XC70 Fuel/Ignition/Starting problem

I have an intermittent fault with my 3.2 petrol non-turbo 2009 XC70

Every now and again it will crank for a long time before it will start.

I have replaced sparkplugs, coils, fuel injectors, fuel pressure sensor and cleaned a load of sensor connectors.

I'm wondering what to look at next.. and wondering whether it's worth buying something like the below:


Would the car record any instances of long cranking and offer some hints as to what may be wrong?

The car sometimes hesitates at lower revs under power (going up a steep hill) as well.



  • Ex850RSnoopy @Ex850R Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.
    edited September 12

    Im sure @VolvoMike can help but to read codes and reset anything you need VIDA and Dice , the software and unit to plug into the OBD / CANbus network , can be had from a guy in UK all set up including the laptop from @Jamest5r_ 's mate.

    Could well be the battery is shot........Our S80D5 did the same thing but first when driving the dash lights and radio unit would conk out then it started just stalling.....Battery.

  • I haven't had any issues with the electrics switching off. The starter seems to happily crank the engine - which is just as well.

    I was wondering if I had a problem with the fuel pump. My fuel rail doesn't have a valve on it so I can't check the pressure after stopping. But the biggest problem is that 90% of the time the car will start fine. If it completely died it might be easier to diagnose but then I will be completely stuck

  • Ex850RSnoopy @Ex850R Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.
    edited September 13

    Read the codes.

    Go to independent Volvo shop.

    Call Berry Motor Group for advice

  • I don't have anything to read the codes yet but I've ordered a scanner. My problem is getting worse (thankfully) so I may be able to track it down. Today the check engine light came on after cranking for quite some time. Luckily I now have a runabout car while my XC70 sits unreliable in my garage. I'm hoping it will be a PEM or relay issue. I don't particularly fancy cutting a hole under the back seat to get to the fuel pump.. and certainly not going to drop the tank.

  • Can you hear the pump priming with the ignition on (without turning the starter ? Try turning the ignition on for 4 sec, off for a second or two, on for 4 sec etc - cycle the key on and off before starting.

    You may have an injector leaking down, fuel pump not always coming on (ie failing fuel pump) or check valve leaking meaning there's no fuel pressure to cold start.

  • Ex850RSnoopy @Ex850R Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.

    Remember , a generic scanner won't tell you anything about a Volvo issue just general codes that don't mean much for troubleshooting.

    Did you call Berrys and ask about the issue? They KNOW these cars.

  • No, I live in New Zealand so I haven't called Berry's. I spent ages looking at scanners and it's overwhelming trying to find the right one for the right price. I bought a "Volvo" flavoured i906 so I hope it helps a little.. and one of those Veepak Bluetooth transmitters in case that CaRPM app is any use?

  • I haven't had a chance to look at the car this weekend with family illness. My car has the "button start". To hear it prime without starting, what would I need to do - just press the Start button without my foot on the brake? I can give that a go when my boy is back home to help me out. I thought there were only 2 "on" states - accessory/radio and start. It's a bit easier with an old turn-key system.

    I'm familiar with the sound of primer pumps on other cars but I can't honestly say I recall what my XC70 pump sounds like. Still, if I stick my ear near the back wheels I'm sure I'll either hear something whirring or not

  • If the button start is anything like the Ford system, pushing the button without your foot on the brake should give you the "ignition on" setting - with the instrument lights all on without cranking.

    If the fuel pump is "worn out" - usually means the brushes have worn down till they barely contact the commutator any more - the fuel pump may not start up when the key is turned on. When the starter vibrates the car, the brushes may make enough contact instantaneously to start up. Once the fuel pump is running, it'll usually keep going until the car is turned off again. If it's getting worse with time, that may be the problem. You should hear the pump better if the rear seat is half folded down or the booster seat is up ?

    You could try adding a test light if you can get to the fuel pump connections - isn't very hard on the XC90 and from memory they're mechanically / electrically similar ? There's a fuel pump driver module giving pulse width modulation I think - so test light will glow / flash.

    2 or 3 times over in Oz I've had very long crank times occasionally with almost new vehicles - and only after filling up with petrol. Runs fine and mileage is normal, but cranks for 20-30 sec before firing right up. Twice I've taken the car to the dealer - no faults found and when the tank's filled up again the next week everything's fine. Sometimes it seems I've just had "bad fuel"...maybe try a different petrol station for a while ?

  • Thanks for the info. I just put the key in, kept my head outside of the car and pressed the start button. I heard what sounded like a quick whoosh/suck of liquid coming from the back. I was expecting more of a motor sound but didn't sounds like that.

    I tried taking the key out and repeating the same thing but heard nothing. I'm guessing the primer/pump only operates if it thinks the fuel rail is not already up to pressure?

    Unfortunately I didn't actually try starting the car but I'll monitor what it does every time I try starting the car.

  • Ex850RSnoopy @Ex850R Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.

    If you call Berry Motor Group they know the common issues.

    They had a XC70 3.2 they ran as staff car to around 320,000klm then my mate bought it and does big miles every week so must be well near 500,000 by now.

    Well worth calling them.

    You can buy VIDA and Dice on eBay. Or get the UK chap @Jamest5r_ knows to send complete setup laptop with no hassles.

    The car will have issues now it's old so worth having VIDA to know what to fix easily without throwing parts at it which won't be cheap.

    VIDA can tell you impending trouble too.

    Buy parts from FCP Euro , lifetime replacement guarantee , yes, even send oil filters back oil too if you can, get new oil and filter free....Crazy good service. Parts cheap enough to counter shipping cost and Ozvolvo has discount shipping deal. See pinned post.

  • I'll look them up. My car only has 129,000kms on it. I've already replaced the valve housing and rear diff bearings - cost me a fortune - so I'm hoping I can learn a bit and try maintaining it myself. Now that I have a second car to depend upon it's not so bad.

    I wanted to try one of those cheap/knock-off VIDA/Dice setups but I couldn't find any on eBay or Aliexpress. I've got various laptops running different versions of Windows and I'm more of an IT guy than a mechanic anyway.

  • There are good scanners out better than the vida so a workshop should be able to scan the car for you, after that they should be able to read freeze frames values at time of code logged.

    They should be able to monitor fuel pressure and the resting pressure of the fuel system to eliminate that side of it, to me I would be looking at fuel resting pressure.

  • Thanks. I might ask my local guy about those - otherwise I'm going to be waiting a few weeks until I can even start reading the codes myself

  • Did you check the connection on your master injector relay? The one behind the rad fan. I had an occasional no-start condition with no fuel, but you can hear the pump. The connection on mine was just a bit too corroded and would crank but not fire for ages on the odd occasion, got to the point I had to wiggle the connection for the car to start, got pretty sick of popping the hood that often and got a new relay and cleaned up the contacts, no issues since.

  • nut3yNutmeg @nut3y Queensland
    edited September 15

    Next time it doesn't start give the relay a whack and move the wires around with the ignition on, but not cranking. It's the grey/beige one with four wires running to it next to the fan relay. Sometimes you can hear the IAC valve start buzzing after it makes connection.

  • Thanks for the tip. I'll take a look a bit later on. Where are the relays located? Is that what the black plastic box contains behind the ignition coils next to the firewall or are they under a cover near the battery? Just going back to bed here at 5am and scared I wake up the kids :-)

  • nut3yNutmeg @nut3y Queensland
    edited September 16

    They're not with the other relays in the usual spot beneath the windshield. They should be clipped on just above the radiator fan on the front of the car. It'll be paired up with the fan control relay. Really stupid place to put them.

    Sorry my bad, I swear the thread was titled 850 not xc70. Above info will be useless sorry man.

  • So.. I do have a little bit of information I can share. My local mechanic kindly read the codes for me while I'm waiting for my scanner:




    I believe 2 of these refer to both crank sensors? I've ordered a couple of replacements anyway to see if that helps at all. I think there was also a message regarding mixture being too rich at some point. Of course the car started fine the 3 times that it got started.

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