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1983 volvo

it is a 1983 242dl volvo. stopped running about a week ago went to start the car and it wouldn’t turn over, got a jump from someone and about 2 blocks down the road it starting cutting out and died when we tried to jump it again the battery on the good car started smoking cables got really hot. could it be a bad cable, the starter is about 3 months old, could it be the alternator? would love to find out whats wrong. thaks.

Had a similar problem with a newer model. It turned out to be a bad ignition module. It was cutting the ignition intermittently, and stalling the engine. However, it could also be a bad battery cable. It is hard to know without having looked at it and tested a few things. The sputtering could also be a clogged fuel filter or bad fuel pump. Or even dirty injectors

Older cars can have bad battery cables. Check the negative for cracked rubber. If you see any cracks, the cable is definitely bad. Since you had smoking cables on the good car, I think your positive one could be bad too. Connect a jumper cable to the engine block or any bracket on the engine and then to the negative terminal. Then see if the car starts without a jump. If the engine cranks, change the negative cable.