1997 Volvo 960 - Fuse/Electrical Question

Recently purchased a 1997 Volvo 960 (75,000 miles) and found that the horn does not work even after replacing the blown fuse. Also the intertior courtesy lights don’t work and the fuse blows when I try to replace that. Now what?

You’ll need to track down the shorts. The horn has a break in the circuit somewhere. The most common location is going to probably be under the steering wheel. As for the courtesy lights, this short can be anywhere. This circuit runs the lights, the radio memory, and sometimes the cigarette lighter. But the wires on this circuit run under the headliner, behind and under the dashboard. This is generally a hard circuit to diagnose.

Thanks so much! What would I look for under the steering wheel? I am a mom - not a mechanic. The radio has not been involved and works fine. Not sure about the cigarette lighter. I appreciate any ideas you might have. We just wanted a sturdy car for our teenage daughter!

Get the services of a good automotive electrician. These circuits aren’t complex; but, following the wiring can be difficult.

The data I looked at shows the courtesy lights are tied to power through fuse 13 on a green/red wire. The fuse supplies power to other areas as BK stated so you need to check whatever else is connected to the fuse for a short. The other areas include the door locks, instrument cluster, alarm system, and some other places. If you want to pursue the repairs yourself it would be wise to invest in a service manual for the car. Having a manual on hand so you can work on things like this can save you a lot in repair bills and time in finding the problem. Knowing some basic electrical troubleshooting methods is very helpful also. If you don’t want to work on things yourself then let a good shop handle the repairs. This may make a good project for your daughter to learn some things about the car.

All of the interior lights are on the 10Amp fuse #13, and controlled by the interior lights delay relay. The horns circuits are powered by 25Amp fuse #6, and 15 Amp fuse #17 (under the hood). If the mechanic shows up without a voltmeter and the wiring schematics, send s/him home (or, go to another).

Thanks so much for all of the suggestions. I feel much more informed!

Sounds like you’re trying to be a wise acre. The truth? YOU can’t fix these electrical problems. Somebody will have to fix them for you. All the advice, and information in the world, wouldn’t make you capable of the repair.

It’s not really rocket science if you have a multi-meter, a good wiring diagram, and plenty of time. You do need a basic understanding of electrical circuits and be willing the tear into the car a little. It’s either that or paying someone else $90 per hour to do it.

Sorry if it sounded that way. I was actually being sincere. I am thankful that several people took the time to respond as I have never tried this forum before. Any information was more than I had and I do plan to go to a mechanic with the problem. I don’t like going into any situation blind and I do know my limitations.

You’re welcome for the help Schmid82 and hope you get the problem taken care of without having to spend too much.

The wiring data shows that fuse #13 goes to 11 different items with 6 of them having to do with the lighting in the roof area. If I was working on this problem I would try to find a place where I could disconnect the feed wire to those areas first. This would eliminate about half the circuits, and then I would see if the trouble is still there or not. One of places that power goes to is the vanity mirror light. I will make a wild guess and say the problem is there.

I would think a good shop should be able to find and fix the trouble within a couple of hours time at most. They may get lucky and find it right away.

Let us know what you find out and hope you come back when you have more questions. This is a good forum here to get help with car questions.

did the lights work when you bought it? how long has it been since you bought it? and did you buy from a dealer, or private party?

It’s been a while, but we did get around to resolving this problem and I thought you all might be curious. Yep! It was in the roof area - the dome light that had a short in it. Fortunately ($) - It did not take the shop very long to locate the problem. They did exactly what you mentioned and were able to isolate the short. Once the defective light fixture was replaced every thing else works! Oh and the horn was fine. When the car is turned on - the horn works very well.

This was completely my oversight and we bought it from an individual we knew locally. It’s been a great find, my daugher loves it and this was — as I said my mistake. See the reply above that it has been fixed without too much expense. Live and learn!


Thanks for “calling” back. It looks like you found a capable, honest, shop. Congratulations (on both counts)!