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Surging at Full Throttle

  #1  
Old 02-02-2009, 02:15 PM
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Default Surging at Full Throttle

Hey guys,

So I love my 99 S80 T6. There is only one problem. About a month ago, I noticed that at full throttle, the car would surge at 4500-5500 RPM up until 3rd gear. I have never had to hit those RPM in 4th gear so I am not sure if it does it there. To be safe, I replaced the spark plugs with Volvo ones (The previous owner replaced them at 90K and I have 146K so they were due since I bought the car at 141k). I also serviced the tranny, NOT FLUSHED. Oil changes are constant with the Mobil 1 EP 5w-30 15,000 mile synthetic (I have to top off because of an oil leak on a turbo return). I still have the issue.

I took it to the local Herzog-Meier dealer in Beaverton, OR. They have had it since Friday and are calling in Volvo-Tech because they do not know what is causing the problem. It is very similar to the thread found here:

https://volvoforums.com/forum/showth...ighlight=surge

It acts like it is falling flat on its face at 4500 RPM. All fuel is shut off to the car until it falls beneath that RPM range. The result is a constant "in-and-out" surging until the tranny shifts and then we repeat the process. The mechanic test drove it and said it was doing exactly that. They are confused because it is not throwing any codes besides a bad o2 sensor. The throttle body is also clean and fine. This does it both in Geartronic mode and Drive. I still think that it is the ETM. My ten years is up May, 7, 2009. I know that it is about $1000 replaced if it fails afterward.

So, I am unsure. Besides all of my oil-pan related o-rings causing a high-end valve tick, the car runs perfect and has been reliable, which I hear is rare. What do you think Tech?
 

Last edited by ceepyou; 02-02-2009 at 02:18 PM.
  #2  
Old 02-02-2009, 04:05 PM
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ETM should throw a code though because the reading will be outside of the set parameters. Tech can correct me if I'm wrong. I drove with an ETM code in my S80 for 5 months before it finally failed and I went into limp mode.

I wonder if you're on the second ETM by now though? I was told they fail from 60-80k miles, 146K would give you a lot more out of yours than most see. My new one had a yellow label versus a white one.
 
  #3  
Old 02-02-2009, 09:41 PM
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Does the check engine light flash at all?
 
  #4  
Old 02-03-2009, 01:22 AM
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Before I bought the car, there was a CEL and it was cleared and reset at Midas. It was one of those air/fuel ones that may be a loose fuel cap. The previous owner put 87 in the tank and I have always put 92 in. Since I have been doing that, there has not been a light since. The light was steady, never flashing. Flashing means something more serious right? The Volvo Tech they called said to do a software reload to ensure that the car is not in a loop thinking that it is always topping out. They are going to test drive it in the morning and let me know how that works. So far, I am looking at $175. I am not sure what color the label is.
 
  #5  
Old 02-03-2009, 07:24 AM
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$175 is nothing...It costs $175 to pull your car into the bay at Volvo. If you want them to actually touch it, it's $120/hr. At least here....Maybe we should start a thread comparing...
 
  #6  
Old 02-03-2009, 06:35 PM
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The dealer called in today while I was on my way home. $137.98 total for a software reload. He said that it seems that the car was actually in a loop. So reinstalling the software must have rebooted it and it seems to be running fine now. They drove it up to 5500 RPM and then let off. Since the problem occurred all the way up to 5500 RPM, I'll have to test drive it myself up to redline to be sure Redline... I never did that often, but it sure is nice to know that I can do that again, if I so choose. If anyone knows more about this problem with the software and cares to share, I would like to know a little more about how and why this happens. Do you see it often tech?
 
  #7  
Old 02-03-2009, 08:34 PM
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Doesn't really happen much at all but it does.
Just like any computer it can have a brain fart.
 
  #8  
Old 02-05-2009, 12:23 AM
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Okay. I picked up the car today around 10:15 a.m. PST. Drive it away down HWY 26 and rev out to redline no problem. I did that only once more before I went to my classes at a community college an hour and twenty minutes away. I came back out of class and headed home. We have two hills with passing lanes for about a mile and a half stretch each. At the first one I figured I could give it a shot. The car went to 5k in second gear and then shut off fuel. I am frustrated at this point... very frustrated. I decide on my home road to stop and open it up. I did this twice. Both times I started surging at 3k and the car was acting like I was letting off the petal, but not all the way and then acted like it was raining Hell all over the street. It was like my car had been rear ended about six times in a row. I do not like the way my transmission then shifts afterward. To keep it alive, I need to fix this. The service guy asked me to do a rolling start and then throttle out. I did so with a 3800 to 5300 in and out surge. I decided to go manumatic and keep it in second and see if I can hit red. 4500 to 5000 and surge mania came in... again. I would never say that this car is a headache because I have not had any problems. It would be foolish to dump it over something that should be extremely fixable. The dealer is pretty sure I have the original ETM and he mentioned none other than surging as a possible cause of its final days. I had a steady CEL and they said that that was the o2 sensor (pos1) that was out. Recently, that CEL went dim after adding some fuel to the tank and ensuring that my cap was tight. Maybe that was it. Either way, the surge is back. The dealer still wants to take another look at it and it seems like it will be a free second try at diagnosis. They are hoping that re-installing the ECM software opened up any errors so codes can be stored to tell us what is wrong. Tech, without knowing what is wrong, can we take a guess on the ETM? If I have it replaced and find out that it is not the problem, would that not be covered by the warranty? If so, can I just put my stocker back on. Beleive me, $1000 can wait six months.
 
  #9  
Old 02-05-2009, 01:20 PM
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Change fuel filter, take two bottles of injector cleaner and call someone else in the morning.

Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor and don't even play one on TV.
 
  #10  
Old 02-05-2009, 07:37 PM
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So would a clogged fuel filter activate limp mode? I have already ran injector cleaner in the past, but it would not help to try it again.

Disclaimer: I am one of those patients who is willing to try home-made remedies found online. The internet is just such a reliable place, even for healthcare. (No pun intended)
 
  #11  
Old 02-21-2009, 03:56 PM
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So I replaced the fuel filter and it acted like it was fixed during my test run. Then I went on the highway yesterday and figured I would double check and sure enough, the problem is still there. Tech, my ECM has been reloaded, it has a full tune-up and O2 sensor in position 1 is out. I am told that the O2 sensor has nothing to do with it. I still think it is the ETM. Last week when parked with the car running it acted like it was going to die twice within 25 seconds. It also happened again (only once this time) about 3 or 4 days ago. Any ideas? This is the first thing that has gone wrong with the car so it is useless to assume that it is a piece of junk and give up on it.
 
  #12  
Old 02-21-2009, 05:15 PM
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Since you're not getting a CEL maybe it's your tranny.
 
  #13  
Old 02-21-2009, 05:58 PM
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Mine was slipping at full throttle right before the "transmission service urgent" message popped up. But I suppose another way of thinking about it is as surging. Similarly, it seemed to run and idle rough afterwards too. I guess the engine management system gets confused when trying to compensate. Pulling the negative terminal from battery reset everything but the warning message.

Since the 2003's weren't affected by the ETM issues/recall I luckily didn't have to consider that a possibility, though I did clean my throttle body just to eliminate any lingering doubts.
 
  #14  
Old 02-21-2009, 08:07 PM
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The dealer said that it is not when I took it in. I just had it serviced (fluid in the pan and filter), NOT FLUSHED because I have heard horror stories. They said my throttle body was fine as well. Were you "surging" at the 3500-5500 RPM range as well? I just had a 2500 RPM surge two days ago. Honestly I would not be shocked if it was the tranny as I have 147,000 miles now on the stock one but that is about three grand I cannot afford so I am a little more optimistic We just replaced the tranny in our 1996 GMC Yukon w/ 184,500 in December. That would put us at nearly $6000 in transmission replacements.
 
  #15  
Old 02-22-2009, 12:36 PM
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My 02 s80 t6 had simular surging problems and the local dealer was able to pin point it to a Turbo control valve. (very easy to replace by yourself) If you have a code reader then I would look at the codes as my codes were indicating too much boost preasure to little boost preasure over and over again causing the surging of power on power off at heavy throttle. The dealer wanted a arm and a leg to replace it and I found it online for around 30 bucks.
 
  #16  
Old 03-04-2009, 08:06 PM
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Where did you find it? I have done extensive research now and it points to it being either the TCV or the ETM and the most logical option would first be the TCV. I see that IPD is allowing a group buy over at Swedespeed and Volvospeed for their HD TCV that retails for $89.95 and if 50 people buy it, the price come all the way down to $67.46 or somewhere in that range with free shipping as well. I think I will jump on that since it seems to be very convenient and I get a good deal on a rock solid aftermarket piece that should outlast the original and can be taken apart and cleaned. Tech, does the TCV make sense? I know from calling IPD that if this part fails you rely on the wastegate pressure which is around 4 PSI. Would that be enough of a drop in pressure to make the car act like all fuel has been cut off? If the inner workings are gunked up, could it be that I am experiencing some sort of unnecessary hold up within the TCV itself to cause "stutter" or act like I am playing with the throttle, releasing and engaging at a consistent rate? I only have until March 20 to decide.
 
  #17  
Old 03-04-2009, 08:08 PM
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I have seen this alot.
It is mounted to the air box. It has 3 lines going to it.
 
  #18  
Old 03-04-2009, 08:16 PM
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Yes, it is on the left side and each hose has a marking color: red, blue, green. All I can remember is that the red one goes to the turbos.
 
  #19  
Old 03-12-2009, 01:38 PM
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Okay, I got it installed but the problem is still there. It also exposed something new. My turbos sound like they are completely shutting off. IPD's instructions stated:

"The ipd HD TCV is a high speed, high accuracy control solenoid intended for boost control and as such will expose any inconsistencies in the factory boost development system. This means that boost and power development issues you may not have been aware of may now come to your attention as they were previously masked by the factory TCV and its slower, less precise actuation."

What would cause this to happen?

BTW, since the beginning I have noticed that sometimes, my DSTC light would come on on the dash. I questioned an ABS module that could be faulty that would then retard the timing and thus possibly opening my wastegate to relieve pressure from the turbos, but that seems unlikely since the car still surges with traction control off.

I also read about some sort of Turbo sensor, I do not know what it is. Customer Service at IPD told me that could be the problem as well. Tech, do you know what I am reffering to? Could it be that now that we have ruled out the TCV (I have double checked installation) that the ETM could be faulty?
 

Last edited by ceepyou; 03-12-2009 at 04:01 PM.
  #20  
Old 03-13-2009, 04:06 PM
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Did you put a code reader on it? Before throwing any more parts on it I would check to see if it has any active codes that might be very helpful...
 

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