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XC90 Quits Running & Won't Start Again

Help, Advice, Owners' Discussion and DIY Tutorials on Volvo XC90s. The XC90 proved to be very popular, and very good for Volvo's sales numbers, since its introduction in model year 2003 (North America).
XC90Dave
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Year and Model: 2004 XC90
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XC90 Quits Running & Won't Start Again

Post by XC90Dave » Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:02 pm

Just bought a XC90 2004 T6 twin turbo that quit running and would not start for previous owner. The part swapper shops couldn't find the problem. Let me inject my experience & opinion on how anyone should proceed to repair. The basics are power, fuel, timing & electronics. We all seem to navigate toward the worst case scenario skipping the basics. So here is a method I use.
1. Is the battery ok? Sometimes has voltage but not enough current (amps).
2. Is there fuel - in tank, past filter, at fuel rail (tschrader valve), through injectors @ plugs (if no check fuse at drivers compartment for fuel pump 15A - not under hood)
3. If 1 & 2 ok, is there power at coil on plugs (coils have 4 pins - #4 power,#3 ground, #2 not used, #1 trigger circuit from ECU). Is the coil good - pull coil & insert grounded spark plug (insert needle into trigger wire @ coil & use test light connected to positive bat term to momentary strike needle with test light - plug will fire if good. First 3 will save a lot of time finding the problem. If all pass the OK test
4. Mechanical - is the timing correct ? Set engine to crank timing mark, remove cam sensor(s) and trigger unit (bolted to end of cam) install camshaft alignment tool (MUST - $50 on line), check timing marks on camshaft belt gears. (The T6 twin VVT - Variable valve timing must be setup fully advanced - turned to the right B4 you install timing belt) If #4 is correct
5. Check wiring harness between coils & ECU - Tool to remove ECU $16 on Net - check trigger cir from plug to ECU (the trigger circuit at each coil is # 1 marked on the coil)(@ the ECU the black multi-wire socket to the right - lower section right has the 6 trigger circuits) a simple multimeter will do. If not ok repair wiring (usually at engine where the harness enters under the cover for the coils - gets baked & brittle) If ok
6. Check communications between ECU (under hood) and CEM (under dash @ drivers feet) Volvo dealers have the equipment to test & program if compromised. The ECU is programed to the vehicle it is in, if you change units you must reprogram.
After I bought the XC90 performed the tests I found the VVT gear on the exhaust cam had slipped 7 teeth off due to someone not torquing the end nut 120nm (if I recall) - pulled timing belt, repositioned VVT gear, reinstalled timing belt, started right up and I have a nice XC90 for less than $1000. Hope this helps someone save some time.
Last edited by matthew1 on Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Edited title. Please, no "ALL CAPS"s in titles.

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SuperHerman
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Re: XC90 Quits Running & Won't Start Again

Post by SuperHerman » Sat Jan 25, 2020 6:44 pm

Excellent write up. I will add two additional items -

1) Are there any engine lights or codes; and
2) Run the on board diagnostic as it is free and may provide some clues.

I would expand your #1 to look at the physical wires for corrosion and fit plus the ground straps. For your #4 I would start with examining the timing belt for breakage (broken timing belt).

XC90Dave
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Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:01 am
Year and Model: 2004 XC90
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Re: XC90 Quits Running & Won't Start Again

Post by XC90Dave » Sun Jan 26, 2020 10:07 am

Sorry my first post, I was weary of length of post, but yes, test codes a must. The onboard diagnostic is performed :
1. Turn on ignition, push & hold read button on end of turn signal lever, holding read button push rear fog lights button twice (bottom right button on lighting control switch module). This will allow read button to cycle through active DTC codes if any .For the do it yourself crowd the internet is a wealth of knowledge but I find most sites explain items like you already know things so they skip details. My opinion if I knew already I wouldn't be searching the internet. Step by step how to and where instructions are a god send for the DIY'er.
2. Grounding is very important and the type of wire you use is also. Type "SXL" wire is used in auto racing (vibration & stress w/ cross linked insulation) make sure it is pure copper not tinted (plated) aluminum wire. When in doubt install next higher gauge wire & purchase a terminal end crimping tool (I also tintw/ solder before crimping terminal on wire.

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