Volvo electrical problems are typically caused by a faulty connection or corroded ground. Quite often the issue is the connections at the Volvo Central Electronic Module (CEM).
Central Electronic Module (CEM) is the main electrical module on Volvo vehicles that communicate with the rest of the modules and components on your car. When it fails it can cause unpredicted intermittent electrical problems.
It is a lot cheaper to get your Volvo CEM rebuilt instead of getting it replaced by the dealer.
2001 through 2013 Volvo vehicles are prone to intermittent electrical problems due to water getting to the Central Electronic Module.
Corrosion on the CEM terminals can develop if you:
For example, you may experience engine turning off on its own or doesn't start. Random warning lights coming such as ABS, airbag, brake warning. Keyless entry not working.
Getting the CEM module replaced by the dealer costs $1000+. A cheaper solution would be to repair your existing module. Remove your existing module and send it for repair to a facility that offers Volvo CEM Module Repair.
A CEM module (or corroded connections at CEM) trigger intermittent electrical problems.
Here are some problems you may notice.
These are some of the most common issues. Keep in mind you may only experience one or two of these symptoms depending on how and where your CEM has failed. Several of these problems may be due to a defective body control module or Light Control Module (LCM) as well.
The car may work fine when cold but develops random electrical problems when hot, cold or it is humid outside.
To troubleshoot Volvo electrical problem you can start by reading the fault codes from the CEM module. You will need a Volvo scanner as generic OBD2 scanners can't read CEM fault codes. This video shows you how to read and clear codes from Volvo CEM module using iCarsoft for Volvo.
If you are not able to establish communication with the CEM module, the terminals at the module may be corroded. You can remove the module and inspect it. If you are not able to repair it yourself, send it to a third party service that fixes Volvo CEM module. Search for Volvo CEM Repair Service.
To remove and clean Volvo CEM module follow the instructions below or watch this video.
Check that the connectors to the CEM are fully inserted and locked properly. Check the battery negative terminal is tightened.
Primary Volvos on P1 platform. Volvos from 2004 to 2013 that have CEM module under the dashboard on passenger side.
2004–2012 Volvo S40 II (P11)
2004–2012 Volvo V50 (P12)
2006–2013 Volvo C70 II (P15)
2007–2013 Volvo C30 (P14)
Yes. This problem can affect other cars based on the P1 platform. Examples include Ford C1 models such as Focus, Kuga, Escort, Escape, Transit, Linkon MKC, Mazda Alexa, Mazda3, Biante. Sabb vehicles as well.