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04 XC Sudden Starting Issue - Topic is solved

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04 XC Sudden Starting Issue -

Post by BlackBart » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:05 pm

I hate to be the guy with the "My car won't start" thread, sorry.

Very sudden issue, it's been running great. Brand new battery, cranks well. Car started normally, ran a couple of seconds, stumbled, shut off, boom. Will re-start most attempts, but never runs more than a few seconds. A couple of stumbling no start attempts. On an attempt where it felt like it was going to run, I squeezed the brake to shift and it stalled (vacuum or coincidence?)

The only clues I have are that I'm having some fuel float / sender issues after swapping the fuel pump and pickups. I may have tangled the hose with the float arm somehow as it's not registering accurately, won't show above 2/3 of a tank when full.

So I assumed I had run it out of gas without knowing it. It was running fine when I parked. Poured a gallon in - should pick that up...? It's leaning towards the passenger side at the curb...

Tried about a dozen times and didn't want to abuse the battery or starter, so I left it for now. I can add more gas if there's a thought that it builds fuel pressure right away and runs until until it sucks air....? I hold the key in the on position for a sec to let the pump run.

It's been cold, but normal....25 to 35F. Nothing showed up on the cluster info screen.

Halp.


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Re: 04 XC Sudden Starting Issue -

Post by oragex » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:52 pm

Why was the battery replaced? When a battery get weak, first thing to check is alternator charge (a good 13.8V or more at idle) and also battery staying charged overnight at a decent 12.5V or more (no current draw)
Assuming all power cables to the battery and alternator are clean and tight, I'd try checking following items in this order (google up for details) CEM, FPS, PEM, DEM - all these are plenty discussed in several discussions, but wait see what the other members here will also say


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Re: 04 XC Sudden Starting Issue -  Topic is solved

Post by abscate » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:05 pm

Very easy to kink the fuel line pickups in the tank on an XC saddle tank.

Diagnostic is to read fuel pressure at rail with a gauge, or in VIDA. These cars need a solid > 50 psi to run.

A 3 second shot of ether into the air cleaner snout or the snorkel will usually give you a clear indication of a fuel delivery problem vs spark

“My Volvo won’t start” is what we do here....we have all been there.


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Re: 04 XC Sudden Starting Issue -

Post by jimmy57 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:17 pm

The seat of the pants check is to turn ignition and attempt a start and the unscrew the cap on test port on fuel rail and depress the tire valve (schrader valve) and see if any fuel runs out. There should be fuel enough to squirt about the mount of a single pump from a pump spray bottle. Cycle the ignition and do this a second time to be sure. Some pumps die with warning and some run their last time ever at full function on that last drive cycle before you turned off ignition.



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Re: 04 XC Sudden Starting Issue -

Post by BlackBart » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:12 pm

Oragex - We bought the car with 125k and soon after the battery was very weak. It was quite old. Charging is good. I'll have to look up those other tests. No VIDA access yet.

Abscate - Thank you for the reassuring words - I should know how to do this.
We have a fuel pressure gauge for my son's E30, so I'll see if I can rig that.
I wish I knew that about the fuel pump and floats - I was SO careful. Would have been even more. But that was outside under a tent so I didn't have an open fuel tank in a garage, and now it's cold.

50 psi is quite a bit! Would you do the ether squirt for 3 seconds after it's running, to see if it continues with fuel?

Jimmy - Is the fuel rail squirt test going to confirm, if it runs perfectly for several seconds? Also, new Bosch fuel pump 2 months ago.

Another thought - if it was coils, I'd think there'd be a consistent miss / stumble. This running perfectly for 3 seconds and then bam doesn't feel like that at all. If a vacuum hose slipped off, I don't see it acting this way. I need to go look it over in daylight when I have some time. Nothing obviously amiss with a flashlight.

Thanks gents!
Last edited by BlackBart on Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: 04 XC Sudden Starting Issue -

Post by BlackBart » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:06 pm

I'm back. It appears I have a fuel pickup issue. I'll have to pull the pump again and see what happened with the hose and the float arm(s). I added another gallon of gas to see if that was it. Got it running, then filled it with 16 gallons, plus the two I did with a plastic can. So 18gal total, there's one gallon it's not picking up. You guys were right - when it has fuel pressure, it starts and runs perfectly. When it begins to suck some air, the computer reads no fuel pressure and shuts it down.

I must have jumbled up the hose and float arm with the pickup when I lowered it all in there. For the short term, I'll just keep it filled all the time. It's only reading 2/3 of a tank now.

Thanks all!


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Re: 04 XC Sudden Starting Issue -

Post by abscate » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:54 am

It's a great feeling to nail it on the forum. Nasty weather to be dealing with it, tell those Canadians to stop sending those big Hs in the sky down.

Was the fuel pump a tank drop or did you manage to work through access holes?


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Re: 04 XC Sudden Starting Issue -

Post by BlackBart » Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:39 pm

Easy (temporary) fix!; somewhat more involved permanent solution. I'd rather do it outside when it warms up.

I did the work through the two access ports under the seats. A good guide and a couple of videos were helpful. I made a lid removal tool with a big ABS pipe section and a dowel handle. I used two strands of heavy electrical wire to drag the hose across with a bowline knot (boy scouts and sailing!) Getting it all back in seemed simple, although lowering the passenger side pump assembly and all the gear into the hole was cumbersome. That must be where I hooked the float arm on the wrong side of the hose or something.


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Re: 04 XC Sudden Starting Issue -

Post by ddb30780 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 1:15 am

I changed my fuel pump as well a few months ago. For the second time now I stranded myself on the freeway with a very similar fuel-pick up issue. I went back in and adjusted the fuel level sending unit then reinstalled(assumed issue is from this side because it was just more difficult to put back in). Have you been able to go back in the access ports and resolve your issue? Also was it an obvious fix?



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Re: 04 XC Sudden Starting Issue -

Post by abscate » Sat Apr 20, 2019 1:58 am

There is a good write up with fault pictures in the X90 forum on this. It can be pretty subtle

Search under user shockwave


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