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Old 02-23-2009, 11:25 PM   #1
dustynwhyte
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240 electrical issue killing me

Here's my story-
1988 240 wagon, bought it a few months ago running fine. It has a hot wire running from the battery through a fuse, to a toggle switch to the fuel pump. The guy said it had to do with a harness on the behind the air box being bad. Anyway, that has never given me trouble, just a mention. A few weeks ago the battery started slowly dieing while it sat. Eventually it would not start if it sat more than a few hours. I replaced the battery, and things were good for a while. Then the same thing happened again. Now the battery won't charge at all. I replaced the alternator. It worked for a day, then the same thing started up. I jump it, it runs fine, then as soon as I shut it off it's dead.

I noticed the headlights seem really dim at night, and when I touch the brakes they get dimmer. Same with the light on the gauges. If the heater fan is on high and I touch the brakes it acts like it is losing power. I tried to install a new radio before all this and it had no power. The cigarette lighter doesn't work any more either.

I ordered this- http://www.ipdusa.com/Volvo-200/Elec...9-257-335-162/ after doing some research, but wanted to throw my question out there for anyone who might be able to help too.

Any idea would be awesome, thanks in advance guys.
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Old 04-27-2009, 03:43 PM   #2
denisond3
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Re: 240 electrical issue killing me

The negative cables, from battery to block, to the body, to the alternator, etc. are just as important as the positive cables. I would look for a bad connection - from the negative side of the battery to the rest of the car; as well as the positive wiring.
When charged but with the engine shut off - a good battery should read about 12.6 volts. With the engine running, it should move up to at least 13.7 in 5 or 10 minutes (starting with a fully charged battery) and can wind up as high as 14.7 volts after its been running for a while. At anything above an idle, this should not drop more than half a volt even with the headlamps turned on. If its does - look for a feeble ground wire.
An alternator is really a 3 phase a.c. generator. It has 3 pairs of diodes in it to change the a.c. output to d.c.. So one of the phases can go bad. The alternator wont have the same 'maximum' current, but would eventually charge the battery to the same voltage. If two of the diode pairs fail, the alternator would have only 1/3rd of its 'current capacity', like 30 amps max instead of 90 amps max), but would have the same output voltage capability. With a lot of night time driving though - I think it would fall behind what was needed to keep the battery charged. Its not the most common alternator failure, but it does happen.

As for the 'switch' for the fuel pump. A common failure on our 240's is the fuel pump relay. If you go to ebay and do a search for "volvo 240 fuel pump relay" you will see pictures of what they look like. They are usually located in the passenger's footwell, up where a long persons toe's would be, and under that fiber sheet that will drop down.
The other weakpoint, I think, are the feeble fuse holders, down beside the drivers left heel. Several of those have been modified by me, with fused holders from the auto parts place soldered in place of the original fuse holders.
I believe your car actually has two fuel pumps; one in the tank, and a larger one under the back seat on the driver's side.
I just thought of a thing to check: Pull one of the battery cables off the battery, (preferrably the negative one), and put an ammeter in series, between the battery post, and the battery terminal. This will let you see how much current the battery is providing - when everything is shut down. There will be some current, for the radio memory, for the memory in the emissions and fuel computers. It shouldnt be more than perhaps 15 milliamps though. If so - something is still on, or there is an electrical fault, a realy stuck, etc.
In my father in laws car, it was one of the electrical seat heaters one time, and a bad radio another time. It would drain the battery in about 36 hours.
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Old 05-07-2009, 03:08 AM   #3
Sweden1979
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Re: 240 electrical issue killing me

"A few weeks ago the battery started slowly dieing while it sat. Eventually it would not start if it sat more than a few hours. I replaced the battery, and things were good for a while. Then the same thing happened again. Now the battery won't charge at all. I replaced the alternator. It worked for a day, then the same thing started up. I jump it, it runs fine, then as soon as I shut it off it's dead."



Try to install a extra ground wire (25mm2) from the engine to the chassi & one extra ground wire (6mm2) from the alternator to the engine.
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