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Edward, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Volvo
Satisfied Customers: 3068
Experience:  I've had 10 years of experience on the car line at 2 Volvo dealerships, Quality level Volvo tech.
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Volvo 2003: Red triangular light comes on an then goe off to

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Red triangular light comes on an then goe off to orange. After a while it goes back to red and then back to orange. No message appears in any of the boxes. Took car to advance auto to read computer and got no error codes.

Edward :

Hello and thanks for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do all I can to help.

Customer: Hi how are you. Thanks for the help
Edward :

So you just see the red triangle? and no text messages in the information window?

Customer: correct
Edward :

Alright, usually this means a door, or trunk or something is open,

Edward :

This is a V70? S60?

Customer: S80
Edward :

Alright, by chance when the red triangle appears, you don't see a footwell light come on? like the footwell light comes on when you open the door?

Edward :

The microswitches in the latches can fail and cause it. and you'll see a footwell light come on as well.

Customer: I haven't notice them come on could it be the gas cap
Edward :

If it was the gas cap, then you should get a code. it would be an evaporative emissions code.

Edward :

and the check engine light would be on. Is the check engine light on when driving now?

Customer: No nothing shows in either box
Edward :

That's interesting, usually when this triangle appears you get a text in the message window.

Edward :

Do you ever see any message in the text window at all?

Customer: They only light up when you start the car and then they all go off as usual
Edward :

alright, In my opinion, the scanner used at Advance was the standard OBD II scanner. You may not have any engine codes. But you may have ABS system codes or codes in the CEM (Central Electric Module) that would pinpoint a failure. My experience is either one of the door lock microswitches has failed and the CEM is getting a signal a door is open, or something in the ABS system like a wheel speed sensor or contact ring has set a code there.

Edward :

You also want to check your coolant level and brake fluid level.

Edward :

If all fluid levels are good, then you will need to get an advanced type scanner and check all the codes in the SRS, ABS, and CEM.

Edward :

The engine never overheats when you see the triangle correct?

Customer: theusual the car is in excellent shape and well maintained. The car has not overheated.
Edward :

alright. What I would suggest is reading off all the codes in the modules. In my opinion there is something stored in the other modules besides the Engine control module. (or ECM which most code readers can only read).

Edward :

If all the modules are clear of codes, then what I would suggest, is have the vehicle hooked to Volvo's VIDA computer interface system. then you can read off the CAUSE of the triangle light in the instrument cluster (or DIM) module. There is either a code stored in another module, or a door switch has failed. But you will have to get an advanced type scanner to get into the other data streams to see what is stored.

Edward :

One thing you can do is when the triangle comes on, open and close all the doors and see if it goes out then. If you can correlate the light going out with a particular door , I would suspect that door switch.

Customer: I just moved here(pinehurst nc) the nearest dealer is 50 miles away. I will look and try to find someone local is it dangerous to be driving the car
Edward :

as long as your oil light isn't on, and your temperature gauge is normal, and the vehicle doesn't have odd noises then it is alright to drive.

Edward :

I will recommend a tech. He is a Volvo master tech. and has been at volvo for 15 years , name isXXXXX at Volvo of the Triad. That is prob. 70 miles away from you in winston salem however. But he is one of the best in in my opinion.

Customer: So I need to take it to a shop. I will try to look for somebody closer who has a good recommendation. I will try the door thing and trunk and check the fluid levels
Edward :

Alright sounds good. There is a code stored somewhere in my opinion that will point to the problem. OR there is a door switch failed.

Edward :

Doesn't really say a whole lot of detail and the triangle in the owners manual. this is what it states.

Edward :

Warning lamp in the center of the instrument panel

This lamp lights up red or yellow depending on the severity of the fault that has been detected.

Yellow light: Follow the instructions shown in the text window.

Red light: Stop the car as soon as possible in a suitable location and read the message shown in the text window.

Customer: Thanks . I read that to
Edward :

alright, check all the codes in all the modules. Then get in the data stream of the instrument cluster (otherwise known as the DIM) and you should be able to read off why it's got a code. If it's not overheating and the oil light isn't on. It's good to drive.

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