Question about 1996 Volvo 850

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Have a 1994 Volvo 960...sputtered & died with 1/2 a tank of gas. Wants to turn over but sounds like it is out of gas. Replaced the fuel filter, no luck. Battery is new...Please help!

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Well fuel and spark is all that makes them run,So make sure your getting spark first! if you have spark to plugs then it will be fuel related... 9 times out of 10 if your not getting fuel it will be the fuel pump( in gas tank ) and 9 times out of 10 if you don't have spark its the coil or coil pack( under hood.) but it can be other fuel/spark components bad also...if you can do the work yourself, have a dealer tell you what parts bad(will cost about $100.00 to run a diagnostics on it.) then go to auto-zone,napa,ect. and buy the part and replace.....if you can not do the work yourself then you will have to let dealer or mechanic shop do the work. make sure once you know what parts bad to get a price from 3-different places to get best price......good luck...

Posted on Sep 27, 2010

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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My Volvo S70 was running fine until my gas light came on and I parked the car, assuming I could get gas later. When I got in my car, it started sputtering and would cut off. Had the fuel filter replaced,...


OK this can't be a definite but I've seen similar & I want to share this with you. First, realizing the age of the fuel tank I have to imagine that there is a lot of small particles that have accumulated over the years that are inside the fuel tank. That is not unusual & is why you have a fuel filter on the fuel lines, to trap debris, otherwise a filter on the inlet to the tank would be fine.

Regardless, when the tank got extremelhy low, the sediment got sucked into the filter/sock that is mounted at the base of the fuel pick-up in your fuel tank at the lowest possible point. This tends to also cause the pumps to quit working either immediately, or soon after. I've replaced many fuel pumps & cleaned many tanks, this could be the issue. Really, other than refueling the car & putting in some fuel injector/carb cleaner that could possibly aid in removing the buildup on the in tank filter, replacemen may be necessary if it doesn't free up. I have always suggested that those with Fuel Injuected cars never go below 1/4 tank due to this specific problem. Good Luck.

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It sounds like a fuel problem as opposed to an electrical fault. Start with the easiest fixes first ..
The next time the car comes to a grinding halt quickly remove the petrol filler cap and listen for air rushing into the tank. If you can hear air rushing into the tank that means a vacuum has been created inside it.

There are 2 causes of a vacuum inside the petrol tank. One is that the air-valve in the filler cap is blocked (there's usually holes in the filler cap covered by a rubber type ring) and the other is that the breather tube from the tank to atmosphere becomes blocked with dirt and debris thrown up by the roadwheels. Try driving the car with the fuel cap removed or very loose so that air can easily enter the tank. If the car still comes to a halt with the same symptoms, then there isn't a vacuum being caused within the tank.

A failing fuel pump can cause the same problems. I once owned a VW that had the symptoms you describe. The in-tank fuel pump was 'on its last legs' and when replaced the car was perfect.

A blocked fuel filter can also cause the same problems.

Here in the UK the Volvo 960 is either a straight-six 2.5 litre or 3 litre engine. I would guess that Volvos in North America share a pretty much the same mechanical layout depsite model differences. A UK 960 has two fuel pumps. One is located within the fuel tank and is accessed via an inspection plate behind the rear passenger seats (estate/station wagon models). The other fuel pump sits in a bracket underneath the car alongside the fuel filter, just aft of the front passenger seat (driver seat in the US..).

The in-tank fuel pump does most of the work, lifting the fuel out of the tank. The under-car pump lifts the fuel to the engine (it shares the same fuel line). Start with the easiest fixes first - is there a vaccuum in the tank that 'slows'/'holds back' the fuel? Then look at the fuel filter which is supposed to be changed every 40,000 miles.

If it's of any use to you, I've put some photos of the fuel pumps and fuel filter on my own website - www.glennsmart.btinternet.co.uk Just choose 'Volvo 960' from the drop-down menu.

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