How to adjust the throttle cable on 1996 – 2000 Volvo S40 and V40

by: JSeaman


When I bought my Volvo I found the performance was lacking somewhat and something didn’t feel quite right when pulling off.

I also noticed the cruise control was moving the accelerator pedal far more than I expected it would.

All these problems were attributed to a loose throttle cable.

The reason for the weird feel when pulling off is that the pedal system provides feedback (resistance when you press it) regardless of whether the cable is acting on the throttle flap and so you feel like you are pressing the accelerator while the throttle butterfly isn’t moving at all.

Therefore you seem to press the pedal a lot before the revs raise enough to pull off.

It’s a very easy thing to check/adjust and here is how:

Step 1

Take a phillips screwdriver and remove the single screw holding the plastic cover over the throttle linkage

Step 2

Remove the cover and put it to one side

Step 3

You now reveal the mechanism and this picture shows the nut you can adjust to tighten/slacken the cable. Basically if you loosen this nut it effectively makes the sheath around the metal cable longer which makes the cable have to travel a further distance from the pedal to the throttle body. As this happens you feel the cable become tauter.

Step 4

I tried to show there was slack in my cable in this picture, I expect almost no deflection from this cable when pressed

Step 5

Adjusting the cable is done via a 14mm spanner on this nut. If you ‘loosen’ the bolt it makes the cable taut and vice versa

Step 6

Make sure that you don’t tighten the cable up too much. It should happily sit back on the stops shown by the red arrow here when you press and release the accelerator pedal.

Original posted in Volvo Owners Club Forum

The instructions in this tutorial will work in the following models / years:

– 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000 Volvo S40 Petrol Engines
– 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000 Volvo V40 Petrol Engines