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Enes, VOLVO Master Technician
Category: Volvo
Satisfied Customers: 4911
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Engine running very hot after 1/2 hour driving, extremely

Customer Question

Engine running very hot after 1/2 hour driving, extremely hot after a 2 mile climb to 1 3000 ft elevation. Once I shut it off I am unable to start until it cools down. XC90 2009
JA: Have you checked the coolant? Have you noticed any leaking?
Customer: Coolant is full to max
JA: Are you fixing your XC90 yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: I have tried noting yet. Brought it to the local mechanic today but they told me they can't replicate problem.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: there was also a burning smell while driving up the mountain (2 mile 3000ft elevation)
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Volvo
Expert:  david craig replied 11 months ago.

Hi Im David, please allow me some time to pull up some info on your problem. thanks

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
ok, thanks David
Expert:  david craig replied 11 months ago.

Ok. do you know the last time the coolant system was flushed? has the thermostat ever been replaced and how about the engine coolant temp sensor? also have you noticed any leaks or smells inside of the vehicle?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Not sure when on coolant flush, no on thermostat nor on coolant temp sensor. Yes on smell but only when car was under stress going up a 2 mile climb of from 1000' elevation to 3000'
Also- have had issue with ignition not starting immediate after the car get very hot, also have had issue in the past with key getting locked in the ignition switch, usually resolved after working it around a bit.
Expert:  david craig replied 11 months ago.

ok, my recommendations are. a coolant system flush. replace the thermostat since it has to come out anyway for the flush, replace the temp sensor because its probably got built up crud on the sensors face, inspect the sensors connector and wiring for cracks and damage. another thing you can do is replace the crank position sensor. these are prone to failure under thermal overload conditions and once it cools down it will work again. and its probably time to replace the ignition key cylinder.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
there is a potential correlation between car not starting and the engine heat. Engine Heat potentially due to Coolant temp Sensor/thermostat failure causing ignition/start issue via failure of Crank Position Sensor. Key lockup in the ignition is wear on Ignition Key Cylinder? Lastly.. could the starter be part of this? Would engine heat cause any issue with starter resulting in intermittent start issues? Any thought on burn smell when driving on 2 mile climb. thanks
Expert:  david craig replied 11 months ago.

the correlation between the engine getting hot and it not starting could be the crank sensor. the crank sensor is part of the ignition system. ignition components get very hot under normal driving conditions and after a few years start breaking down internally. once the component cools it will allow the car to start again. ignition coils, camshaft shaft position sensors and ignition control modules also fall into this group. key lock up is due to wear of the lock cylinder, yes. the coolant system is supposed to be flushed every 2-3 years as it builds up rust, slime and contaminates that are harmful to thermostats and sensors. as far as the smell, id have to smell it to be certian of a possible cause.

Expert:  david craig replied 11 months ago.

checking in to see how its going

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Mechanic was initially discounting my concern around the high heat given the gauge never showed excessive heat. They have been unable to replicate any of the issues (heat and starting issues) other then the key locking (which I am going to have them replace the key locking cylinder). They are going to further check the battery, starter but what level of troubleshooting can they do around ignition system? I pretty sure (will check my records) that coolant has been flushed every 2-3 years, I follow the recommended service schedule.
Expert:  david craig replied 11 months ago.

thats a hard problem to duplicate when the vehicle is sitting in a shop and not being monitored while driving in the conditions that cause the failure. my suggestion is to have them drive the vehicle in the conditions you describe at the beginning of this session while monitoring the engine parameters with their scan tool and taking a snapshot of the exact moment they experience the failures. that way they can come back to the shop, pull up the snapshot on their scan tool and see what happened at the moment of failure.

Expert:  david craig replied 10 months ago.

any update?