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XC90 XC90 hard to start but runs perfectly

Hi all,

I own a beautiful Volvo XC90 and I love it to bits. It's just so smooth on the road and I love the 2.5T petrol engine. The sound system is just great as well.

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I've started having some issues when it comes to starting it, but only sometimes. Sometimes I can jump in, turn the key and start it straight away. But other times it will cough and splutter, and sometimes it will stop cranking. But it's not the battery - I've put 3 different batteries into it. And it will start cranking again right away.

What I have found is that if I turn the key to On but wait before cranking it, you can hear the fuel pump prime for like 5 seconds or so. Then I can start it fine nearly every time - but 1 in 100 starts it still coughs a little bit. That's what makes me think it's potentially a fuel pump releasing the pressure when it shouldn't.

Once started, it runs perfectly! Super smooth and plenty of power.

I've tried searching online, and for similar issues, people suggest the fuel pump, the fuel pressure regulator, or the starter motor. I'm thinking the fuel pump is the most likely cause. I'm not quite sure why it stops cranking sometimes, as though the battery is dead, but then will start cranking again fine. Def not the battery, I've had 3 new batteries in it.

Does anyone here have any suggestions?

I'm also looking at buying an older Volvo... there's a gold 262 C on carsales I wouldn't mind restoring... but I need to get this one starting properly first! Any advice would be much appreciated!

Comments

  • Ex850RSnoopy (@Ex850R) Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.
    262C are made of Italian steel which is Russian steel which was worse than Chinese steel at the time.....
    Take a real good look at it before committing as fixing it will be uneconomic, I remember in the 80s a rego branch inspector telling me how Ferrari were prone to rusting in bulkhead of engine bay,which was middle of car,he never let them register them.....Italians ey.
  • 262C are made of Italian steel which is Russian steel which was worse than Chinese steel at the time.....
    Take a real good look at it before committing as fixing it will be uneconomic, I remember in the 80s a rego branch inspector telling me how Ferrari were prone to rusting in bulkhead of engine bay,which was middle of car,he never let them register them.....Italians ey.

    Ah ok, that doesn't sound great! I'll definitely consider that. I just love the window profile being so low compared to the other cars of the time.
  • I think the best way to check is if it happens again, check if there is pressure in the pressure rail. There is a port access valve (shraeder valve?) that you can attach a fuel pressure gauge - or you can just open the plastic cap and press the pin. If fuel squirts forcefully out, it has pressure.

    If it does, then the problem can be somewhere else (MAF sensor? Or even the immobilizer on they key)
  • I think the best way to check is if it happens again, check if there is pressure in the pressure rail. There is a port access valve (shraeder valve?) that you can attach a fuel pressure gauge - or you can just open the plastic cap and press the pin. If fuel squirts forcefully out, it has pressure.

    If it does, then the problem can be somewhere else (MAF sensor? Or even the immobilizer on they key)

    Thanks, I will check it. What would you think is the more likely cause of a loss of fuel pressure when the vehicle is off, the fuel pressure reg or the fuel pump?
  • Ex850RSnoopy (@Ex850R) Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.
    Fpr fails,test it
  • Both can be the culprit but I would check the regulator first. The pump itself is a sealed unit so only a replacement would fix it.
  • Thanks, will do. I'll report back what I find in case anyone has the same problem in the future.
  • edited July 8
    Probably worth checking the fuel sender unit isnt leaking. That could be the source of the fuel pressure bleed off as the regulator is built into the top of it and its a common failure. Will be evident fuel stain on the rh side of the tank
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