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2007 XC70 does not start in cold temperature (battery is good)

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GabrieS
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2007 XC70 does not start in cold temperature (battery is good)

Post by GabrieS »

Hello fellow Volvo enthusiasts,
I have a 2007 XC70 that does not start in cold weather. If the temperature drops below -10 degrees Celsius I get the starter cranking but no start. This has been going on all last winter, and now, with the winter arriving…it is starting to act again.
I have taken it in to the dealership and to a regular mechanic but was unable to get anything from them. The dealership could not replicate the issue. The mechanic told me that it is not worth investing more money to fix the car (but…as he told me…”I can give you $500 for it”). That feels to me like the car is still fixable. I like a puzzle and a challenge as a DIY. I worked as a machinist for 12 years so I am not shy around mechanical issues but I do not claim to be a mechanic. This feels more like an electrical issue to me. I want to keep this car if I can sort out the issue(s).
I have measured the battery voltage and it was 12.1 volts when the engine is off. Yesterday it was -5 degrees Celsius and the car did not start on the first couple attempts. The engine started with a boost from my SUPERFLOW G30 Jump-Starter Power Station. I got my hopes up thinking it was simply a battery that was drained enough to cause these no start issues when cold.
However, to test my theory, I tried again today. It was -10 degrees Celsius and the car did not start even with the G30 jump starter. Then, I connected the Volvo battery to the battery of my wife’s running van. I measured the voltage across the Volvo battery terminals before I tried again and it was 13.8 volts while connected to the running van battery. But no matter how many times I cranked it…it did not start. So I guess it is not the battery.
My inexpensive Bluetooth Scan Tool gives lots of codes when the car does not start.
Volvo codes.jpg
After I clear the codes and it is warm outside, the codes do not return and the engine runs like a champ…so I think all these codes are simply related to the intermittent electrical problem that I suspect.
I do have a message on the dashboard about the “SRS airbag needs urgent service” (which seems to happen to people who had issues with their DIM module that needed to be sent out and reflowed). But I did not read anything about the DIM causing a no start in cold weather condition. I do not have other issues with the DIM so far. I do not want to replace parts just to see if the issue goes away…so here I am.
Did anyone have a similar issue? Did you find a fix for it?
Thanks
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abscate
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Re: 2007 XC70 does not start in cold temperature (battery is good)

Post by abscate »

Welcome GTA, eh?

I grew up in Buffalo, huh?

You definitely need a good battery with these cars , and12.1 Volts is dead.

Get the battery on a good 10 amp charger overnight , best for 24 hours, then let it sit for 30 minutes , then measure room temperature voltage to four significant figures. You want to see high 12.7x volts.

The electronics in a P2 Volvo don’t like low voltage and will give you trouble both starting and runn8ng if it isn’t right. Having cranking current is not a good test to for good battery performance for running,
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GabrieS
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Re: 2007 XC70 does not start in cold temperature (battery is good)

Post by GabrieS »

Thank you for the quick reply.

It is 7 degrees outside right now and the forecast says the max today will be 6 degrees Celsius.
In this instance the test will not be reliable because I can always start the car when it is above zero outside. I may have to wait until next week when the forecast is for negative digits. As soon as we get temperatures below -10 degrees Celsius I will connect my battery charger and charge the battery overnight.
Changing the battery would be such a nice fix if we determine it was causing the issues.
I will let you know about the results when the weather gets cold again...but thanks again for your promptness.
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Re: 2007 XC70 does not start in cold temperature (battery is good)

Post by abscate »

Good luck Gabriel - make sure you are pushing at least 6 amps into that battery for a day - a trickle charger won't do it.
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Re: 2007 XC70 does not start in cold temperature (battery is good)

Post by volvolugnut »

GabrielS, Abscate makes a good suggestion to charge and test the battery now. If the battery does not pass the long charge and settle test, it can be expected to perform poorly when the temperature is colder. These cars do not like weak batteries. It messes with their minds (computers).
If the battery passes this test, then it may have a problem with battery cable damage or corrosion. But first, charge and test the battery. An older battery or one that has a history of deep discharge is suspect in no start conditions. Years ago, cars would start if they would crank over, but now the computers must have minimum voltage while cranking to be happy.
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Re: 2007 XC70 does not start in cold temperature (battery is good)

Post by oragex »

12.1v may not be properly measured. To measure the battery, park the car with the trunk slightly opened (not shut close), wait 30-40 min, then without opening any door or touching the remove, lift the trunk and measure the battery - every light in the car must be off to get a correct reading

You got 13.8v hooking the cars because the van battery was already fully charged so the alternator was on low voltage output

When it doesn't start, see if you have some fuel pressure at the rail if it has a Schrader valve - cover it with a paper towel then depress it (careful not to get sprayed). Otherwise, may be related to something like a crank sensor, or camshaft sensor - just ideas. See if the timing belt has correct tension in cold weather by pressing down in between the cams (should not depress more than 1/2" with force)
GabrieS
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Re: 2007 XC70 does not start in cold temperature (battery is good)

Post by GabrieS »

First...thank you all for all your suggestions...you guys are truly dedicated folks and love a puzzle just like I do. I promise to update you on all my findings.
I have to wait until it is cold to do all the checks you suggested given that the car only acts up when it is cold outside.
In the meantime I would like to pick your brains about your suggestions.

1) When I connected the Volvo battery to my wife's running van and checked the voltage across the Volvo battery terminals to be 13.8v (without touching the booster cables with the multi-meter leads)...does this not mean that the Volvo was now supplying this borrowed voltage to the computer and electronics...which should have enough to provide a proper start? That's what I assumed when I named the thread ("...Battery is good"). I assumed that my test with the jumper cables connected to a running car battery ruled out a bad Volvo battery. I now understand from your feedback that the battery is "dead" at 12.1v. I apologize however if I am saying something dumb because I am not well versed in matters of electricity or the flow of electricity. I am most certainly going to charge and retest the battery as suggested by abscate and oragex...but will wait to do it in -10 degrees Celsius or less.

2) My Nascar Advantage Battery Charger is fully automatic microprocessor controlled (see attachments) (https://www.policeauctionscanada.com/Li ... er-134266A).

I took the battery off the Volvo today and charged it in my garage but the charging cycle was over in about 4 hours and then it switched to "charged" mode (see photos). It is also asking for a few options to set on the charger before recharging the battery. I chose 12 V AGM/SPFV 12 V for the battery type (which is what the manual says to do if uncertain) and I chose 10-20 A Medium-Large Battery for the battery size. However it does not seem to matter if I leave it overnight as the charger automatically stops charging when its smart circuitry decides it is done charging (one step closer to AI :roll: )

3) When it is cold I will check again at the Schrader valve on the fuel rail. There is good fuel pressure on the valve when I pressed it today but we will see what happens when it is cold. If the pressure remains as good on a cold day it will tell me two things: a) the fuel pump works fine even in cold weather and... b) there is no water in the fuel lines that could create a small frozen plug when cold outside.
I will also check the tension on the timing belt when cold outside.

Thanks again...will keep you posted
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0-02-01-dca059c15ce1237bfc5736ad0943ba7b0c1556e7224b2291a2c4616213175cb0_d0bd4998.jpg
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abscate
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Re: 2007 XC70 does not start in cold temperature (battery is good)

Post by abscate »

Short, 95% accurate version

In early, simpler times if a battery would crank a car ( turn the starter over) it was good enough to run the car. All the loads were resistive loads so a low voltage would just slow things up a but

Now microprocessors and logic control everything and these things need solid, stable voltages to work.

When a battery goes bad, it starts turning into a load rather than a source, and also its ability to serve as a voltage buffer, smoothing out fluctuations in voltage, is compromised.

Short version..a jumped battery isn’t the same as a good battery.

Inactually like my old analog charger more than my digital one. It’s the current you want to monitor during the process. Your old battery can also come to full voltage, thus telling the charger to turn off , at a charge state of only 10-15%.

In four hours your charger put in at most 4 hours x 10’amps or 40mamp hours, I would guess about 1/2 of that actually. Total cap of your battery is 80mamp hours, so it is holding something like 1/8 to 1/4 of a new one
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GabrieS
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Re: 2007 XC70 does not start in cold temperature (battery is good)

Post by GabrieS »

I thought so too. That makes my digital charger a useless charger. I got to get me an analog charger.
In the meantime I guess my best bet is to wait for a cold day, recharge the battery to whatever capacity this useless charger can do, try it...and if the engine does not start...buy a new battery or a new analog charger and try again.
If the engine still doesn't start...then I can move my focus away from the battery...having ruled that out and having eliminated that as a potential issue.
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Re: 2007 XC70 does not start in cold temperature (battery is good)

Post by abscate »

If you have good friends you can swap batteries form another car for testing
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