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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This past Friday I bought a white 1990 240 DL wagon for my fiancee. The idea was a cheap to buy and maintain family vehicle that would last a long time if we needed it to.

The first couple hundred miles were great but with no prior warning signs, the car was very hard to start and idled extremely rough once it did. Once in gear it drove wonderfully again. A few hours later it started, idled and drove fine until I got home and then it was idling rough while parked in the driveway.

I've spent most of this evening searching and reading in the Volvo forums and learned to read the fault codes. The only code I have is 232, "Fuel trim (lambda control) too lean or too rich at idle". It was my understanding that this should be accompanied by a CEL, but there is no CEL on. Does that mean this is an old code that is not relevant or does it not always come with a CEL?

I would love any assistance that you all can offer me in tracking down and fixing this issue. Please keep in mind I am completely new to this car and have never owned a Volvo before. Any links to DIYs for any of the checks would be appreciated and please don't assume I know where everything is in the engine bay because most likely I don't.

I really hope to be able to take care of this and have it be the start of a great ownership experience and not the nightmare I am afraid of with problems this early on! Thanks in advance!
 

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I've spent most of this evening searching and reading in the Volvo forums and learned to read the fault codes. The only code I have is 232, "Fuel trim (lambda control) too lean or too rich at idle". It was my understanding that this should be accompanied by a CEL, but there is no CEL on. Does that mean this is an old code that is not relevant or does it not always come with a CEL?
Before you start the car, when all the dash lights come on, does the CEL light up then? If not, might need to check the bulb.

You state you're new to this car, but you are familiar with general EFI under-hood beasties (intake, exhaust, Air-Mass Sensor/Meter)? If not, perhaps an expanded description of your level of knowledge.

Whenever you get a lean code, it is best to start checking the intake side for vacuum leaks in the intake accordian and/or the hoses that connect to the intake manifold.

Remember the Hitchhiker's Guide back cover, "DON'T PANIC"

HTH,
Ian
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Will the CEL light be obvious that it is the CEL? The dash lights seem to be a little different than I am used to. I don't think I remember seeing that light at start up. I have a decent general knowledge but my troubleshooting skills are where I am weakest.

Is their a particular service manual for this car that is better than the others? I know vw guys swear by the Bently.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the welcome. My experience so far has been a lot of threads with saying what to check and not a lot of detail on how to do it. I was hoping a repair manual would fill in the blanks. Is there a diagram somewhere showing the vacuum lines? I want to make sure I check everything I need to.
 

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Thank you for the welcome. My experience so far has been a lot of threads with saying what to check and not a lot of detail on how to do it. I was hoping a repair manual would fill in the blanks. Is there a diagram somewhere showing the vacuum lines? I want to make sure I check everything I need to.
Everything you need is linked in this thread...

http://forums.swedespeed.com/showthread.php?153572-Volvo-240-history-and-reference-sites.

As to vacuum problems the main culprits are the valves at the intake manifold where the vacuum line passes through the firewall and the valve on the brake booster.

Other vacuum leaks may be found at all push-on connections and junctions especially under the dash.

The symptoms you describe point to an intermittent ailment which often implies a failing electrical component.

Along with spare fuses you will want to keep on-hand a number of relays including a fuel pump relay and both headlight relays.

Below are three of many Volvo sites where the 240 owner finds much information and helpful hints.

Enjoy.

George Dill

http://new.volvocars.com/ownersdocs/1990/1990_240/90240_00.htm

http://www.ipdusa.com/

http://www.davebarton.com/

http://www.cleanflametrap.com/

http://www.cleanflametrap.com/#links

http://www.ohio.edu/people/ridgely/Volvo_docs/documents/volvo_240__1990.pdf

http://www.ohio.edu/people/ridgely/Volvo_docs/

http://www.volvoosad.com/Manuals/240_1990.pdf (duplicate)

http://volvoforums.com/forum/volvo-240-740-940-12/1990-volvo-240-keeps-stalling-help-please-54137/

http://volvoforums.com/forum/volvo-240-740-940-12/1991-240-sedan-issues-new-maf-61678/

http://www.volvo-forums.com/t29045-common-issues-with-the-volvo-240.htm

http://www.volvo-forums.com/t27450-troubleshooting-guide-to-volvo-240-nostarts-and-stalls.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It now has a CEL with it. I decided to pay a local shop because I don't think I have the time to chase down what is probably a vacuum leak. I plan on doing everything myself from here on out though. I'll come back and post the findings for anyone else that may have the same issue in the future and come across this thread
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
They thought it was a vacuum leak, but couldn't find one. Beyond that they said they didn't know what to do with a Volvo and gave it back to me. I guess I need to try and figure it out myself or find an indy volvo shop
 

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They thought it was a vacuum leak, but couldn't find one. Beyond that they said they didn't know what to do with a Volvo and gave it back to me. I guess I need to try and figure it out myself or find an indy volvo shop
OK, let's start from scratch...

With the engine at warm idle unplug the mass air meter located in the intake system. If the idle changes more than slightly the meter should be functioning correctly. If the idle changes very little or not at all then the meter may be failing and/or the ECU is not getting proper signals from the various sensors/senders and/or the ECU is failing.

George Dill
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
OK, let's start from scratch...

With the engine at warm idle unplug the mass air meter located in the intake system. If the idle changes more than slightly the meter should be functioning correctly. If the idle changes very little or not at all then the meter may be failing and/or the ECU is not getting proper signals from the various sensors/senders and/or the ECU is failing.

George Dill
I was going to try that and I wasn't quite sure how to properly unplug it. It's definitely locked down somehow and I wasn't able to find a release. I'm pretty certain it has to do with the little metal clip, but I pushed, pulled, twisted, wiggled and everything else and nothing was coming loose. It's frustrating to be defeated by an electrical connector!
 

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Grip the harness connector with your thumb or first finger (whichever is more convenient) on the metal retaining clip. Press the clip in as far as it will go, then pull the connector off. Installing is the opposite, but make sure you line up the connector so it'll go straight in and not bend any of the connector tabs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks John. The MAF is fine. When unplugged the idle got drastically worse. I've got some more reading to do so I can figure out what to try next. I really appreciate the support guys!
 

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Thanks John. The MAF is fine. When unplugged the idle got drastically worse. I've got some more reading to do so I can figure out what to try next. I really appreciate the support guys!
This also means that the ECU is probably functioning properly.

"The first couple hundred miles were great but with no prior warning signs, the car was very hard to start and idled extremely rough once it did. Once in gear it drove wonderfully again. A few hours later it started, idled and drove fine until I got home and then it was idling rough while parked in the driveway."

This could be a bare wire intermittently touching ground where the engine wiring harness rubs on various hard components.

Make sure the motor/trans mounts are not collapsed.

George Dill
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
This also means that the ECU is probably functioning properly.

"The first couple hundred miles were great but with no prior warning signs, the car was very hard to start and idled extremely rough once it did. Once in gear it drove wonderfully again. A few hours later it started, idled and drove fine until I got home and then it was idling rough while parked in the driveway."

This could be a bare wire intermittently touching ground where the engine wiring harness rubs on various hard components.

Make sure the motor/trans mounts are not collapsed.

George Dill
Any particular place to look for the wires? I am already questioning the mounts since I have read they aren't the greatest on these cars and by how much the engine moves when it's idling bad. It looks excessive to me, but I'm not sure if it's just me being used to the near solid mounts on my autocross car.

It also seems that the flame trap is a good thing to check but I have only come up with a couple of not so good pictures for what I am looking for.

I'm also not sure I totally trust the shop that gave the car back to me and said they couldn't find a vacuum leak.

I'll take a look at engine mounts and any wiring I can find tomorrow

Once again thanks for the help. You gave me some great links that I have bookmarked from your message a few posts back!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Awesome links yet again! I really appreciate you taking the time to point a Volvo newbie in the right direction!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Sorry for the delay. We needed the car sooner than I was going to be able to find anything out. Took it to an indy mechanic who replaced a bad fuel pressure regulator. Said the MAF sensor was giving some slightly off readings, but that the bad FPR may have been causing that. Car has ran great since I got it back, but the CEL has stayed on.
 

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Good show - on the road again...

Your '90 240 may need the codes cleared to shut down the CEL.

Lemee go see if go ogle knows how to do this...

George Dill
 
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