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How to remove the Central Electronic Module (CEM) in a Volvo (1999-2004)

This is a guide on how to remove a Central Electronic Module specifically for Volvo 1999 -2004 S80, 2001 – 2004 S70, V70, XC70, and 2003 – 2004 XC90.

Have you been experiencing issues with dash/cluster operation, your power windows or power seats operation, no AC, the transmission going into limp mode, and other numerous communication fault codes? These are actually common symptoms of a faulty Central Electronic Module (CEM) in a Volvo.

In order to repair it or replace it you’re going to have to remove it and since this can get a little tricky, we’ve made this guide to assist.

Step 1

First, turn on your car and move the driver’s seat all the way back. The CEM is located just above the driver’s legs. There is a panel that needs to be removed as well as the right side panel.

Step 2:

Before you begin, you will need to disconnect your battery. The CEM is a fairly important item in this car, so you don’t want to generate any electrical spikes or any potential for damages. Shut off your ignition, and make sure no electric cooling fan is on in the engine compartment. On P2 platform Volvo cars, batteries are located in the back of the vehicle. Remove the panels so you can access the battery. The battery is covered by a steel protection plate which goes over a plastic cover. There are two bolts and a nut; so you will need a 13 mm socket to remove them from the steel plate.

 Step 3:

Next you will want to remove the negative side of the battery; for this you will need a 10 mm socket. That is sufficient enough to disconnect the power.

Step 4:

Now it’s time to remove the CEM. You will need a Torx 25 screw driver to remove two screws that holds up a panel located just above the driver’s legs. The right side panel you basically pop out, to make it easier to remove top panel out of the way. The panel is a bit stiff, but just pull downwards and you should be able to remove it easily.


CEM Removal Volvo

Use a screwdriver to remove the panel

Step 5:

The CEM sits in a steel cradle. It has a locking mechanism on the side. If you reach your hand on the left side of the CEM and pry the steel bracket away from the CEM, this will release the unit, and the CEM will slide down towards the floor.

Volvo CEM Removal

Look for the locking mechanism to the side


Volvo CEM Removal

Pry the steel bracket away from the CEM to release the unit


Step 6:

You must remove the relays and shunts before taking the CEM out of the electrical distribution center.It is advised that you take a picture of the CEM. When it comes time to re-install the unit, you will have a guide for the positions of all the relays and shunts.

Volvo CEM Removal

Take a photo at this point to guide for re-installation


Step 7:

Once you’ve taken the picture, unscrew the 10 mm bolt that holds the main connector to the CEM. Once the bolt is loose, pry up and remove the connector. Once the connector is out, start removing all the relays and shunts from the electrical distribution center and the CEM.

Step 8:

Once all the relays are removed, push down on the retaining clip that holds the CEM in place, and the CEM will easily slide out.

Volvo CEM Removal

Push down on clip to release the unit


Volvo CEM Removal

And that’s it! Be sure to follow the shipping instructions when packaging to send it to us for repair. Once we receive it, we’ll repair and send back to you the same day.

Questions? Ask us at or

To purchase the CEM Repair Service, click here.

Here’s a step-by-step video to assist as well.


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