Prayer Request: Car Troubles

Short version: Our car is having wiring trouble. The labor cost of diagnosis alone runs about as much as the market value of the car.

Let me first give you the context: With the help of very generous donations, we bought our current Volvo about 3 years ago. Within the first year of ownership we ran into problems associated with previous owners’ neglect. So far, everything we’ve had to fix was a matter of research on the Net where a great many do-it-yourself folks have created a vast library on fixing Volvos. Some of them are retired Volvo specialists, people trained by the manufacturer with a lifetime of experience. I’ve been able to do all of the labor myself, so it was a matter of getting parts. Once we got past the initial restorations, this thing has been remarkably reliable. We have been truly blessed.

During my research, I discovered that my Volvo has something that is not supposed to be available on this model. It’s a security and alarm system that’s from a newer model. Everything on the car is run through that alarm system. For example, when I found a replacement for the switch cluster in the driver’s door, it fixed a dozen or so wiring issues by itself: locks, windows, etc. I’ve asked advice from the people who made themselves available, and they tell me my system is an anomaly that they cannot explain, with a wiring harness under the dash that makes computers look simple. It’s clearly installed from the factory, but it comes from a later model, so it’s confusing to the experts.

And now it’s causing trouble. The locks aren’t working properly, even though the switch I replaced is okay. We can live with that sort of minor issue, but it also tends to set off the alarm and it affects the headlights (which are always on and sometimes don’t shut off automatically). Again: Just about everything on the car runs through that alarm system, and it’s utterly incomprehensible to me. I’m considering getting a battery master switch, which itself is fraught with all kinds of hassles.

So I’m praying for wisdom to discern how we might obtain another vehicle. We aren’t soliciting funds for it, though there’s nothing keeping any of you from contributing to that cause. What we need is guidance from the Lord.

About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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4 Responses to Prayer Request: Car Troubles

  1. Jay DiNitto says:

    Just wondering, if it came from the factory like that and causing issues, shouldn’t Volvo really be the ones footing the bill?

    I ran into a similar issue with a van I owned. There was a known defect in the design of the model that would cause rust on a crucial part of the frame. We got a form letter that we should get it replaced before it breaks from the rust, which could happen unexpectedly and actually be dangerous if it was being driven (I had a mechanic friend confirm that). I fought with them for a good month to get them to pay for it, but they wouldn’t budge. So I got rid of it since I didn’t want to waste any more time.

    Either way, praying for a quick solution for you.


  2. Ed Hurst says:

    Thanks, Jay. Just to clarify: I don’t know that it came from the factory with that wiring, but it was done by their factory trained technicians. This car is past 200K miles. It still runs just fine, but at this point a wiring issue is not a manufacturing flaw.


  3. Iain says:

    I feel you bro. It sounds to me like an engine swap was made.


  4. Ed Hurst says:

    That’s possible, Iain, but it was a dealer job because they did that part right. The problem now is too complicated and too old.


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