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Volvo 740 GLE Won't Restart (Sometimes) in Hot Weather

My 1986 Volvo 740 GLE, which has about 275,000 miles on it, sometimes refuses to start after running for an hour or more in 85 degree-plus weather–especially if it’s been driven on the freeway. I turn the ignition and there’s no sound. The dash panel does light up. The dash thermostadt doesn’t veer into the red. The battery is new and strong. After the car cools down it starts. Sometimes this takes several hours, sometimes thirty minutes.

After one of these episodes a tow truck driver had me set the ignition to accessory and he started the car with a quarter by making contact that bypassed the ignition switch and the neutral safety switch. I had both of those switches replaced a few days later. The problem persists. No one has been able to figure it out, including my mechanic at a Volvo-only garage.

I can’t go on like this–not knowing if the car will start up when it’s most needed. But I also can’t afford to buy a new car now, so I’m really hoping that you might have experience with this kind of problem.


Your vehicle may have a something like an ignition relay and it is intermittent. There may be a compartment under the near the windshield on the driver’s side that houses the relay.

Check the connections to the starter. It could also be the starter (or more to the point the solenoid on the starter). Also make sure you are missing a heat shield between the starter and the exhaust.