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Bought an $800 XC90 - is it worth fixing? Could be fun

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).
800DollarXC90
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Year and Model: 2004 XC90
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800DollarXC90

Bought an $800 XC90 - is it worth fixing? Could be fun

Post by 800DollarXC90 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:39 pm

On April 11, 2020, I purchased a 2004 Volvo XC90 AWD 2.9 B6294T (T6) as-is for $900 after dealership fees. The XC90 was a former auction car. There were some electrical issues I noticed during my test drive, but the car was in great condition given the price. I decided to purchase, have my mechanic inspect, and it's been my daily driver since. To date, the only work I've put into the car is an oil change, a new engine filter, and a new set of windshield wipers.

Here's a list of the car's issues I was aware of before purchasing:

Messages:
  • TIME FOR REGULAR MAINTENANCE

    ANTI-SKID SERVICE REQUIRED

    BULB FAILURE MULTIPLE BULBS

    ENGINE SYSTEM SERVICE REQUIRED

    TRANSMISSION SERVICE REQUIRED

    BRAKE FAILURE STOP SAFELY
Dash lights on:
  • ABS

    BRAKE

    CHECK ENGINE

    Red triangle with exclamation in the center of dash

    BRAKE FAILURE STOP SAFELY
[*]After a few minutes of driving, a message reading "BRAKE FAILURE STOP SAFELY" appears, and the temperature, RPM , and speedometer gauges die. The odometer stops rolling as well. When this happens, acceleration power goes in and out, the car jitters and glitches, and the transmission shifts rough for a few seconds, then driving is back to normal. However, the dash doesn't start working again - BRAKE FAILURE STOP SAFELY never goes away, and the aforementioned guages do not come back on. Note: I've driven a couple thousand miles since purchasing in March, and the odometer has only tracked >100.

Other issues:
  • Driver window doesn't roll down

    Driver door doesn't lock

    Driver side mirror doesn't adjust

    Seat warmers don't work

    Entertainment screen doesn't turn on, but radio stations, volume, and buttons work.

    Stereo speakers pop whenever the radio is turned on.

    AC/Heat don't blow very hard, and AC isn't cold unless I drive fast. Smells weird.

    Gas tank sometimes locks, sometimes doesn't. Always unlocks.

    The "W" button doesn't seem to work.

    Cruise Control doesn't work after "BRAKE FAILURE STOP SAFELY" comes up.

    Sunroof shade won't move, is stuck open.

    Sunroof makes a very loud grunting/crackling noise when I open it.

    Sometimes oil pressure light comes on, then goes off after I restart.

    Sometimes "COOLANT LOW STOP ENGINE" comes on, I'm thinking there's a leak.

    Trunk battery, and battery area, is extremely corroded, but have never had problems.
My mechanic checked the car out for me. Told me it's a great daily driver, but keep it in a 50-mile radius from home. Of course, I've taken it on a couple road trips already. Car doesn't die ever, but I need to start looking into these issues before more arise. My mechanic also recommends I see a Volvo electrician by the end of summer to look at my computer system - but I'm not quite sure if that means I need the system replaced or refreshed. Here are a list of codes my mechanic wrote down for me. Some of the descriptions may be misspelled or way off as I try and decipher his handwriting.

Engine:
  • 9282 - Control Module Problem

    E000 - Control Mode Comm

    9400 - Brake Pedal Sensor

    2910 - F. Heated 02 B2

    720A - Immobilizer

    261A - Long Term Fuel Trim

    4024 - Leak Dia Init Tank (Pump)

    4007 - EVAP

    E003 - Configuration Fault
Transmission: (Note: YOUR SENSOR)
  • 0092 - Solaroid Park / Natural Position Switch

    E000 - Control module

    E003 - Configuration Fault
ABS:
  • 0094 - Comm

    0100 - Comm

    0114 - Comm

    0100 - Comm
SRS:
  • E003 - Comm

    00D5
His Notes of the car's general issues:
  • Caster/Cluster(?) Purg Valve

    02 Sensor B25

    Leak Diag(?) Unit in tank

    Brake Pedal Sensor

    Trans Control Module

    Diff El Module

    Central EL Module

    Your Pote/Date(?) Sensor

    R.F axel seal

    Rear Brakes

    L.F. Axel

    F. Tires

    L.F. Door Module

    Motor mounts

    Front struts

    Front links (?)
I'm not sure what these codes mean. Does a code mean it can be refreshed, or does this mean a part needs to be replaced?

Anyway, I'm a total dummy with cars, but am hoping to learn some stuff along the way as I fix up this guy. I'm not exactly sure of where I should start, though. Any tips? What do you think of this list? Thanks so much!

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SuperHerman
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SuperHerman

Re: Bought an $800 XC90 - is it worth fixing? Could be fun

Post by SuperHerman » Sun Jun 07, 2020 11:34 pm

Always start with no parts required repairs. For you - start with your CEM. Look up water egress issues as some of your problems may be connection issues caused by water intrusion.

Also check the yaw sensor under the front passenger seat for water intrusion.

Check all of your vacuum hoses and plastic tubing for leaks, cracks, clamps or rotted rubber tubes.

There is also an on board diagnostic built into the car which will tell you what systems are not communicating - with this information you can back track and make sure your connections are not damaged. Do some searching and you will find a video and write ups on this feature.

Check your fluid levels: oil, transmission, brake and power steering.

Those are the free items.

The XC90 is not known for electrical issues unless something went wrong - like water intrusion.

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