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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    15

    Angry All external lights, wipers, A/C, Radio on/off flickering

    Hi,

    I have a 2002 XC70 which has been running fine with a defect DIM for well over a year now. Sometimes the trip-meter comes online, sometimes the gear indicator. Seems to be dependant on the temperature and weather outside.

    Now when I start the vehicle it takes a good while before there are any lights at all, radio dead, AC dead. Then suddenly it lights up. and the next split second you hear a lot of relay clicking inside the dashboard somewhere. You see the outside lights flash, the wipers are starting/stopping all the time. The AC and Radio stays functional though.

    Took it to a Volvo dealership for troubleshooting. They said it needs a new instrument cluster (DIM?) in order to work again.

    Could this be the case? It really just sounds like a bad relay to me. The cluster has been SNAFU for a year now. These additional (impossible to drive with) conditions happened at the same time you hear the clicking of the relay.

    Anyone know where to deliver the dash to get it fixed? in Norway or anywhere near? A new DIM is like 1100 here (!)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Western Head, Nova Scotia
    Posts
    3,089

    Default

    Sounds like a bad DIM to me. You can try and locate a used one that will work. That worked for me when I had my '02; well enough for over 200K on it and it was still working when I sold the car on at 400K. The DIM has 4 numbers on stickers on the plastic surround. These are the part and software numbers. If you can locate a used DIM from an '02 with these same numbers on it, it should work; otherwise, you need to find an outfit somewhere nearer you that is like Xemodex (http://xemodex.com/) that can rebuild bad DIMs. Of course, the final option is to pay the outrageous price the dealer wants for a new DIM.

    Good Luck,

    Bill
    Western Head, NS CDN

    '08 BMW 750i (Black Sapphire)-204K kms to-date
    '05 XC70 (Lava Sand)-296K kms to-date
    '02 V70XC-gone @393K kms
    '05 V70R (Magic Blue)-120K mi to-date - gone
    '96 854R (Red)-real CDN-spec 5-speed R - gone @270k kms
    And other Volvos and misc. Euro stuff

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    GA
    Posts
    1,337

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by VolvoXC70NO View Post
    when I start the vehicle it takes a good while before there are any lights at all, radio dead, AC dead. Then suddenly it lights up. and the next split second you hear a lot of relay clicking inside the dashboard somewhere. You see the outside lights flash, the wipers are starting/stopping all the time. The AC and Radio stays functional though.
    The electrical portion of the ignition switch is a common problem on earlier Volvos. (1973 - 2000) Typically the accessories (and lights/abs/windows on some cars) won't work especially when the interior of the car is hot. Wiggle or turn the key back very slightly and the accessories come on. A new electrical portion of the ignition switch cures it. In that part there are several sets of "points" that are closed by plastic "cams". I took one apart years ago a found a melted plastic "cam".

    I have not seen that problem in the series your car is in (-07 s80, 01-07 s60- v xc70) but the dealer I use has two in stock that would fit your car and sells about 12 a year.

    I can't imagine a DIM causing an electrical malfunction such as you are describing. The DIM does not send signals to turn things on and off, the car will function without it and it's just a "Drivers Information Module"
    Last edited by hoonk; 07-28-2017 at 06:11 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Western Head, Nova Scotia
    Posts
    3,089

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hoonk View Post
    The electrical portion of the ignition switch is a common problem on earlier Volvos. (1973 - 2000) Typically the accessories (and lights/abs/windows on some cars) won't work especially when the interior of the car is hot. Wiggle or turn the key back very slightly and the accessories come on. A new electrical portion of the ignition switch cures it. In that part there are several sets of "points" that are closed by plastic "cams". I took one apart years ago a found a melted plastic "cam".

    I have not seen that problem in the series your car is in (-07 s80, 01-07 s60- v xc70) but the dealer I use has two in stock that would fit your car and sells about 12 a year.

    I can't imagine a DIM causing an electrical malfunction such as you are describing. The DIM does not send signals to turn things on and off, the car will function without it and it's just a "Drivers Information Module"
    I agree but keep in mind the OP already has acknowledged that he has symptoms of a bad DIM (i.e. malfunctioning odos and display). When my DIM was on its way out and especially after it failed, I had all kinds of weird crap going on that I theorize was caused by the relays that are built into the DIM circuitry and their effect on the networked components. The good news is that he could always try replacing the electrical bit on the ignition switch as it isn't a hard R&R to do and its relatively cheap. Unfortunately, I have no experience on a bad ignition switch on a P2. When I had one on my 850R it merely caused a no-start condition so easy-peasy to figure that out. The bad news is that, one way or another, the DIM is going to need replacing as it will get worse as time goes on so he might want to at least investigate his options on that bit.

    Cheers,

    Bill
    Western Head, NS CDN

    '08 BMW 750i (Black Sapphire)-204K kms to-date
    '05 XC70 (Lava Sand)-296K kms to-date
    '02 V70XC-gone @393K kms
    '05 V70R (Magic Blue)-120K mi to-date - gone
    '96 854R (Red)-real CDN-spec 5-speed R - gone @270k kms
    And other Volvos and misc. Euro stuff

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    31

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    Sounds like a CEM to me. Might be both (DIM ongoing, CEM recent).
    ---
    '04 AWD
    '05 XC (totaled in a rear end collision; RIP)
    '06 XC

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    GA
    Posts
    1,337

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    Quote Originally Posted by billr99 View Post
    The bad news is that, one way or another, the DIM is going to need replacing as it will get worse
    I agree it sounds as if the DIM is going bad - I have only replaced about 5 of them, so not much experience with that, lately rebuilt from xemodex. I have replaced at least 50 electrical portions (on earlier cars) and have never seen one cause a no start here in the south, they always cause the accessories/lights/abs/fan/wipers/windows (car dependant) to not work, and worse on hot summer days.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Waynesboro, VA
    Posts
    68

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    Here's the service I used to repair my DIM in November of last year.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/02-03-Volvo-...%7CModel%3AV70

    It has worked flawlessly ever since, all connection problems multiple intermittent problems which eventually developed into a number of constant problems. All problems fixed, only had to have the SRS warning message reset afterward. Everything was exactly as advertised and it has worked flawlessly ever since. At $129 it was much cheaper than Xemodex which this service included 24 hour turn around after the DIM was received, lifetime warranty, ground return shipping included at that price. If you want (and I did) you can pay $40 additional which is $169 and get next day return shipping instead of ground return shipping. I'm not knocking Xemodex, I'm just saying for me and I think for anyone this is a viable, cheaper alternative also with a lifetime warranty.

    I kind of screwed up to where I was in a big hurry to get mine fixed. I had experienced the symptoms of first the high beam light was intermittent which I thought was just a bulb and it didn't warrant pulling the DIM to fix it. Then all of a sudden the bottom center LCD display (odometer) went so dim you couldn't read it without shining a flashlight on it. Then on top of those issues I got an SRS warning message on the left display, then finally on top of that the speedometer intermittently stopped working. So at that point I went ahead and got it fixed, right? No, I got out my Garmin GPS and mounted it next to my steering wheel and used that as my speedometer for some period of time. I must have been like the frog in the pan of water that was slowly being brought to a boil, I got used to one problem then another then finally it came time for annual safety inspection and it failed for the defective DIM, actually the SRS warning message.

    At that point I scrambled to get it fixed so I paid next day shipping myself to the repair shop and the $40 extra return shipping. So I got it back in 2 days after the day I shipped it, I kid you not. Had 15 days to get the car fixed then reinspected, this is my only car.

    Had an excellent experience and still saved money in spite of myself, in other words in spite of paying expedited shipping both ways. Definitely would recommend this service. I wouldn't recommend letting the problem go on and on. Actually there were some extenuating circumstances, it's not merely that I was too lazy to fix my car. I had to sink a few hundred dollars into one repair and then hundreds more into another series of repairs the next month and perhaps a couple of hundred more into a third repair not too long after that. It was just a string of things over time and I just couldn't deal with another expensive repair at the time that the DIM starting acting flaky so I put up with it for awhile.
    Last edited by tmcmilli; 07-28-2017 at 09:16 PM.
    Tom McMillion

    2002 V70XC 278K miles bought Dec. 2013 w/ 156K
    This replaced a '97 850 with 401K miles

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    15

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    Hi all,
    Appreciate all tips. I will fix the DIM even if it fixes the errors or not since it is frustrating to have the instrument panel working just sometimes. The part with wipers,windows,A/C,Radio,exterior lights is more strange. It always starts working if I just let the car idle for 3 minutes. Then the A/C comes on, that runs for like 2 minutes, then the insane ticking in the light-switch starts (with exterior lights flashing and wipers intermittently doing anything). Then wait 2 more minutes. Everything just works and good to drive. So there has to be something that heats up enough to start working , at least that's my theory.

    It is always the AC which comes on first, never the wipers or lights. this has happened consistently for 2 weeks now. and it is always about 5 minutes. Exterior temperature seems to have something to do with it. If it's 5 degrees colder than normal, it takes a bit longer before thing start moving. So this is Norway, not a hot environment. It's like 12 degrees Celsius.

    I have the high-beam error, the SRS airbag warning, and no driving computer, just sometimes. But speedo,rpm all analogue works 100% all the time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hoonk View Post
    The electrical portion of the ignition switch is a common problem on earlier Volvos. (1973 - 2000) Typically the accessories (and lights/abs/windows on some cars) won't work especially when the interior of the car is hot. Wiggle or turn the key back very slightly and the accessories come on. A new electrical portion of the ignition switch cures it. In that part there are several sets of "points" that are closed by plastic "cams". I took one apart years ago a found a melted plastic "cam".

    I have not seen that problem in the series your car is in (-07 s80, 01-07 s60- v xc70) but the dealer I use has two in stock that would fit your car and sells about 12 a year.

    I can't imagine a DIM causing an electrical malfunction such as you are describing. The DIM does not send signals to turn things on and off, the car will function without it and it's just a "Drivers Information Module"
    Actually it was the electrical portion of the ignition switch. The "Radio" notch has bad contact. New circuit-board and all is well again. No need for DIM replacement.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Devon PA
    Posts
    11,409

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    I could have told you that if you had posted a year ago
    All emails please use: jrl1194 (at) aol.com

    2007 V70 2.5T White/Oak, 112K miles. My daily driver and GORGEOUS
    2000 V70R wife's. Won't sell, now at 148K miles !! and still (almost) perfect.
    2000 S70 GLT SE with 29,000 miles!!! A time capsule, V70R front bumper, Volans, etc. SOLD!!! (I Will regret selling this!)

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