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‘91 240 Electrical Gremlins {or Something}

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  • ‘91 240 Electrical Gremlins {or Something}

    1991 Volvo 240 Sedan[non-turbo] purchased 2-4months ago, and has had regular electrical fits every sense day 3. Alternator seems to NOT charge battery all the time. Example: when driving car everything will be fine , then suddenly ALL warning lights on dash illuminate (when this happens seems i lose power steering also) but if i revv engine or jerk wheel to the right or left i can SOMETIMES get warning lights to go off and car runs good in that state. BUT, if can’t get warning lights to go off vehicle will die as in dead battery /w no charge from alternator. And, 1OO% øf the time , no matter if driving, or sitting at stand still: if i turn on fan and engage A/C Compressor : ALL WARNING lights on dash appear illuminated (same story as above!)

    So... to say FRUSTRATED would be a HUGE UNDERSTATEMENT!
    here is a list of things i have replaced and/or fixed trying to get rid of these gremlins:

    0.) Oil Change

    1.) cleaned grounds

    2.) new alternator

    3.) radiator replacement(ONLY bc pull’a’part cars looked
    better than mine) replaced hoses also.

    4.) Replaced ECU from Pink Label to Bosch 951

    5.) Replaced Ignition Coil /w new Coil / Coil Wire & New
    Spark Plugs

    6.) Replaced Ignition Amplifier /w new Bosch Ignition Amp

    7.) Ordered new Bosch Voltage Regulator (ended up
    installing on OLD/ORIGINAL Alternator i had taken out
    after discovering the pull’a’part alternator / voltage
    regulator both BRAND-NEW!

    **Have checked every cable/wire i see for any signs of
    failure or weakness but NONE! **

    Soooo.... here i am to ask for some help from someone b/c my entire life i’ve ALWAYS wanted a Late-80’s - Early-90’s Volvo 240 and now i FINALLY have one and can’t seem to keep it on the road for too long. ANY HELP and/or guidance in anyway will be VERY MUCH APPRECIATED ! My goal would be/is to have this Volvo up and running good and be a dependable vehicle i can enjoy whenever so desire. Thank You!

  • #2
    ^*^NOTED^*^ i have become aware that the dashboard bat. light must turn-on and then turn-off the make alternator begin charging bat.
    Question is : if somehow bypass this battery warning light so that there is steadying flow thru , in theory, would problem(s) be solved ??


    • #3
      Have you checked voltage at the battery while its running? That will tell you if it is in fact charging or not. Volt meter negative to engine, positive to battery should be 13.4 or greater.


      • #4
        hey! thanx for taking the time responding to my post....

        Yes, i have checked voltage on batter terminals, 12v when off & at or around 13v when running. i recently read somewhere about the battery dashboard light: that when turn key over to start vehicle it illuminates sending a signal for alternator to start charging battery (implying the bat. light must come on and then go off to ‘excite’ the alternator to charge battery) so, i’m curious if when i’m traveling and all the sudden ALL the warning lights illuminate and in turn my battery dies, if that is why. But, lately all the warning lights will go off , ALL but the SRS Light that is. That’s the Air Bag light correct ? but, once that happens it’s only moments before i’m stuck on side of road. i don’t know. any suggestions ?
        would seem there is a short somewhere, but unless it’s within the insulation i don’t see any.


        • #5
          ANYONE have ANY other suggestions??? i have spent MOST of this day going thru different wiring looking for striped/bare wire; and have turned up NOTHING!
          i had bought a replacement voltage regulator for the alternator i acquired @ Pull-a-Part , but after removing , as i had a feeeling would be the verdict; Alternator & Voltage Regulator both BRAND-NEW in looks. So, put new regulator in original Bosch Alternator that came /w car when bought. Anyways, is it possible i could still need to replace brushes within Alternator and in turn fix these issues??? Please Help! ASaP!


          • #6
            Install a little digital voltmeter. Watch what it does. You need over 13 volts. 13.4 or more at all times while running or driving


            • #7
              It sounds like an alternator issue to one that is dying but not dead yet (que Monty Python). The voltage might even test ok in your garage, but fluctuate whilst your driving, under load, etc. If you want a second opinion, you can bring it to NAPA, & they will do a free charging system test for you. The wiring is usually pretty good from 1988 & after. The harness issues are from '80-'87. So, you should be in the clear in that dept. I went through 3 alternators with my '85 245. The first died slowly (same symptoms that you are having), & then the brand new second one died 2k miles later, and the 3rd lasted 100k+ miles, & was still good when I sold the car. If your tests are inconclusive, then I would probably throw a new rebuilt Bosch alternator in. If the place has a good return policy, then you can send it back if it still doesn't work. That kind of stuff is frustrating. Good luck.


              • #8
                I don't know if this issue is still relevant to the original poster, but for anyone who needs to hear this. I had the exact same problem. It turned out to be the harmonic balancer (crank pulley) being separated/ broken into two pieces. What would happen is the 2 pieces would spin together at certain times/speeds, the pulley would then spin freely and not move the accessory belts (namely the alternator pulley), and thus show the warning lights periodically. If you have this problem a replacement might be needed, or is at least checking off as a potential cause.


                • Mrmango
                  Mrmango commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Reading this post was a roller coaster I knew it was belt related the whole time