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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No More Volvo V70 for U.S. Market

Posted by OurVolvo.com on Apr 11, 2012 in 1999 Volvo V70

Volvo will drop its V70 wagon from the U.S. lineup for the 2011 model year. The V70 will continue to be sold in Europe. Only 1,800 V70s were sold in the U.S. last year.

DETROIT — Volvo has confirmed for Inside Line that its V70 station wagon is going away in the U.S. for the 2011 model year. “We sold only 1,800 V70s last year,” said Volvo Cars of North America spokesman Dan Johnston in response to an e-mailed query on Friday. “Kind of hard to make a living on that few units. “Our XC70, XC60 and XC90s account for about 42 percent of total sales, while V70 is only about 2 percent. Buyers voted with their pocketbooks and chose an XC over [the] V70 in our market.”

Johnston said the V70 will continue to be sold in other Volvo markets such as Europe. The news of the V70’s demise in North America was greeted by the European automotive media with such comments as “Americans Hate Wagons.” Johnston noted that later this year, Volvo will bring out an XC70 front-wheel-drive model. But he said pricing on that is unavailable at this time.

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Sticky Situation? To Tat or Not Tat.

Posted by OurVolvo.com on Mar 17, 2012 in 1999 Volvo V70

Volvo V70

Wow and I thought I was loyal about advertising products. Been thinking about getting a tat on my back with “ourVOLVO.com. But now I’m not sure, because THEY say these things are contagious. But when I think about it, who are “they” anyways. I’m going for it. Stay turned. I think I got the courage …

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Replacing Volvo V70 Upper Engine Mount

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

Engine Mount

So this is picture of the original Upper Engine Mount which I removed from my Volvo v70.

I went to Auto Zone, Advanced Auto Parts, and O’Reilles Auto to find a replacement part and they all wanted an arm and a leg.

So I ended up getting a replacement piece off the internet for like $30.00.

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What, the Hail!!!

Posted by OurVolvo.com on Jan 30, 2012 in 1999 Volvo V70

Volvo V70
So a few hours after our purchase of this great 1999 Volvo V 70 and a few hours before we could even get it on our insurance, you guessed it . . . it began to hail out of nowhere. All of the sudden a black cloud covers the town and then dumps buckets full of marble sized hail on our pristine condition car.

So what do we do?? We run out in the middle of the storm. Take the cover off of our Classic 89 Honda CRX and go and protect the Volvo, what any other loving owner would do. We risked our lives to save another. Nobody was hurt in this attempt, although we do suggest to NOT ATTEMPT THIS ON YOUR OWN. We are trained professionals for all we have a website ourvolvo.com

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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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Turn Your Radio On and Listen to the Music in The Air

Posted by OurVolvo.com on Jan 20, 2012 in 1999 Volvo V70

Well I tried! I couldn’t get the radio working and it said OFF when turned on.

So I call “my local Volvo dealer” :). And ask for the Volvo radio code. It was either that or bringing it to their service department which charge $105 per hour. So I got the code for the radio for MY VOLVO after giving them the VIN number.

So now you are asking well, how did you get the radio to display “CODE” instead of “OFF” so you can even enter the code they just gave you. And I’m glad you asked.

STEP 1: Leave the key in the ignition in position I (one – with the door open in case it locks on you)
STEP 2: Wait for 2 – 2 1/2 hours
STEP 3: Enter CORRECT code – you have 3 tries or it will lock again. You know you have entered incorrect code when it displays EEEEE.

So I enter the code the dealer gave me that is associated with my VIN number and I get EEEEE 3 times and it locks. Hummm…. So I called back the Volvo Dealer of Memphis who were exceptionally nice again and they tell me how to pull out my radio and get the serial number and part number so they can give me the correct code because it appeared the radio had been changed.

After taking the radio out (by pushing in the 2 little handles on the sides which pop out) I see that it is a remanufactured part and they give me the correct code. I wait 2 1/2 more hours, enter the code and I’m good to go listening to the Music in The Air. I love that song.

Again, THANK YOU VOLVO OF MEMPHIS. Your service department was extra kind and helpful.

Changing Radio on Volvo V70

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Brake Light Switch on a 1999 Volvo V70

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

Detecting a problem with the brake lights on 1999 Volvo V 70 Classic (North American Edition) is easy, especially with the help of our friends at http://www.volvotips.com/


If your light bulbs and fuse are OK, the problem is most probably the self adjustable brake light switch located at the top of your brake pedal. The problem in 99% of cases is there and not in your relay. BTW on the North American Classic model the relay is NOT in the trunk compartment (neither left nor right side, since they are empty) but behind your radio. Start messing with the relay ONLY if you are sure, the problem is not in the (1) fuse, (2) bulbs or (3) the switch.

2012-01-14_185802_brake_switch1The brake light switch on the 1999 Volvo V 70 is a fairly simple device fabricated by Volvo to activate your brake light when the pedal is pressed and deactivates when the pedal is not pressed, in which position the pedal and the switch actually touch.

The most probable reasons why your switch is failing, is the small white cylinder which provides the adjustable part of the switch. Often, if you press on the pedal with one hand, you can adjust the white adjustable cylinder with your other hand for a (temporary) fix.

In most cases, however, the small tracks on which the white cylindrical adjuster moves ware out and cannot be restored. The safest thing to do is order a new one at about $40-50 at any auto part store. We got ours at Advanced Auto Parts which has always been helpful in diagnosing our problems. The replacement of the switch is shown on the following picture (and yes, it is possible to remove the switch without breaking it):


It is also possible to take the switch apart. In our situation, the switch had started to fuse together at the two metal points which provide the actual contact for the electric circuit. Yes, you could brush it and clean it to be reused, but do you really want to do that at the risk of your brake lights not working (which BTW is illegal to drive with in North America).


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Thanks to Palmer Dodge of Roswell The Legend Continues

Posted by OurVolvo.com on Jan 10, 2012 in 1999 Volvo V70


We’ve seen this car on the internet a few days ago and had planned to go see it as an alternative option. When Sean Auto (Duluth, GA) and OnlineCars.com failed to furnish their promise for the reason of false advertisement, and Nalley’s Toyota of Roswell would not give us the time of the day, we decided to stop at Palmer Dodge across the street.

Sure enough, among the beautiful V10 Vipers they had a very nice, well kept and maintained, 1999 V70 at only 84,000 miles. With the exception of one small dent on the driver side fender, both the exterior and interior of this car had been kept in pristine condition. It had the same 2.4l 5 cylinder engine and automatic 4-gear with overdrive transmission as our old 940, which the spring tornado of 2011 retired forever at 274,000 miles.

So, when all hope was almost gone, the legend continues.

This post is an ad of gratitude toward a great customer care and professionalism of Palmer Dodge. If you are looking for a good deal (Dodge especially) Scott and Buddy at Palmer Dodge are the people to go see. I guarantee you nothing else but great service.

Special thanks to  http://www.arautoclinic.com for the fast and timely advice!


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Roswell, GA the Volvo Capital of the World

Posted by OurVolvo.com on Jan 7, 2012 in 1999 Volvo V70

So we take the journey to Roswell, GA over a 100 mile drive, because of all of the listings for Volvos for sale there. Here is our story.

Before we called each location with all of the BUYER SMART QUESTIONS and were assured there are no problems with the VOLVOs we were interested in.

But when actually getting to the dealers the picture was greatly different.

FOR SALE BY OWNER: 2001 Volvo v70 with 105K miles good care – $5600 (Roswell). Listed on craiglist. When we got there the Volvo was running and then when we asked to shut it off and start it up ourselves it wouldn’t start. The title was not even in this guys name – George from Georgia the country not the state.

SEAN AUTO SALES Located in Duluth, GA but foreign owned and operated (no prejudice here, just stating the facts) had a beautiful ad of 2002 Volvo V70 Cross Country AWD $4,777. This car had white smoke coming out from both engine and muffler (an obvious oil burning turbo problem) and obviously been in a wreck although the seller said that there was a “clean” title and it was not a salvage vehicle. Yet, it was – all right side panels had been poorly replaced as well the interior. After pointing everything out to seller, he still would not clear say if the car had been wrecked. After looking at most cars on the lot, they all had some type of (poor quality) body work. BUYER BEWARE!

CARONLINE.COM: (located a few miles down the road, also foreign operated) had a Volvo V70 for $3500. The car had a very bad interior and the air did not work AT ALL, although they said everything was in perfect working order we we telephoned them before making a 2 1/2 hour drive. The car was not even at their car lot and they brought jumper cables when they went to pick it up. When we told the salesman we would just go to the “other lot” to see the car, he told us we could not because the “other lot” sales manager gets mad when he brings outside customers over. BUYER BEWARE! [BTW their website does not even work – should have known right there not to mess with them]

NALLEY TOYOTA OF ROSWELL: An used 1999 Volvo V70 Cross Country was posted for sale by this dealership. We called on the phone when we were 30 minutes out and they confirmed, that they still have it. When we got there the car was not even on the lot and we were told they had sold it to an auction company (in the past 30min. I guess).

They were not personally involved and customer service was lacking. This included 4 salesmen behind a computer, 3 salesmen on the sales floor, and 2 secretaries talking to each other and on the phone at the same time. The only 1 guy who would even talk to use was a mechanic from their service department. Sorry – not buying a car there if they would not even give us the time of the day!

The winner was Palmer Dodge across the street. More about our experience there in the next post Palmer Dodge of Roswell: The Legend Continues

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