1999 Volvo V70 Ignition Switch and/or Key Lock Cylinder Problem with Key Rotating Freely at 360 Degrees

Posted by OurVolvo.com on Jul 15, 2012 in 1999 Volvo V70

A very special thanks goes to my friend Rob at http://www.volvotips.com/ who helped with priceless advice every step of the way.

BRIEF: While you may enjoy reading the full story of my searches for repair/replacement of my 1999 Volvo V70 Ignition Switch and/or Key Lock Cylinder Problem with Key Rotating Freely at 360 Degrees, it is more probable that you want to fix your car first. So, first things first in two easy and simple steps:

(1) Make sure the problem is NOT in the electric part called the ignition switch, which is attached with two screws on the LEFT side of the ignition assembly or steering wheel. See how here: 1999 Volvo V70 IGNITON SWITCH (Cost: around $60-$75).  

(2) If it is NOT the ignition switch, you will need to order the whole ignition assembly, which comes with the “coded” key ignition cylinder inserted into the bracket which attaches around the shaft behind your steering wheel. Don’t waste more time, find your VIN number and call to order Volvo part # 8626325 for $225 (+10S&H + Tax) from:

Don Snyder at Darrell Waltrip Volvo Subaru
615-599-6294 (direct) or
1-800-679-6124 (toll free) or

We ordered our part on Tuesday afternoon and received it promptly on Friday morning via FedEx.
Don’t forget to mention ourVolvo.com INTERNET SPECIAL. Now here’s the long story:

Recently, my ignition key on 1999 Volvo V70 started messing up. As the problem persisted for a week or so, the key began freely rotation at 360 degrees without ever catching and starting the car. With such symptoms you can have one or all of the following problems:

(1) Ignition switch, the electric part located on the left of your steering wheal has gone bad. See how to replace it yourself for around $60 or redneck-fix-it here.

(2) Ignition key lock (where your key goes in). This part is precut only by Volvo in Europe by your VIN number. See costs and repairs here:

(3) The metal guillotine, which locks your steering wheel or some other metal part within the ignition assembly, has broken. There’s no way for you to take it apart and fix it. There’s no way for you to take the ignition cylinder out of the assembly. There’s no way to order them separately. They have to be ordered together from Volvo and mounted as described here.

In some rare cases, you may be lucky and have all of the above. Anyway, if you have to change the ignition assembly, it’s recommended to change the ignition switch as well. Especially the older ones with the pin prongs sticking out get oxidized and just cleaning them is not always dependable.

Several tips to remember before you begin:

  1. If you don’t want to waste your time, just drill the two holding bolts out from the top. The top part of the bracket has no treads.
  2. It may be difficult to take the top part of the holding bracket without breaking the tiny clear plastic years of the air bag assembly. You can use your old top bracket as it is.
  3. When you try to put the cover back together, cut your wheal 90 degrees to the left and then the bottom cover will slide in place very easy.
  4. The wholes for the ignition switch have no treads. Just tighten the screws in and they will snug real good with the soft metal inside the wholes.
  5. And finally, if it ain’t broken don’t try to fix it!

Now, see how to fix (DIY) the Ignition Switch and replaced the Ignition Key Cylinder and Assembly on our 1999 Volvo V70? Use one of these helpful tutorials depending on your Volvo model. We’ve  made copies of them on our website in case they get lost in the forums:

Also a much necessary price quotes and dealer / part store review:

Volvo of Chattanooga
$99 initial diagnostics (if you can get your car towed to them)
$301 ignition cylinder
$1100 ignition column

Volvo of Knoxville (800) 346-8762
$200 ignition cylinder plus $356 labor

Nalley’s Volvo in Atlanta (800) 671-3174 had surprisingly reasonable prices and a very, very helpful part/service adviser, which no other Volvo dealership seemed to offer.

Dayer Volvo of Atlanta (888) 593-3772 gave a quote on parts and repair in the range of $700-900. When I asked for a bit more specific number I was told $840. Seriously? Guess when I’ll go there for a repair – like NEVER. Thumbs down plus BEWARE!

Taska Parts was also recommended on some forums as a cheaper alternative. They order from Volvo and quoted me $230 for the ignition cylinder but after calling and asking 3 times I was still not clear if I am getting just the key cylinder or the whole assembly.

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Electronic Throttle Module (ETM) Problem 1999 Volvo V70

Posted by OurVolvo.com on Jan 25, 2012 in 1999 Volvo V70

This post deals with detecting problems in your ETM (Electronic Throttle Module) manufactured by Magneti Marelli (Fiat) for Volvo between 1999 and 2001.

A few years back, VOLVO denied the problem and did NOT recall the part, but extended the warranty to 10 years or 200, 000 miles (whichever comes first). So, in most cases you are out of luck for the warranty. Don Willson at VEXEDvolvo.org has put a list of all affected Volvo models as follows:

White label means that your ETM has not been replaced by Volvo

White label means your ETM is original and has not been replaced by Volvo and/or the previous owner

VOLVO / 700 2000
VOLVO / 740 2000
VOLVO / 780 1999
VOLVO / 850 1999-2000
VOLVO / 855 2000
VOLVO / C70 1999-2002
VOLVO / S40 2000-2001
VOLVO / S60 1999-2002
VOLVO / S70 1999-2000
VOLVO / S80 1999-2001
VOLVO / S90 1999
VOLVO / V40 2000-2001
VOLVO / V70 1999-2002
VOLVO / V70XC 1999-2001
VOLVO / V90 1999
VOLVO / VOLVO 1999-2001
VOLVO / X70 1999
VOLVO / XC70 2001

All Volvo dealers we contacted were aware of the problem. They all said it could be fixed for around $1,000 after a mandatory two-hour inspection at the dealership at a cost of $89 per hour (Volvo of Chattanooga), $99 per hour (Clayton Volvo of Knoxville) or $105 per hour (Dyer & Dyer Volvo of Chamblee, GA).

However, generally Volvo dealers put the same model ETM part during repair, which causes the same problem after a while. You can purchase the same part manufactured in Canada with already preloaded software and the necessary warranty at: xemodex.com (Thanks for the recommendation by Don Willson at VEXEDvolvo.org)

Apparently, you can get the ETM for your Volvo from any online auto-part store located in Europe even cheaper, but you will need Volvo to load the software on it, which they most probably will not do for you. At least, not for free, judging from their prices above.

You can watch the video bellow of a Volvo with ETM problem and use the following PDF chart to diagnose your ETM. (Chart courtesy of Chris at xemodex.com – Thank you!)

A very, very special “Thank You!” goes also to Rob from VolvoTips.com, who helped us with our engine’s condition remotely.

Chris has shared a video of a Volvo with ETM problem on YouTube. He said that Volvo dealer

“just cleaned the throttle body and upgraded software which reduces the sensitivity of the light but only really masks the problem, I’m living with it as the light only comes on for 5 miles out of every 50-100 now. Should have pushed harder for a replacement but its too late…”

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