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Volvo Electronic Problems

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by K1W1, Apr 15, 2009.

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  1. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    Has anyone here had or heard about any repeated problems with the Volvo D Series and it's EVC (Electronic Vessel Control) System.

    I am particularly interested to know about any "black box" faults where the engine would run but not go into gear.

    I am looking at using 5 x D 6 in 3 Tenders and have heard some horror stories about this but don't see much on the web so I am hoping it is an isolated incident involving 4 engines ( 2 boats) and not a range wide issue.
  2. corinthian99

    corinthian99 New Member

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    I've had a couple of those on tenders, intermittent faults. Didn't get a straight answer out of the dealers as to cause - they were dealt with under warranty.
  3. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    I have never had this, except when there are more than one panel and another is activated (key symbol). It can of course also be an accidental touch on the N-button. Then the green light is flashing. As soon as it is constant green, the gear should be able to work.

    In the beginning they had some weak contacts in the system, causing intermittent "dead" symptoms, but today we don´t see this happen.

    Somebody also warned us to have too high temperature around the EVC-boxes, engine room must never be over 70°C, ideal is 25°. Every 10 centigrades up reduces 1 percent of the total effect.

    Also, the EVC-connections must be in dry places, they are low power and more sensitive than old fashion stuff.
  4. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    There has been a recall on some EVC-C PCUs and HCUs as they had inferior caseing construction. Check with your dealer if your Serial Number falls within the recall. This is quite a new recall and not many engines have it.

    To be honest, we look after hundreds of D4 and D6 and very few Black Boxes have gone wrong, 6 boxes in 4 years isn't bad these days. Just try not to drown them, they don't like it!

    The biggest problems with the early engines were as follows:-

    1, The water strainer lid weeped and lets water into the bilges, now changed. Make sure your dealer has done this.

    2. The end-caps on the heat-exchanger were made of plastic. When salt builds up inside the O-ring, it pisses onto the starter. They are now made of brass, again see your dealer.

    3. The hoses on the crankcase breather sometimes weaken, just check them.

    Other than that, the motors are strong and run very well. The maintenance is dead easy, the supercharger belt tentioner needs a special tool, so buy one to keep aboard with the spare belts.

    So yes, I recommend them.......................with IPS.

    The DPH outdrive has had a hard birth. Its the steering hoses, rams and trim hoses that have been a nightmare in saltwater.

    K1W1, if they are tenders and getting hauled out of the water all the time they should be okay, its the sitting in the water for months on end that eats them.

    Any other problems, you can PM me anytime with a Volvo question.

    Fish
  5. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I have run two different volvo boats, one with d-12's and one with d-6's I believe. Both were 2005ish boats. Both had numerous false engine codes popping up such as low voltage (while both motors were running) voltage was fine, water in fuel (none), as well as other codes I've forgotten. The one boat a 50' Cruisers with d12's popped up various weird codes everytime you put the boat on plane such as water in fuel, coolant level low (it was full completely). BUT I only ran them for a few days and never had a control loss issue. But they definately have some computer issues and false codes and it's very annoying because it makes a noise and you lose your screen with all of the gauges until you acknowledge it.
  6. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    Yes J, we've had quite a few like this.

    We send an engineer down to the boat, plug the VODIA download tool into the EVC and set the controls. Takes about 15 minutes, end of problem.

    90% of these problems we get are down to poor set-up at commission. Ham-fisted Goons at the factory can leave a legacy of problems and doubt about the systems. A major PITA.
  7. M Chatzilias

    M Chatzilias New Member

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    Hello All,


    I am new here and decided to write in case any of you can help me.

    I have a 2007 192BR Doral, with a Volvo Penta Diesel D3-163A. I have had several problems last season and spent a lot of money trying to fix. Nobody could fix, everyone had his own opinion, I ended up spending money and losing time.

    It happens every time I put the boat in the water. 20-30 mins in the water, and I get 3 Beeps. Beeeeeep....Beeeeeep.....Beeeeeep. I lose all gauges except RPM, fuel and voltage. I lose EVC data and I lose trim control. I continue to control and operate the boat without problems, however without gauges and trim after those three beeps. Minutes or hours later, I get a Continuous Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep sound with red light (critical alert), Engine electrical failure, or System failure. Engine goes into safe mode and just about allowes me to get into port, doing 2 knots.

    Sometimes I also get a water in fuel warning (no water in fuel). ALWAYS, after the three beeps, I lose gauges and trim and then it is a matter of minutes that I lose engine with the critical alert.

    Volvo has plugged in the computer, but no faults are displayed.

    I have a feeling it is EVC.
    Can anybody help here, giving a direction?
  8. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    Hi, don´t know what it can be, but since it is more or less plug and play these days, try to find another EVC and see if the problems goes away?
  9. M Chatzilias

    M Chatzilias New Member

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    You mean buy another EVC and install? That works too expensive.
    I was more like thinking it may be a wrong EVC card which needs replacement, or a reset of the software? Has anyone heard of this? Can any tech guy here help?
  10. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    I did not say buy, but if you have a VP Service Centre they may have a similar engine in the shop?

    The reset idea often works, but didn´t Volvo try it when they were testing with the computer?

    As I understand it, they can run the engine from the computer, so any fault outside of the EVC should be traced then. This is why I suggested to put in another EVC unit to see if it works better.
  11. M Chatzilias

    M Chatzilias New Member

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    Thanks for this advise, however:

    When Volvo plugged in their computer, they did not trace any errors.
    In addition, I am in Athens Greece, and Volvo here does not know how to handle. So I am thinking about trying to get a direction, to tell them what to look at and focus on. Has any of you handled EVC problems like the one described here?

    I think, there are 5 connections, C1, C2, C3, C4, and C5. It seems my C1, C2, C3 and C5 are relevant.
  12. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    OK, I got it. They did not find any problem outside of the EVC unit. This is why I suggested to check another one, I am thinking of the box named 6 on this picture; Volvo Penta Exploded view / schematic Control Unit and Cables, EVC-A D3-110I-A, D3-130A-A, D3-130I-A, D3-160A-A, D3-160I-A - MarinePartsEurope.com

    But of course intermittent problems have a habit of not showing up when technicians are present...
  13. M Chatzilias

    M Chatzilias New Member

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    Ok, this helps to start with. So, you are suggesting that box 6 could be replaced to another one (by Volvo), new or used, then the boat to get tested to see if it works. Is this correct?

    Also, box 6 is the actual EVC black box unit in the engine compartment, right?
    (As far as I remember it is)

    Thanks again, very much, for assisting with this. I have been having tremendous problems and wish to enjoy my boat this coming season.
  14. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    Hopefully your Volvo engineer will have checked the fuel sensor that can give false readings. It's is on the end of the common-rail fuelpipe.

    A damaged or worn turbo will also put the motor into 'limp home' mode.

    If you have the serial No. of the motor you can match which model of EVC unit was fitted, there have been many updates made over the years. As AMG said, swap the control and leads with one from a similar motor.
  15. M Chatzilias

    M Chatzilias New Member

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    Volvo engineers here are not that skilled, that's way I am seeking directions here. Not sure about wrong readings since a few minutes after the 3 Beeeeeeeps, I usually get one log BEeeeeeeeeeeeep sound (critical error) which says Engine electrical failure, or System electrical failure. Then engine fails. RPM goes to minimum, doing max 3 knots, just about enough to put me into some nearby port if the weather is good. This has happened always when I had family and friends on the ride, very uncomfortable.

    I think the problem edges on the EVC. I like the idea of replacing the EVC unity to test with an alternative one, or to get a new EVC card perhaps?

    I am reading in the manual that if the EVC goes faulty, then I lose gauges and trim control, so EVC fault makes sense.
  16. Freespool

    Freespool New Member

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    We take care of quite a few D-6 boats here. Some of the early ones had some issues where engines would run and not have any controls. This was actually an EVC problem, not anything to do with the engine.
    The EVC system has been upgraded several times and is now pretty dependable. When they do act up a simple reconfiguration from the control head and key pad will often correct it.
    As some one said earlier boat builders often do the start ups and don't configure it right which leads to head aches.
    The engines do hold up well compared to others in the smaller engine market.
  17. M Chatzilias

    M Chatzilias New Member

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    What is strange, and evidence, is this:
    Since 2007 the engine / EVC did not produce any alarms whatsoever. None.
    First time it produced those alarms that I described was when I bought it from previous owner, in 2011. So, no alarms for 4 years and then several alarms and engine electronics malfunction as soon as I got it.
  18. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    Did the previous owner tell you there were no alarms or were you a guest on the boat often enough to know this for a fact yourself?

    Electronics do fail occasionally , it might just be a co incidence that yours started to play up when the boat changed hands

    Having been around boats myself for approaching 50 yrs / 35 of those as an engineer I tend to be very cautious about these " new and previously unknown faults" that often show up on sea trials
  19. M Chatzilias

    M Chatzilias New Member

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    I have a close co-operation with the previous owner, a descent guy. He works closely with me to find out what may be wrong. He told me that he has experienced no alarms and I also experienced no alarms when I first took charge of the boat. My first 6 months were perfect, no alarms. The second season alarms started beeping. So this has very well started on my own hands. I hope it is a reset or re configuration issue.
  20. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    That is good news and is the exception to the rule not the norm.

    Is it possible you have had a voltage spike or surge by faulty shore power or lightening?