When I turn the key it makes a feeble attempt to spark and then just stops. I recently had the alternator replaced and the battery seems to be fine. I tried putting a bit of gas in it, seeing how it was low before it died, but it doesn't seem to make a difference. Any idea's on what could be causing this?
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Re: my 88' Volvo 240 gl won't start.
Make sure there is a minimum of a quarter tank in it. If you have Digital Multimeter, check the battery voltage before cranking, if the battery is good, it should be anywhere fro 12-13volts. If its bad, it will be below 9 volts while its cranking. If it cranks fine check your fule pressure. There is a possibility that since the gas was low you overheated the fuel pump.
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Have the dealer look for soft codes and to check the connections to the starter and the battery and to check the alternator for proper charging. Volvo alternators have a circuit inside of them that when it goes bad it will cause the car to stop running without warning.
Sounds like a starter problem. Check that the connections at battery and starter are secure and free of corrotion. You can also try tapping on the starter while the ignition swith is being turned to the start position. If that works replace starter. The stalling can be caused by a number of problems: idle too low, fuel pump pressure to low, air mass and or oxygen sensor malfuctioning. A process of elimination.
Wow. any number of things. Clogged fuel filter? Fuel pump relay. Try getting in the car when it's quiet around you. Turn the key to "on", not start. You should hear the fuel pumps hum for a few seconds and then stop. If you don't hear them, check your fuse box. They are labeled but I believe #6 is usually the main fuel pump fuse. If fuses are good, then it could be your fuel pump relay. These typically develop cracks in the solder and when they warm up, break contact and theengine dies. The relay is accessed by removing the 7 screws that hold your glovebox in. Slide it out as a unit. Remove the glove box bulb if you're going to be at it any great length of time or your battery will die. The relay is a white rectangular box clipped to a metal frame on the left of the now exposed innards. It has like 6-8 pins. Thump it a couple of times and see if the car will start. If it does, replacethe relay. Order online as much cheaper than dealership.
If you do hear the pumps cycle when you turn the key to on, then most likely you have a bad ignition module. Your '88 has LH2.2 so there is no crank sensor to go bad. The ignition module is mounted to the driver's side under hood by air cleaner. Small flat black rectangle w/ silver metal base.
If all this is Greek to you, try a Volvo specific forum like swedespeed.com
Check for vacuum leaks,pull off your intake hose and look for small cracks,also go to the rear of car and listen for you intank fuel pump,needs to making an humming sound,no sound or intermediate this can be your problem.