240 240 GLE '91 – hard start (when warm) and sluggish on hills

New member ... first post.

My mother's Volvo is pretty good and nicely optioned she wants to keep it and fix (as necessary) rather than buy something else.

Currently it is sluggish on hills (more than a Volvo should be!) even when kicking down. And when it is slightly warmed it becomes difficult to fire upon restart (cranks well).

(On the latter issue I remember my father's older 240 needed a carb spacer to cool that down ... but this car is fuel injected.)

Local general mechanic says all is fine ... but we want some smarts from enthusiasts!


  • I don't blame your mum for not wanting another car.

    Where abouts are you from?

  • The first thing that comes to mind is a basic stage 0, as in fresh plugs, fresh plug wires, fresh filters etc. if they haven't been changed recent;y.

  • edited August 2019

    Hehe ... she had the option of taking my father's newer S40 (after he died), but she was attached to the boxy one – said people always recognise her out and about. (Was never going to be a Toyota etc.!)

    Frenchs Forest. Used to take these cars to Andrew and co. at Warriewood(?), but it's bit far for an older woman to drop/leave these days.

    Car has been regularly serviced etc. so all basics would been in order.

  • If you don't want to throw parts at it needlessly, have someone check the fuel pressure when it's warm. I've seen many older cars with fuel pressure issues caused by crap lines, crap filters, blocked pickup screens, bad regulators, old pumps or accumulators etc... yet still run okay-ish, but gutless... and have a hard time starting when warm.

    Also worth checking for stray sparks in engine bay area at night in the pitch black dark.

    Has the engine cam belt been changed? May be mis-timed or slipped. Worth checking cam timing. Compression okay? Trans slipping? Assume that tyre pressures are okay and brakes are not dragging.

  • Thanks, Michael.

    I was just out driving it and the warm start issue occurred: Cranked it; didn't fire; then there was a whirr sound (starter? solenoid?) and it would down. Did this a few times, then waited and eventually it restarted.

    Not a good thing if the car stalls in traffic etc.

  • We had a similar problem on a 240 - the gear on the starter sometimes would not mesh with the gear on the flywheel and it made a strange noise. Sometimes had to bump the key a couple times to get it to engage. I suspect it might have had damaged tooth or teeth on the flywheel? It was quite loud and embarrassing if it happened in a car park with people around! Not sure whether that’s your problem.

    I also have a 91 240GLE that sometime requires a bit of cranking on warm starts. It will also sometimes make a strange whirring noise after it starts that I suspected was the starter as well...so following this thread!

  • edited August 2019

    NRMA says it is the starter pinion. Can't explain why it does this only when engine is warm ... but he cooled it down with a few litres of cold water and it fired (eventually).

  • +1 for everything mentioned above. Catalytic converter could also be blocked.

  • MaxMax @Max Central Coast NSW

    Can an OBD be put on these? It sounds like the sensors aren't doing their job. This happened with my Brothers 'box with brakes'. It was a leak in the exhaust that slowed it down and the O2 Sensor wasn't getting the facts.

    But this is a long time ago. I'd just like to help. A muffler bandage made a world of difference til I gave it back to him and he had a new muffler put on.

  • jamesincJames @jamesinc Oz Volvo Ice Fortress

    If you want to check the fuel pressures/get a second opinion, feel free to swing by me in Eastwood during the evenings, assuming your fuel rail has a Schraeder valve on it, I have a fuel pressure tester.

  • Thanks guys for the info and offers.

    I'll note these things to look at when the car next needs work.

    (Just changed out the starter – so that part of the list is sorted!)


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