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1997 850 T-5 no crank/start, low battery voltage...

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

zamador
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Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:13 pm
Year and Model: 1997 850 T-5 wagon
Location: Seattle

1997 850 T-5 no crank/start, low battery voltage...

Post by zamador »

Hi, I've lurked here a bunch but haven't had cause to post until now. My '97 850 T-5 wagon has about 202k miles on it, got it at ~197 last year. I replaced the battery earlier this year since the one that had been installed was rather small for this vehicle. It's been starting and running fine, until the other day when I drove a short distance (about 4 miles), parked, and when I got back in I got no crank or solenoid click when turning the key. I ended up having it towed back home, but now I have to figure out how to get it starting again. It dims the lights when turning the key to start, and the reverse lights light up when reverse is selected, so that leads me to believe the ignition switch and PNP switch are functioning. I also tried moving the gearshift back and forth between L and P many times and that hasn't helped. It's been hot and smoky weather here in Seattle so I put off trying to diagnose it for a couple days, and just today I went in and poked at things with a voltmeter. My battery is only at 12.06 volts and after tapping the starter solenoid with a hammer and trying to start the car again a few more times it dropped to 19.94 volts. Still no sound when turning the key, just the fuel pump noise which normally happens when you turn the key to 'run'. Any ideas what I should try next? It seems like the battery might just need more voltage for the starter to function, but I'm surprised it would fail so completely and abruptly after starting fine.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
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Re: 1997 850 T-5 no crank/start, low battery voltage...

Post by Ozark Lee »

Step one is to charge the battery. Since it is fairly new and it presumably has a warranty you could return it to the place you bought it and they will test it. As a part of the test they will charge it. Even if they say the battery is OK it should be charged up enough to start the car again.

...Lee
'94 850 N/A 5 speed
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abscate
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Re: 1997 850 T-5 no crank/start, low battery voltage...

Post by abscate »

Try bypassing the key switch using the starter bypass connection on your car

Search for “remote starter connection location” in this forum and look for the 1998 version , get some wire and give it a try.
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Re: 1997 850 T-5 no crank/start, low battery voltage...

Post by scot850 »

New batteries can be faulty, and even fail within a year. Most batteries can still have the cells accessed so check the charge in each cell if you can open them without voiding warranty. Battery can test ok, but still have a weak cell.

Check all the grounds around the engine are in place and condition of all the battery cables and connections for corrosion and clean contacts where access is available.

Re-fit battery after a full charge and see if there is a change.

Neil.
2000 V70 R - still being an endless PITA
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RickHaleParker
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Re: 1997 850 T-5 no crank/start, low battery voltage...

Post by RickHaleParker »

Remote starter connection terminal.
Verified on my '98 C70.

Picture posted by FireFox31

Image
1998 C70, B5234T3, 16T, AW50-42, Bosch Motronic 4.4, Special Edition package.
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misha
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Re: 1997 850 T-5 no crank/start, low battery voltage...

Post by misha »

Sounds like a weak battery to me.
11.9v is discharged battery...since you allready have a small battery,like you said....it doesn't have enough cca to start the car.
'97 850 2.5 20v / fully equipped / Motronic 4.4 from the factory / upgraded with S,V,C,XC70 instrument cluster / polar white wagon
'91 Citroen XM 2.0 SI /fully equipped/mandarine red metallic
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'78 244 DL
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abscate
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Re: 1997 850 T-5 no crank/start, low battery voltage...

Post by abscate »

My battery is only at 12.06 volts and after tapping the starter solenoid with a hammer and trying to start the car again a few more times it dropped to 19.94 volts. Still no sound when turning the key, just the fuel pump noise whi
Ignoring the second voltage, 12.06V is a dead battery at room temperature.
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zamador
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Year and Model: 1997 850 T-5 wagon
Location: Seattle

Re: 1997 850 T-5 no crank/start, low battery voltage...

Post by zamador »

Thanks for all the suggestions. So far I have tried using my roommate's external battery charger. When I hooked it up to the car's battery and tried turning the key to start the car, I heard what sounded like the solenoid firing once, but no other noises. After that it was back to nothing, just the sound of the relay turning the lights off. I haven't tried the remote starter hookup yet but I'm inclined to believe it will do the same thing.

Should I still try to fully charge the battery before deciding it's an issue with the starter motor?
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misha
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Re: 1997 850 T-5 no crank/start, low battery voltage...

Post by misha »

zamador wrote: Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:06 pm ...So far I have tried using my roommate's external battery charger. When I hooked it up to the car's battery and tried turning the key to start the car, I heard what sounded like the solenoid firing once, but no other noises...
You can't hook up a battery charger and start the car with dead battery with it!
You will need to jump it with proper jumper cables.
'97 850 2.5 20v / fully equipped / Motronic 4.4 from the factory / upgraded with S,V,C,XC70 instrument cluster / polar white wagon
'91 Citroen XM 2.0 SI /fully equipped/mandarine red metallic
History of Volvos in the family:
'71 144 S
'73 144 De Luxe
'78 244 DL
'78 244 DL
'79 244 GLE
'85 340 GLS
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abscate
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Re: 1997 850 T-5 no crank/start, low battery voltage...

Post by abscate »

Should I still try to fully charge the battery before deciding it's an issue with the starter motor?
On a 10 Amp capacity charger for 24 hours, yes.
Empty Nester
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1999-V70-T5M56 2005-V70-M56 1999-S70 VW T4 BMW
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