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94 850 crank no spark

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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Year and Model: 1994 850
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94 850 crank no spark

Post by esachs » Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:11 am

Hello Everyone,

I've got a '94 850 wagon standard transmission. It was driving fine to the gas station and after filling up it cranked but didn't start. I tried a second time and it eventually cranked more and more and then fired up, but sounded awful and the check engine light came on. I turned the key off, but the engine kept running for maybe 5-10 seconds until it puttered off. Third try, it wouldn't even crank.

one hour later I tapped the starter solenoid and someone moved some relay wires by the fan shroud and it began to crank but wouldn't start

Its been in my friends shop for multiple days. He said there is no spark. I pulled codes for the cam, rpm and throttle sensor (some of them may be old codes), but I replaced all three sensors yesterday and didn't win. What should be next? Starter switch? a relay somewhere?

any insight would be very much appreciated. You all have such a wealth of knowledge.

Let me know your thoughts,

Ozark Lee
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Ozark Lee

Re: 94 850 crank no spark

Post by Ozark Lee » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:27 am

You have a bunch of stuff going on that really doesn't seem to correlate. How is the battery? Check and double check the battery cables and particularly the secondary cables off if the main battery terminals along with the grounds.

The relays on the fan shroud are either the master fuel system relay or the fan relay, neither one really changes the starter circuit so I'm not sure where that ties in.

The way it died actually sounds more typical of a failing fuel pump but that will not result in a no spark condition.


'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
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Re: 94 850 crank no spark

Post by jreed » Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:22 pm

Agreed with the words of the master above.
It might be a good idea also to check if the fuel pump is coming on (usually there is a sound from the fuel pump priming when you turn the key just before starting) and if you're getting fuel pressure to the fuel injector rail.

1997 855 GLT (Light Pressure Turbo) still going strong. Previous: 1986 240 GL rusted out in '06, 1985 Saab 900T rusted out in '95, 1975 Saab 99 rusted out in '95, 1973 Saab 99 rusted out in '94

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Re: 94 850 crank no spark

Post by misha » Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:53 am

esachs wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:11 am
I turned the key off, but the engine kept running for maybe 5-10 seconds until it puttered off...
That would indicate ignition lock problem.

'97 850 2.5 20v /fully equipped/ Motronic 4.4 / polar white wagon
'91 Citroen XM 2.0 SI /fully equipped/mandarine red metallic
History of Volvos in the family:
'71 144 S
'73 144 De Luxe
'78 244 DL
'78 244 DL
'79 244 GLE
'85 340 GLS

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Re: 94 850 crank no spark

Post by greg850r » Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:44 am

I'm with misha, look at the ignition switch. Has your instrument cluster or your turn signals acted up lately?

05 Cross Country wagon
99 C70 Convertible
96 850R wagon
96 850T wagon
96 850 GLT 5spd N/A sedan
97 850R 5spd sedan
66 GTO 421SD 4spd
67 GTO 455 T400
02 Powerstroke 4x4
85 Yota 4x4
24' 454 Challenger
07 Softail Custom
02 Sportster Custom
Parts cars not included

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