Question about 1982 Volvo 240 Series

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My daughters 1982 volvo wagon 240 series died on me and acts like it`s out of fuel, after checking the lines we find we get fuel up to what we believe is called a frequency valve but looking them up on-line has been tasking. We found one for a 244 that looks nearly identical. This past Christmas when they came up that part was buzzing continuously while the motor was shut off so we had them unhook the battery while here but that buzzing has since stopped. It ran but runs out of gas periodically though it has fuel and we get fuel up to that point...I`m at my wits end. Could it be the relay switch under the dash controlling that or are they seperate animals? It won`t start at all now even jumping the relay switch and we keep coming back to that point in the line. We are going to try an oil change to see if the oil pressure caused the fuel safety to shutoff but we have NO IDEA where that safety switch is as well. Your help would be GREATLY appreciated, I`ve put 200.00 alone in towing it twice now and almost as much in parts for various other problems like plugs and wires etc.. Thanks for your assistance, any advice would be appreciated. I want to light a match but others say these wagons are making a comeback, can`t see why but my daughter loves it..please help! A frustrated mom.. Sandy Dunsmoor

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  • sandradunsmo Mar 31, 2011

    UPDATE:...thank you all, we had to take a break from the volvo as my husband suffered a heart condition that hospitalized him for a short period, we now have a relay switch coming for it and have replaced some fuses, the parts store had been giving us the wrong any rate it will be here tomorrow and we will cross our fingers until then...still can`t get the oil plug off this thing and the plug is too big for a gator course!!!
    Thanks for all your help and will let you know if this does the trick!!!!!

  • sandradunsmo Mar 31, 2011

    I`ve reached the limits of my patience with this volvo...put in the new relay switch, it started up drove around the block, died and rolled back into my driveway under no power...
    Found that there is still no power going to the fuse....
    Fuses are good but nobody home going to it...again...



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First, pull the fuses out of the fuse holders and examine the tips of the fuses. On a European car this old, the first thing you check to see is whether the tips have corroded away on the fuses. Check them all while you are at it because you may have other gremlins lurking in other fuses.
A new frequency valve for this car is quite pricey ($140 on line), but the fact that at one point it was buzzing while the car was shut off suggests that you have problems in the wiring harness that supplies power and ground signal to that valve. I take it that the one you have now buzzes all the while the car is running and shuts off properly when the car is off? I would definitely try to examine the wires from the valve to the computer, disconnecting and connecting each plug to 'freshen the connection' and looking for chaffed or cracked insulation.
You say that you have fuel pressure up to the frequency valve. That means that the next few questions are pointless, but I will ask them anyway - When you say that you jumped the relay, did you jump between the two fuel pump fuses (#4 and #6 as I recall)? Can you hear the fuel pump spin up when you do that? The fact that the car does not start when you jumper straight to the fuel pump eliminates two common suspects - the fuel pump relay which is under the dash above the passenger feet, and the ignition computer which provides the ground signal to the fuel pump relay and is located (I think) behind the kick panel to the right of the passenger feet. I am not certain of these locations because I have never owned a Volvo older than 1987. My cars did not even use a frequency valve.
If you didn't hear the fuel pump spin up when you jumpered it, then we would suspect that the fuel pump may have failed. However, since you say you have fuel pressure up to the frequency valve, you must be hearing the fuel pump. All I can suggest is checking fuse tips and wiring between the frequency valve and computer.

Posted on Mar 26, 2011

Testimonial: "Thanks SOOOO much. I have to agree, I`ve eliminated everything else, I just pray it`s not a timing belt or worse."

  • Manolito64 Mar 27, 2011

    You know, I got so focused on learning what a frequency valve was, that I kind of lost sight of your original question. Sorry about that.
    If the car makes the normal cranking sound when you crank it, then the problem is not the timing belt.
    Is there a single fuse in a fuse holder above the driver side wheel well on this year model? Those fuse holders are notorious for not being very waterproof, and the fuse and connections corrode inside, causing the ignition to go dead.

    After checking that fuse (if your model has one), we need to confirm that you have spark at the spark plugs. If you don't have an old spark plug lying around, pull out one of yours, reattach it to the plug wire, touch the threaded part to a metal part of the engine, and have someone crank the engine to make sure you have a good strong blue spark. If the plug wires are old, you might want to hold the wire with something insulated so a spark does not jump through a crack in the plug wire and bite you.
    If you have no spark at the plug, remove the wire from the center of the distributor cap and hold it near (quarter inch or less) a metal ground and crank the engine again to see if you get strong spark from the coil.
    If you have no spark from the coil, clean the small wire connections on the coil. After that, things get more complicated.

  • Manolito64 Apr 02, 2011

    Sorry to hear about your husband. Hope he is feeling better. Two years ago I found myself in a cardiac ward in a hospital in Rome, and I speak almost no Italian. That is a helpless feeling.

    I understand your frustration with the car. This vehicle is approaching 30 years old and probably has, a half-million miles on it? Unless it looks really pristine and you really like it, every repair becomes a gut-check decision of "do I want to invest more in this car". If you are not a mechanic, you don't have the information you need to make that decision. I can tell you that my favorite Volvo parts supplier no longer carries a lot of the parts for this car.

    Back to the car. You say that you replaced a relay. Was that the fuel injection system relay, or did you find that the fuel pump was not spinning up when you turned the key to On, so you replaced the fuel pump relay? If the latter, I see by the parts list that this car used an inertia switch to kill the fuel pump relay in an accident. This differs from the later Volvos that used the ignition control module to kill the fuel pump relay if the engine stopped running for more than a couple of seconds (again as a safety measure after an accident). I regret that I don't know where that inertia switch is located, but if a new fuel pump relay is not working, that would be my next suspect.

    I urge you to post your question on where there are old Volvo enthusiasts who know far more than I about your year model.


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Did this ever get resolved? my first inquiry would be to check the wiring at the bottom of the crank gear--it tends to get soaked with oil and when the engine warms up the wires stretch and make contact with each other. better to cut it all out and splice in new wires with a clear chemical resistant tube as a sleeve. once done, usual tests, etc, will be reliable. JW

Posted on Dec 04, 2012


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