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My volvo v40 wont start but the battery isn't dead

I drive my 2000 Volvo almost every day around town. It has some problems that need to be repaired (front rear axel needs to be replaced) but, in general, it runs fine. Yesterday I went to turn it on and the lights, radio, power windows etc. turn on but the car does not. There is enough oil and gas in the car. The battery is fine. I think something is wrong with the steering column (is that what it is called?!) but Im not sure what. How serious is this problem and what should I do?

Is it turning over? (Rrrr…Rrrr…Rrrr)
If it is, is it turning over at normal speed?
If it is turning over, does it occasionally “cough”? (Meaning that it is firing, just not well enough to be self-sustaining.)

To start a car, you need air, fuel, spark, and compression. If it is not starting, it is imperative to find out which of these four things you are lacking. It sounds a little (reading between lines) that you get zilch…no turn over, no nothing (though it would be helpful to know if you get a solenoid “click.”)

If you could describe exactly what is going on when the car fails to start, it will make it easier for us to give you accurate advice :smiley:

I will clarify…I cannot even turn the car key to the end (to position ‘III’), so it does not even go to the stage where the engine normally ignites. When the key is turned to position ‘II’ the dials reading “service” and “check engine” are glowing. After that it doesn’t go any further. The problem of the car not starting happened instantly; until the day before, the car always ignited perfectly fine.

Well, the fact that you can’t get the key to the “start” setting would explain the non-start.

It souunds like you might need a new lock cylinder, but before you start tearing it apart, check the motion of the steering wheel.

Is it “locked” into position?

If it is, then this could explain the trouble with the key. Most cars are designed such that the steering wheel won’t turn fully unless the key is in “run” as a saftey device. If the steering wheel is turned anyways, it’ll “lock” in a position and will make it hard to physically turn the key (though generally it’s hard to turn it at all.)

Here’s what you could try: if the steering wheel is locked in a position, try turning it back-and forth a bit while attempting to get the key to “start.” If this gets the starter to go, then the problem was this anti-theft device.

If this doesn’t work, then you have a problem with the switch/lock cylinder assembly that needs looking into that I personally don’t know enough about to help you with.

Okay so I tried moving the steering wheel back and forth and it locked into a position so that I could no longer get past the first setting of turning the car on. I eventually unlocked the steering wheel from that spot; however, I was unable to start the car up so I am assuming htis is a problem with the switch/lock cylinder.
Now, in saying this, here is the big overall question I have. I just moved back from being overseas on a job contract and received this car from my mother as she just bought a new car. I am moving to a city so I thought it would be nice to have this car but not necessary. I have decided to sell or donate it but I’m unsure of what to do. It has necessary repairs of this steering wheel possible switch/lock cylinder assembly, needs a new right front axel and new brake pads …the latter two problems totaling $1500 for parts and labor at my local Volvo dealership.
The question is, should I sell the car AS-IS, should I repair it and sell it for average amount a 2000 Volvo V40 in decent shape goes for (decent after the repairs but it is a great car) or, lastly, should I donate it? I am in my 20s and could really use the money to help pay off my student loans so donating it is my last choice. Any suggestions or any more information needed? Thank you again for all your help; I need it!