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Discussion Starter #1
upon starting; mysteriously the 4th gear lockout indicator light lights, after a few miles, most of the time I can put my foot down and kick in the turbo...4th gear lockout light goes off, everything is fine. OR, OR the lockut indicator does not go out and my battery will drain while driving or, if I stop and shut her off...will completely drain battery within 10 minutes. For years I have been able often to push the tripmeter reset and the 4th gear lockout light goes OFF instantly/all is well! Or as the original owner had showed me, a hard thump with my hand, top right side of the dash right of cluster. In the past it seemed to be related to tempurature and/or humidity, but after 3-4 mile I could get it to turn off that 4th gear light.

Seems like a short in the instrument cluster, never smell hot wires, but can drain very quickly

I always carry a spare battery
Grand old 91, 940 Turbo w/265,000

Any thoughts or links to fixes will be kindly considered.
Many thanks, Stacy
 

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Almost sounds coincidental. Might be a bad alternator but you're thrown off by the 4th gear light (it's an automatic, right?).

Sounds like an almost dead battery, and you're running off the alternator. There's an overdrive (4th gear) relay under the hood. Try removing it and see if it's related to the problem - you should not have the light on with the relay removed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
what I learned...

I removed the instrument cluster, looking for any bad soldering on the back of cuircit panel; none found. Then I took out each light bulb and put it back in. I tried to press/smooth out, the cuircit board flatter in a couple of areas that seemed bubbled or simply flexed away from plastic housing, specifically the area opposite the tripmeter plunger. Reinstalled the cluster and haven't had the issue/short since!!!!

What I discovered...another forum had a some good insights that I believe were right on.
volvoclub.org.uk faq. electrical/starting problems


3-4 specific bulbs need to light up in the cluster in order to adequetely "excite" the alternator! No cluster lights or enough rpm, alternator doesn't begin to charge. Still doesn't explain the radical discharge issue, even when turned off, but it seems to have been overcome.


I am accepting donations for the head gasket job I now need, since returning home to witness steam and antifreeze starting to spray near #3 intake side. 265K, it's due according to my research.
Thanks to BHart...the only one here to even attempt a help.

Be well, Stacy
 

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Discussion Starter #4
finally got it...

After years of dealing with this;

I finally discovered that my alternator was not getting "excited" enough in order to kick in the alternator until I reved up the engine to 3K rpm or jumped the alternator (little post) with a hot wire from the positive side of the battery. I have since installed a switch in the cabin to make a quick contact with a hot wire to the alt. (Me and Rube Goldberg):D:D

The instrument cluster is supposed to do this for me but even after refitting the indicator lights in the cluster, it was still a sporatic condition.

All's well now, as long as I recognise the 4th gear lockout indicator light coming on when I start it so that I can manually excite the alternator by reving it up or jumping the alternator with the extra juice required to get the alternator to kick into the charge mode.

Still doesn't explain the unbelievablely short time it takes to completely drain the battery though. Like a couple minutes or less?

I hope this might help someone else with similar a issue.:)

Be well,

Stac
 
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