V50 ignition issue? sometimes no dash lights

Hi there! I just stumbled across this site and looks like I'll be visiting a bit... first post so let me start by saying hello from the Hills in Sydney.

We just purchased a 2007  V50 2.4 S auto and it's a great car to drive but have come across a bit of an issue. On the odd occasion turning the ignition to position II fails to do anything - as in the engine and oil and all the other lights fail to come on, and obviously nothing happens then after you try to fire it up either. Position I works and unlocks the steering but nothing else.

This has happened 3 times now and the last time took several hours of me trying a new battery in the key fob, enabling the alarm and then trying, disconnecting the battery for 10 mins, checking fuses, entering the car with the key manually then trying, tapping the key in the ignition... then one time she just fired up.

So while that's an entertaining story I guess what I want to know is if this is a common problem and do I need to replace the ignition barrel? Does the ignition barrel on this model need to be coded? And lastly as I think I'd rather someone who knows what they're doing take care of it, I'd really appreciate some suggestions on where to take our car for this and any future work as well.

Thanks for the help,




  • G'day Warren,

    The S40/V50/C30/C70 ("P1 cars") often have problems with the ignition key / switch. Is there any message on the DIM (Driver Information Module - aka Instrument panel !) about whether the immobiliser is active or key not recognised ? For the key to physically start the car, it not only needs to operate the switch (which can fail) but have the key detected by the immobiliser (which could also fail). A message may point in one direction.

  • Hey there and thank you. Nothing displays on the DIM at all - well in terms of errors. The temp, odometer and trip info comes on and that’s all

  • I think you might be lucky in that case and just have a faulty switch - fairly easy I understand, although I haven't had to do it on ours yet. Fault codes are more likely to be the key transponder and immobiliser, which seems to be dealer only items needing the car to be programmed (and therefore horribly expensive)

  • I like the sound of that - cheaper the better at the moment. Is this an ignition switch I should be looking up? Thanks again

  • I have a 2008 v50 that has never had a single key related problem.

    And I have a 2010 v50 that has had problems, unless you slowly insert they key, then wait a few seconds until you hear the click, then start it and it's OK, if you rush the process it gives either key not recognized or immobilizer error on the dash display.

  • Warren,

    It's likely that's what you need. However it could also be a starter solenoid (or wiring) - if you've got a test light or multimeter, just check for 12V on the thin wire to the starter with the key in the start position. You'd hate to go through the process of replacing the switch only to find that wasn't the problem.

    The video shows a 2004-2006 model: your centre console will be different and harder to get out - more bits need to be removed first.

    Also, make sure that the "radio" (really the display unit) is plugged back in before you test the ignition switch. Volvos tend to set airbag lights etc if the display unit is unplugged with the ignition on...and you'll need to find someone with the software to reset it.

  • Hmm thanks for that - might be a job for a pro I'm thinking.

    Don't suppose you'd have any recommendations in Sydney? I've seen the name Savvas come up on a few times elsewhere...

  • Sorry - I do all my own work partly because I haven't found anybody myself.

    I ended up with a V8 XC90 - crazy cheap because it was misfiring on 3 cylinders and had a grinding angle drive. Previous owner was sick of pouring money in. The local "mechanic" had resealed the valve covers (ie no new gaskets just heaps of silicone) and broken 3 earth connections for the ignition coils. The angle gear had been replaced when the transmission was rebuilt just before I bought it - the original came with the car and has been perfect for 120,000km.

    My wife has an S40 T5 AWD - picked up from a friend with a blown engine (not in the good sense...) He had a local garage replace the timing belt due to age only, and the mechanic also installed a cheap Chinesium water pump "whilst he was in there". Water pump failed after 25,000km and of course there's a washer bottle level sensor but not a coolant level. Grrrrr...then again, if the gorilla had left the original pump alone we wouldn't have it !

    I've become a bit of a fan for the 2000 - 2010 Volvo models, but I'm not a mechanic so I can't help you there. The cars aren't actually that complicated, but most mechanics have done more harm than good from my experience. More than happy to help out with suggestions - this forum has helped me more than once and there are plenty of people here who have been there and done that.

    I'd suggest if you need parts, don't use the local dealers unless they have a defibrillator in the spare parts office. Genuine Volvo parts much cheaper if you order from FCP, IPD, Volvopartswebstore etc in USA. Typically only a week for delivery and much cheaper including shipping. Picknpayless (Blacktown Sydney) have also been doing a run on Volvos - they crushed 3 of your model in the last few months but none there just now.

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