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> 1994 Volvo 480 Fuel Gauge And Speedometer, A little advice please
JMinto
post Sep 25 2009, 03:08 PM
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Hello,

I have just got a 1994 Volvo 480 ES 1.7l with a few problems I was hoping to fix myself but need a little help on them as the Haynes manual is not much use.

1) The fuel gauge does not work but the warning light comes on when the tank is nearly empty. Does this mean that it is a problem with the dashboard level indicator or are there separate gauges for the fuel level and the fuel warning indicators? Does anyone know of any way to test if it is a problem with the gauge in the fuel tank or the indicator on the dashboard?

2) The speedometer is a bit tempermental. Sometimes it works fine but just now it is cutting out every time i reach 30 mph and drops to zero. If I come to a stop it will start registering the speed but will cut out as soon as it reaches 30 mph again. Has anyone had a similar problem?

3) I have replaced the complete rear windscreen wiper unit with an old one from a scrapyard. When I plugged it in it reset itself to the normal rest position but it does not work when activated. Is there a control unit that controls the rear windscreen wiper operation? I've tried looking for one behind the fuse box but without any luck. If there is one, could someone please describe to me where it is.

4) The heated seats do not work. Although I think I can probably live with that.

I would really appreciate any advice as it's a great car to drive but without a reliable speedometer or working fuel gauge, long jouneys are going to get interesting.

Thanks

James

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grendel1960
post Sep 25 2009, 05:55 PM
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OK first thing to check is the connection block to the ECU, sometimes the wires corrode here if water gets in round the screen, and the connections get corroded, this can cause some of the symptoms you describe with the speedo, if not its probably a connection round the back of teh dashboard.
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heavend
post Feb 9 2010, 04:32 AM
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Drives: 480es x4, 940 turbo estate



QUOTE (JMinto @ Sep 25 2009, 04:08 PM)
Hello,

I have just got a 1994 Volvo 480 ES 1.7l with a few problems I was hoping to fix myself but need a little help on them as the Haynes manual is not much use.

1) The fuel gauge does not work but the warning light comes on when the tank is nearly empty. Does this mean that it is a problem with the dashboard level indicator or are there separate gauges for the fuel level and the fuel warning indicators? Does anyone know of any way to test if it is a problem with the gauge in the fuel tank or the indicator on the dashboard?

2) The speedometer is a bit tempermental. Sometimes it works fine but just now it is cutting out every time i reach 30 mph and drops to zero. If I come to a stop it will start registering the speed but will cut out as soon as it reaches 30 mph again. Has anyone had a similar problem?

3) I have replaced the complete rear windscreen wiper unit with an old one from a scrapyard. When I plugged it in it reset itself to the normal rest position but it does not work when activated. Is there a control unit that controls the rear windscreen wiper operation? I've tried looking for one behind the fuse box but without any luck. If there is one, could someone please describe to me where it is.

4) The heated seats do not work. Although I think I can probably live with that.

I would really appreciate any advice as it's a great car to drive but without a reliable speedometer or working fuel gauge, long jouneys are going to get interesting.

Thanks

James



Ahhh, 480 electronics. I didn't realise how much I'd need my 27 years of electronics trade experience when I started collecting 480's. Yes, collecting. Down to just 4 now.....

If you know nothing about electrics/electronics, get a nerd friend fast or go to night class! (or sell the car)

1) Haven't had this exact problem, but if the warning light comes on, the sender unit in the tank must be working. Go look at the info centre PCB that lives on the back of the instrument panel. Replace all of the electrolytic capacitors with 100uF 25v types. Also check that all of the lamps are OK as the fuel gauge is a 'negative' LCD that needs a functioning backlight to be seen.

2) Easy. Common problem. The signal from the sensor is very weak and the slightest problem with a connector will cause the speedometer to fail. And they do - alot. My favourite solution for total reliability is to 'bridge' the connector by soldering leads direct to the speedo connector pins and feeding the cable through the gap in the case. Then using a screw connector link your new loom into the car loom, essentially providing a secure parallel path for the signal without soldering up the connector and making future disassembly impossible.

3) You didn't say why you had to replace the wiper unit. Is the 'new' one any different? There is only four wires to the motor - two for the motor, two for the position switch. Use a battery charger to check the motor operation. You'll need a multimeter to check the switch. I'd still suspect the wiper assy ahead of the ECU. Poor ECU, often blamed, rarely faulty.

4) Easy. The connection to the thermostat in the seat would have broken due all those years of being sat on. Take the seat out, peel back the seat cover and get out your soldering iron! The plastic frame holding the heater wires in place have probably perished and are crumbly. You might wreck it getting it out but replacement is not expensive or difficult.
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