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

Help, Advice, Owners' Discussion and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's stylish, distinctive "P2" platform cars.

2001 - 2007 V70
2004 - 2007 V70 R
2001 - 2007 XC-70
2001 - 2009 S60
2003 - 2007 S60 R

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

Post by dwwalker » Sun Jan 19, 2020 5:53 am

I have the exact same car with the exact same problem. Staring problems below -8 or so and doesn't start below -12 to -15. It's been going on since last winter as well. I also live near Toronto.
Have done lots of tests including getting the ECM and CEM tested but both appear to be fine. Changed the coolant temperature sensor and found it had a faulty connector so changed that. Still the same problem.
Based on your posts and answers I tested the battery and found the same voltage situation so tried a different battery with higher voltage. No start.
I accidentally left the ignition on when I changed the battery back to the old one that had a voltage of 11.9 at that point. It started right up at -11.
Yesterday I tried that theory at about -5. Turned the key on (#2 position), disconnected the negative battery terminal for a minute or so, reconnected and it started right up.
This doesn't tell me the solution but it may point the mechanics in a more specific direction.
Any other ideas out there?

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

Post by GabrieS » Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:02 am

For me, tomorrow morning is the time to finally do the test with the battery fully charged.
I have charged the battery indoors at room temperature and it has been reading 12.94 volts 12 hours apart after I disconnected the battery from the charger.
The forecast is for -15 degrees Celsius overnight in the GTA plus wind chill.
First thing in the morning tomorrow...I will put the warm and fully charged battery back in the car and give it a go. If it starts I will safely assume it was a weak battery and I will do a parasitic draw test to see if something is draining it.
Then I will post the results.

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

Post by GabrieS » Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:11 am

And if it doesn't start...I will try putting the key in position 2, disconnecting the negative battery cable briefly then reconnecting it and try again. I will let you know how mine acted up if I get to that point.
If that is a thing...then I would be at a loss...I would not know what to do...but let's not speculate until I try tomorrow morning.

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

Post by oragex » Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:43 am

A -25C on this non turbo (200K km , 125K miles). Not the best battery, it did spin a little slow

Engine start at 0:35


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

Post by abscate » Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:46 am

11.9 V on a battery is dead.

Remember , cranking is not a complete test for a good battery; there are many instances of batteries with enough current to crank the car, but not operate all of the electronics correctly
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Re: 2007 XC70 does not start in cold temperature (battery is good)

Post by mrbrian200 » Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:31 pm

Food for thought:

Don't forget fellow MVS helpers of that largely unresolved 'won't start in extreme cold weather' issue that plagues a certain small number of 5 and 6 cyl modular engines. According to a VOLVO TSB somebody traced it (most likely, not definitive IMO) to some sort of electromagnetic interference between the starter motor and the crankshaft position sensor. I previously have theorized that in extreme cold when the starter has to pull more current to turn the flywheel on a cold engine, increased EM produced by the starter motor appears to be picked up either by the sensor or the wiring to effectively corrupt the crank position sensor's signal to the ECM. Whomever wrote the Volvo TSB thinks it's the wire leading out from the sensor acting like an antenna resulting in an induced current that corrupts the signal. There's also an ongoing theory, that I believe the TSB mentions, of the mating surfaces between the engine and transmission losing 'continuity' which dampens the faraday cage effect around the starter motor. I'm not sure about that diagnosis, it could be either the EM shielding in the sensor body 'gone bad' or a bad winding in the starter motor producing more EM interference than the sensor/wiring is designed to reject (the sensor + wiring is fine).
There was also a documented case by a technically adept Volvo owner somewhere in Russia where they traced a similar symptom/issue to current arcing between a couple of pins at the ECM connector, only in cold weather that, once they got it to start, would miss and run rough until the engine warmed a few minutes. Due to the voltage necessary to jump the gap between connector terminals, (somewhere around 1.5-2mm) the only thing that generates that kind of voltage at startup would be the ignition coils: easy to work up a theory based on a faulted/internally shorted ignition coil sending high voltage through the electrical harness, or the ground path from the head back to the secondary has somehow been compromised, which could include something simple as bad spark plug, resulting in this current finding an alternate path through the chassis/engine harness.

Each case on a specific vehicle may be different caused by any one or a combination of the above factors. And though much less likely, don't rule out the possibility of bad solder joint or two inside the ECM that could well result in similar behavior.

I just had to key in here. From what I'm reading I'm leaning away from the battery/supply voltage being at issue and feel that's probably barking in the wrong direction (OP tried attaching a parallel battery voltage/current source via a jump start pack to no effect)

EDIT Also check: in my personal experience when the bosch throttle bodies go out (internal gears wear down), they will tend to act up more and the weather turns colder. Though I don't think this is the problem you're having, just to cover all bases look to see on your scan tool that the throttle plate position is actually opening and isn't sticking closed (KPII, scan tool attached, press the accelerator no more than a 1/2" or so and look to see if the throttle plate position is opening according to the scan tool. If it's sticking closed or almost closed no or not enough air = no start.
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dwwalker
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Re: 2007 XC70 does not start in cold temperature (battery is good)

Post by dwwalker » Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:48 am

Very interesting information from mrbrian200.
My test of disconnecting the battery while the ignition is in position 2 and reconnecting was successful again this morning at -14C. Started like summer. Apparently something doesn't happen in this situation. Not a real solution though disconnecting the battery every time the weather is cold.
Based on mrbrian200's information I am going to put some foil around the wire to the crankshaft position sensor to shield it and see what happens.
I would also like to know if there is a ground wire to the transmission. Does anyone know if there is one and where that might be. It isn't quite as easy working from the floor with the car on ramps as it is with a hoist. Thanks.

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

Post by GabrieS » Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:49 am

Test failure..."BATTERY IS GOOD"...the issue is elsewhere
- I charged the battery two days ago to fully charged status (ignore the digital charger versus analog charger aspect for now)
- I kept the battery in my laundry room to make sure it is not cold when I test the car
- I measured the voltage one last time this morning and it was still 12.94
- I mounted the battery back this morning and ...NO LUCK
- It took 4 attempts (as seen in the attached videos) to get the car to start
https://youtu.be/nCkIdmi2HeU
https://youtu.be/xZ5-K-4bevM
- It was -14 degrees outside
- Immediately after I took the battery out and drove to Parts Source where they hooked it to their tester and ran a free load test on the battery for me. The test result..."BATTERY IS GOOD"
- Obviously there is pressure at the Schrader valve as the engine eventually started...but...I am willing to completely rule this out by doing the following:
a) I will fill up the tank to be sure the fuel pump is well submerged in gas (but like I said I want to minimize spending money just to see if it fixes the issue)
b) I will release all the fuel pressure at the Schrader valve, then I will put the key in position 2, allow the fuel pump to prime again without cranking the engine, and will check the pressure at the Schrader valve again
c) If the pressure is back then I will safely say the fuel pump is good and there are no blockages in the fuel line.
In conclusion...I ruled out the battery as the cause and will have to focus on other issues.
NEXT: I plan to find out how to test the crankshaft position sensor and the camshaft position sensor to rule them out as potential issues.
Do you have any suggestions about how to measure or rule out the electromagnetic field issue at the starter potentially interfering with the signal in the camshaft wire? Is the aluminum foil going to help at all... as suggested by dwwalker?

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

Post by GabrieS » Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:59 am

...and if it's bad solder joint...it's only acting up when cold. This would make sense due to slight contractions of materials in cold temperatures...How do I test for that? How did you test your ECM dwwalker?
Could the bad solder joint(s) be located somewhere else...and cause a no start in cold weather?

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

Post by oragex » Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:45 am

The battery is cranking very well. I would not keep it cranking for too long - the starter may heat up

I find it weird the RPM gauge jumps like this and the dash lights go very dim. Also the way all check lights come on at 1:23. Maybe a bad ground ? I think there is a ground wire behind the engine, worth a check. See the video above, most check lights turn off after turning the key to POS II and none of them come back from that moment (except the airbag light, the car had a code at that time)

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