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Post by SW480 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:28 pm


So I'm still relatively new to owning a Volvo 480.

The first issue I have had with the car is the fan not kicking in, not tested it yet but it had overheated.
This is still yet to be fixed however I planned to make a quick journey to my new workshop in the Volvo late night last week with the heating on full blast just to be sure.

The Volvo had been sitting for approximately 6 weeks inside a garage so I fired her up the first time no problems started first turn. Great, I thought.
I had filled it up with v power had a full tank almost so I knew it was a straight run to my new workshop about 3 miles.

Double checked the coolant in the radiator as that had leaked out when she overheated and blew off the pipe between the engine and the heating matrix ( not sure if that's the right word ) when I was sat in traffic on the Blackwall tunnel a few weeks back. Everything seemed all good.

About 1 mile in had been taking it very easily no hi revs or anything engine read cold, oil was not too hot, heating coming out of the blower. I got on a little bit of straight road sped up a bit to try to get some air flow to the radiator and then at about 40mph it just dies. Power cuts out and I rolled to the side of the road.

The car wouldn't start and hasn't started since. Turning over but not firing up, I could hear the fuel pump whirling in the back if the car so I feel that's working. The one odd thing is that it said the windscreen fluid was empty but I checked it and its full at least it's not empty so I'm quite confused about where to start.

Any help or anyone had a similar problem - ts a 1989 ES 1.7 - 65,000 miles, I've recently done a handful of long journeys in it and I've had no problems what so ever until now, must admit the tunning in idle is a bit lumpy. It always wants to Pull when in the drive but stopped at lights for example like its rearing to go. It's auto but it's old to so I thought maybe that's just what the old autos are like so I always put in neutral when I pull up to lights.

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Post by MisterH » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:16 pm

I don't know if this will help, but it is worth a shot:

When I first got my car, it had a faulty MAP Sensor. When one tried to start the engine, it would run for a couple of seconds and then cut out. luckily the vendor supplied a new MAP with the car, and when it was fitted, It started and drove first time without issue. I did not know the car before it went into its hibernation in '06, so I do not know what the beginnings of a faulty MAP feel like, but it may be worth a try?

I hope this helps!

My car is a manual '88 with ~70k on the clock

I am afraid I cannot help with the Radiator
Current Jobs to do (30/12/19):
New Tires
Fix Radio/Cassette
Fix Central Locking

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Post by dcwalker » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:47 pm

It sounds to me as if you have a number of problems here, some of which may be related.

The low washer fluid warning is probably a "stand alone" issue - the floats crack or their seals leak and let in fluid and then they stop working (they sink so giving a constant empty reading). The easy solution is to pull the connector out and do without it - it is the small two wire flat rectangle plug that pushes into the washer bottle at the front end.

Your poor idling and now failure to start may well be due to a faulty sensor signal to the ECU. As MisterH suggests, the MAP sensor could be the culprit, but then again it could be any one of about half a dozen. I suspect the answer is no given you have a 1989 model, but does it have the little black box fault code reader on the N/S pillar under the bonnet?

If it does, read the codes - plenty of help on here and the main site on how to do that.

However, I am slightly confused as to whether the car currently has coolant in it or not?

It strikes me though that if the car has no coolant then the coolant temperature sensor (for the ECU, not the Info Centre) may be the culprit, in that it cannot give the correct signal.

If you can provide a bit more info in respect of the above hopefully we can help you further!

Good luck!

Current: 1994 480 GT (plus 2004 C70 Collection & 2010 V50 SE)
Previous: Celebration 467 (returned to Martin Mc); Celebration 346 (re-homed with Alan480); Celebration 269 (scrapped abandoned project), Celebration 73 (sold on after 6 years), 1992 ES, 1988 ES - and numerous other non-480 Volvos!

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Post by travelman » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:44 pm

I had a similar problem a couple of years ago.Engine died without warning and refused to start again.Had to tow it in.The culprit was the earth strap between the engine and the coil.It had built up some gunk at one end.Cleaned it off both ends and refixed it and have had no starting problems since.It is an easy one to check before you look at the harder options!Good Luck.

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Post by Alan 480 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:43 am

it could be a whole HOST of issues . ..

I know i can force the SS1 coil pack to trigger but not sure how you can prove the coil is getting a signal.

try pulling off the main lead to the coil and see if you get a spark when you put a plug into it . ..

dicky wiring, check the crankshaft sensor multi plug, just on top of gearbox , easy one to try, pull it out and back in.

480 ES 2litre x 2, C30 1.8ES, SS1

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