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Re: 1991 740 Wagon electrical problems
Was the car primarily in a Southern state--no winters? If yes, it could be the wiring harness that leads to the rear wiper/stop light inside the rear tail gate. They usually break at the flex point, and short to the frame.
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Stop driving until you get this figured out, as you are a fire hazard with possible fuel leaking or being pumped somewhere it shouldn't be....Look for wet areas...Be careful about not smoking and electric lights, as fuel fumes are VERY flamable.
sounds like you have a computer glitch. i would take it to any auto shop and pay 50 bucks so they can take a look at your e.c.u. (engine control unit) we had a similar problem a few years ago with our 1990 volvo 740 gle 2.3l station wagon. it was a glitch with the computer. got a mixed signal with the mass air flow sensor.
I would check that the auxilliary drive belt that runs the alternator and probably the water pump hasn't just broken, causing the engine to overheat and the battery to run flat. Just a suggestion, hope it helps.
There is a silinoid under the dash behind the ash tray on mine. It needs to be replaced. I had the same problem and this resolved the issue. I have as Eruopean car michanic and he new axactly what the issue was. I think the relay was Aprox.$ 40.00 easy fix to a very frustrating problem. Try this firsat it'll save you tears.
May I suggest a locking gas cap. You could put a large piece of cardboard under your car and if there are any drops the next morning that smell like gasoline you might find the leak if there is one.
The engine shutting down is probably a bad VSS(vehical speed sensor). The electrical problems are most likely due to loose wires and bad grounds. Clean and tighten all conections starting with the battery cables and the ground wires under the hood and under the dash. You have to find a mechanic who specializes in Volvos or you'll lose your shirt in trouble shooting and repairs.
from he Popular Mechanics site if the smell in your car is like maple syrup:
(1) SMELLS LIKE:
MAPLE SYRUP WHEN: After the engine has warmed or possibly even after it's shut off for a few minutes. THE CULPRIT: Coolant containing sweet-smelling (but toxic)
ethylene glycol is leaking from somewhere. It could be coming from a
radiator or heater hose, a failed intake manifold gasket or cylinder
head. It might be coming from a leaky radiator cap or the radiator
itself, especially if you smell it outside the car. A strong odor inside the passenger compartment probably means a bad heater core.