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> Xc90 Electrical/engine Power Failure, bizarre power failure
bradnight
post Sep 2 2008, 01:17 PM
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I am wondering if anyone else has heard of this problem and solution. On a 6 hour drive to Los Angeles, my 2004 Volvo XC 90 has a severe "thump" in the front end, which is then followed by a very brief (split second) internal (meaning dashboard lights, hi-fi, dome lights, etc) power failure. Initially, the power failure would last only a split second and then car would continue running as normal, and there we no error codes or check engine lights.

But on the last long drive home, the "thump" was harder than usual, and the lights internally completely went out, hazard lights could not be turned on, blinkers could not be switched on, hi-fi went out, etc (though the electric windows would work).

I pulled over, and turned the car off and restarted it, and the yellow exclamation point dashboard icon/alert lit up, and a service message flashed referring to the anti-lock brake failure, and that the SRS needed to be checked.

This problem has been occuring for a couple of months, and is very intermittent. Before this last incident, I took it into the dealership in Los Angeles, who could not figure it out,. Now that I have an error code, I have it at another dealership in Northern California, who seems equally mystified and have told me that they dont think the error code of check the SRS is going to fix the problem.

Does anyone have any helpful suggestions? The engine thump, followed by electical failure seems really weird, and when i search the internet, there doesn't seem to be anyone else that is having the same problem.

Any advice you can offer would be appreciated. Thx, Brad

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Suzanne
post Nov 21 2008, 09:37 PM
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I had the same thing happen to me on the 405. A loud thump, and then everything went out on the dash. Later the car started fine, and the dealership wasn't able to find any problems.

Today the windshield wipers went on all by themselves, and the radio went out. The ABS warning light cam on, just like before, and the dashboard went black. Luckily this happened as I was driving into the my driveway. After I stopped, and restarted the car, everything was fine.

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cleavea
post Jan 5 2009, 08:12 AM
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Drives: XC90 D5 AWD Chipped to 206bhp



I too have this problem on my 2004 XC90 (IMG:style_emoticons/default/ohmy.gif) - has happened twice now - but is very worrying as both occasions happened when traveling at 70 mph in the middle lane of the motorway!!!

dealers can't find anything wrong. anyone found a solution ? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/ohmy.gif)
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TheGreekMason
post Jan 5 2009, 04:19 PM
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tranny swap. brother has one and before he traded it in, the same thing happened. it turns out it was the tranny. hope it isn't for you members. his was out of warranty and it was either shell out 6 grand for a new one or take the trade in value. so he traded it in for an '09 xc90. baaaaaaaad mistake so far. got it in september, and it has been in to the dealership 9 times. talking with volvo n/a for a replacement.
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bweyhe
post May 20 2009, 10:06 AM
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I wish I had seen this forum last fall when I had the same problem. Has happened to me about 7 times since last October, but had been about 5 months since the last time.

Everything you describe is exactly what has happened to me, but at both low and high speeds.

I replaced the ignition switch, thinking that the electrical connection was being lost and causing the car to momentarily shut down and then restart.

The dealer has NO idea. I've been there about 5 times. The battery was really low, so we replaced it and it stopped for about 5k miles. Now it is happening again.

Has anyone else followed up and confirmed the previous point about the transmission? Makes sense, but it does seem like something electrical might be driving this.

When it happened yesterday, my rear fog light suddently turned on by iteslef while at a stop light. 1/2 mile later, the thump and total electrical failure occurred.

Thanks
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itguy28
post May 20 2009, 10:39 PM
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I am experiencing the same thing. i have a 2004 xc90 T6 AWD and everything turns off and on and then finally everything except the car turns off!!!!!! i only have a little bit left on the warranty that i have left from the dealership i got it from. please anyone can say if it is the transmission or not???? or what.i
it could be Please!!!!!!!!!!!!
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bweyhe
post May 22 2009, 07:34 PM
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I visited a small old-school Volvo repair shop today who looked at it originally in June 2008. He doesn't think it is the transmission b/c it is always preceded by something electrical. There's something happening that is causing a communication failure and triggering the shut down. He doesn't know what it is and I'm going to give him my XC90 for a week for him to drive personally to try and replicate.

If your car is still under warranty, make sure you take it to them and have them document what is going on so that it will be covered. My started about 5000 miles after the warranty expired.

If you do figure it out, please let us know.

Thanks
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VOLVOTINA
post Jun 29 2009, 10:41 AM
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Has anyone heard of a solution to this issue? Car is at the dealership right now, and we were shocked to find the exact issue in this forum - described exactly as it happened to us. Help.
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itguy28
post Jun 29 2009, 10:47 AM
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no i havent found out the problem yet. i am taking it to another volvo auto repair today. its either going to be a grounded wire or the CEM which im hoping its not! if you figure out whats going on let us know also. i will report as soon as i find something or the solution too!
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VOLVOTINA
post Jul 2 2009, 05:20 PM
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Got the vehicle back yesterday, $1300 poorer. They say it was a computer problem, and replaced that. I can only hope that was the fix...they kept it and drove it to make it happen and never did. I have had almost every issue that has been mentioned in this forum happen to my 04 XC90 - CD player, transmission, brakes and now this electrical problem. I am now going to dump it as fast as I can.Very unhappy with Volvo service. Bought this brand specifically for its reputation for safety and longevity. It is just barely 5 years old, and I have to dump it. I will never purchase this brand again.

Good luck to all.
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lothar
post Jul 9 2009, 04:26 PM
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This seems like an identical failure in my xc-70 early 2004 build date or late 2003. Seems very much like a batch of bad "cem"'s or central electronic module. I strongly encourage everyone to go to the NHTSA web site, national highway traffic safety administration and give as much detail as possible. I spoke with volvo north america about covering the computer and of course they told me to ...well you know. I'm second party private sale owner and mine first happened about 6000 miles out of warranty. These are very difficult to diagnose as it seems to happen very infrequently. Usually its only after extended running times 4-8 hours, that often is on a dark freeway and the failure lends itself to many safety issues. Please take the time to do this, and maybe the feds will open an investigation. The computer according to several good volvo mechanics is seldom replaced and can be "shocked" into the "limp" mode we've all experienced by lots of other issues on the network it controls, but the dealer I had mine to had it once when it did not come out of limp mode, and diagnosed the cem. Every other occurance, once I turn off the car and start back up all functions are normal except the stored codes due to the cem shuting down. Kind of like a microsoft car...nice. Please file a complaint with NHTSA and stress issues like the Supplemental Restraint System shut down due to the computer failure and no turn signals ...that kind of stuff, the momentary loss of engine power and jerking also possible of the awd system shuting down... Keep posting maybe we'll get to the bottom of it.
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waz
post Jul 9 2009, 06:45 PM
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Hope my new XC90 won't do that.

Talking about CEM, I had my previous rides - a Suzuki and a Nissan - CEM retuned and replaced (respectively).
But effect of that instantaneous failure were not "violent". Just momentary loss of power.
My dad Mit also had his CEM replaced. It just failed one fine morning when he was about to go to work.

I guess they need to include a keyboard in car nowadays with CNTRL, ALT & DEL function.
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gtdowney
post Jul 26 2009, 12:45 AM
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This very same problem has just begun in my 2003 xc 90 within the last couple of weeks. My car was purchased new at a local dealer by me in 2003. It currently has 50,649 miles.

The first time this happened, my wife was driving down a neighborhood street ( 20 mph +/- ) returning home, when everything on the dash turned off, the air conditioning shut off but the blower continued to circulate air, and the windshield wipers cycled once. As soon as the wipers came back to the stored position, everything came back on and began to work normally. There was no sound associated with this event. The second time this happened, my wife was driving again a few days later, she was traveling on the highway in the middle of the afternoon at highway speeds when an odd clunk came from the dash/firewall area and the instruments, radio, A/C ( but not the blower) turned off, the windshield wipers began to cycle ( they are set to automatic ); within 1 to 2 seconds everything went back to normal on its own. We both drove this car under various conditions and distances for the next 7 to 10 days without incident. Then the car cratered.

I personally had not experienced this myself as I drive another car more often than this one, but I had talked to my wife immeadiatley following both her experiences, so I had an idea what to expect. I was stopped, NOT in park, at a fast food drive through when I heard a "thunk" come from deep in the dashboard, almost like the sound came came from the brake. The dash completely shut off, all instruments zeroed out, the auto A/C shut off, my windows and locks stopped working the radio turned off and the automatic wipers began to cycle and oddly enough the sunroof continued to work. I put the car into park and tapped the gas, when the engine returned to idle, everything came back on. About five minutes later, while was paying at the window, the car did it again, only this time, there was a distinct shudder from the engine itself. I put the car in park, turned it off for about thirty seconds, started it again and THIS time the SRS FAILURE, and BRAKE FAILURE . . . USE CAUTION STOPPING, warnings appeared in my messages menu screen. I shut the car off again, and it took five attempts to get it to start again. I drove home with no A/C, instruments, radio, lights, signals, brake lights, the blower for the heater / air conditioner DID work and responded to its control, and despite the BRAKE FAILURE . . . USE CAUTION STOPPING warning, I had no trouble using the brakes a couple of times to stop.

Now my car will start 50 percent of the time, with out the warning/power failure episodes, but within less than a minute, it happens regardless of motion or transmission position. The other 50 percent, it starts with the problem or won't start at all. The messages are still posted on my IC log, and I have stood outside the car, with the hood open, listening. I can hear what sounds like a MECHANICAL thunk, followed by a dip in idle significant enough to stumble the engine to the point of near stall.

I really like Volvo, one saved my life. But I am afraid that despite the Volvo badge, someone in Ford compromised the product that I bought. I have read about the ECU, etc. but is this the fix? I can no longer let my wife or anyone drive this car until it is repaired, please let me know if there is a solution.
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bweyhe
post Aug 11 2009, 08:36 AM
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The repair shop that I took my XC90 to was not able to replicate the problem the week that they had the car. However, it did happen again a few weeks ago while I was only a few miles away. The owner of the shop drove the car and luckily had it do it again. He connected his OBD sensor for the teset drive so we were able to read everything even without a dashboard. All of the symptons have always been the same for me as previously posted. Once it happens, the car is still drive-able, but:

- the car stays stuck in a higher gear until you turn it off. So if you come to a stop light and were in 4th gear, it remains in 4th gear. Even if you put the car in reverse, if you put it back in drive, it only goes in 4th gear.

- when you turn the car off and then back on, it works fine except for the SRS light, which is a communication error from the shut down.

- the sunroof continues to work when everything else shuts down. If I remember right, the front windows work, but not the rear.

- the radio and air do no work.

- for me, it is happening at almost exactly 500 miles at a time.

I dropped the car off again this week for them to take a look (with 475 miles since the last shut down). This is the first chance they have had to spend time with it since the owner of the shop drove the car and had the failure occur.

His initial thought was the CEM. We'll see if they can diagnose the problem this week.
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UKSpeedster
post Aug 22 2009, 08:33 AM
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I've had the same issues - this is definitely a CEM issue and appears to be happening on many cars. Frustratingly, Volvo do not recognize this as a problem with the vehicles and there is no outstanding TSB/recall for this item.

I have discussed at length with both the dealer and Volvo NA and neither will admit that there is a problem with the CEM design. As far as I can tell, it is susceptible to heat failure - however, even paying $1,000+ to have it replaced does not seem to guarantee any improvement as I can't get any feedback from Volvo NA on whether the part has been improved or not.

I would suggest that everyone contacts Volvo customer care with this - contact details are:

Email: customercare@volvoforlife.com
Contact: Lisa
Telephone: 800-458-1552 x1953

Would be good to keep track on here with the progress that everyone makes.
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cleavea
post Sep 7 2009, 09:11 AM
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Has happend to me again last week after not having diplayed the problem for over 10 months - had been travelling for servarl hours again, so it really does sound like that the heat is effecting the CEM some how. as we let it cool down and continued the journey - oldly we drove back no problems. - where is the CEM ?
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itguy28
post Sep 8 2009, 03:14 PM
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QUOTE (UKSpeedster @ Aug 22 2009, 06:33 AM)
I've had the same issues - this is definitely a CEM issue and appears to be happening on many cars. Frustratingly, Volvo do not recognize this as a problem with the vehicles and there is no outstanding TSB/recall for this item.

I have discussed at length with both the dealer and Volvo NA and neither will admit that there is a problem with the CEM design. As far as I can tell, it is susceptible to heat failure - however, even paying $1,000+ to have it replaced does not seem to guarantee any improvement as I can't get any feedback from Volvo NA on whether the part has been improved or not.

I would suggest that everyone contacts Volvo customer care with this - contact details are:

Email: customercare@volvoforlife.com
Contact: Lisa
Telephone: 800-458-1552 x1953

Would be good to keep track on here with the progress that everyone makes.

i Called Lisa with customer care and she is NO HELP at ALL!!! right now i have an electricain that is looking at my XC90 because now i cant even turn it on without it turn off ( engine still on but no electricity) i dont have $1000-3000 for a new CEM! i am open to anything else that can be done sort of a work around. i love this carr too but if i cant drive it sucks! and i only have 2 cars including the XC90 and me and my wife have to share one now!!!
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mickymac
post Sep 10 2009, 10:28 AM
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I had posted a few weeks ago under "car wont start". My 2004 XC90 without warning would fail to start. This has happened 4 times in as many months and has been in to the shop 4 times. Each time the "fix" is only for a few weeks before it happens again.

I got it back from Volvo last week, and within two days had a new problem similar to some of the posts here. While driving on the highway, my wipers came on for one cycle. A few minutes later the same thing. Then a few minutes after that the wipers came on, stayed on, and my intire electric panel shut down. No dash board instruments, no power in the windows, no turn signals, no stereo. Car still ran, and headlights still worked. Pretty scary. When I stopped the car, turned off the engine, and turned it back on again, everything returned to normal except for a SRS message. 3 days later the exact thing happened again. It's going back in to Volvo again.

I didn't have any "thumping" noises though.
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Capt Dave
post Sep 14 2009, 09:59 PM
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I wish to add my 04 XC-90 T6 to the list of cars doing the shut off thing while driving. Of course, this is my wife's car and it's never happened to me!
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kopertone1
post Sep 28 2009, 08:32 AM
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I'm having the same problem as above with my XC90. Has any one had the CEM replaced? Did it solve the problem? Don't want to have this replaced if it's not going to be a solution.
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