Project $1500 Volvo Leaves Me Stranded

project 1500 volvo leaves me stranded

This is now the second time Project Volvo has tried to kill me. The first time, I was turning left into a Scion dealership to go peek at an FR-S. All of a sudden, the steering locked up, and I looked down to see the dashboard lit up like Malmo synagogue. A few hundred yards down the road, an F-Series was bearing down on me. Luckily, the Volvo started up, and I drove off without having to test the brand’s legendary safety systems.

The next day, I picked up a 2012 MX-5 press car and forgot all about the stalling issues for the next week. It dawned on me that getting a CAA Membership might be a good idea too. Not that I followed through with it or anything. That would make too much sense. Of course, it came back to bite me in the ass right after I returned the MX-5 to Mazda Canada.

The car stalled at the very first traffic light, with the idle fluctuating like Charlie Sheen’s moods before sputtering and then dying. While coasting, the car ran smoothly, until I entered the on-ramp to the busy 401 freeway, where Project Volvo promptly died and wouldn’t re-start. The steering was locked up, but somehow I made it on to the shoulder without being sodomized by an 18-wheeler.

A $247 tow later, and I was at the mechanic. Right after the tow truck put the car in the ground, he jumped in and the car fired up promptly. The idle was still fluctuating, and turning the A/C on only exacerbated the problem. It turned out that in addition to the dirty throttle body, something was amiss with the A/C. My mechanic theorizes that one of the seals may need replacing, and that is causing the compressor to activate frequently, putting a fair amount of strain on the engine. So far, his estimate is roughly a couple hundred bucks, either for a new seal or a re-charge, and the throttle body cleaning. We’ll see later on this afternoon what the real issue is.

At least the smell is gone.

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  • Ryoku75 Ryoku75 on Jun 18, 2012

    Oh boy, welcome to my wonderful experience with beaters. There are several reasons that could be causing this: Bad Fuel Filter Bad Fuel Hoses Badly Timed Idle Dirty Sensors An Injection hose with a leak I've learned from 2 old beaters that fuel injection is just a pain compared to a decent carb ('89 Tercel). And the injected beaters had less mileage on them (an '84 Mustang and a '90 Horizon). To be honest, you really should not have brought this thing. Complicated beaters are complicated headaches. Whats funny for me is that my '84 Mustang had that same knack for stalling at the worst times, at least twice it almost turned me into meat for a Ram.

  • WildcatMatt WildcatMatt on Jun 26, 2012

    It's funny, I've had an AC issue and situation where my ABS/TRACS lights come on spontaneously on my '97 850, which has me investigating a lot of the same things mentioned by others in this thread. Nice timing, that. Hope your gremlins are easily traced!

  • DenverMike When was it ever a mystery? The Fairmont maybe, but only the 4-door "Futura" trim, that was distinctively upscale. The Citation and Volare didn't have competing trims, nor was there a base stripper Maxima at the time, if ever, crank windows, vinyl seats, 2-doors, etc. So it wasn't a "massacre", not even in spirit, just different market segments. It could be that the Maxima was intended to compete with those, but everything coming from Japan at the time had to take it up a notch, if not two.Thanks to the Japanese "voluntary" trade restriction, everything had extra options, if not hard loaded. The restriction limited how many vehicles were shipped, not what they retailed at. So Japanese automakers naturally raised the "price" (or stakes) without raising MSRP. What the dealers charged (gouged) was a different story.Realistically, the Maxima was going up against entry luxury sedans (except Cimarron lol), especially Euro/German, same as the Cressida. It definitely worked in Japanese automaker's favor, not to mention inspiring Lexus, Acura and Infiniti.
  • Ronnie Schreiber Hydrocarbon based fuels have become unreliable? More expensive at the moment but I haven't seen any lines gathering around gas stations lately, have you? I'm old enough to remember actual gasoline shortages in 1973 and 1979 (of course, since then there have been many recoverable oil deposits discovered around the world plus the introduction of fracking). Consumers Power is still supplying me with natural gas. I recently went camping and had no problem buying propane.Texas had grid problems last winter because they replaced fossil fueled power plants with wind and solar, which didn't work in the cold weather. That's the definition of unreliable.I'm an "all of the above" guy when it comes to energy: fossil fuels, hydro, wind (where it makes sense), nuclear (including funding for fusion research), and possibly solar.Environmental activists, it seems to me, have no interest in energy diversity. Based on what's happened in Sri Lanka and the push against agriculture in Europe and Canada, I think it's safe to say that some folks want most of us to live like medieval peasants to save the planet for their own private jets.
  • Car65688392 thankyou for the information
  • Car65688392 Thankyou for your valuable information
  • MaintenanceCosts There's no mystery anymore about how the Japanese took over the prestige spot in the US mass market (especially on the west coast) when you realize that this thing was up against the likes of the Fairmont, Citation, and Volaré. A massacre.