2008 Volvo XC70 AWD spotaneously disabled - 7 days post warranty expires


I purchased a dealer certified 2008 XC70 in Feb 2013 which had a warranty until Feb 2014. On March 7th the AWD spontaneously disabled. The car has 49K miles on it. The dealer is telling me that is a $1800 to replace the DEM. The error code they are giving me is P188914 and say that the DEM has power and ground but is not responding. I specifically asked if the temperature sensor is at fault and they said no. The roads here has been really rough because of the frost heaves. I have 4 matched ties.

Naturally I am waiting to hear if the dealership is going to do this under warranty as this happened 7 days post expiration.

But I have to ask - is this something others have experienced? A major fault just post warranty - or the AWD spontaneously going? Is there something they could do that does not cost $1800 first?


I take it you have read around and found mismatched tires can cause this. Also, pump or sensor can cause this. Checking tread depth on each tire and making sure would be where I start.

Honestly, this is just life happening to you. You were smart to ask the dealership to cover this under warranty, but I would not get too optimistic. It’s a 5 year old used car that’s out of warranty.

Thank you for your reply. The tires are matched - they are from the same set. They have even wear. I have not noticed any alignment issues while on flat straight roads.

The only other thing that I have noticed that may or may not be related and has happened in the last few months. Is that when I reverse out of my driveway and then put into drive that the drive does not engage immediately. If I wait a second between shifting from reverse to drive before pressing the gas all is fine.

I looked around and dealers seem to throw the DEM at the car for $2700. Then it works for a little bit and back to the dealer. The pump internally shorts and blows a fuse which is why Power and Ground for the DEM is stated in the code. Add on the new pump price to REALLY fix it and your over $3k.

The Volvo dealership is not going to honor the warranty even though it was 7 days past the date - which is their prerogative. Did not even offer to go partial cost. Needless to say they lost me as a customer for life.

Am now bringing the car to a local guy who is doing a more diagnostic approach rather than - “well first let’s replace this thing that costs $1800 and then go from there…”

A remanufacturing company is selling a repair service for the unit on eBay for $225.00. You send them your broken part and they repair it and send it back to you.

I haven’t used their services, but they seem to have good feedback.

I brought the car to a recommended mechanic. He did some diagnostics on the DEM and the motor behind it – is this possibly the pump everyone keeps mentioning – it is this motor that appears to be at fault. $460 with parts / labor / and shipping.

Hopefully this will fix it.

The pump was replaced at the AWD re-engaged. I cleared the code and my car is now working correctly.

$485 total.

VOLVO got a customer satisfaction survey that probably lit their server on fire.

I’m glad we have a happy customer and thanks for reporting back. I’m glad you didn’t let the dealer throw expensive parts at the car and bill you for them.

I had a couple of V70XC’s about 10 years older than yours. I loved the cars when the ran and hated the repair costs and frequency of these expensive repairs was about 2 per year. A Volvo out of warranty can get very expensive. The dealers seems to always need $2000 to 3000 for their repairs. I’m glad you found a more reasonable alternative to your Volvo dealer. I hope your experience is better than mine, but in my experience your next expensive repair is 4 to 6 months away. I just could not afford to keep my V70’s as the repair bills were killing me.

Re: the transmission question, are you bringing the car to a full stop before shifting from R to D? If not, you should be. It’s less stressful on the drivetrain if it doesn’t have to try to change directions while the car is still rolling.

The moment’s hesitation when shifting is normal. It simply takes a moment for the tranny’s internals to move around. Note that when you’re stopped, the engine is connected to the drivetrain through only a fluid coupler called a “torque converter”. There is no hard connection. Only a fluid connection.