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Questions and Answers

Volvo Turn Signals

Q. Always having electrical problems, usually due to corrosion. Current problem: turning signals don't work. The left signal - front and back - did not work after letting the car sit one month (in dry weather). The turning relay (under the dash) is functioning properly.

Not knowing which wire powered the turn light at rear of car, I used a voltage tester on the right rear to read the various terminal connections. Now that doesn't work - both the rear AND the front ! I think I just damaged the terminal itself in the rear, which is a very weak design. However the front turn signal doesn't work either, and that doesn't make sense. I used the car ground screw as my negative test point.

All fuses are good.

My factory electrical manual shows no intervening connection or devices between the turning relay and the connectors at the front and rear.

  • 1994 Volvo DL (244)
  • B23F engine (straight 4)
  • manual trans
  • 125K miles

Mucho frustrated.

Have you got a line on super good repair manuals for '95 850's???

A. I have a friend that has a Volvo. Every time he pulls up in front of my house I get out my cross, put on a garlic necklace, sharpen a wooden stake and call the local priest.

You can check out the troubleshooting section here for my two part article on Electrical Troubleshooting. That should be a big help to you in tracking down the problem. What I do if I have a questionable ground is I run a wire from the negative post of the battery to wherever I'm working and use that as my ground. This way I know I'm getting a good ground. If you have a Volvo Factory Service manual, that's about as good as you're going to get. Make sure you're looking at a wiring diagram and not a schematic, there is a big difference in the two.

Since the electrical system in modern cars have gotten more complex, special Electrical Repair Manuals are now written. Your public library does have these electrical manuals on the shelf. You can go and either check it out or you can photocopy the diagram and take it home to use. Also, as you repair connections, it's a good idea to pack the connecters with white lithium grease to prevent further corrosion. Don't use the spray grease, get a little tub of it at the auto parts store.

It does sound like you're on the right track, you just need a little bit more information as far as the system goes and fine tune your troubleshooting technique.

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