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Ongoing saga Volvo 850 overheating stalling under load

  #1  
Old 02-13-2019, 10:49 PM
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Default Ongoing saga Volvo 850 overheating stalling under load

Volvo 850 GLS 2.5 petrol non turbo 1996 wagon

I live in a small island country with no Volvo dealer or any good vehicle maintenance really. three years ago it started stalling when warmed up and water would bubble up from the expansion tank, the water turned coffee colour. Oil is good, ATM oil is good. Water dripping from exhaust. We diagnosed head gasket and due to difficulties here, I left it 3 years. However, a good mechanic turned up and changed the head gasket, and it seemed the problem solved. Also changed fuel pump, cleaned filter, changed coil and spark plus, many of the senors including the water sensor. It had no faults logged detected by a code reader.

The mechanic thought the thermostat was not circulating water to the engine, so we removed it (it is a tropical country here) and blocked the by pass tube so the water always goes to the engine. We'll get a new thermostat later.

Situation is not fully resolved. Yesterday took it out for first ride to get tested (passed) but after about 6 km when fully warmed up, it started stalling under load again. What happens when in this state, it starts OK and the engine revs completely freely up to max in neutral. But when you put your foot down under load, i.e. to start moving, it stalls. On the flat you can get it going when in this state by just letting idle power move it and once going you can get some revs up. It only stalls under load. I struggled to get it home, stopping frequently and letting it cool down.

When cold I checked the water and it has lost 1.5L from that one drive. So it seems to be still overheating. The water is clear though and head gasket full kit was fitted.

Any thoughts welcomed! I really want my Volvo back....
 
  #2  
Old 02-14-2019, 02:03 AM
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Did you change the plug wires? It sounds typical of old wires that as soon as you put a load on the engine it stalls. Check for a date code, OEM Volvo wires will have one. If it`s more than 10 years change them. Use OEM Volvo Bouigard wires
 
  #3  
Old 02-14-2019, 03:56 PM
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Thanks, you are right problems with these old cars can be the result of several things together, I will change those HT cables. However, that doesn't explain the apparent over heating or cooling system symptoms such as the 1.5L water loss over a short trip. When cold right up to fully warmed up (3 oclock on the temp dial) it is absolutely fine and pulls as strong as ever. Its only after warming up the problem develops. If its the HT cables, could it be evident only when they are hot from the engine?
 

Last edited by leeming; 02-14-2019 at 03:58 PM. Reason: added
  #4  
Old 02-14-2019, 04:11 PM
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The HT cables wouldn`t have anything to do with your overheating issue. But it would make sense that when they get warm from the engine for them to cause your stalling under load issue if they appear to be old. Also humid air can only exacerbate a HT cable issue. If your losing water like that and there is nothing leaking externally than I hate to say it but it`s leaving through a head gasket issue out the exhaust.
 
  #5  
Old 02-14-2019, 04:14 PM
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We just changed the head gasket. I think the waters coming from the expansion tank, after over heating.
 
  #6  
Old 02-14-2019, 04:18 PM
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If it was sitting for 3 years and as old as it is then I would suspect a clogged up radiator
 
  #7  
Old 02-14-2019, 04:32 PM
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Yes I am thinking about that. Thanks for the discussion. When it did have a head gasket issue (the water turned coffee colour) it left a lot of deposits and that may have clogged the radiator despite the flushing that we did.
 
  #8  
Old 02-16-2019, 01:03 AM
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I am just wondering what unintended consequences might be of blocking the bypass tube. that is pretty nice design for getting the engine full of coolant. I would not have blocked that.
 
  #9  
Old 02-16-2019, 01:23 AM
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Yes me too! I think a new thermostat would help. The thing is, the parts are available only overseas (mail/shipping to here takes several weeks at least) , so it needs me to be sure about what I need, If I was living in Australian (nearest country with support) I could just get part X and try it. If it is not the one, then get another part. I have to take a 3 hour international flight to get access to the store that sells a $10 part. So thats how things are done here. It seems to be the cooling system for sure. Maybe a new radiator as well.

 
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