ANSWERS: 2
  • It is more likely that the fuel pump has failed. If you haven't determined a solution to this, a simple test is to disconnect the connection from the fuel pump AT the fuel-filter, and have a friend try to start the car for a very brief moment - and shut off the very moment that fuel squirts out. For simple safety, make sure there is an absorbent cloth to catch the fuel, and dispose of the cloth appropriately. Injectors do not need to be primed - all that will happen is air will be pushed into the cylinders until fuel makes its way down the line. One other thing is that when you reach the very bottom of the fuel tank, all of the dirt that has accumulated in the tank over the life of the car will be sucked in. It should be blocked by the fuel filter - Fuel Filters are usually pretty cheap, but you can flush it with water (let it drip dry out for an hour or so) as a diagnostic measure.
  • I'd be likely to believe you gummed up the fuel filter. Depending on your model of Volvo, there may be more than one fuel filter. In a 240, or a 700 or 900 series, for instance, not only are there two fuel filters, there are two fuel pumps. If you do have a 240, the trick is to use your EARS. Have someone switch the car to on, but don't start it up, while you put your ear to the open fuel filler. You should hear a brief buzz from the pump inside the fuel tank. Do the same while you listen under the passenger side rear of the car. You should hear the main fuel pump buzz. If you don't hear one or either of them, you may have a bad fuel pump relay (this would be coincidental with your running out of gas, but not an uncommon problem). The easiest test is to replace the relay. The main fuel filter on a 240 and I believe on a 700 or 900 series is right next to the main pump under the passenger side rear of the car. The other filter, unfortunately, is a "sock" connected to the in-tank fuel pump, and if anything has clogged due to running the car out of gas, it's probably this. The in-tank pump and sock are on a bracket with the sending unit for the fuel guage. Removal and replacement is an amazing pain which requires (to do it right) a special, Volvo-only tool to remove the bracket. It also helps to be a contortionist in order to get into the trunk of your car, though it's somewhat easier if you have a wagon. I can't treat on other models much. You can get shop guides for your model which will point you in the right direction. For the 240, I recommend the guide from Bentley Publications. Also, the discussion forums at www.brickboard.com is a great source of advice and discussion. With over 35,000 members, you can usually get model-specific answers within a few hours, if not a few minutes. -EdM. '90 Volvo 240DL Wagon "Lola" '72 Volvo 1800ES "Galadriel"

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