Volvo 850 (problem with ignition?)

Discussion in 'Volvo 850' started by Tony, Jul 8, 2003.

  1. Tony

    Tony Guest

    I have +7 years old Volvo 850 that until recently worked without a
    glitch.
    About a year ago it developed a strange problem: when turning the
    ignition key, nothing happens - car behaves like the battery is
    totally dead. Then, after trying several times it starts normally,
    like there is no problem at all.
    This is ghappening more and more often and always in more and more
    'inapropriate' places (like waiting in line for a ferry...)
    Using computer tester (terminal near the gear shift) never showed
    anything what I guess is normal because I always reached the service
    when car was working.

    Does anybody have an idea what that may be; any similar experiences?

    Thanks!
     
    Tony, Jul 8, 2003
    #1
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  2. Tony

    Mike F Guest

    Tony wrote:
    >
    > I have +7 years old Volvo 850 that until recently worked without a
    > glitch.
    > About a year ago it developed a strange problem: when turning the
    > ignition key, nothing happens - car behaves like the battery is
    > totally dead. Then, after trying several times it starts normally,
    > like there is no problem at all.
    > This is ghappening more and more often and always in more and more
    > 'inapropriate' places (like waiting in line for a ferry...)
    > Using computer tester (terminal near the gear shift) never showed
    > anything what I guess is normal because I always reached the service
    > when car was working.
    >
    > Does anybody have an idea what that may be; any similar experiences?
    >
    > Thanks!


    The electrical part of the ignition switch is a very common intermittent
    failure point. It's fairly easy to change, you only need to remove the
    trim around the steering column.

    --
    Mike F.
    Thornhill (near Toronto), Ont.

    Change cant to ca and remove parentheses to email me directly.
     
    Mike F, Jul 8, 2003
    #2
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  3. Tony

    volvowrench Guest

    In article <>,
    by Tony dropped his wrench, scratched his head and
    mumbled,
    > I have +7 years old Volvo 850 that until recently worked without a
    > glitch.
    > About a year ago it developed a strange problem: when turning the
    > ignition key, nothing happens - car behaves like the battery is
    > totally dead. Then, after trying several times it starts normally,
    > like there is no problem at all.
    > This is ghappening more and more often and always in more and more
    > 'inapropriate' places (like waiting in line for a ferry...)
    > Using computer tester (terminal near the gear shift) never showed
    > anything what I guess is normal because I always reached the service
    > when car was working.
    >
    > Does anybody have an idea what that may be; any similar experiences?
    >
    > Thanks!
    >

    Sounds fairly typical of a bad ground or bad battery cable end or
    connection. You'll have to do a voltage drop test across the cables to
    tell. Unless the engine is being turned by the starter and current is
    going to the control unit, the OBDII system won't record a fault.

    Bob
    --
    The goal of driving is to miss the maximum possible number of objects.
     
    volvowrench, Jul 8, 2003
    #3
  4. Tony

    Tony Guest

    volvowrench <> wrote in message news:<>...
    > In article <>,
    > by Tony dropped his wrench, scratched his head and
    > mumbled,
    > > I have +7 years old Volvo 850 that until recently worked without a
    > > glitch.
    > > About a year ago it developed a strange problem: when turning the
    > > ignition key, nothing happens - car behaves like the battery is
    > > totally dead. Then, after trying several times it starts normally,
    > > like there is no problem at all.
    > > This is ghappening more and more often and always in more and more
    > > 'inapropriate' places (like waiting in line for a ferry...)
    > > Using computer tester (terminal near the gear shift) never showed
    > > anything what I guess is normal because I always reached the service
    > > when car was working.
    > >
    > > Does anybody have an idea what that may be; any similar experiences?
    > >
    > > Thanks!
    > >

    > Sounds fairly typical of a bad ground or bad battery cable end or
    > connection. You'll have to do a voltage drop test across the cables to
    > tell. Unless the engine is being turned by the starter and current is
    > going to the control unit, the OBDII system won't record a fault.
    >
    > Bob


    I wish it is something so banal. During the period that this happens,
    I changed the battery once and cleaned the battery terminals at least
    every six months during regular service checkups. The problem comes
    back, totally irregularly.
    Is there something between the ignition switch and starter; some piece
    of electronics? Dirty battery terminals often show up as dimmed
    instrument lights (when the key is turned). Here, nothing like that -
    the car is totally dead like the battery has been pulled out. Then
    after half hour or half day the car starts normally.

    Tony
     
    Tony, Jul 9, 2003
    #4
  5. Tony

    Kirth Gersen Guest

    On Wed, 09 Jul 2003 03:16:47 +0000, Bev A. Kupf wrote:

    > On 8 Jul 2003 19:32:57 -0700,
    > Tony () wrote:
    >> I wish it is something so banal. During the period that this happens,
    >> I changed the battery once and cleaned the battery terminals at least
    >> every six months during regular service checkups. The problem comes
    >> back, totally irregularly.
    >> Is there something between the ignition switch and starter; some piece
    >> of electronics? Dirty battery terminals often show up as dimmed
    >> instrument lights (when the key is turned). Here, nothing like that -
    >> the car is totally dead like the battery has been pulled out. Then
    >> after half hour or half day the car starts normally.

    >
    > Did you consider that you have a bad ignition switch. They do
    > occasionally go bad you know.
    >
    > Bev


    They sure do, you may experience strange problems. As I did.
    Replacing the ignition switch solved them all.

    Kirth
     
    Kirth Gersen, Jul 9, 2003
    #5
  6. Tony

    Tony Guest

    "Bev A. Kupf" <> wrote in message news:<>...
    > On 8 Jul 2003 19:32:57 -0700,
    > Tony () wrote:
    > > I wish it is something so banal. During the period that this happens,
    > > I changed the battery once and cleaned the battery terminals at least
    > > every six months during regular service checkups. The problem comes
    > > back, totally irregularly.
    > > Is there something between the ignition switch and starter; some piece
    > > of electronics? Dirty battery terminals often show up as dimmed
    > > instrument lights (when the key is turned). Here, nothing like that -
    > > the car is totally dead like the battery has been pulled out. Then
    > > after half hour or half day the car starts normally.

    >
    > Did you consider that you have a bad ignition switch. They do
    > occasionally go bad you know.
    >
    > Bev



    All checked OK. The car just came from workshop - condition 'perfect'.
    In about a year this happened about 10-15 times. I hoped someone will
    tell me it's anti theft device (came with the car) or maybe main
    controller board. Just anything I can pull out and replace. I know one
    Volvo 850 that would not start in humid weather; it was just that
    controller.
    Well folks, thanks anyway!
     
    Tony, Jul 9, 2003
    #6
  7. Tony

    RoadKill Guest

    On 8 Jul 2003 02:56:08 -0700, (Tony) wrote:

    >I have +7 years old Volvo 850 that until recently worked without a
    >glitch.
    >About a year ago it developed a strange problem: when turning the
    >ignition key, nothing happens - car behaves like the battery is
    >totally dead. Then, after trying several times it starts normally,
    >like there is no problem at all.
    >This is ghappening more and more often and always in more and more
    >'inapropriate' places (like waiting in line for a ferry...)
    >Using computer tester (terminal near the gear shift) never showed
    >anything what I guess is normal because I always reached the service
    >when car was working.
    >
    >Does anybody have an idea what that may be; any similar experiences?
    >
    >Thanks!


    Hey, sounds like my 850. My wife spilt coke all over the gear shift. And then I started having the same symtoms as you. Every once in a while, I'd
    turn the key.... nada. The engine would not turn. Just lights and fans would come on and even the radio. I knew the battery was good. I had to
    have it towed once.

    Then, someone told me he though it was a sticky switch that's attached to the gear shift, somehow. Hmmmmmmmm I thought... sticky switch. Then, one
    day I accidently left the car in "drive" and turned the egnition key, and guess what happened???? Lights, radio, fan, but the engine didn't turn.
    So, I put two and two together. When it happened to me again, what I did was to shake the gear shift while the car was in park. This seems to
    loosened whatever was stuck and bingo..............the car fires up. This happens to me about every other month and this trick has worked for me
    everytime.

    In your case, sounds like that switch by the gear shift is worn out..... or did you also spill coke?
     
    RoadKill, Jul 9, 2003
    #7
  8. Tony

    Tony Guest

    RoadKill <> wrote in message news:<>...
    > On 8 Jul 2003 02:56:08 -0700, (Tony) wrote:
    >
    > >I have +7 years old Volvo 850 that until recently worked without a
    > >glitch.
    > >About a year ago it developed a strange problem: when turning the
    > >ignition key, nothing happens - car behaves like the battery is
    > >totally dead. Then, after trying several times it starts normally,
    > >like there is no problem at all.
    > >This is ghappening more and more often and always in more and more
    > >'inapropriate' places (like waiting in line for a ferry...)
    > >Using computer tester (terminal near the gear shift) never showed
    > >anything what I guess is normal because I always reached the service
    > >when car was working.
    > >
    > >Does anybody have an idea what that may be; any similar experiences?
    > >
    > >Thanks!

    >
    > Hey, sounds like my 850. My wife spilt coke all over the gear shift. And then I started having the same symtoms as you. Every once in a while, I'd
    > turn the key.... nada. The engine would not turn. Just lights and fans would come on and even the radio. I knew the battery was good. I had to
    > have it towed once.
    >
    > Then, someone told me he though it was a sticky switch that's attached to the gear shift, somehow. Hmmmmmmmm I thought... sticky switch. Then, one
    > day I accidently left the car in "drive" and turned the egnition key, and guess what happened???? Lights, radio, fan, but the engine didn't turn.
    > So, I put two and two together. When it happened to me again, what I did was to shake the gear shift while the car was in park. This seems to
    > loosened whatever was stuck and bingo..............the car fires up. This happens to me about every other month and this trick has worked for me
    > everytime.
    >
    > In your case, sounds like that switch by the gear shift is worn out..... or did you also spill coke?


    Bingo!
    There is some switch near gearshift stick and that thing is 95% of
    time dead for at least five years. Only sometimes it works, meaning
    that I can get the gearshift stick out of 'P' without pushing that
    small override button. I tried to change it but I have a mechanical
    anti-theft device installed on the gearshift and it would be a major
    workshop job. On the top of it, this seems to be very rarely changed
    item and my mechanic has no clue about it.
    |Some two years ago I found an illustrated procedure (following link
    from this group) how to do that but because of my anti-theft device I
    lost enthusiasm for doing it.
    So I need two hands to get the gearshift out of 'P' but I can live
    with that. It seemed to me that shaking gearshift helped but I was
    obviously not energetic enough every time.
    Does anybody know where to find the instructions on how to change that
    switch?
     
    Tony, Jul 10, 2003
    #8
  9. Tony

    S. Nash Guest

    I think....(someone correct me if I'm wrong)...its the PNP switch...I also
    think my 94 850 has the same problem.

    http://www.volvospeed.com/volvo_performance.php

    HOT off the press...

    I just looked at consumerguide.com for this model and this is what it said
    for possible trouble spot:

    Automatic transmission: If the transmission is sometimes difficult to shift
    out of park, it is due to improper contact of the lockout microswitch.
    (1994-96)

    The shift microshift replacement is what you want to look for on the same
    sight.

    Does anyone have an idea of the parts an labor for this?

    T&S




    ..




    "Tony" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > RoadKill <> wrote in message

    news:<>...
    > > On 8 Jul 2003 02:56:08 -0700, (Tony) wrote:
    > >
    > > >I have +7 years old Volvo 850 that until recently worked without a
    > > >glitch.
    > > >About a year ago it developed a strange problem: when turning the
    > > >ignition key, nothing happens - car behaves like the battery is
    > > >totally dead. Then, after trying several times it starts normally,
    > > >like there is no problem at all.
    > > >This is ghappening more and more often and always in more and more
    > > >'inapropriate' places (like waiting in line for a ferry...)
    > > >Using computer tester (terminal near the gear shift) never showed
    > > >anything what I guess is normal because I always reached the service
    > > >when car was working.
    > > >
    > > >Does anybody have an idea what that may be; any similar experiences?
    > > >
    > > >Thanks!

    > >
    > > Hey, sounds like my 850. My wife spilt coke all over the gear shift.

    And then I started having the same symtoms as you. Every once in a while,
    I'd
    > > turn the key.... nada. The engine would not turn. Just lights and fans

    would come on and even the radio. I knew the battery was good. I had to
    > > have it towed once.
    > >
    > > Then, someone told me he though it was a sticky switch that's attached

    to the gear shift, somehow. Hmmmmmmmm I thought... sticky switch. Then,
    one
    > > day I accidently left the car in "drive" and turned the egnition key,

    and guess what happened???? Lights, radio, fan, but the engine didn't turn.
    > > So, I put two and two together. When it happened to me again, what I

    did was to shake the gear shift while the car was in park. This seems to
    > > loosened whatever was stuck and bingo..............the car fires up.

    This happens to me about every other month and this trick has worked for me
    > > everytime.
    > >
    > > In your case, sounds like that switch by the gear shift is worn out.....

    or did you also spill coke?
    >
    > Bingo!
    > There is some switch near gearshift stick and that thing is 95% of
    > time dead for at least five years. Only sometimes it works, meaning
    > that I can get the gearshift stick out of 'P' without pushing that
    > small override button. I tried to change it but I have a mechanical
    > anti-theft device installed on the gearshift and it would be a major
    > workshop job. On the top of it, this seems to be very rarely changed
    > item and my mechanic has no clue about it.
    > |Some two years ago I found an illustrated procedure (following link
    > from this group) how to do that but because of my anti-theft device I
    > lost enthusiasm for doing it.
    > So I need two hands to get the gearshift out of 'P' but I can live
    > with that. It seemed to me that shaking gearshift helped but I was
    > obviously not energetic enough every time.
    > Does anybody know where to find the instructions on how to change that
    > switch?
    >
     
    S. Nash, Jul 12, 2003
    #9
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