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Andy, Volvo Expert Technician
Category: Volvo
Satisfied Customers: 3818
Experience:  One of only a handful of ACTUAL Volvo dealership technicians on JA, ASE Master Certified with L1
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What is the next step in diagnosing my Volvo s60 misfire? My

Customer Question

What is the next step in diagnosing my Volvo s60 misfire?
My Volvo with 195,000 miles started misfiring pretty badly the other day. It misfired while idling and also under load. I took it to autozone to get the codes read and it said it was a misfire in cylinder 2. Even though I had changed the spark plugs about 10k ago I bought 1 new spark plug to put in cylinder 2. When I changed the plug the problem improved about 80%. It only misfired slightly at idle and a bit more when going up a hill. I then decided to replace all 5 coils but the problem persisted. After I did that, I changed the injector in cylinder 2 with a used injector and the problem seemed to actually get a bit worse. Finally, I had heard that Volvo's are pretty finicky with aftermarket spark plugs so I ordered a set of OEM plugs. I just put them in and again the misfire seemed to improve. I don't know what to do from here?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Volvo
Expert:  internal88 replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I'm Brandon.

The aftermarket coil is the problem especially the one under Wells from Autozone.

I highly recommend using only original Volvo coils ( not aftermarket).

Also I would like you to put a bottle of techron fuel injection cleaner in the fuel tank.

Please rate me positive for the prompt service, thank you!

Expert:  Andy replied 1 year ago.


My name is ***** ***** I am a Volvo dealership technician. Fuel injector cleaner is not going to help. There are steps to take to diagnose this instead of guessing. If you'd like, I can go over what needs to be done.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would very much like that. What about Brandon's opinion about the aftermarket coils?
Expert:  internal88 replied 1 year ago.

You should at least start with replacing the #2 cylinder coil with factory coil.

If it still misfire with the same coil then we can go forward with the diagnose.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just to clarify, I replaced all 5 coils with aftermarket parts, but cylinder 2 is the only one that continues to misfire. I have ordered a OEM coil just in case anyway. Wouldn't all 5 cylinders misfire if it was the aftermarket coils?
Expert:  internal88 replied 1 year ago.

THese aftermarket coils from Mexico or China is very inconsistent. Their specification are not 100% on the mark with OEM. I have bench test these coils against the OE units before. They are little bit different in the graph.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK well I sure hope this is the issue. As a side note, when I changed the coils I noticed the spark plug well over cylinder 2 had a little ring of oil towards the top of the well. It looked like there was oil seeping between there but the spark plug did not have any oil on it. Not sure if this is relevant or if I simply spilled oil when filling. I will update when new coil comes in.
Expert:  internal88 replied 1 year ago.

ok, keep me posted.

Expert:  Andy replied 1 year ago.

While an aftermarket coil may fail early, I wouldn't suspect it to fail immediately. I'd be happy to go over the diagnostic process, just keep in mind we are only credited for helping when rated positively and there are two experts involved so you would need to rate accordingly.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your input Andy. I would like to go over the diagnostic process. What is next? compression test?
Expert:  Andy replied 1 year ago.

First, you can check to see if the coils are firing fairly easily. With the engine running and the coils unbolted, just pull one up slightly to disconnect it from the spark plug. You should hear the spark arc from the coil to the plug. This will rule out the possibility of a bad coil. If all coils are firing and the spark plugs are new and correctly gapped but you continue to get a code for a misfire in cylinder 2, I would suspect a mechanical problem with the cylinder. A compression test can indicate if there is a problem. A cylinder leakage test can pinpoint the problem.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK I will do this tomorrow to see if the coils are OK. As a side note the engine does not misfire at all if I keep it revved in neutral or park. Does this point to a specific issue?
Expert:  Andy replied 1 year ago.

Okay, let me know. Misfiring under load shouldn't be too hard to pick point with a compression and cylinder leakage test.

Expert:  Andy replied 1 year ago.

Did you have any other questions about this? I see the question is still open

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