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Volvo V70 AWD cross country 1998 ignition problem

We have had this car for 4 years and it has done 110,000 miles. Over the last 6 months it has developed a starting problem which has our garage stumped. It turns over but wont start. The garage has tried to diagnose the problem and we have had new plugs, a new cat, and now a new coil. It then works for a while but the problem returns. This last happened this weekend, the AA got it started by somehow bypassing the coil where there seemed to be a static build up and then I drove it to the garage where they replaced the coil. It drove for two days and is now outside the house, turning over but not starting. Any help on this would be welcome, so I can take it to the garage (which is a volvo specilaist but with no internet access so no ability to tap the web for help!).

intermittent failure of the fuel pump perhaps? If it is you are looking at a very expensive pump only available from Volvo. Also it is a bear of a job, so labor is high too. Know from experience with a '98 V70XC that I dumped a couple of years ago. Reason, frequent expensive repairs were killing my budget.

I assume the trouble is happening because the ignition system isn’t working for some reason. It would be nice to know if the ignition system was getting power to it while the trouble is happening. I suspect there may be something like an ignition relay in the circuit and it is intermittent.

You might have an arcing coil ignition wire. Try replacing the wires.

Check the theft deterrent system. Your condition doesn’t sound quite the same because it’s turning over, but maybe… I had a 1998 S70 AWD that developed an intermittent starting problem. I had a great private mechanic and neither he nor I could determine a pattern to the problem. It was dead-as-a-doornail when it happened, no lights, no noises, no nothing. He finally diagnosed that the antenna in the steering column (which receives the signal from a chip in the key) was corroded and shorting out. The net result was that the car thought someone was trying to steal it and shutting down the electrical and fuel system to prevent it.

Wow…that’s a new one…Thanks. I’ll pack that in the database somewhere.

Hope you found the problem. If not try two simple repairs. The first is to replace the rear camshaft seals. The first seal is on the intake cam under the distributor and takes about 10 minutes. You will need to remove the distributor cap, flash shield and rotor to see the seal. If the seal is still intact carefully remove it from the cam being sure not to scratch or damage the cam surface. The second seal is under the Camshaft Position Sensor on the exhaust cam and takes about ten minutes. Disconnect the wiring harness from the semsor and remove the screws. Gently remove the sensor off the cam and remove the seal like you did for the distributor. Do not reuse seals. These are inexpensive check out for more info. Another source for your problem maybe the Camshaft Position Sensor itself. This is an expensive part but usually hard or no starting can be a result of a faulty sensor. Good luck!