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2007 XC70: think I need a new battery. How do you test/where do you buy replacements?

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Durenol
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Durenol

2007 XC70: think I need a new battery. How do you test/where do you buy replacements?

Post by Durenol » Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:58 pm

We have a 2007 XC70 that isn't driven much and I think the battery is dying. The cabin lights always come on when I open the door, but often trying to start just gives a loud rapid clicking noise from the engine compartment, all the lights dim and the dashboard clock resets to --:--. After jumping and driving around for an hour it starts fine, but if left to sit for a few days it dies again.

I've always questioned the alternator on this car. All the exterior and interior lights have a soft persistent flicker almost like a candle ever since we first got it. I've asked mechanics to test this but all they do is pop the hood, roll up a cart with a gadget on it and clamp the wires to the engine and say "dunno, looks good to me". Is this normal for Volvos?

I believe the battery is original, but it may have been swapped out years ago one of the times it was at the dealer, so it's at least 7 years old but probably 11. I have no idea how long modern batteries are supposed to last these days. Various websites give numbers as low as 2 years, but surely that must be wrong? I've had other cars for way longer than 2 years and never had to change the battery in any of them.

Looking around online, I'm having trouble figuring out what kind of battery this car needs and where to get it. I don't really trust the 'drop-in' replacements you get at places like pepboys or autozone to be any sort of quality.

Any thoughts?
Last edited by Durenol on Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:21 am, edited 10 times in total.

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mrbrian200
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mrbrian200

Re: How long does a battery last and where do you buy replacements?

Post by mrbrian200 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:54 pm

Standard battery, not AGM (see below). A good indicator of quality is the length of the full replacement warranty which is the amount of time a battery will be replaced free of charge before being pro-rated, then after that consider the total length of the warranty including the extended pro-rated time, which can vary between 1-3 years past the full replacement warranty.

The charging system needs to be designed specifically for AGM batteries. Charge rates are managed different between AGM and standard batteries. An AGM battery's useable life will be shortened if installed in a car not designed for it. Retailers selling AGMs aren't disclosing this. You'll notice AGMs are more expensive, but come with some of the shortest warranty terms. Probably because most the vehicles in which AGMs are being installed aren't designed for them. Retailers/manufacturers know it, and appear to be shortening the warranty terms to insulate from class action. AGMs should in theory last just as long or longer.

Bought 2 batteries last year for two different P2 vehicles. Both standard type, one got a Sears Diehard Gold, the other got an Autozone/Duralast Gold.

At a glance some of the batteries from wholesale clubs and NAPA appear to look 'good'. That is, until you look closely at the warranty terms/length.

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Re: How long does a battery last and where do you buy replacements?

Post by chrism » Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:39 pm

We have a 2003 V70 and a 2005 S80. The original batteries lasted 8 years in one car and 10 years in the the other car. When it was time to replace each one I found that the Volvo dealer could sell me a battery for equal or less $’s than the local parts houses. I went with the Volvo batteries given how long the originals lasted plus they have the correct vent. The dealer parts guy said that Volvo batteries are made by Interstate.

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Re: How long does a battery last and where do you buy replacements?

Post by June » Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:51 am

chrism wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:39 pm
We have a 2003 V70 and a 2005 S80. The original batteries lasted 8 years in one car and 10 years in the the other car. When it was time to replace each one I found that the Volvo dealer could sell me a battery for equal or less $’s than the local parts houses. I went with the Volvo batteries given how long the originals lasted plus they have the correct vent. The dealer parts guy said that Volvo batteries are made by Interstate.
+1

Ha 've had good luck with Volvo replacement battery.
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Durenol

Re: How long does a battery last and where do you buy replacements?

Post by Durenol » Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:35 am

How do I tell if this car needs an AGM battery or not? The manual only talks about how to physically take the battery out, but says nothing about what kind. Are there markings on the battery itself I can look for?

Interesting thought on asking the dealer, I never even considered that because I always assume their prices are sky high.

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Re: 2007 XC70: think I need a new battery. How do you test/where do you buy replacements?

Post by Rattnalle » Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:28 am

AGMs weren't really around when the car was made and so they didn't mention it. You could fit one but the main advantage is better cycling resistance and faster charging. It doesn't sound like you're hard on the batteries considering the life of your previous battery so I don't think you'll benefit much.

Just get a regular battery of decent quality (long warranty is a good indicator) and optionally as big as will fit for a larger reserve capacity and then take care of it by keeping it well charged.

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Georgeandkira

Re: 2007 XC70: think I need a new battery. How do you test/where do you buy replacements?

Post by Georgeandkira » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:02 am

The first paragraph of your first post indicates that you've needed a new battery for quite some time.
The second indicates that your voltage regulator is bad. That "candle flickering" is the DGA (Dead Give Away).
DGA is NOT an accepted engineering term.

Installing it yourself? Letting the seller install it?
Thoroughly clean the posts and clamps.
Remember to turn the clamps over and inspect their undersides. Really get in there to brush and pick the crud away.
I use a paper cup with baking soda and water. You can tear the paper so the clamp can be immersed.
Use terminal sealer.

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abscate

Re: 2007 XC70: think I need a new battery. How do you test/where do you buy replacements?

Post by abscate » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:06 am

That’s a classic dead battery report.

The ‘not driven much’ is a key to this too, batteries that sit do not live as long as ones that are used daily.

5years is a good number to think about battery life, as you note that number can vary all over due to use patterns

In the cold Northeast where I live , my 5 year old battery probably won’t start my car next winter when it gets down to 0F.

One thing that might help. If it’s possible in your logistics, install a 1 amp trickle charger and plug your Car in while it sits.

What’s your location? A battery replacement is a perfect MVS support First DIY job
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Re: 2007 XC70: think I need a new battery. How do you test/where do you buy replacements?

Post by Rattnalle » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:31 am

I missed the not driven much part. I agree with getting a charger. Most smart chargers have a trickle charge program that will keep the battery fully loaded if left plugged in. Provably the best thing you can do to keep the battery happy if you have power where the car is parked.

Durenol
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Durenol

Re: 2007 XC70: think I need a new battery. How do you test/where do you buy replacements?

Post by Durenol » Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:02 am

Oh we're super hard on the battery which is the main reason it's dying I think. It's hardly ever driven. I try to keep things from drying out by taking it down to the grocery store once a week (1.5 miles / 5 minutes each way), but that's honestly most of the exercise it gets. I know lots of short trips tend to cause problems but there isn't a lot of opportunity for longer ones.

I've had to take the battery out a few times already to plug it into an old crappy charger, so I'm well versed in that process (and I already tried cleaning the posts and clamps the first time). I'm not going to pay a shop to put it in when I can do it myself in like 10 min.

The flickering lights has been there forever, I remember first noticing it back in '08 or '09. Where is the voltage regulator on these cars and how much do they cost to replace?

It's been average winter temps here (~30s) up until the cold spell a few days ago.

I've already tried to look into trickle chargers but I'm out of my depth. Can anyone give me a rundown on the basics? I have absolutely no idea what kind to buy or how to install one. (I can run a power cord to the car no problem).
Last edited by Durenol on Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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