since this Volvo has been a dream compared to that. No warning lights before this, except the one that corresponds with the emissions leak.

Thanks again everyone!

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Post by wizechatmgr »

When was the fuel filter last replaced? I think sometimes they disintegrate and clog producing little to no fuel pressure. It is my belief this was one of the problems I had initially when I got my car.
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1999 V70 XC AWD 2.4 T -- ~193k miles
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tripeldubbel
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Post by tripeldubbel »

Update:

I went to the shop today after work and got a fuel pressure test kit and some supplies to make a jump wire for the fuel pump relay (103). I also took my battery in to get it charged, but when they tested it (so they could get a before and after number to confirm the charge was successful) they said it was in such good condition that the charge would be pointless. It is only a year old, but I was surprised they didn't want to at least try.

Here are the results from the fuel pressure test:


It looks like it's getting up to about 42 psi.
I also made the jump wire and connected it to 30 and 87, but no change in trying to start the car.


Wizechatmgr: Thanks for the comment! I replaced the fuel filter myself about a year ago. It's the first one I've ever done, but as far as I know it was a successful install.

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