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My 850 immobilizer immobilized me

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  • My 850 immobilizer immobilized me

    OK, I've been caught out by the immobilizer protecting me many many times, with many different 850s. The lights on the dash come on but the starter won't turn and you can hear a very faint regular clicking, like the emergency lights going. I don't think I've ever heard the actual alarm, probably because the alarm horn is dead or near dead. Each time, if the battery has a good charge and is well connected, locking and unlocking the driver's door has cleared the problem and I was on the road again.

    This morning I ran a couple of errands, stopped and the started the car several times, but at some point the immobilizer wouldn't let the starter start. Dash lights lit up OK, faint clicking, etc. but this time locking and unlocking the door didn't clear the problem. I tried about a million times -- lock-unlock-nope, lock-lock-unlock-nope, lock-lock-unlock-unlock-nope, and about a squillion other permutations and combinations. I tried disconnecting and re-connecting the battery positive terminal with no joy.

    After about twenty minutes of trying and waiting and trying again, I disconnected the battery completely, and pushed the positive and negative cable ends together for about five minutes, hoping to erase any stored information in the immobilizer circuitry. Then when I hooked the battery back up, I could hear the faint clicking (and my dash light for freezing weather came on for some reason) but this time when I locked and unlocked the driver's door the clicking stopped and the car started right up.

    Hail Volvo!

  • #2
    How old is your battery?

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    • #3
      Just a couple of years. I do think it was a loose connector that first kicked in the immobilizer, but even after I tightened the terminals, putting the key in the driver's door didn't clear it.

      I didn't check the voltage while I was having problems -- and I had a voltmeter in the back.

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      • #4
        My S80 does this about every 18 months. Towed to dealer first time (you should see what they billed Volvo under warranty!) the next time I called AAA to tow it to Volvo, the tow truck diver rocked the car back and forth a few times and had me try and start it. Varoom!. I have since done that and it works for me except the one time I did have a dying battery. (I have a bad (?) habit of replacing batteries every 3 years even though they are 'good'. I figure I may have wasted a few bucks but have only been stranded with a dead battery a very few times over the past 30 years.)

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        • #5
          Rocking the car? I wonder what that changes. Do you remember if you heard the faint clicking when you turned the key? It's the same frequency as the emergency flashers, but even with a strong and well connected battery the lights aren't flashing.

          Does anyone know an easy way to immobilize the immobilizer circuit?

          Stuart

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          • #6
            Yrs plz! “Does anyone know how to immobilize the immobilized?” Or bypass it since previous owner was an idiot and replaced drivers door lock but lost key. So my ignition n trunk work with key but not driver door! It ran great till I parked it for the 4x4 fir the winter as needed at my house. This spring alarm went off and I can’t seem to get past it. Pulled all immobilizer fuses and alarm relay to no avail! Plz help! Thank you

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