Volvo S60 stalling

My 2006 stalled twice yesterday. Was running normally, then suddenly stalled after driving for 10 minutes. Error message said something like “insufficient power available”. Started up fine after that, but a few miles later had the same problem.

Some potentially relevant background. The night before these two stalls I got some cheap gas from a no name station. A month earlier my car had a really rough start and check engine light came on, but it drove fine. Mechanic diagnosed a leak in the air intake tube (into turbo, I think), and replaced it. He said he got some strange codes though. (120D, 121B, 216D, 21E0 for air mass meter and fuel trim, and also control module comm code E000, 710B, 900B).

He said if the problem reoccurs I probably need an air mass sensor replacement. Thoughts?

Given it restarts so easily, I’m not too concerned re driving the ~10 miles to my mechanic, but I’ll be avoiding highways and rush hour. Or, do you think, I can damage the car by driving to the mechanic?

Yikes…a lot of info here that almost any one item could cause your condition. Modern engines Do NOT appreciate too much crappy fuel…or water laden fuel. They simply do NOT suffer bad or questionable fuel. It really sucks that we should even bring the fuel into question…when you start down that road you must see it through. You need to seriously verify the quality of what you put into the tank…honestly before you do anything else. I would pull the fuel line off the rail and pump some into a glass jar to see if I got any kind of separation. This is important…


Those fault codes are strange . . . might be Volvo specific manufacturer codes. Might be fault codes retrieved with a genuine Volvo scan tool. Who knows?

Anyways . . .

Please post OBD2 fault codes

For example . . . P0300, P0171, P0507, etc.

Any misfire codes?

Spark plugs way overdue?

If you did have unmetered air . . . that intake leak you mentioned, for example . . . that could certainly lead to fuel trim and mass airflow sensor codes

How old is your battery? Is the charging system in good condition?

I’ve seen many strange things and fault codes caused by weak batteries, bad connections, or charging systems that were under and/or undercharging

You might also want to clean the throttle body, as a dirty one can lead to rough idle, hard starting, etc.


A defective mass airflow sensor could cause a fuel trim code, so if you are in the parts replacing mood, focus on the maf first. Thee fuel trim code might go away by itself once the maf problem is fixed.

Edit: The maf is part of the closed loop system, where the computer decides in real time how much fuel to inject based on the maf and o2 sensor readings. If that system gets confused, it will go back to open loop operation, which could explain the lack of power.

Thanks everyone for your comments, which I didn’t see until I returned from my mechanic. He replaced the throttle body and told me all codes disappeared. No problems driving home from the mechanic, other than that my wallet is lighter by $900 :frowning:

Good for you to get the problem fixed and the car back on the road going strong. Throttle body problems are a common cause here for that type of symptom, but usually simply cleaning the throttle body and cleaning/replacing the maf sensor does the trick. A complete throttle body replacement is unusual.

Unfortunately … after two weeks of seemingly normal performance after spending $900 to replace the throttle body the car stalled twice yesterday in a 5 mile drive with the same “reduced engine performance” and wildly fluctuating idle as prior to the work.

Two questions:

  • thoughts as to what the REAL problem might be - mass airflow sensor?
  • should my mechanic credit me the $900 since he didn’t solve the problem?

Thanks !

- should my mechanic credit me the $900 since he didn't solve the problem?

Of course he should. Will he? Not a prayer. (You can always ask.)

Unfortunately, I, for one, am not surprised

Because it seemed kind of strange that the entire throttle body needed to be replaced

And apparently, it didn’t need to be replaced, because the exact same problem persists

I would go back to the shop and ask for a refund, because it clearly didn’t solve the problem

And if they tell you to stuff it, perhaps ask them to apply the $900 towards the real repair, whatever that may be

If they will not budge, and won’t admit to their misdiagnosis . . . there is no doubt in my mind, for one . . . I suggest that you not ever bring your car back to this shop

For what it’s worth, can you please post all of the codes the guy retrieved the first time?

Not only the numbers, but also what the text said . . . for example, misfire cylinder #1, lean bank 1, etc.

Normally, I wouldn’t ask for the interpretation, but I will this time, because the guy obviously retrieved some kind of manufacturer specific codes

If this shop is halfway decent, he’ll have listed the codes on the repair estimate, or the actual repair order. If he didn’t, then it sounds like he’s also disorganized

All in all, it sounds like this guy has a very bad approach to diagnosing cars. Retrieve codes, and go for the most expensive part first, and probably didn’t spend nearly enough time performing diagnosis, anyways

Did the mechanic even bother to check if the mass airflow sensor was functioning correctly?

Did he even bother to check power, ground and signal voltage at the throttle body? Did he make sure the wiring harness at the throttle body is any good?

I suspect there are many, many things this guy did not do