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Volvo 850 randomly shuts down while driving


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cbchameleon
New User

Dec 22, 2013, 12:25 PM

Post #1 of 10 (1759 views)
Volvo 850 randomly shuts down while driving Sign In

I have a 95 Volvo 850 with 105,000 miles on it and I live at high altitude in Colorado. About two years ago it started giving me a problem. It would randomly shut off while driving. I will all of a sudden not be able to give it any gas and all the lights on the dash come on and the engine shuts off and then I'll need to pull over. For a while it would start right back up again and it didn't happen very often so I didn't really address the problem. But in the last year it has happened much more frequently and now it has become an issue because it won't start right back up again. Now I'll have to leave it wherever it is for about an hour and then it will start back up again.

The fuel filter, fuel relay, spark plugs have all been replaced. I took it back to the mechanic and then he changed the crank sensor. This didn't fix the problem. At this point I don't want to keep taking it back to him to just pay him to keep guessing. What should I do? Any ideas of what the problem might be?


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Dec 22, 2013, 12:27 PM

Post #2 of 10 (1754 views)
Re: Volvo 850 randomly shuts down while driving Sign In


Quote
and now it has become an issue because it won't start right back up again.


That should make it real easy for a qualified tech to find the problem.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Dec 22, 2013, 12:32 PM

Post #3 of 10 (1749 views)
Re: Volvo 850 randomly shuts down while driving Sign In

Is this cranking when it doesn't start or not cranking at all? Makes a huge difference on what to chase down. Glad you mentioned high altitude AND Colorado. Fuel injected shouldn't care about altitude and Colorado cars (owned two) have less corrosion problems than places that use road salts and as I recall CO doesn't,


T



cbchameleon
New User

Dec 22, 2013, 1:03 PM

Post #4 of 10 (1734 views)
Re: Volvo 850 randomly shuts down while driving Sign In

"That should make it real easy for a qualified tech to find the problem."

Well last time it happened the mechanic came out and hooked up diagnostics and that's how he came to the conclusion of crank sensor but that didn't fix the problem.


cbchameleon
New User

Dec 22, 2013, 1:04 PM

Post #5 of 10 (1732 views)
Re: Volvo 850 randomly shuts down while driving Sign In

"Is this cranking when it doesn't start or not cranking at all?" It does crank, like it's trying to start.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Dec 22, 2013, 1:05 PM

Post #6 of 10 (1729 views)
Re: Volvo 850 randomly shuts down while driving Sign In

Sounds like it's time for a more qualified tech.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



cbchameleon
New User

Dec 22, 2013, 1:10 PM

Post #7 of 10 (1724 views)
Re: Volvo 850 randomly shuts down while driving Sign In

"Sounds like it's time for a more qualified tech." Probably :-), unfortunately I live out in the middle of nowhere and don't have very many options, that's why I'm trying to do some research


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Dec 22, 2013, 1:12 PM

Post #8 of 10 (1724 views)
Re: Volvo 850 randomly shuts down while driving Sign In

With Hammer on this.


Quote ">>The fuel filter, fuel relay, spark plugs have all been replaced. I took it back to the mechanic and then he changed the crank sensor. This didn't fix the problem. At this point I don't want to keep taking it back to him to just pay him to keep guessing. What should I do? Any ideas of what the problem might be?<<"


That suggests guesses on both fuel problems and ignition/spark problem. Tech should have narrowed it down by now even if they don't have enough info for a Volvo at hand,


T



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Dec 22, 2013, 1:23 PM

Post #9 of 10 (1718 views)
Re: Volvo 850 randomly shuts down while driving Sign In

If the car will stay dead long enough, then it's just a matter of going through a test sequence. This is real basic stuff for any qualified tech.

Here's what needs to be done.


All "crank, no start" conditions are approached in the same way. Every engine requires certain functions to be able to run. Some of these functions rely on specific components to work and some components are part of more than one function so it is important to see the whole picture to be able to conclude anything about what may have failed. Also, these functions can ONLY be tested during the failure. Any other time and they will simply test good because the problem isn't present at the moment.
If you approach this in any other way, you are merely guessing and that only serves to replace unnecessary parts and wastes money.



Every engine requires spark, fuel and compression to run. That's what we have to look for.

These are the basics that need to be tested and will give us the info required to isolate a cause.

1) Test for spark at the plug end of the wire using a spark tester. If none found, check for power supply on the + terminal of the coil with the key on.


2) Test for injector pulse using a small bulb called a noid light. If none found, check for power supply at one side of the injector with the key on.


3) Use a fuel pressure gauge to test for correct fuel pressure, also noticing if the pressure holds when key is shut off.

4) If all of these things check good, then you would need to do a complete compression test.

Once you have determined which of these functions has dropped out,
you will know which system is having the problem.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Sidom
Veteran / Moderator
Sidom profile image

Dec 22, 2013, 1:35 PM

Post #10 of 10 (1714 views)
Re: Volvo 850 randomly shuts down while driving Sign In

I wish I had an easy answer and fix for you....but unfortunately don't...

I don't know if this will make more sense but in this business, there are different levels of expertise.... Depending on the type of problem you are having is where you will notice it or not......If the failure is something common or simple, then most techs can find & fix it and all is good.....
When the problem isn't so common, this is when the trouble starts. It takes a tech that understands how the systems work and who can systematically go thru those systems looking for the failure and knows what it looks like when he finds it....

The less experienced techs can't do this and reley on guessing.......

From your post, it sounds like this may not be something common.....You guy has already tried one of the most common items.....There are a few other common things but without the right equipment...it would be guessing....

At this point while it won't sound like the cheapest, easiest option at this point.....For this problem...It would be best to find a shop that can actually diagnose problem.....It's not going to be for free or even cheap......but in the long run....it'll probably be the cheapest....






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