Question about 1988 Volvo 740

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'88 Volvo 740GLE won't get past 30 mph

I have a friend who is driving my '88 740 and on Thursday he brought it by the house because he couldn't get it past 30 mph aND HAS A HORRIBLE SQUEAL TO IT. After letting it cool down he tried taking it back to work and then brought it back sayng that it was showing the same symptoms. Both fuel pumps were replaced within the last 6 months.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Jestar15

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  • jestar15 Dec 14, 2008

    Horrible squeal. If my 740 made a horrible squeal I would be upset also. These ideas - timing belt has somehow slipped out of time. Easy check. One of the other belts are slowing the engine any of them can squeal: The alternator belt The power steering belt The fan belt. Does the noise occur only when driving? Yes Does the engine sound normal when revving in neutral? Yes Does turning on the lights or a/c affect the noise? No Does the power steering work when car is standing? Seems to, no resistance is felt. Is the squeal heard when turning the wheels. No A logical diagnosis will identify and eliminate these easy to fix problems.



    One thing I have not gotten to is the timing belt; however, we did tighten all of the belts and ensure that all vaccuum hoses were connected and in good shape.

  • jestar15 Dec 28, 2008

    Turns out that this was caused by a clogged up catalytic converter, once we cleared that out the car ran like a champ. The only problem now is that there's a red arrow light lit up on the dash, if I find the answer for that I'll update the post.

  • lbp26603 Jan 27, 2009

    My 1988 Volvo also is making a squealing noise. Normally when I start off from a stop and more so when engine is cold. If I revive the engine the squeal is just as bad. I seems to fade and eventually stop if I start off gradually. This squealing always goes away as engine warms up.

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93 Volvo - 940 and so the steering is pretty hard to steer when I am driving slowly and I could literally hear and feel a rubbing sensation. It's ok while i am driving fast.

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Horrible squeal. If my 740 made a horrible squeal I would be upset also. These ideas - timing belt has somehow slipped out of time. Easy check. One of the other belts are slowing the engine any of them can squeal: The alternator belt The power steering belt The fan belt. Does the noise occur only when driving? Does the engine sound normal when revving in neutral? Does turning on the lights or a/c affect the noise? Does the power steering work when car is standing? Is the squeal heard when turning the wheels. A logical diagnosis will identify and eliminate these easy to fix problems.

Posted on Dec 14, 2008

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  • Arthur Aldrich
    Arthur Aldrich Dec 14, 2008

    This is a real long shot, but someone in the Volvo club had the same problem. There is a pressure valve in the air conditioning system that, if it goes bad, limits the engine to a certain speed. I would have that checked out if nothing else works.

  • Arthur Aldrich
    Arthur Aldrich Dec 28, 2008

    The red arrow is the overdrive light. Your transmission is locked to shift no higher than 3rd gear.
    The fix is to first check the overdrive switch on the shift handle. With the key on, press the button on the left side of the shift handle. Light goes out? No problem. You will now shift into 4th with no problem.
    If the light does not go out, the next fix is the overdrive relay in the relay box behind the ash tray.
    Get one on ebay for $10 and swap it out. I always keep one as a spare. The overdrive relay on the 740 is the top relay on the right. There are only two in the extreme right; the relay closer to the engine firewall is the OD.
    If the OD relay doesn't fix the problem, have the mechanic who changed the catalytic converter check the wire running to the OD selenoid in the transmission. It mau be disconnected or broken. In fact, do that FIRST before buying a relay. Simetimes the wire will get loose from someone poking around there,

  • Arthur Aldrich
    Arthur Aldrich Dec 29, 2008

    An other idea, probably better. First check the wires from the OD switch on the shift lever. If the wires have been disturbed by replacing the CAT, the OD solenoid has probably been toggled into the OFF position.

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