Have you experienced volvo stalling problems?
Stalling problems when you stop for a traffic light or when idling:
A stop light or idle stall often means the engine is not idling fast enough (idle speed too low), or the engine is being lugged down by a load on it created by the air conditioning compressor and/or alternator. It could also mean the fuel mixture is too rich or too lean, causing the engine to run poorly. Possible causes that may contribute to this kind of stalling include:
If the A/C compressor is binding up, possibly due to a lack of lubrication, internal wear or an over-charged A/C system (too much refrigerant), it may be lugging down the engine when it is engaged. If the problem only occurs when the A/C is on, there is an issue with the compressor.
If the battery is run down and the alternator is working hard to recharge it, the increases load on the engine may pull down the idle rpm to the point where it causes the engine to stall. Check the battery state of charge to see if the battery is run down or failing. If the battery is low, use a battery charger to recharge it, or drive at highways speeds for half an hour or so. If the battery is failing and is not holding a charge, time to buy a new battery.
NOTE: Low voltage can adversely affect the operation of the ignition system and fuel injectors, causing stalling and misfiring. A good charging system should produce about 13.5 to 14.5 volts at idle.
Stalling problems unexpectedly while driving:
Stalls like this are often ignition-related and happen when the engine loses spark. The underlying cause is often a bad crankshaft position sensor, or sometimes a failing ignition coil (if the engine has only one coil). A faulty ignition switch that loses contact intermittently may also cause the engine to suddenly die for no reason.
When this happens, open the hood and check for spark. This can be done by pulling off a plug wire (if the engine has plug wires), and placing the end near the block while a helper cranks the engine. DO NOT hold the wire as it may shock you if the ignition system is working. If you do not see a spark or hear the plug wire snapping when the engine is cranking, the fault is in the ignition system.
If the engine has spark, it may have died due to a loss of fuel pressure. When fuel pumps fail, they usually just quit with little or no warning. The engine usually won’t restart and the vehicle has to be towed in for repairs. Listen for a buzz from the vicinity of the fuel tank when the ignition is turned on. No buzz means the fuel pump isn’t running. It might just be a blown fuse or a bad relay, but on a high mileage vehicle it’s often a bad fuel pump.
Eureka!! I think I solved the stalling problems!!!
I drove my Volvo on errands this morning, ending up at the local auto parts store to purchase fuel injection pressure testing equipment. When I went to leave, it wouldn’t start. It was a warm California day with the temperatures reaching into the 90’s F. I sat with car for two hours trying repeatedly to start it. It would just crank. My timing light indicated strong spark. I got a ride home and returned with my tools in another vehicle. I spent another hour trying to figure out how to hook up the test equipment. Then a guy from the parts store comes out and says that he thinks it is the fuel pump. He then hands me a rock and tells me to tap on the fuel pump a few times. This should knock loose anything that might be hanging up inside the pump. So I take the rock, crawl under the car, and tapped the fuel pump about a dozen times. I get out, get into the car, turn the key and it starts right up! I immediately purchased a new replacement fuel pump, drove the car home and replaced the fuel pump. I am 99% sure that this will cure the problem. I will check back in a couple weeks to let you know how this is going.
October 1, 2004
After four weeks, the car starts first time, every time. No more starting problem. Both new fuel pumps did the trick!
Looking back, it is clear that the original in-tank pump was not working when I bought the car. I found fuse #11 blown a few days after buying the car. I replaced the in-tank pump for good measure. Since I was going into the tank to look at it, it was easier to replace at the same time than to put the old one back in. I discovered the old filter sock had deteriorated and had at least two holes in the sock. I suspect dirt entered the in-tank pump, fouling it and causing the fuse to blow. I further suspect the main fuel pump was fouled with dirt from the broken filter sock, which caused the intermittent starting.
Should you encounter a bad main fuel pump on your car, always inspect and/or replace the in-tank fuel pump, so that you can verify the condition of the filter sock. A bad or deteriorated in-tank filter sock will lead to fouling both fuel pumps with dirt. (Should you go to the trouble of taking out the in-tank pump, you may as well replace it while you got it out.)