Question about 1996 Volvo 850

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My volvo 850 wont start unles i put gas in the intake what could be the problem?

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Hi Bustos!
Have you checked the car for any fault codes? If not you'll probably find the problem by doing so. If it's any comfort I don't think you'll have too hard a time fixing it - it's not an intermittent problem and therefore usually easy to diagnose.
In the meantime you should make sure your engine is getting spark, air and fuel.
Fuel: The 850 is prone to problems with fuel delivery mainly because of a failing fuel pump relay. The relay is located inside the fuse box under the hood; just unscrew the 4 torx screws to get access to it. If it's green, marked 103, you should replace it with the improved red one.
But first you should check if you can hear the fuel pump engaging when turning on the ignition. If you can't hear it at all you should check wether the pump is getting power or not. If it's not getting power the relay is probably dead.
Here's a forum thread with some more info on checking relay and pump: http://www.volvo-forums.com/index.php?s=&showtopic=15505&view=findpost&p=80586
Check for spark:
Unscrew one of your spark plugs and hold it to ground (for example the engine block) with something insulated and look for a blue spark while someone turns the engine.Should the engine start up during this test it will sound awful but will not be damaged as long as you don't let it run longer than necessary and don't rev it. If you don't see spark at all at any of the plugs your problem could be one of many, ranging from ignition parts such as coil and rotor to a faulty sensor (camshaft or crankshaft position sensor or others). If the problem is with a sensor a fault code should be present in the OBD system.
Air: The engine draws in air via the throttle body. The throttle body supplies air during normal driving, but there's also an Idle Air Control Valve (IACV) that supplies the engine with air while it's idling. The IACV is cylindrical, ca 10-15 cm long and is held in place onto the front of the throttle body by a round rubber piece. It has a two-pin connector attached to it (on the manifold side). Some rare times a stuck/dead IACV might prevent the engine from starting. If so it can usually be fixed by simply cleaning it. Cleaning and inspecting the throttle body and the IACV is probably a good idea anyway. And while you're at it: Clean and inspect the 3-pin connector connected to a small black box on the throttle body (it's the throttle position sensor). 
Hope this helped give you some ideas as to where to start, don't hesitate to ask if you need any closer instructions.

Good luck mate!

Posted on Jul 02, 2009

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If it were my car, I would change the fuel filter if its been quite some time since it was changed last. You say you put "gas" in the intake. are you putting gasoline or starter fluid in the intake for it to run?
if it is starter fluid that makes it run, I would wonder that what you are doing creating a "diesel" effect by doing that to make it run, so it may be a spark issue. have you any voltage leaks at the spark plug wires or coils? the 850 is that the 5 cyllinder engine?
does it keep running after you stop putting "gas" in the intake?

Posted on Jun 30, 2009

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