IPD sale Volvo Parts
Did you know? 🤔
Logged in users can get email notification of topic replies Log in or register (free).
Amazon Link Buy your stuff using this and it helps MVS!

Recently bought '99 V70XC, electrical issues: lights flickering / fuel pump whine / rough idle Topic is solved

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
User avatar
jvl
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:33 am
Year and Model: 1999 V70 XC
Location: Netherlands
Has thanked: 17 times
Been thanked: 7 times
Netherlands
jvl

Recently bought '99 V70XC, electrical issues: lights flickering / fuel pump whine / rough idle

Post by jvl » Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:12 am

Hey guys,

Introduction
First, as a newbie to Matthews Volvo Site, let me introduce myself. Please feel free to skip if you would just like to get to know about the issues:
My name is Joost, 26 years old and I live in The Netherlands (so please: excuse my spelling/grammar should you catch me writing up some nonsense).
Just recently bought a 1999 midnight blue V70 XC. Very happy with it so far, since it's my first 'serious' car.
Previously, I owned a '85 Honda Jazz which ran amazingly, after that I bought a '95 Land Rover Discovery (transformed into a van after taking the back seats out) that I used for my small business. The Discovery was lots of fun and I invested a lot of time in getting to know the car and its mechanics. Ended up doing the headgasket, waterpump, vacuum pump, power steering pump, fuel lift pump, thermostat housing, some body work, and many other little choirs my self so I got used to holding a pair of spanners. The Discovery had to go mainly because of the noise it made, tax and environmental regulations (Old diesels can't go into major city centers anymore in The Netherlands) and because the exterior started to look bad: I needed a more comfortable, representative car that I could use also in these 'environmental zones'.
However, I did not want to have a non-4WD vehicle. Having driven many Volvo's of family members, the choice soon fell to the V70XC. I was specifically looking for the older, non-rounded model. Having had some trouble with the Land Rover, I decided not to buy any car without service history and more than 300.000km or more than 2 previous owners.
Been looking for a while and found this amazing mid-night blue 1999 V70 XC, automatic, 'Comfort' edition. 'Only' 275K kilometers and two previous owners. Full service history. The outside looks absolutely like new. The second owner had it for 11 years and is a Volvo Mechanic.
Used the car for ~1000km now and that's when trouble started:

Symptoms

- Fuel pump can be heard noticeably (wasn't so when I did the test drive, but I did notice some whine when I bought and picked up the car a few days later)
- After my first visit to the gas station, the car started to idle roughly. Sometimes the RPM's drop to below 600, and without me touching the accellerator, it does get back up to ~900 rpm by itself. Used an OBD-II reader to find error codes, found P0101 - MAF sensor. No codes were present when I scanned for them during my test drive before I bought the car.
- Because of the rough idling (and had to make a long trip and wanted to be sure), I called roadside assistance. They scanned as well and also suggested to clean the MAF sensor or replace it. However, during their research, it started to rain very heavily. All electronics started to act up: Interior lights started flickering, headlights flickered, and when I tried to operate the windows the car stalled. Re-started it and all was well again.
- Sometimes, especially when parked, the right-hand side headlight wiper does not work: it stalls and does not go back down.

your opinions?

Based on the symptoms above, I started doing some research on this forum. Found many people had issues with the corroded B+ wire so that was the first thing I checked. Turns out I have a seemingly brand-new B+ cable. Did some measurements (in dry conditions!) for voltage drops as well:

- Under quite a load (heated front + back seats, blower, rear-defroster, high beams all turned on) I found that the ciggy lighter only outputs 12,55
Volts while tension at the battery is 13,05V.
- Under same load as above the voltage drop between battery + and the B-wire+ in the main fusebox is 0,190V. Doesn't seem odd to me for such a heavy load.
- Voltage differences between battery ground and bodywork are smaller than 0,1V
- Idling under load above: 13,2V at battery
- Idling without heavy load (only headlights on): 13,5 - 13,7V at battery.
- I have some corrosion at the Battery + terminal which I'll clean.

Based on these findings, I am starting to suspect my alternator might be on it's way out and does not like water. Planning to do these measurements again when it's pouring outside, hoping I can find what part is getting wet and how it influences my measurements. Also made an appointment at a specialised Volvo garage for a check-up and walkaround to get more familiair with the car and to gain some advice on what needs doing, but they haven't got time untill next month. Made the appointment anyway, but started to wonder: Does anyone have any suggestions meanwhile?

Thank you guys so much for all the info that I have gained through the forum so far, also when I was in the process of buying a new Volvo. I hope to get as familiar with the Volvo as I was with the Land Rover and that I can help other people out as well!

Joost


1999 V70XC. Stock, except.... I like tinkering:
electronics
2nd battery (with isolator)
2200w pure sine wave inverter
LED Work lights in tailgate
LED traffic advisor
RC parking lights

audio
stock tweeters front and back
8" underseat powered sub

camping extras
'drawer system' in trunk
solar panel on roofrack



Feel free to PM for pics

User avatar
abscate
MVS Moderator
Posts: 16603
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:54 pm
Year and Model: 99T5 ,99S70,2005V70
Location: NYC, ALBANY NY
Has thanked: 160 times
Been thanked: 477 times
Trinidad & Tobago
abscate

Re: Recently bought '99 V70XC, electrical issues: lights flickering / fuel pump whine / rough idle

Post by abscate » Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:50 am

Goededag Joost!

One item that wears on these cars is the ignition switch. That will cause a lot of electrical problems

Your wiper blade sounds like it is just loose on the linkage.

The 1999 model is the first year of the electronic throttle , which works well for about 150k km and then fails. You almost certainly have had one replacement in this car at 275k km. the hunting at idle is an early symptom of the electronic throttle body going bad. ( it's called ETB ETM and ETS here for short)

Try disconnecting the MAF and see if the car runs better. If it does, it usually means there is a vacuum leak of some sort , not necessarily a bad MAF

Een prettige dag!


1 SWMBO for 30 years
2 Volvos
3 VWs
4 Careers
5 cats/dogs/gears
6 Perfect Ladies in waiting
7 Drivers
8 Boats- with a big pointy metal thing on top

1999 V70 T5M 56 2005 V70 NA M56 VWs BMW

User avatar
jvl
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:33 am
Year and Model: 1999 V70 XC
Location: Netherlands
Has thanked: 17 times
Been thanked: 7 times
Netherlands
jvl

Re: Recently bought '99 V70XC, electrical issues: lights flickering / fuel pump whine / rough idle

Post by jvl » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:06 am

Hi Abscate,

thanks for the quick reply (Got any Dutch roots yourself?).

Good thinking on the ignition switch. Is there any way to test this? I did read about some people having issues with their ignition switch but did not think that would be the problem with my car since the flickering seems to be related to rain/water?

The wiper unfortunatly stays stuck halfway or in the upward position and cannot be (gently) pushed back. When I try a couple more times on the highway, it usually resets. That got me thinking on an overall voltage issue: it does not work when parked/idling but does when on the highway. Need to test the wiper while revving the engine, hope my girlfriend wants to assist and revv it a little bit while I watch the wiper.

The 'hunting' has ceased, don't know why. Is there any easy/accessible way to tell how old my ETM is? I was not able to locate it so far but I did do some reading on this a few years back when my father-in-law had similar problems with his '98 V70XC. How can I recognize the ETM?

Thanks again!

Joost


1999 V70XC. Stock, except.... I like tinkering:
electronics
2nd battery (with isolator)
2200w pure sine wave inverter
LED Work lights in tailgate
LED traffic advisor
RC parking lights

audio
stock tweeters front and back
8" underseat powered sub

camping extras
'drawer system' in trunk
solar panel on roofrack



Feel free to PM for pics

JRL
Posts: 9351
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 2:07 pm
Year and Model: Several
Location: 19333
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 9 times
United States of America
JRL

Re: Recently bought '99 V70XC, electrical issues: lights flickering / fuel pump whine / rough idle

Post by JRL » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:28 am

Don't forget the B+ battery cable usually is bad by now (battery will never get a full charge and will drain), so if that has not been replaced, test it. If bad replace it ASAP along with the Positive cable.

98s do not have that ETM


2000 V70R Black, 144,000 miles Wife's R.
2007 V70 2.5T White/Oak 111,000 MILES. Polestar tune, IPD bars, rear spoiler, dark grey Thors, DWS 06, HU850, sub.

Contact info for purchases: [email protected]

scot850
Posts: 5447
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 2:46 pm
Year and Model: 2000 V70 R
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Has thanked: 6 times
Been thanked: 127 times
Canada
scot850

Re: Recently bought '99 V70XC, electrical issues: lights flickering / fuel pump whine / rough idle

Post by scot850 » Mon Oct 03, 2016 11:52 am

OP says the B+ cable looks good. Typically if it is going bad you see the nut holding it in place at the main fuse box (the kidney shaped one near the brake master cylinder) when you open it up and look at the nut will look discoloured, but not always. Mine was a little discoloured but when I removed it, it was almost completed melted just below where you can't see it).
Volvo V70R engine B+ cable fuse box end (3).JPG
B+ cable
There is an earthing point right by this and worst case can cause a short and fire. So you may want to undo it and check at least. JRL is a wise man and has worked on these cars for a long time so please check. This can also be the cause in high humidity damp as to why you are getting issues.

Another issue to look put for is corrosion in the fuse box on the LH side of the car by the LH windshield wiper arm. These can get problems in particular if the drain holes in this area get blocked and it allows water to back up in there. Make sure all the 4 drains are clear.

Ignition switch can also be failing. All my P80 Volvos have had an issue at his age and mileage. When damp weather is out there you have more current draw which will affect a worn ignition switch.

As for the headlight wiper. It has a load resistor in it to prevent overload breaking it in icy/snowy conditions. It looks like a small flat metal square. As it ages it breaks down so any load causes the motor to freeze. On a P80 it is a pain to access and replace. Just remove the arm, tie a knot in the rubber water pipe and live without it.

Read this if it helps from my recent fun with this issue on an 850 which is much easier to deal with but still a pain.

http://www.matthewsvolvosite.com/forums ... er#p415512

Hope this helps and good luck!

Neil.


2000 V70 R - still being an endless PITA
2006 XC70
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 Limited
2015 Kia Sportage EX-L
1993 850 GLT -Sold
1998 V70 XC - Sold
1997 Volvo 850 SE NA - Went to niece in California - Sold
2000 V70 SE NA - New project and test bed - Sold

User avatar
jvl
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:33 am
Year and Model: 1999 V70 XC
Location: Netherlands
Has thanked: 17 times
Been thanked: 7 times
Netherlands
jvl

Re: Recently bought '99 V70XC, electrical issues: lights flickering / fuel pump whine / rough idle

Post by jvl » Tue Oct 04, 2016 1:04 am

Hi Neil,
thanks for your tips. You're right, I did do a visual inspection (and felt for heat) on the top of the b+wire connection and cleaned the cable end at the battery. Didn't disconnect it from the main fusebox though, will do this and check more thoroughly. I did clean my battery terminals and the ground wire that connects to the bodywork. Now getting a 13,7V reading at the battery while stressing the electrical system (blower, 3x heated seats, high beam, rear defroster). So the cleaning seems to have improved the connection between alternator and battery. I will also check the LH side fuse box, thanks for the tip on the drainage holes!

Regarding the wiper, just like you said in the other topic (thanks for the link): i'm an engineer as well and would like all parts to run smoothly :D Will get back to this on a nice summer day when I've got nothing better to do (right now the weather kind of sucks over here, I am dreaming of having a workshop or garage in my next house but currently have to do all of the tinkering outside).

Just curious, anyone has any experience in quieting down their fuel pump or is replacement the only option? It is not terribly bad, it's just noticeable sometimes. At other times it's relatively quiet.

Joost


1999 V70XC. Stock, except.... I like tinkering:
electronics
2nd battery (with isolator)
2200w pure sine wave inverter
LED Work lights in tailgate
LED traffic advisor
RC parking lights

audio
stock tweeters front and back
8" underseat powered sub

camping extras
'drawer system' in trunk
solar panel on roofrack



Feel free to PM for pics

User avatar
abscate
MVS Moderator
Posts: 16603
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:54 pm
Year and Model: 99T5 ,99S70,2005V70
Location: NYC, ALBANY NY
Has thanked: 160 times
Been thanked: 477 times
Trinidad & Tobago
abscate

Re: Recently bought '99 V70XC, electrical issues: lights flickering / fuel pump whine / rough idle

Post by abscate » Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:55 am

Keep the tank full Joost, that helps to cool the pump. It might keep it quiet too.

Sorry about the price of fuel in NED - we complain when fuel costs 0.45 EUR a liter here....


1 SWMBO for 30 years
2 Volvos
3 VWs
4 Careers
5 cats/dogs/gears
6 Perfect Ladies in waiting
7 Drivers
8 Boats- with a big pointy metal thing on top

1999 V70 T5M 56 2005 V70 NA M56 VWs BMW

User avatar
jvl
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:33 am
Year and Model: 1999 V70 XC
Location: Netherlands
Has thanked: 17 times
Been thanked: 7 times
Netherlands
jvl

Re: Recently bought '99 V70XC, electrical issues: lights flickering / fuel pump whine / rough idle

Post by jvl » Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:55 pm

Hi all,
thanks for your tips and concerns.
After two short drives yesterday, the 'engine service light' came on during my third drive while running an errand. This light did not come on before.
Not wanting to be a nuisance towards the car seller (still think I got a good deal keeping in mind the mileage, state of interior and exterior of the car) I was hesitant to contact him about the problems I've been having. However, this light coming on after the ETS light had just stopped harrassing me made me decide to give the seller a call.
He (a specialised 'vintage volvo' seller) responded very surprised and suggested I come by for a read out. Went by, did a quick read out that indicated "a leak between the ETM and inlet manifold". He could not identify any leaks or other trouble right away, he offered me to leave the car there for a free diagnosis ("because we want to sell good cars and did not expect this with this well-maintained Volvo") and will call me if he finds the problem and then we'll make a plan on how to proceed (and if and how we'll split the costs). All in all I was happily surprised that he's so helpful, hope he finds a minor issue that can be fixed for a fair price. I think it helped him that I hadn't haggled at all about the selling price and the offer he did me on trading in my Discovery.

I'll keep you guys posted on what happens next! May be useful to other (future) xc70 owners!

Joost


1999 V70XC. Stock, except.... I like tinkering:
electronics
2nd battery (with isolator)
2200w pure sine wave inverter
LED Work lights in tailgate
LED traffic advisor
RC parking lights

audio
stock tweeters front and back
8" underseat powered sub

camping extras
'drawer system' in trunk
solar panel on roofrack



Feel free to PM for pics

User avatar
jvl
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:33 am
Year and Model: 1999 V70 XC
Location: Netherlands
Has thanked: 17 times
Been thanked: 7 times
Netherlands
jvl

Re: Recently bought '99 V70XC, electrical issues: lights flickering / fuel pump whine / rough idle  Topic is solved

Post by jvl » Tue Oct 11, 2016 3:41 am

Hey all,

Picked up the car a few days ago at the seller. He replaced the fuel filter, said an old filter might cause the engine to run poor which causes sensory problems etc. Got a 3 month warranty, he said that if the car would continue to idle roughly that he would look into the ETM and replace or fix at his expense. Have driven the car for ~300km so far, and no problems have occured. It only did a minor hick once or twice, but nothing I would not expect from a 17 y/o car. Seems the fuel filter has helped a lot. The whining at the fuel pump has not completely gone, but seems to have been reduced. Thanks for all of your tips!


1999 V70XC. Stock, except.... I like tinkering:
electronics
2nd battery (with isolator)
2200w pure sine wave inverter
LED Work lights in tailgate
LED traffic advisor
RC parking lights

audio
stock tweeters front and back
8" underseat powered sub

camping extras
'drawer system' in trunk
solar panel on roofrack



Feel free to PM for pics

chocolate chimney
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:30 pm
Year and Model: 2002 XC70
Location: Tennessee
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0
United States of America
chocolate chimney

Re: Recently bought '99 V70XC, electrical issues: lights flickering / fuel pump whine / rough idle

Post by chocolate chimney » Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:48 pm

I have the all lights flickering problem with the '02 V70XC I just bought, and immediately suspected that it isn't grounded well. I'm going to add some extra ground straps to see if it helps.
What is the best repair guide for Volvos?
I am wanting to learn how to keep this car running- it's in excellent shape!



Post Reply