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2000 S40, hard starting, ran the battery down cranking. Smell gas. When it does start, the temp gauge fluctuates from the bottom peg to the top peg. Idles at 4000 r.p.m. Check engine light on. As the car is to be stored I put some Stabil in the gas according to mfg. specs.I also had the coooling system flushed and filled, and installed a new thermostat, no help. Could it be a temp. sensor?

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Yes its the temprature sensor problem.
For the complaint you're describing, typically the ECT (engine coolant temperature) sensor is out of range. By that I mean that the voltage being relayed back to the engine computer is incorrect for what the ECM expects to see for the length of time the car was run, the load, etc. The "check engine" light should be on if that's the case. The thermostat should usually be replaced at the same time since it's right next to the sensor. The thermostats usually fail by beginning to open too early which does not allow the car to warm up properly. The ECM is looking for a certain temperature within a certain amount of time after initial startup. If it doesn't see the temp (from the ECT sensor), then it will turn on the "check engine" light. If the sensor is out of range, the engine control module "assumes" a worst case scenario (overheating) and turns the fan on. It will run 6 minutes after the key is turned off and will turn on immediately after the car is started if that's the case.
The sensor is right behind the power steering pump on the lower portion of the thermostat housing. The connector for the sensor should be attached to a plastic clip attached to the top of the pump bracket. When replacing the sensor, the top part of the thermostat housing has to be removed for access, which is why it's easy to put a new thermostat in at the same time. cheap insurance also. Use a Volvo thermostat. We've had problems with aftermarket parts opening too soon and causing the "check engine" light lately.
Your ECM should also have been updated if you had the sensor done at a dealer. There is a tech note from volvo telling us to update the software when the new sensor is installed. There should be no charge for the software as it's loaded into the dealer computer, but they'll usually charge you labor for the hookup and download. Hope this helps!
please do rate the solution.thank you for using fixya.keep updated.thanks

Posted on May 25, 2009


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