Volvo V70 Electrical/Lighting Issues

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372
Discuss solutions to your V70 electrical and lighting issues here.


  • uzziah0uzziah0 Member Posts: 4
    I have a 98 V70 that has been giving us problems this summer (sensor, thermistat, ECU = all replaced) and now we are down to the electrical harness causing some sort of sort or something???
    We are told that tracking that down and fixing it or replacing the entire harness is, basically, cost prohibitive.
    Does anyone have any info on this?
    Other than this the car is doing great. It has something like 110000 miles on it, and going strong. We've just spent too much on it to keep going, unless we can get this figured out economically.
    We really like the car and would prefer to keep it, but if this is going to be a persistent looming problems, I think we'll see if we can sell it.
    Any ideas or assistance is appreciated.
  • uzziah0uzziah0 Member Posts: 4
    Well, I think we're going to take it to a Volvo dealer in our area.
    Our current mechanic actually took it there for an evaluation already, so they have seen our car before. And, this is the place we bought it.
    Our mechanic said if it is the wiring harness, it is so built into the car, that it would literally take removing the engine to actually get at the entire harness, because it is hardened rather than just wires running around. So they would not be able to pull the wires.
    Anyone have any info on this wire harness?
  • uzziah0uzziah0 Member Posts: 4
    It is at the Volvo dealers.
    They have called back twice asking for more details.
    They said there was no current running through the sensor.
    Also, the Check Engine light is on, ABS, and Traks Off lights are on.
    We can't start the car without a jump (luckily we have one of those portable rechargable battery chargers).
    They put in a new sensor, and are test driving it with a computer hooked up to see what is happening.

    Hopefully they find out what is going on.
    I'll post more when we get further along.
  • uniquemicrouniquemicro Member Posts: 1
    I have a similar problem where the traks light is ON, ABS light is ON. No starting problems though but the brakes "vibrate" but not mechanical sounding as would be the case if the pads were bad. Any insight to this would be helpfull
  • uzziah0uzziah0 Member Posts: 4
    Our local Volvo service center is still driving our car; over 2 weeks now, to capture the events that are causing our electrical problems. They have a computer connected (probably through the console) to monitor what is happening and hopefully determine what is wrong.
    They said they are driving for parts, or trips to other dealers in the area.
  • siegelsiegel Member Posts: 1
    Im not sure if the problems I am having are the same. I have replaced the thermostat, resivor and just had the water pump check which was good. My problem is that it is overheating and we can not seem to find the problem. The raditor is fine did a pressure test. does anyone know what the problem could be.
  • rparadiserparadise Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 V70 that seemed to be getting hot even though the temp gauge was not registering hot. The AC was not working well and the drivers side leg area was very warm. Took it to the local dealership and they said that the cooling fan had quit. It was under recall and was replaced under the recall. We were lucky that we were not in the heat of summer.
  • sanckmr0sanckmr0 Member Posts: 1
    i have exsackly the same problem the car was connected to a diagnostic computer and two sensors were changed which made no difference although the lights do go out sometimes the garage said they needed to upgrade the software on the dignotick equipment did you ever solve the problem.
  • mrficitmrficit Member Posts: 1
    Have had a problem of replacing multiple light bulbs on a 01 V70XC. Have replaced many headlights, tail/brake lights, marker lights, etc. in the last 4 years. Any ideas? Could there be a voltage output problem?
  • guru1969guru1969 Member Posts: 3
    I have had the same issue with our 99 XC70. Once every few months a bulb needs to be replaced.
  • v70painv70pain Member Posts: 1
    I have v70 T5 - took car infor 65K service. Dealer found issue with turbo gasket and mass air flow sensor unit. Serivce call was $1100. When I picked up my car,the climate control was 'dead' - (ie., as if the car wasturned off). Dealer said 'That's Odd' - took it back in the shop, came out 30 min later and said that the climate control panel board is shot and that it will be 1000 to fix. This seems crazy to me - I have read that when you disconnect the battery to service the car that sometimes electrical components don't work correctly (need to boot up under the right sequence) -- Anybody have any ideas?? There is no way the car climate control just happened to fry at the same time it was being serviced on. Dealer is trying to tell me that it is just an odd coincidence?? Any help greatly appreciated. Thanks
  • stmssstmss Member Posts: 206
    Don't believe in coincidences. I have had three mass flow sensors on my 99 with no 'frying' happening.
  • cdnfoolcdnfool Member Posts: 2
    I had a short in the seat heater for our 2001 V70 T5 that caused a small fire (or at least smoke) before I could figure out where the smell was coming from. It burned a hole in the heater pad and the leather.

    I am just out of warranty (6 months) and the cost to replace the heater is $300 and the seat cover $1000. Has this happened to anyone? I saw a bulletin for an older model where there was a recall but nothing for this generation of wagon.
  • olydawgolydawg Member Posts: 4
    I have a cracked headlight on a 2001 V70. Does anyone know about the assembly? Do I have to replace the whole unit or is there a cover? The light works fine, so it is a cosmetic issue. I think the part is about $350 w/o labor. I have seen it discounted elsewhere. Basically, I want to fix the crack for the least amount of $. Thanks.
  • gedafegedafe Member Posts: 8
    The outside component of the headlight is just a clear glass cover. I recently had my left headlight on my 01 V70 replaced, but luckily I was able to take it to an awsome independent who told me I may have gotten the dealer to replace the whole thing, when all that was needed was a new bulb. The bulb was still pretty expensive for a headlight, but the mechanic showed how both the headlight and turnsignal lights were simply inserted behind the glass cowls. I'm not sure how much the glass portion costs, but it is a DIY job regardless: a couple screws loose and the cowling comes unhinged. Replace and screw back together.
  • bostonmamikebostonmamike Member Posts: 2
    New to the board. Just brought my 2001 V70 XC into the Boston Volvo shop for 54k mile oil change and turns out my front right wheel bearings are shot. $500 bucks to fix. They also want to replace the upper strut mounts for $355 and front control arm bushings for $600. This seems extreme that all the bushings and struts are wearing out at 54k miles, even with New England winters and road conditions. I also think the price of a Volvo repair place is astronomical. Any thoughts? Do you all think it is ok to take it to a regular mechanic to fix this stuff or should it really go to Volvo for best results. Confused and discougaged that it could be 2k a year in preventative maintenance on this car, even though not much is wrong while driving it. Please help.
    Mike, Somerville, MA
  • clarkkentclarkkent Member Posts: 154
    I can't get the back windows to work. When I hit the switch I can hear a click under the dash. With or without the child lock led light on I hear the click and the windows will not work.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks, CK
  • jomotojomoto Member Posts: 12
    HAve you checked the fuse box?
  • hkiernanhkiernan Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 v70 and just got a message "bulb failure dipped beam" Can this be fixed by replacing the bulb which isn't working?
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372
    I did some net wandering and I don't think replacing the bulb is going to do the trick. From what I'm reading there's likely a burned resistor/shunt in CEM (Central Electronic Module)
  • therasmustherasmus Member Posts: 5
    I have a 2004 V70 with 57K on it, i am currently into the 5th bulb, three days ago (i refuse to change another as my hands are too big and i always mess up the headlight centering). Now this morning after a cool (38F) night the car would not start and indicated "engine is not prepared to start" I also notice that the front pass/driver seats were in the far back tilt position. Questions: 1)electrical problem 2) Is there a recall that my dealer does not know about 3)or i am crazy?

    I live in Europe but the car is US Specs. I just had the 52K tune up 4 Oct and everything checked OK.

  • therasmustherasmus Member Posts: 5
    Could the reason be the car did not start because the battery is low in the key. I understand the car has a disabler( dead switch) capability if you use the wrong key?
  • msalas1313msalas1313 Member Posts: 1
    My 2004 V70 (47K miles) has been having bulb failures for about a year or so. On occassion the warning light will come on - even though all bulbs seem to be working, especially in cool weather (around 30F). I have replaced both front bulbs twice, and many of the back lights are also on their second switch. Recently, I just replaced all back bulbs, and now already one is blown again (only 2 weeks later). When this bulb blew out, it took a headlight with it... I am begining to think that there is a bigger issue - than just a little lightbulb blowing out. I had a local repair shop look at it and they were clueless - thought it could be a system error. I have yet to find any recalls about the electronics issues - and would like to avoid the certainly hefty Volvo dealership repair. Can you provide any suggestions or help???
  • gweezygweezy Member Posts: 1
    My 99 v70 recently broke down mid drive. For a few days the TRAC light and ABS were cutting on and of. Then while i was driving the whole electical sysem shut down. The engine still ran for about half a mile till i was able to turn off the highway. When i tried to start it back up the interior lights went crazy and sounded like the battery was dead. I tried to jump it and the same thing happened. does anyone have any ideas of what could be wrong? i was thinking the battery or alternator but if that was the case something should have happened when i tried to jump it off another truck. i'm hoping it's not something worse. Somebody please give me some good news!
  • akandrewsakandrews Member Posts: 2
    I had the same problem - drivers seat heater burned a hole through the seat cover and I felt my leg getting hot. Looked down and saw the smoke - wire burned hole about the size of a cigarette burn through the seat near my calf.

    Never tried to fix it because I have spent a FORTUNE trying to keep this $40,000 car running. I HATE VOLVO. This has been the WORST car EVER
  • soupyxsoupyx Member Posts: 2
    We just had our car ib the shop for transmission trouble and a day later, the "TAILGATE OPEN" message appears, thought the tailgate is closed. Anyone know of this being a common problem? Is it a sensor?
  • tomb7tomb7 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 V-70 T-5 with only 79,000 miles; recently, the rear locks, hatch, gas door, rear wiper quit. I took it to a decent independent who told me the rear elec. module needed to be replaced and I'm looking at a hefty bill to do it..anyone hear of this problem?
  • oldestcitybrooldestcitybro Member Posts: 2
  • oldestcitybrooldestcitybro Member Posts: 2
    sorry, i just cant seem to figure it out. someone PLEASE help me im trying to put an aftermarket stereo in its place.
  • pandddpanddd Member Posts: 1
    I was just reading your problem with your bulb failure warning light. My 2004 Volvo V70 is doing the same thing. I have changed the bulb once and it still does it especially in cool weather like you mentioned. Mine just turned 60000 miles. Did you ever get any more information? Any thing you can provide would be helpful. Thanks
  • curtcharlespdxcurtcharlespdx Member Posts: 5
    I have a 2000 V70R. The rear hatch light doesn't come on (bulb is known good) and there is no 12V at the connector, ever. The dash indicator of "rear hatch open" also doesn't come on.

    Where is the sensor that determines hatch open/closed located?
  • curtcharlespdxcurtcharlespdx Member Posts: 5
    The sensor switch is located with the latch/lock mechanism in the hatch door. Anybody know how to get this assembly out? The control rods from the exterior handle and the lock control appear to be attached with plastic connectors. On a 9 year old car I'm reluctant to put more than a tiny bit of pressure on these for fear the plastic has become brittle and will break, leaving me far worse off than an in-op light.

    I have verified that it is the switch by shorting out two pins of the connector. The interior light comes on and the instrument panel indicator for "hatch open" illuminates.
  • curtcharlespdxcurtcharlespdx Member Posts: 5
    FYI - The link between the exterior handle and the mechanism is easily disconnected at the top end; rotate the plastic clip and the part falls in your hands. The lock connector is a tad more difficult. There's a "hook" that attaches to a white part near the latch assembly. The hook can be slid towards the passenger side to remove the linkage, but it does take some force.
    The entire lock and latch assembly comes out very easily. The switch is buried at the very bottom; as expected it's a tiny deal. I think there was some corrosion or something; I actuated it a few dozen times and viola', all is well again.
    The door trim piece is attached with parts that slide in to metal fittings on the door. Rotate the attachment parts 90 degrees to remove them from the trim, and slide them in to the door. Then the trim piece just snaps back in position.
    Good luck!
  • wojnarwojnar Member Posts: 2
    Yesterday I had my 98 V70 inspected--all was well, I drove home. This morning it would not start--when I turned ignition, 8's came across the speedometer and clock area-no sounds to indicate weak battery--could not get car out of "park". AAA came and charged battery-they said it was dead--while car was running to get the charge, I opened the glove compartment and turned on the radio to reset the code. The car just died--it is now at my mechanic's--is it possible that something with the inspection computer messed it up?
  • curtcharlespdxcurtcharlespdx Member Posts: 5
    That's pretty odd. Did they by chance disconnect the battery during service? If so, they may have failed to re-connect the alternator - your drive home from the shop would have depleted the battery. The OBD connection they use to diagnose/tune can't really interfere with battery or alternator, so it's something else. The computer reads O2, load, speed, etc. and adjusts timing and fuel mixture. I think its a coincidence that the engine died while resetting the radio code. Then again...
  • hsmarthsmart Member Posts: 1
    Our 2004 V70 (65,000 Miles) has begun having an intermittent starting issue. When ignition key is turned to run, all lights illuminate as normal, and any accessories left on (blower, radio etc.) start up. Sometimes when the key is turned further to start the engine, nothing happens. There does not seem to be a consistent theme with temperature or humidity. The battery has been changed, and the electrical charge system has been checked all ok. The main starting cable connections have been inspected for cleanliness and tightness. The dealer has looked at it, and is not capable of doing much because the diagnostics have stored no revealing data. My thoughts are (1) Starter/Solenoid going bad, (2) Some type of Neutral switch malfunction and (3) Ignition Switch going awry. Is anyone aware of a common problem or recall concerning this topic?
  • okanoganokanogan Member Posts: 2
    I just bought a used V70XC s/w and the battery died.

    To "restart" the radio, it calls for a code, which I do not have.

    How do I get it?

    Thanks - okanogan
  • dreccdrecc Member Posts: 1
    The alarm sounds some times an hour after its set by my remote or or button on door.
    I have sprayed WD in all the door locks and hood. also replaced the battery in the remote. (2004 V70 2.5T)
  • mamasv70mamasv70 Member Posts: 2
    I have the same issue with my 2004 V70...the car has been idle in front of my house for four days. I've been trying to diagnos myself to no avail. What was the cause of your problem?
  • mamasv70mamasv70 Member Posts: 2
    I found out the problem....the small wire to the solenoid was loose and corroded. After cleaning and pinching the connector the car fired up. Must have been getting progressively worse over time until it finally failed.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Member Posts: 3,118
    Phew, you may be the first person on these forums that managed to solve their problem without the assistance of a lawyer. ;) Nice work!
  • driverstrustdriverstrust Member Posts: 3
    edited July 2010
    I have a 2004 V70 2.5T (220,000km). It started after work today and I drove to the store. I came out and I couldn't get it to open with the remote . I used the key in the driver side door to open it. The car starts but 3 seconds later the instrument panel lights shut off, the gas gauge drops to zero, the A/C stops but the fan works, the drivers window works, but no signals or brake lights and the doors won't unlock from the drivers armrest. The red dash light indicating the alarm being engaged is still flashing. Any ideas what is going on?
  • jmo6jmo6 Member Posts: 1
    I am having the same exact problem with my 2004 V70- I had it into the shop and they looked at the computer but said they could not find anything wrong and it seemed to be working fine for about 2 weeks and then it started doing this again.
    Did you have any luck in finding out what was causing your problem?
  • amjd1amjd1 Member Posts: 9
    I'm the original owner of my 2002 V70 with 87K miles. Two weeks ago the instrument cluster started failing intermittently. The car always runs fine mechanically. One day all gauges are dead, the next day they work, the following day multiple warning lights (nearly all on the cluster) start coming on randomly and going away in seconds while driving. My independent Volvo mechanic in the Chicago area said this is the third one he's seen this summer. The only persistent warning light was an airbag sensor light, which he reset and all is fine for now. He anticipates it will fail for good at some future point, which it did for the other two he's seen this summer. My options seem to be a new cluster for over $1K from Volvo or he has a person that can repair the cluster and provide a warranty but it will be out of the car for two weeks. Has anyone else experienced this with their V70?
  • bishop14bishop14 Member Posts: 3
    I am having a similar problem with my 2000V70. Last week the ABS, check engine, and TRACS lights stayed on and then went off after I restarted the car. Other lights came on intermittently, but for the last few days no lights stayed on. Yesterday several lights stayed on and my speedometer, odometer, fuel gauge etc, were blank. Any suggestions?
  • grrrrrvolvogrrrrrvolvo Member Posts: 1
    I wish I could say that the only problem I have with my 2001 v70 is electrical, but that is all I will ask about for now. Since we purchased our vehicle less then a year ago the warning lights (i.e. break failure, check engine, abs service etc) have come on and off intermittently. The brights will also come on when you use the left turn signal or go over any bump in the cars path. I also, fairly frequently, have to get my car jump started for no apparent reason! If those don't sound bad enough, now the sunroof likes to open when I shut the car off.
  • buzzcut1963buzzcut1963 Member Posts: 1
    I have the same problem in my 2004 V70R wagon. I just recieved it back from the Volvo service center in RI. and they diagnosised the faulty dash lighting as a malfunctioning dash instrument computer module. To replace the part with a new one will cost $900.00 for the cpu part than the installation fee of another $200.00 for a grand total of $1100.00. It is a lot of money but I don't think there is any alternative. I don't like the trail and error method some non volvo dealerships seem to practice. I will say they were able to duplicate the error at the dealership and diagnosised the problem within under an hour. Other than that I love the car, it is sporty and looks great not to mention that it will beat many so called sport cars in any race.
  • bishop14bishop14 Member Posts: 3
    Yes, the volvo dealer had the same conclusion. My repair bill was similar to yours. I must say the car is running better since the part was changed. I am looking for a 2010 V70 having a lot of trouble finding one. Any info about how they are doing and how to find one?
  • bishop14bishop14 Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2000 V70, my front lighter has fallen into the console. Volvo says it could cost almost $100 to repair. Any suggestions on how I could do it myself?
  • jryalljryall Member Posts: 2
    I experience the exact symptoms with my 2004 v70 2.5. The car is at the dealer right now. Did you ever find out what caused the problem?
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