CEL is on when it's off...

abrad

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#1
Make
Volvo
Model
Idk
Year
2002
Miles
?
Engine
?
This will be a "have you ever heard of this before" thread...

Friend of mine has a 2002 Volvo, was a freebie, had been in some type of accident, was repaired, ran for awhile, then given to my friend as a second car. He is going to junk it soon, so not looking to actually repair it...

Here's the "problem". The car has an obvious electrical gremlin. The other day, his wife was over and mentioned the CEL had come on while she was on her way over. My friend showed up a bit later, and we discussed the problems with the car. I took my scanner out and scanned for codes. NONE! I then checked the sensors - specifically the one labeled "malfunction indicator lamp" and it shows as being OFF! Apparently some of the other quirks is that the headlights will randomly turn themselves on, even if the car is off, thus draining the battery. The power steering is shot, and he doesn't want to spend any time or sink any money into it, so, it ain't getting fixed!

Just wondering if anyone else has run into such a fun "problem" ?
Happy new year, and happy wrenching!
 

billr

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#2
I think any of us that have been involved with mechanical/electrical repair have run into such puzzlers. Want one of my examples?
 

billr

wrench
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#4
Well, I don't think you will learn anything, other than confirmation that some things in life will probably have to remain mysterious.

In 1994 we bought a new Saturn. After about a month we went to start it and had a "crank but no fire" situation, and it sounded like it was cranking with the plugs out, no compression on any cylinder. I confirmed that there was 0 psig on one or two cylinders with a gauge; then we called the dealer. The dealer towed it away, then called us a few hours later saying it was ready for use again. Huh? What could they do in just a couple of hours to restore compression on all cylinders? More to the point, what could go wrong for a new, and well running, engine to lose compression on all??? They said when they went to check it, it started fine, no problem to find or fix; but if it happened again they would replace the cylinder head. It has been 25 years and 250K miles now, never happened again. A really "intermittent" problem!