Some Initial Diagnosis

Once we got the car home, even before it rolled off the trailer, I had to start checking things out. The first, most obvious thing to check was the leaking brake line in the rear, which was the cause for the no brake situation. It didn’t take long to find the issue:

Yep, that rubber tube, at one time in the possibly distant past, used to contain a metal line. The metal line would have been connected to a to a rubber hose, which then connected to the brake caliper. Via this system of tubes and hoses, hydraulic pressure is supplied to the brake calipers when you press the brake pedal — at least in an idea world. In our world, not only was the rubber line to the caliper missing, but the metal, tube had rusted into oblivion. Now, I’m not sure the purpose of the rubber sheathing here. None of the other brake lines have it and the only thing it served to do was to trap moisture and rot out the line. Oh well, that should be an Easy Fix ™.

I poked around some more underneath, and identified the where the crack in the exhaust is, which should be another Easy Fix ™ for a exhaust shop. I then proceeded to make an attempt to untangle myself from the trailer…

Once extracted, I moved under the hood. While dirty, nothing seemed out of the ordinary, aside from the empty Hydraulic System reservoir, which was a known, disclosed issue. I wasn’t able to identify the leak right off the bat, but the frame rail directly underneath where the pressure hose attached to the power steering rack looked pretty darn wet; a decent place to start.

The above shot is me pontificating a bit on the CIS fuel injection system, I’ll spare you the video in which I made a number of factual errors, as I’m new to the system, but let me say this: This is a system which, many people dislike for a variety of reasons — it’s somewhat complex, hard to diagnose, and hyper-sensitve to any faults in the system, to name a few. Indeed, a ridiculously large percentage of the Factory Service manual, is dedicated to the troubleshooting and repair of the system. I also have basically no experience with it, but I will observe that the sheer number of Volvos, Audis, Mercedes, etc with 200k+ miles on the clock which run a CIS system means it can’t be *that* bad. Right? RIGHT?!?

Anyway, with some post-pontificating poking, I found the rubber brake lines in the front were cracked something fierce. Not surprising, and I was planning on replacing them anyway. Remember, you can go as fast you want, but it doesn’t matter unless you can stop.

Also found that fuse #4 was blown, replacing it made one interior light in in the driver’s foot well light up when the door was opened. I guess that’s something, but it was clear there were a number of electrical issues as well. Lack of interior lights, the blown fuse, non-functional gauges….Did I mention the back seat wouldn’t latch into place because the wrong size battery was back there? Wait, did fuse #4 just blow again?

It was a this point we pulled it off the trailer and pulled it into the backyard to get cracking on the brakes and the power steering system and electrical gremlins.


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