Body: Doors, Locks Etc.                                                                            FAQ Home
Volvo Maintenance FAQ for 7xx/9xx/90 Cars                                                                                                                     Version 5.0
Rear Tailgate Latch Won't Open

Stuck Hood Release

Gas Cap Door and Hinge Repair

Inner Door Panel Removal

Repairing Vinyl Door Panel Covering

Door Panel Puckering in 93+ 900 Cars

Handhold Trim Piece Loose

940 Driver’s Door Won’t Unlock

Rear Door Lock Won't Release

Door Locks Fail to Lock

Tailgate Panel Removal

Installation of Remote Power Door Lock Actuator in a 740

Installation of Remote Power Door Lock Actuator in a 940

Remote Entry Malfunction

Remote Door Lock Range Extender

Door Hinge Spring Broken

Door Replacement and Interchangability

Rear Tailgate Latch Won't Open. The problem with the latch is that it takes a lot of moisture from the backdraft. The problem is likely one of two things. In either case you need to remove the back inner panel. carefully remove the rods that connect the electric lock piston (small plastic clip slides sideways) to the outer handle mechanism, and the rod that goes to the lower latch. Now remove the four 13mm nuts that hold the handle from the inside and pull the handle out (you'll need to disconnect the wires for your license plate lights. Now pull the rubber protective seal off the back. Generously lubricate the handle and make sure it's free to return to it's outward resting position, if it stays depressed after you close the gate, the lock will not respond to the electric lock mechanism. while you have it apart, lube the pivoting metal part on the handle to which the electric lock is connected. Reinstall it all and you're all set. I would also consider taking apart the rod that goes through the rear window for your rear wiper. They need greasing every two years or they seize and fry the wiper motor.

Stuck Hood Release. [Response 1:]  Same happened to my 745. It was just wear and stretch in the release cable.  The adjustment is at the firewall up behind the release handle. Just take up the slack a bit and your hood should open fine and all the kinks will be gone from your spine. PS: could also be a broken cable. if it is then I'm stymied about how to repair it. Presuming the same as the 200 series, and most other cable pull releases, if the cable has come unattached at the hood end, (as mine did), you might be able to access through the grill (as I did), or at worst from below if the pan and shrouds aren't in the way. The cable has a "knob" crimped on the end, which fits into an open slot in a lever, all held in there by spring tension. If the hood catch on the deck area gets sticky/rusty, the spring gets slow, and it can happen that this arrangement can disengage when you push the release knob in, (as I did when it wouldn't return naturally via the spring load). Then the cable and knob is left waving around in the air.

If you can see the release assembly through the grill, look for the actuating lever. A long screw driver may be able to push it in the direction of release, i.e. towards the left side of the car, (except in the UK?) Or you may be able to loop a stout cord around it and feed it sufficiently over (or downwards) to pull the release. Make sure the catch assembly is well lubed and not sticking before you close it again, or you may start all over. Also: make a wire hook, (I suspect that coat hanger wire would work for this), and to insert it through the grille, snagging the rear of the lock mechanism, and pulling it towards the driver's side. Might be worth taking a look at now, while the cable is intact, against the moment it freezes or snaps or otherwise fails...

[Query:] Anybody knows how to open the hood from outside on a 740, when the cable doesn't work? The latter can no longer be adjusted, and now the hood is stuck closed. Unhooking the handle and pulling the cable itself doesn't work either.  [Response 2:  JohnB]. You have to go in from under the bumper, may have to drop the belly pan, long arm up to the cable and pull/flex should release the two locks. Sometimes it helps to have two people, i.e., the springs on the two locks aren't pushing up the hood so while you're pulling on the cable another person lifts up on hood so the hood comes up to the safety latch.  Usually pulling the inner wire and holding onto the cable body at the inside the car point works unless the inner wire is broken, in which case you have to access the combined lever to both latches or both latches individually. There are two latches, both cable operated. Sounds like the cable from the split to the driver side is may have to get directly to the lever at the latch on the driver side and operate it manually.  If you look at a friend's 7xx you should be able to see where the cable split or lever(s) are). Difficult to describe verbally but once you see one when you have to fix it you never forget it.

Gas Cap Door and Hinge Repair.  [Query:] Trying to replace the plastic bracket for the gas tank door. I removed the old one by popping it off with a screwdriver. Not sure if that was the right way to do it. I was told by the parts tech that the new one just pops on. The problem is that is does not attach firmly. Did I do some thing wrong taking the old one off? The four holes are bare metal.  Do I need to use some type of adhesive?  [Response: Robert Abel]  You don't need glue - the spring tension of the bracket holds it in. It is a bit tricky - seems like I had to look at my other Volvo to see how it went in - see if you can see another 940 or 740 somewhere and note how it's assembled.

[Removing/Repairing Gas Filler Door Hinge: Tip from Bill Peyton]   The gas door hinge will break if pushed forward.  This is usually done by moving around the car with the door open, or by curious children.  The repair job can be done completely from the exterior.  The black plastic hinge is held in place by four plastic rods.  When pushed through the body of the car, they expand four rubber sleeves located on the interior, thereby holding the whole thing in place.
Remove as follows:
Open the door, and using a small punch, push the four plastic rods through to the interior of the car.  The door will now come out.  Note the position of the spring and the hinge.  Remove the spring from the old hinge, and either cut or pry our the old hinge.  This is a black plastic piece.  The ends of the new hinge are tapered to make it easier to insert into the gas door.  Clip the spring back into place.
Now for the hard part.  You will see on the new hinge four plastic rods.  These are held onto the hinge by four small connections, all molded into a single piece.  On the other side of the hinge are four plastic “flowers” split into four pieces.  You will need to push the plastic rods through the “flowers”, once the “flowers” are pushed through to the interior of the car.   Since the rods are not free floating, they tend to break off and fly away unless you hit them squarely.  If this happens, put a little taper in the ends, place them back in the hold, and push them through.  A punch and a hammer will be essential.  Alternatively, you can break the rods off while the piece is off the car, insert them manually, and drive them in again with the punch.
[Query:] Over the winter one of the little pegs on my fuel door hinge broke and now the door is off. I just sent for, and received, a new hinge... and, just looking at it, I can't really tell how it goes on. Are those little plastic posts rivots? Do I put this in with a rivot gun or something? [Response: Rob Abel] it does look confusing at first. If you did not remove your broken hinge, hold the new one up near the broken one so you can get the orientation right.  No, you don't need a rivet gun. The connectors are akin to the mollies that you use in your house to hang a picture on wallboard. You position the "pegs" in the holes in the sheet metal, then tap in the smaller driver nails, which expands the connector to hold the hinge firm against the metal.  I had the luxury of having another Volvo sitting next to the one on which I was replacing the hinge.  Looking at an intact one made the difference for me. Maybe you can find another car and inspect the installation.

Inner Door Panel Removal. Three clips along the bottom, horizontal portion (look upwards under the door: if you have the white clips, skip the next sentence.) Slide a thin flat butter knife under the edge of the door panel and slide it up or down until it is stopped by one of the snaps, then gently twist the knife and gently pull on the door panel until it snaps loose. If you have the white door clips, use a screwdriver to lever them downwards.  In later models, the red warning light at the rear of door doubles as a clip, in which case you can pry it off; in earlier models, remove both the lens and the clip inside. In '88 models, pull the speaker cover straight out and remove the screw beneath;  in '89+ models, slide it forward, off the clips. You may have a vertical door handle and there may be two screws behind the fake leather panel on the door handle. Then you need to turn the plastic screw at the bottom of the door handle "cup" 1/4 turn and lift out the whole "cup", levering it carefully past the carpet or leather insert. The p/w switches will come loose at the same time. Unscrew the lock knob. Pull out on the bottom of the door panel and push upwards. Installation is the reverse.

Repairing Vinyl Door Panel Covering.  [Query]  How can I repair small tears in the vinyl door panel trim?  [Response:Bill]  The door panel vinyl on Volvos is very thin and does not lend itself to vinyl
repair easily.  However, it can be done with an iron on a low heat setting.  We distribute a product called vinylhyde that you can use to repair the tears.  Visit our web site:

Door Panel Puckering in 93+ 900 Cars.  [Query]  [Response: Dick Riess] Here in TX we have problems with the top part of the door panel pulling and puckering away from the rubber window sweep. John Howes at has a means of repairing. He advertises this service on his web site.  [Response: Rob Bareiss] We've seen 960 door panels bunch up on both '95 and '96 cars. Haven't seen it on a 97, but we have only one customer with a 97. We've seen it with both beige and dark grey ones. Volvo will only sell the panels as a set, EXCHANGE! You've got to both spend your $800 AND give them the panels back. If the car's out of warranty, it's best to live with it. Replacement is easy to do, if not easy on the wallet.

Handhold Trim Piece Loose.  [Query:] Right above the drivers side door, there are two plastic covers, which cover a screw. This piece is loose and driving me crazy. [Response: Rick Klasic]  Carefully pry off the 'lid' with a flat screwdriver. Under the lid there is a white plastic clip.  Tighten the screw (philips or torx) and replace the lid.

940 Driver’s Door Won’t Unlock.  [Query:] I can’t unlock the drive’s door from the keylock. I have to go to the passenger side, unlock the passenger side door, reach over and pull up the lock knob on the driver's door, which activates the power door lock system, apparently indicating that the system itself is fine. The system simply won't operate from the external switch on the driver's door.    [Response:] The outside driver's keylock should mechanically unlock the drivers door even if the central lock system has failed. If it simply will not unlock the rest of the doors, then the problem is likely either in the switch mounted in the door, the central locking relay, fuse, or wiring between the driver's door and the relay panel.
If the driver's door will not mechanically unlock from the outside, then there is a mechanical problem between the lock cylinder and the lock mechanism or a problem within the lock cylinder itself.
The driver's door switch is actually pretty easy to replace if that is the culprit - just remove the door interior panel and you will find a small rectangular plastic box screwed to the inside of the metal panel near the lock mechanism. There is a rod connected to it from the lock mechanism.  If it is bad and you are going to replace it, consider getting the later combined switch and lock motor from a later (~95 or so) 900. The earlier cars have only a switch in this location, but the box looks identical to a lock motor with the exception of a couple of extra wires. This will enable you to later add an alarm system with remote locking if you wish (you will have to run a couple of additional wires for the lock motor to connect it to the alarm system - your car may even be pre-wired for the motor)

Rear Door Lock Won't Release. [Symptom:'85 760 GLE w/4 cyl.; right rear door will not unlock. Both the power locks or manual will not unlock the door. The knob goes up and down but the door refuses to open.]
[Diagnosis:] I fixed this same problem just yesterday! Remove the trim which holds the speaker and unscrew the locking button, then there is one or 2 screws to be removed (the thing had been messed around with by previous owner so I don't know.) Pull the remaining trim up until it unlatches then pull it outward to remove it. Pull up the locking control as far as it goes then look through the hole so you can see the locking mechanism and watch the little part which moves sideways when you try to lock and unlock it. Then push it towards the inside of the car (you may have to "wriggle" it a bit) while pulling on the lock switch. The door should then unlock and you can open it. Remove the lock with an allen key and detach the control arms and thoroughly lubricate it with some oil/ grease/ or equivalent. You may have to remove the seat by pushing it back hard then pulling it up at each side then sliding it out, in order to remove the door trim.

Door Locks Fail to Lock.  [Query:] All of a sudden the function which allows me to lock all doors/ rear wagon hatch has stopped. If you push down on the drivers door lock only the drivers door will lock....BUT after locking all the doors, you can unlock them by the driver's door....GO FIGURE.... Where do I start in diagnosing and curing this ????  [Response: John Sargent] There is a switch on the push/pull rod the is actauted by the knob on the driver's door. Remove the driver's door panel. Locate this switch and manipulate it by hand. There are one or two screws that secure the switch to the inside of the drivers door. You probably need to adjust the switch. There is one relay for both the lock and unlock functions. It is in the lower left of the relay block and has a K on it. It is momentary in action. You will notice that when operating the switch manually, that the locking coils are only held for less than a second.

Tailgate Panel Removal. [Query:] My 93 945T has an annoying rattle in the tailgate caused by a missing screw in the brake light bracket. The screw is driven from beneath the bracket. This requires a removal of the entire panel. The lower trim screws are self explanatory, but how does one completely release the upper part? [Response:] There is a plastic piece on the bottom of the interior release recess that pulls off to expose 2 Torx screws, T25 I think, on either side. Remove these and the 4 quarter turn fasteners on the bottom of the trim panel. After this the whole trim piece slides upward, along the inside of the glass. There are clips that hold the top on that will break if you try to pull the top out. Support the panel as it is over your head if the tailgate is open. It is good to have a helper to hold the panel. When you free the panel there is a wiring harness for the third brakelight that has to be disconnected. When reassembling the panel, the clips for the top are slid into the slots in the tailgate and the top snaps into place. Also check the rear windshield wiper motor mounting bolts as they often loosen. I put Loctite 242 on mine. See also 745/945 Wagon Trim Panel Removal and Access.

Installation of Remote Power Door Lock Actuator in a 740.  [How do I install a remote actuator in a 740?] Actually (on US cars) they do have power locks, but the drivers door does not have a power lock solenoid. (i.e. the driver's door is manual, the  others are power locks).  See the related file for 940 cars with pictures and detailed data.
So you need to find a passenger door power door lock solenoid and linkage (a junk yard is a good source). Reverse the solenoid in the bracket and install in the drivers door. Use the passenger door for a guide, if you need it.
Then you need to provide power to run the new solenoid. You can run news wires into the door from any of the other door lock circuit. I do not have power mirrors on my car, but it has the wiring, of which the wires from where the power mirror switch in the door should be straight over to the passenger door. Tap into the solenoid there and hook up similarly on the drivers door.
For the $29 JC Whitney controller, I installed just above the drivers left foot and tapped into the wires from the switch in the drivers door (that lock and unlock the door) to the solenoid behind the fuses. No need to access the relay, just tap into wires.
I can now lock the doors with the key, the knob on the drivers door, or the little two button remote. Works well. Good range.
[Query:] Is there an *easy* way to add a remote alarm/keyless entry system to an '87 740?  The rear doors, passenger door, and liftgate all have solenoids that actuate the locks - but the driver's door is only mechanical.  [Response: Anders Persson]  When I installed a similar system in my previous 744 GLT 16 Valve -89, I had to add a lock motor to the drivers door. There is such a kit available from Volvo. Article number is 3529 065 for 740, 760 and 780 from 1986 and onwards.

Installation of Remote Power Door Lock Actuator in a 940.  See the separate illustrated file from Dick Riess for more detailed information.

Remote Entry Malfunction.  [Query:] I'm having to reprogram my remote quite frequently. The batteries are OK. I do not use the remote every day - could this be the cause?  [Response: Tony Giverin] The remote fob is not one of Volvos stronger assets!...Even in the best of days the range is from 10-15ft (noted in the manual). Others have found it susceptable to RFI/EMI interference. I myself have found that some days you have to be right on top of the car, other times it works 15ft or more away. Having said that, the frequency of use should make no difference. You say the batteries are OK, I'm suggesting anything under 2.9-2.8v and you can expect trouble. My wife's key fob stopped working altogether recently, I took it apart and cleaned the contact switches with electronic contact cleaner, have not had a problem since.

Remote Door Lock Range Extender.  [Tip from Tom Irwin] Are you as fed up as I am when locking/unlocking your brick with the remote clicker and you have to stand 2 inches on top of it and hold your finger to your nose before it unlocks??  Wouldn't it be nice to zap it from 50 feet away and hear the reassuring 'clunk'??   Well, fellas I found the fix!  I was into another project today and happened across the central locking transceiver unit which is mounted atop the center of the steering column.   It slides right out and one wire harness disconnects easily.  Take the unit to a clean bench and remove the 4 screws that hold the case together. Separate the 2 halves. There are 2 PC boards atop one another. The bottom one has all the guts. The top one has 4 wires going to it that terminate at a single grounding trace.  THAT IS YOUR ANTENNA !  I swear before the Sages of the BrickBoard...that is what Volvo uses for an antenna.........a 3 inch foil trace buried deep in the bowels of your brick!!
Now the fix...  Take a piece of ultra fine sandpaper and remove a spot of the green PCB varnish at the end of that trace. Do this until you see a shiny silver trace peeking through.  Find an old DC toy motor and crack it open, remove the armature. The copper windings inside are about a 38 ga. wire. This makes an EXCELLENT antenna. Unwind about 36" and straighten it out.   Take one end and hold the last 1/2" to a flame. This will cook off the insulation, it's way too fine to use a stripper.
Using a 20-30 watt soldering iron and rosin solder, attach the bare end of the wire to that cleaned trace.  Lay the wire down in the connector cavity and button it back up.  Reinstall the unit in the car.  Thread this long wire up over the steering column and over to the free loom that passes thru the firewall just next to the Motronic brain. It helps to tape the end to a straightened coat hanger and fish it up in to the engine compartment. Pull it through completely til no slack.   See the weather strippping seal that spans the engine bay, just south of the wiper arms? Lift it up  from the drivers side and pull it up to the middle of the span...  Now lay your wire down inside of it and push the seal back down on the metal stay. This does two things:  1. It makes the job nice and neat   2. It gets your antenna up and out of the cars interior so it does a much better job.   The good news? I can pop my locks from 120 feet away!!! HEY! It doesn't take much to get me excited.......... but I know a few of you have mentioned this problem, especially you 850 folks.

Door Hinge Spring Broken.  [Query]  The inverted 'U' thing that holds the door open is missing from my 740.  Has anyone replaced it? [Response: Bob]  The inverted "U thing" is broken. You need to replace the hinge. Remove the kick panel to access the hinge bolts. Unbolt hinge from door and body. Not too difficult.

Door Replacement and Interchangability.  [Tip from Jim Bowers] If you go to your Volvo parts guy, the replacement doors for almost any 4 door 700 will be the same part number. I replaced a driver's door and a right rear door on my '85 when they got rusty. The driver's door came from a '89 and the RR from a '90 as I remember. The driver's door was rusty because some previous owner had damaged the original '85 and put a '82 door on it. You may have to drill a small hole to hold a plastic snap or something. Internal parts such as locks, wires, etc. will likely need to be transferred. Been there, done that!

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