My 1996 Volvo 850 with 254K miles has what seems like random starting troubles. Some days it starts without any problems. Other days I am unable to get it started. The battery is fine. I had to tow it to my mechanic one night and he started the car the next morning without any problems! But it has become unreliable. Does anyone have any similar experiences or ideas on what to look for and how to fix.
You’re not giving us enough information to be able to tell what’s going on so let’s start at the basics:
What does it not do when it does not start?
Does the starter make the engine turn over but it doesn’t start?
Thanks RemcoW for the quick follow-up. That’s right - it cranks just fine, the starter does makes the engine turn over but it won’t start. All the electrical systems - radio, wipers, headlights, cabin lights, everything are fine. The car will not start. The fuel gauge does say there is fuel. Cam position sensor was replaced a year back. Battery was tested and I am told the battery is fine.
Next time it happens, try squiring some starting fluid into the air intake - that’s where the air filter goes. If you have easy access to the air filter, take it out as you’ll get more starting fluid into the system.
Note this will most likely not fix your non-starting problem for that day but may give us a clue as to what’s going on:
If the car now seems like it wants to cough to life, the problem most likely is fuel related.
If squirting starter fluid doesn’t help at all, the problem is likely ignition related.