FAQ for 7xx/9xx/90 Cars
Code Input. [Query:] After replacing my car batteries my factory
stereo will not turn on. It displays EEEEEE message. Can you please help
me fix this? [Reply: Steve Ringlee] You need to enter your four-digit
radio anti-theft code after you turn the radio on. The unit will
display “Code”, after which you punch the four digits. If the unit
won't accept the correct code (you have three tries before it chokes and
displays “Eeeeee”) then turn the radio on, leave the ignition key at KP
I for two hours to reset the unit and try again. If you've lost the code,
you will have to visit your Volvo dealer to obtain it.
Code Lost. [Problem: Lost radio security code.] Go to the closest Volvo
dealer with your VIN #, and proof of ownership. Ask the dealer to access
Volvo on their computer and look up the code for you. They should do it
for free. Make sure you write it down. While they are on the computer,
ask them also to get your key code #'s if you don't know those. They could
come in handy some day.
[Query] Does anyone know how to remove the radio from the dash of the 940
Turbo Wagon? [Response 1: George Chow] To get the CR-814 out (and nearly
all decks from the 7x0 and 940), pull out the two knobs on each side.
You should see tabs inside the radio from the resulting gap. Fashion a
tool with a piece of stiff wire that has a hook on each end. You can use
this tool to pull the tabs inward. To remove the radio, use the tabs inward
while pulling the deck toward you. It should come off easily. Beware of
the trim piece that'll come loose and don't flex it too much else it will
[Response 2: Red Fox] If it is the
SC-810 radio, the vertical bars on front plate are the releases. Push them
in with a screwdriver and they will pop out, then pull them out a little
farther and this releases the radio to slide out. Note: If you don't know
the security code for the radio, do not unplug it.
Won't Fully Retract. I futzed with both power antennas on my 740's,
and have come to the conclusion that the mast must be kept meticulously
clean, otherwise it will may not fully retract. So, whenever I tank up
the car with fuel, I grab a paper towel, wet it, and run it up and down
the mast a few times. Also, it took a lot of cycling of the mast(s) to
get them completely cleaned of years of accumulated pukey. I used WD40/Liquid
Wrench/ other similar spray lubes on either a paper towel or shop rag.
Then commenced to cycling the mast(s) and rubbing (Imagine what the neighbors
were thinking: some sort of fetish, rubbing your mast with a rag...!) But,
it worked. Usually, I wipe them down/clean them about once a week as a
part of the routine carwash/vacuum.
[Another note:] I have also seen it recommended
(in the Popular Mechanics Auto Column) that after you clean off your antenna
mast that you get a piece of waxed kitchen paper (such as Cut-Rite) and
rub it on your mast. The paraffin off the paper keeps the mast "slippery".
[Another note:] I had little success
in getting my 780 antenna to retract completely, despite numerous attempts
of all sorts. The PO had had the mast replaced (after it was broken off
because it didn't retract completely...) but he never got it to work right
before or after the replacement. I have now solved the problem and,
since I understand it is a fairly common one, here are the steps (usual
disclaimer - this is for extreme cases):
1. Make sure that the mast is not in any
way bent. Check by putting something straight (such as a ruler) against
the mast and turn it - do not trust your eyes.
2. Remove all the grease from inside the
main assembly (the black thing inside the car) - the grease prevents proper
grip on the mast's "tail" and isn't necessary to lubricate a mainly nylon
2. Cut off whatever is not useful from
the mast's nylon "tail" (about 2 inches in my case). This is a simple way
to reduce drag. To find out how much you can cut off, extend the antenna
completely (I did that by turning on the radio and disconnecting the antenna
in extended position). Check 5 times before you cut!!!
3. Keep cleaning the mast. I have taken
to wiping it off every other day or so with a dry tissue and there is still
a little dirt coming out (even though I cleaned it frequently both before
and during opening up the whole thing...).
Upon reassembly the antenna retracted completely
most of the time. Now, a few weeks later, It retracts 100% of the time.
At this point, I am not using any lubricant when I clean the mast. I will
of course have to in due course, but an excess of lubrication seems to
Replacement. The mast and the nylon line come in one unit - about 20
bucks or so, so don't bother trying to fix the existing one. The one from
IPD does *not* come with instructions. A list member faxed me a copy of
his official Volvo instructions. The mast is attached to a nylon line that
rewinds down into a housing attached to the motor. When the line breaks,
the end can remain in the housing, in which case you need to loosen the
unit to open the housing enough to get the piece out. It actually made
the whole replacement easier for me to loosen the unit (I didn't need remove
it entirely). Run the antenna up and down a couple of times, *before* you
button everything up all the way, as you might need to play with how far
the end gets inserted into the housing, to make sure the antenna retracts
You have to remove the power unit
if, after removing the interior panels to get to it, and removing the antenna
mast and what's left of the nylon/plastic cable, you still can't see any
of the cable that's still attached to the unit. If you can see it, turn
radio on, grab what you can, and steadily pull it out. The inside of the
unit is basically a plastic basket or spool, that simply grabs the teeth
of the cable. The part I goofed on was once I had the antenna mast and
cable out, and the power unit, I didn't realize how the power unit was
put together. The Imparts one might be different, but the Volvo unit (made
in Japan) 'case' has only one screw, and is basically pressed together,
and will come apart almost completely in half, although it doesn't look
like it at first. There is a silicone gasket also, so try not to pry it.
I tore mine, which made it slightly tougher to put the case back together
with the gasket in place, but not too bad. It was a longer job than I had
been led to believe, though now that I've done it I can see how the mechanics
at a dealership can do it in 15 minutes or so.
The insertion part is a bit easier, but
only if you have the technique or are patient. I did this twice, because
I mistakenly thought that the smaller metal part of the antenna mast (the
part that goes 'inside' the car all the time) could not be fitted over
the mast that I had already installed (p.s., it can fit over it). For those
of you who only have a broken mast, but do have access to the cable, you're
lucky. Turn the radio on, grab the cable and steadily pull it out. To put
the new one in, with the mast nut off and the teeth of the cable facing
the front of the car (not left, right or back) feed it in, trying not to
spin it. It may take a couple of tries to get the feel of the end of the
cable going through the tubing and hitting the spool of the power unit.
You know you're they're if you (or an assistant), turn off the radio, with
you pushing gently down on the cable, and the cable gets grabbed by the
spool. Once it is, (watch out the mast doesn't whip around and get you),
mount the mast back, put on the mast nut, and recyle the radio power 5
times or so. It will eventually take up the slack it detects, and you're
done. This part is really only five to fifteen minutes, even for a mechanical
klutz. And if you don't get it, you haven't broken anything anyway. The
instructions with the mast are pretty good, and have pretty good diagrams.
The instructions have you doing all of the insertion with the entire assembly
apart, however. It was a lot tougher more work that way, and more difficult
Rack Comes Out. [Query] I was cleaning and lubricating
the antenna on my '91 740 sedan as a part of routine maintenance when I
got distracted and the radio got turned on or off - I don't recall which.
But it caused the plastic strip that pushes the power antenna up to come
completely out of the tube. I assume this goes down into some sprocket
or geared wheel of some sort. I tried to simply place it back into the
tube but it doesn't grab or do anything. I also turned the unit on hoping
it would grab and re-feed itself but nothing worked that way either. The
plastic piece I am referring to is has notched teeth on it just like a
timing belt. The end, strangely has no metal piece or any special shape
to it that would connect with any part down in the tube in any special
way. It just is a certain length of plastic with these notches in it, that
feed into something. There must be some kind of gear down in the tube?
Or is there a hole that I am missing and need to get in back into?
[Response 1: Rick] You're on the right
track (no pun intended). Turn the radio on and push the plastic feed into
the hole until it stops, then turn on the off and it will feed it self
into the gear box. If it doesn't work then take the cover off the box and
hand feed it. [Response 2: Tom Irwin] Rick is completely correct.
The length of nylon track goes through a couple of guideways on the way
down, so don't be shy about giving it a gentle push to ensure the track
is in the gearmotor assembly before switching off radio and engaging retractor
motor. Only one more thing to mention, if it doesn't work at first...change
the orientation of the track/gear/teeth. That is, if it doesn't grab right
with the teeth facing the back of the car...then turn the assembly 180
degrees around so the teeth face the front of the car. Then, turn the radio
off and the retractor motor should grab it up right away and pull it back
down the hole.
Antenna Rebuild? [Query:] The power antenna on my '89 760 is
stuck in the fortunately) up position. The motor still cycles on and off,
but the antenna doesn't move. There's some play (up and down) in the antenna,
and before it stopped moving it sounded like a gear in the unit was trying
to engage but couldn't. The unit (in the trunk) looks sealed. I haven't
removed it - yet. Can I rebuild it? [Response 1: Michael Pardee]
The power antenna unit can be opened, but the usual failure mode is the
breakage of a plastic "caterpillar" track which changes the rotary motion
to an extend/retract motion. Repair is probably hopeless. [Response
2: RLS] Volvo sells a replacement mast, including the nylon caterpillar,
which can be (carefully) wound back into the motor/gear housing. It costs
about forty bucks. I replaced my antenna, which would only extend about
2/3 of maximum, with a $9.95 permanent mast purchased at AutoZone.
Static in 740. [740 has radio static on the AM band; how do I fix it?]
I use to install car stereos and one way
I used to get rid of the "audio tach" was to clean the terminals on the
alternator. If your Volvo has a separate voltage regulator, unplug the
regulator and twist the wire bus one or two times. So it looks like a rope.
This will screw with the RF radiation that the alternator makes. Make sure
you clean the contacts and put some dielectric grease on them prior to
connection. Make sure you DISCONNECT THE BATTERY before starting or you
could fry the regulator. If anyone has questions about stereos problems,
feel free to e-mail me KEITHPOND@aol.com
[Solution 2:] Regarding Kirk's recent AM
radio static in his '90 740, I had an identical problem. I have no idea
what precipitated this, but I had been doing the normal "tuneup" items
like replacing cap and rotor, plugs, etc. The only real before-after delta
was some body work which required re-aligning the front driver's door hinges,
and I suspect that the body guys mucked around the wiring harnesses in
the process. I ended up ameliorating (not fixing) the problem with the
antenna filter from Radio Shack on the
antenna lead behind the radio
power filter (also RS) behind the radio
additional radio chassis ground from the
back of the radio to the chassis on the left side of the passenger footwell;
this is just a wire, two lock washers and two screws.
follow a Volvo TSB about the same problem
and solder an additional antenna housing ground from the antenna bottom
tube (inside the car, where the telescoping tubes go
up through the body) to the body of the
car using a wire, screw and lockwasher.
Cassette Flashes “Head”. [Query:] Shortly after we bought the
745 this past June, I noticed the word 'HEAD' flashing on the stereo when
a cassette was playing.
[Response:]As I recall, this "head" indicator
is connected with a timer built into the stereo. After 20 hours of tape
playing, the player indicates a cleaning is in order. The timer must be
reset manually. All you have to do is press the right right hand
tuner button while the tape is playing and hold it in until the "head"
indicator resets itself.
LCD Display Bulb Replacement. [Tip from Colin Roberts :applies
to UK cars] I posted a msg here some time ago about my radio lcd display
not being lit up, seems other people had similar probs, all the buttons
were lit, but not the lcd, i have now stripped the radio down and found
out how to replace the lights, Well, no one could help me, so out came
the radio! All that is behind the display is 2 capless bulbs (12v.)
Here is the method for those of you that are good with a soldering iron
and can do very fine work.
First obtain 2 or more 12v very tiny capless
bulbs, these are about 4mm long with just wires coming out from the bulb,
( i have these as I work for a company that used lots of different types
of bulbs) Remove the top and lower panels, and also the facia panel
, (after removing all the knobs and tape button). Disconnect the
2 plugs from the tape unit, then remove the 2 bulbs
(could have yellow wires on) from
the front of the tape unit. Remove the tape unit complete,
on the front main inner panel there are
3 screws that have to be removed, this allows you to pull the panel out
from the chassis, (not too far though) on the back of the pcb there is
a black plastic panel, this has to be eased away from the pcb as well.
NOTE : the pcb will only come out about 1/2 inch as it is connected to
the main pcb by 2 ribbon cables, DO NOT OVER STRETCH!
Now for the tricky bit, look at the lcd
display, it has a box round it, this has 4 tabs holding it to the pcb,
carefuly prise the tabs up and then remove the box, and you will see the
2 bulbs !
It is a bit of a job to desolder the bulbs,
but it can be done and fresh bulbs fitted, the old bulbs will have a green
rubber cover on them which should be put onto the new bulbs before they
If you feel that it is a bit too tricky
to replace these bulbs, I would think that a local radio repair shop could
do it, if the radio was stripped down right up to the point when you can
see the old
bulbs, all he would have to do is de-solder
the old bulbs and fit new ones, then you could re-assemble the radio yourself.
PS: If you took the radio to a local repairer, not stripped down, he
would probably say it could not be done
as it needs special bulbs. But I now know better!
Mounting Generic Kit. [Tip from Dave Morgan] We have a
winner on the radio mount kit. For those of you who still need one, check
your local car stereo place and ask for a Metra 99-9222 Volvo Multi-purpose
kit. It will handle all 200 and 700 series cars from '75 to '93 and has
mounts for both the upper and lower dash on 200 series models. I paid $15
for the kit but I bet you can find it cheaper somewhere else.
Wiring Color Reference. [Reference Information courtesy of Custom
Car Stereo at http://users.erols.com/achassel/frame_main.html
which is a good general reference for car audio and security]
Wire colors in your car might be different
than colors described here. Use the given colors for reference
purposes only. Always test wires to make sure they are correct.
To check hot, ignition, lights, dimmer, use a test light or voltmeter.
To check speakers use test radio. To check speaker
polarity (assuming you don't have a polarity tester): Touch (for a very
short period of time) one wire to the positive side of a 1.5-volt battery
(any size), and the other wire to the negative side. If speaker
"pops out", then polarity is correct. If speaker "pops in" then polarity
is reversed. Make sure that the wires you are going to check for
speakers do not have any power.
an Aftermarket CD Player. [Query: What adapter do I need
to add an aftermarket CD player to my Volvo?] [Response 1: Andre
Lam] There are two wholesale companies that provide the cables (also available
are kits for '96 and newer Volvos that need the digital converters):
(for a specific parts list see the following:)
Both companies list the EXACT same part number
(VOL-ALP), so someone is making this cable for BOTH companies. All I have
to do now is find a local retailer to order the part for me. Stinger Electonics
also provides a retail locator, Metra does not.
[Response 2: Steve Ringlee] Make
sure that the add-on CD changer is compatible with the electronic data
bus used by your factory radio. For more information about system
compatibilities, see the following links:
See also the following links to understand
more about integrating CD players with Volvo radios:
Removal. [Tip from Tom Irwin. Applies to 960 and in some
Front Dash Speakers:
Use a thin blade to lift up the edge of
the plastic strip at the bottom of the grill. Rock it side-to-side...it
pops out. Remove 2 T-25 screws that hold bezel in place...remove
bezel by lifting slightly and withdrawing towards you. Speakers
are held by a slot at the top and 2 trim fasteners at the bottom. Use a
pen or slim screwdriver to push the center pins down on these fasteners,
then lift the outer edges up with a screwdriver. NOTE (to reuse
these clips, once removed, push the center pins back up and out of the
clip, squeeze the expanding portion of the clip and they are ready for
reuse.) Slide the speakers out DONE!
Rear Deck Speakers:
Remove Rear Seat Bottom Cushion--About
6 inches in from either side, on the leading edge are latches that hold
by way foam compression. With the palm of your hand, PUSH IN...Then DOWN,
Then lift up and away, both sides.
Remove Rear Center Headrest--Extend upwards...lift
and unsnap lower section of plastic cover. Then remove 2 phillips trim
screws on upper part of plastic cover..really have to pull up on the headrest
as you do this..set plastic cover aside...Remove 3 bolts w/10mm heads...withdraw
Remove Seat Backs--Find metal tabs at
right and left lower corners, bend upwards and pull lower part of seat
backs outward. Lower the center armrest to about 45 degrees. Push up on
seat back until upper corner tabs/slots come free, pull entire seat back
ass'y forward over and away from center armest. CAUTION.. feed 3 seatbelt
straps carefully over seat back as you withdraw it from car.
Remove 2 Remaining Headrests--Take out
2 bolts w/ 10mm heads, each side, remove reinforcement plates, withdraw
headrests and set aside. Remove 3, T-25 screws that secure Rear Deck
Remove Deck Panel--CAUTION Feed 3 seatbelt
straps sideways and out of the plastic grommets. The right and left
grommet/'wing' extensions are VERY weak and will break. Be careful when
withdrawing Rear Deck Panel from car.
Remove Insulating Pad--Just lift it up
Remove Speakers-- 2 Screws 2 Slots each
No sweat. New 6"x9"'s fit the hole perfectly w/o mods..BUT,
the screw holes don't line up. (Euro Spec) A Drill w/Right angle attachment
would be nice...or drill from underside, in the trunk.
Electrical Connections-- I used the Factory
Wiring Diagram. GENERALLY the wire with Black Stripe is Neg. BUT DON'T
TRUST THAT!! Check it out for YOUR CAR SPECIFICALLY. Lastly, I recommend
using a layer of double sided mounting tape (or Equivalent) where the speaker
frames rest against metal. Keeps everything nice and tight and eliminates
source of squeaks and rattles.
Failing; Location? [Query] I have a 1992 960 and it has
a problem with the amplifier circuit. When I try to put a fuse where the
amp circuit is - fuse 32 I believe - it fries instantly. Does anyone know
what this can possibly be? Or where the amp is located? [Response: Jeff
Wickersham] Your amp has probably short circuited somehow and crossed a
soldered positive lead with a ground. The amp is located above the drivers
side knee panel, to the left of the steering wheel. There are two bolts
holding it to a securing point, and a bosh relay or something is attached
to the amp itself. The amp has a rectangular connector which connects it
with power and the speaker wires, and a din cable coming from the radio.
Disconnect the amp, then turn the key to acc and put a new fuse in. If
the fuse blows the problem is in the wiring, if not, it is in the amp somewhere.
You can find a used amp for a reasonable price.
Maintenance FAQ for 7xx/9xx/90 Cars
Top of Page