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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2007 XC90 V8. 2nd owner, had it ~ 3 months. Haven't noticed any gradual breakdown/difficulty in turning the key to start vehicle. Yesterday, vehicle would not start. Can't get it to start, even with jockeying the wheel, jiggling the key, etc. Don't want to break the key so I'm not willing to really crank on it with tons of force to try and get it past position 1.

How can I get the vehicle into Neutral? Is there some sort of override, switch, mechanical method. The gearshift level will not move out of Park because I can't turn the key to Position 2.

I've accepted the fact this will need to be towed to an independent shop, new part ordered, work done for $400-500.

Worried how a tow truck will get the vehicle out of our garage? There's not enough room to get in there and lift the vehicle out of there. Thinking I need to roll the vehicle out, which means it will need to be in neutral. Can't have a tow truck pulling the truck while it is in Park, right? That seems like a bad idea. Assume we want/need a FLATBED tow truck because this is an AWD vehicle.

Help!
 

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Lock cylinder is toast. I recently had this issue and was towed with dolly to dealership (Not Flatdeck). Took 3 days to get the replacement lock cylinder from California to Calgary, AB needs to be custom set up based off you VIN #. You cannot release the transmission from park inside the vehicle. Not sure if you could from underneath by loosening linkage. Most likely the drive won't need to move the vehicle first. The tow trucks are pretty agile in tight spaces.
 

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the shift lock is at the shift lever and steering column. you should be able to disconnect the shift cable at the tranny to get it into neutral. however a truck with a wheel lift and dolly can do some amazing things. if you can get the car in the garage in one maneuver, they will be able to get it out. i have to turn 90dgrs into my garage (maybe 17ft between garage door and fence), A rollback (flatbed) used his wheel lift to pull my BMW 325i out while he already had another car on the bed.
 

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As long as the lock cylinder will rotate to position I you'll be able to remove the shift lock cable from the cylinder assembly and manually unlock the transmission. Start by removing the plastic covers around the steering column. Move the key to position I, push in the plastic tab holding the interlock cable in the lock cylinder and pull out the cable. Once the cable is out pull on the end and it'll unlock the shift lever. The steering column will still be locked though so I'm not sure if unlocking the transmission will help much. To unlock the steering column you'll need to remove the lock cylinder from the steering column.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. Not sure I want to try all that to get the vehicle into Neutral, especially if a tow truck can safely extract the vehicle from my garage with the thing still in Park. The steering still will turn side to side - I don't think it is stuck in the locked position.
 

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I had the same thing happen to our XC90 and specifically requested a tow truck guy that would know how to manually get it into neutral. I called my dealership service manager and asked for a tow guy recommendation when at first, I couldn't find any that would how to do it. I didn't want them DRAGGING the car on it's tires off the garage floor and onto the truck. Plus, he would have had to drag it an extra distance to clear the garage door beam.

In the end, it was very simple what he did. Not even 2 minutes. I watched, but I don't remember exactly. Under the hood, I think he removed the air box (filter box? or maybe a plenum?) over the top of the transmission for easier access and there's basically a lever right on the top of the transmission that he disconnected and then he manually turned it and put it into neutral.

He said he's seen a lot of Volvos with the same problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Tow truck was able to extract our XC90 from our garage while the vehicle was still stuck in Park. Took a good 30 minutes or so. Driver jacked up the rear wheels and jacked up the front on dollies (with 2 tires on each side) to raise the vehicle and make it transportable. Tow truck took vehicle to nearby dealer, who diagnosed the problem as the expected lock cylinder needs replacement. Quoted $525 for the entire job, which was a bit better than the ballpark $600 estimate I got via phone earlier in the day.

Not sure how long our vehicle will be out of commission. Will update the thread with any other useful information later on.
 

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How many miles on those that went thru this issue?
I guess this might be a headache if happens when you are travelling with family out of town ...
 

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Mine broke a few months ago on my 2007 with about 85K Km. Yes, it's a PITA when it happens and there are no warning signs. It takes about 3 days to get a new lock cylinder but at least they're easy to replace, roughly 30 minutes. Less the second time around :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ours is a 2007 XC90 with about 84,000 miles. Very glad this happened with the vehicle sitting in the garage, rather than hundreds of miles from home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Got our XC90 back from the dealer a couple days ago. Not too much else worth mentioning. Final bill $502. Vehicle now starts and runs! Spouse reports the key is a more snug fit in the cylinder.
 

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Yes this seems to happen across some similar P2 platform models and is a pain in the butt to have to tow the car away to have it fixed.
 

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Oh boy, my wife called me this morning telling me she was with the kids in a parking lot one mile from home and the car would not start (XC90 V8 Sport MY2008 with only 25k... and out of warranty). Since I had read and posted in this thread I knew what was going on and what the problem was. On the positive side, she was so close to our home, and this happened on a Saturday morning.
In any case I drove mysefl to check the issue, called my insurance and arranged to get towed to the dealer (less than five miles away). Car was dropped there, Service Dept doesn't work on Saturdays, but left a voice mail to my SA. I hope Volvo of North America can help me out with the part at least. I will know more next week.

PS:In any case very thankful that we were not on the road .... or on vacation as we were some weeks ago.
 

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Update on the lock cylinder: Volvo will cover the part and I will have to pay the dealer labor (1.9hrs) per their book, so about $235.

At least is a good thing that happened now before our trip to Florida (from CT) in December
 

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Funny thing about this cyclinder lock issues across the P2 platforms, some gets it some don't.
According to the Volvo Agent they can completely remove the cyclinderal lock but that would mean that the steering will be without a catch lock when you park the car i.e. turning the steering when the car is off will not get it locked.

I wonder if occasional use of WD-40 will help get lubricate these parts to prevent wear and tear and thus locking up :)
 

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I wonder if occasional use of WD-40 will help get lubricate these parts to prevent wear and tear and thus locking up :)
Doubtful. WD40 is not really a long term lubricant. A high pressure grease that is compatible with all the parts would be nice,but may be hard to find. Further it seems that the problem is people not moving the steering wheel when the lock is bound. Which explains why the issue seems sporadic. Whenever your key does not turn freely the correct response is to jiggle the steering wheel while trying to turn the key. The idea is to turn the wheel off the stop which will unbind the lock and everything will work well.
 

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I had the situation happen on my 2005 S60R a few months ago; you need to turn the key with an unbelievable amount of force - make sure you have a second key in case you break one. I sprayed a bunch of WD40 into the key hole first - I am not sure honestly whether that helped any. The issue hasn't returned since then,
I talked to an automobile locksmith about the issue and he said once you get the key unstuck it normally doesn't happen again. I had a 1998 C70 with the same issue and he the locksmith (I had AAA) unstuck it by turning the key extremely hard and I never had an issue with the lock on it again either.
 

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Just a suggestion which will undoubtably bail someone out. If you can't get the ign key past position one, get your valet key and clamp onto it with a pair of small vice grips or pliers and turn it really hard. 90% of the time it' ll work. At least you won't have t have it towed. You wont do any further damage because the cylinder is probably toast already. Only do this with the VALET key not the switchblade style remote. You ll break the remote.
 

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Just lived through this in April of this year on '08 V8 while in the garage. On the automatic, you can pop the gear shift panel and maneuver it off towards the radio. Then, down and to the left is a small button / lever if I recall that releases the cable. Bingo. You're out of gear and can push out of garage. Keep in mind, this is intermingled with plenty of swearing. Extended Warranty covered everything including the tow of ~35 miles to dealership.
 
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