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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. My family and I encountered a problem with our T6 yesterday....

We took a 90 mile (one way) road trip to visit some friends down near Fort Walton Beach, FL. When we departed our home, the car started right up, with no issues. Drove fine and well all the way down. We visited for about 7 or 8 hours, then when we got into the car to make the drive back,the car was dead. I was able to unlock the car, but when I got in, the cabin dome lights were very dim and the car wouldn't start. Didn't even try to turn-over the engine. No "clicking" sounds associated when I tried to start. There wasn't even a "whine" associated with a dead battery.

We jump-started the car with assistance from my friend who had his truck parked right next to our T6, fortunately, and the car ran fine all the way back to our home in south-east Alabama.

Once we arrived home, I parked the car near one of my other vehicles, outside, in case I need to jump-start it again. As soon as we parked, I shut off the engine. I then tried to restart the car, which was dead as a door-nail. Rear-view mirrors wouldn't fold, rear hatch wouldn't open, couldn't even lock the car. The cabin dome lights barely had enough power to illuminate the cabin.

This car received a new Interstate battery in 2015, from a local shop, then we had that one replaced (under warranty), with another Interstate battery in November 2018, while living in central-Tennessee.

I'm going to jump-start the car again this morning and take it to a local parts store to have the battery tested, but I'd like to know what anyone here thinks the problem likely is. I'm leaning towards a battery problem, but what would cause a relatively new battery to die so soon? The alternator would be the most likely culprit, right? Only problem with that, is that we haven't experienced any of the other tail-tale indicators of a failing alternator: no warning signal on the instrument console. no dimming/flickering of head-lights, no growling or other sounds emanating from the alternator, nor any electrical or burning smells....

The only thing that recently changed, within the last 2 or 3 days is that I tried to activate Sirius XM radio service on the car about two days ago. It wasn't successful, because my car doesn't appear to have the Sirius hardware required to receive, even though Series was able to recognize the VIN/EIN. None-the-less, prior to making that discovery, I did start a trial service with Sirius and sent a signal refresh code to the car. My car is normally garaged, so I moved the car out of the garage to try to activate the service, which was when I made the discovery that Sirius settings aren't even accessible. Likewise, the car was parked outside for 7 or 8 hours yesterday, while at our friends house. Is it possible that the infotainment/navigation system is running in the background, trying to do something with Sirius, while the car is off, which is draining the battery? This car had a similar issue many years ago, with some function of the navigation which kept draining the battery, and required a software update to rectify.

Thoughts and suggestions are appreciated.
 

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Hello all. My family and I encountered a problem with our T6 yesterday....

We took a 90 mile (one way) road trip to visit some friends down near Fort Walton Beach, FL. When we departed our home, the car started right up, with no issues. Drove fine and well all the way down. We visited for about 7 or 8 hours, then when we got into the car to make the drive back,the car was dead. I was able to unlock the car, but when I got in, the cabin dome lights were very dim and the car wouldn't start. Didn't even try to turn-over the engine. No "clicking" sounds associated when I tried to start. There wasn't even a "whine" associated with a dead battery.

We jump-started the car with assistance from my friend who had his truck parked right next to our T6, fortunately, and the car ran fine all the way back to our home in south-east Alabama.

Once we arrived home, I parked the car near one of my other vehicles, outside, in case I need to jump-start it again. As soon as we parked, I shut off the engine. I then tried to restart the car, which was dead as a door-nail. Rear-view mirrors wouldn't fold, rear hatch wouldn't open, couldn't even lock the car. The cabin dome lights barely had enough power to illuminate the cabin.

This car received a new Interstate battery in 2015, from a local shop, then we had that one replaced (under warranty), with another Interstate battery in November 2018, while living in central-Tennessee.

I'm going to jump-start the car again this morning and take it to a local parts store to have the battery tested, but I'd like to know what anyone here thinks the problem likely is. I'm leaning towards a battery problem, but what would cause a relatively new battery to die so soon? The alternator would be the most likely culprit, right? Only problem with that, is that we haven't experienced any of the other tail-tale indicators of a failing alternator: no warning signal on the instrument console. no dimming/flickering of head-lights, no growling or other sounds emanating from the alternator, nor any electrical or burning smells....

The only thing that recently changed, within the last 2 or 3 days is that I tried to activate Sirius XM radio service on the car about two days ago. It wasn't successful, because my car doesn't appear to have the Sirius hardware required to receive, even though Series was able to recognize the VIN/EIN. None-the-less, prior to making that discovery, I did start a trial service with Sirius and sent a signal refresh code to the car. My car is normally garaged, so I moved the car out of the garage to try to activate the service, which was when I made the discovery that Sirius settings aren't even accessible. Likewise, the car was parked outside for 7 or 8 hours yesterday, while at our friends house. Is it possible that the infotainment/navigation system is running in the background, trying to do something with Sirius, while the car is off, which is draining the battery? This car had a similar issue many years ago, with some function of the navigation which kept draining the battery, and required a software update to rectify.

Thoughts and suggestions are appreciated.
My guess would be battery at first but since it was new in 2018 that seems unlikely to me. It's entirely possible that the Sirius XM signal is killing your battery as it tries to connect. This happened (and was a common issue) in my 2009 S40. I had to disconnect and jump the XM radio connection in the trunk (lieu of paying $150 for a software update since I wasn't planning to use sat radio anyway). I used this part (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FREU5F8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1) but I'm not sure if that's the same for the XC60 or not.

I believe it was RDAR battery drain that found most of the threads on here that helped me fix it. Haven't had the issue with my XC60. Check this thread for more info: https://forums.swedespeed.com/showthread.php?305553-Recurring-dead-battery-HELP!

I am also surprised that the Sirius options aren't showing up for you, I would think all 2010 Volvos had that automatically available for subscription. I wonder if it's trying to do some sort of update and failing. If that's the case, then disconnecting and jumping the connection would at least stop the battery drain but you'd probably need some software update or something to completely fix it (assuming it's Sirius that's draining your battery).
 

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FYI, it looks like the antenna/tuner is in the top of the car in the rear tailgate area. You'd need to use the jumper with part number 8 in the image below:

 

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I agree. If your car never had the RDAR software update installed, that might be what you need. The dealer will charge you for a diagnostic check now even if that’s the issue since the car is out of warranty. The software update itself should be free. It might seem odd if you don’t have the Sirius module. It was never really clear why this occurred, but I understood the problem was an open loop, not the module itself. I always suspected it was cars whose Sirius system was activated during the free trial period that suffered the drain. Never confirmed, but seemed to fit.
 

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Interstate batteries have given me nothing but issues in the past. These days costco batteries are my go to...



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Sorry I just saw the picture in the other thread you made. That must be where the sat antenna is that would jump. But again, that’s only if you would be ok losing satellite radio.

A software update might be your best solution here (assuming it’s not a bad battery).
 

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My Costco only sells Interstate....
They sell Kirkland..

Edit.. wow I'm clearly mistaken here. I guess disregard my suggestion to buy another interstate battery... Lol

Also, if you have a voltmeter check out the battery voltage when running.
 

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I will say that they don’t look like the typical green top Interstates but maybe that’s an old design.

I bought a Napa battery for my XC60 because I got a good AAA discount at Napa that month
 

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Call me crazy, but it seems to me that if the battery drain is due solely to Sirius, that the jump and 90 mile return trip to home would have recharged the battery, at least enough so as to immediately restart the vehicle.
 

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Call me crazy, but it seems to me that if the battery drain is due solely to Sirius, that the jump and 90 mile return trip to home would have recharged the battery, at least enough so as to immediately restart the vehicle.
Fair point actually. The drain shouldn't be that fast. I guess that indicates a battery then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Thank for all your input folks. Update: Yesterday I jumped the car and drove it to a local O'Reilly's where a young man with an Auto Meter scanned the battery while the car was running. He indicated that the battery is ok, but not receiving adequate charge from the alternator due to bad diodes on the alternator. I told him that I have no indications of a failing alternator and he said that the alternator is probably able to keep all onboard systems working normally when the car is running, but that the bad diodes are creating a drain on the battery when parked...
Went to another place for a second opinion, but they couldn't run the test, because the car needed to be off, but then, once the car was off, there was no voltage output, so that test couldn't be completed.
The car is now at Firestone, where they are going to run a full electrical system check to see if they can confirm or deny the alternator as the culprit (cost $25).

I also just spoke with the nearest Volvo service shop, in Montgomery, who said they can run a complete system scan for about $150. He said they aren't aware of any more software updates (mine had one a few years ago for the nav system), but said they can determine if Sirius is trying to connect and, thus, create a drain. Problem is, they are way backed-up on work orders, not to mention it's 90 minutes away in in a city experiencing a massive COVID outbreak...

Firestone is going to get me another, new, replacement battery since mine is still under warranty, for a $30 install fee, but I honestly don't know if I even WANT another Interstate battery, since I'm already on my second Interstate battery since 2015...either Interstate makes some REALLY crap batteries OR something on my car is killing them prematurely (bad diodes or parasitic drain from another system).

Questions:
1. Does anyone know of a high quality Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) battery that would be compatible with my car? I've looked at a few places online, but haven't found one yet.
2. Aside from Interstate, are there any other battery brands that XC60 owners had good experience with? I hear good things about Optima and the DieHard gold line, but have no experience with either.
3. "IF" I need to replace the alternator, I will either do it myself or take it to a local mechanic who said he can do the work for $170. Is any kind of software update or OBD reset required afterward?
 

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Thank for all your input folks. Update: Yesterday I jumped the car and drove it to a local O'Reilly's where a young man with an Auto Meter scanned the battery while the car was running. He indicated that the battery is ok, but not receiving adequate charge from the alternator due to bad diodes on the alternator. I told him that I have no indications of a failing alternator and he said that the alternator is probably able to keep all onboard systems working normally when the car is running, but that the bad diodes are creating a drain on the battery when parked...
Went to another place for a second opinion, but they couldn't run the test, because the car needed to be off, but then, once the car was off, there was no voltage output, so that test couldn't be completed.
The car is now at Firestone, where they are going to run a full electrical system check to see if they can confirm or deny the alternator as the culprit (cost $25).

I also just spoke with the nearest Volvo service shop, in Montgomery, who said they can run a complete system scan for about $150. He said they aren't aware of any more software updates (mine had one a few years ago for the nav system), but said they can determine if Sirius is trying to connect and, thus, create a drain. Problem is, they are way backed-up on work orders, not to mention it's 90 minutes away in in a city experiencing a massive COVID outbreak...

Firestone is going to get me another, new, replacement battery since mine is still under warranty, for a $30 install fee, but I honestly don't know if I even WANT another Interstate battery, since I'm already on my second Interstate battery since 2015...either Interstate makes some REALLY crap batteries OR something on my car is killing them prematurely (bad diodes or parasitic drain from another system).

Questions:
1. Does anyone know of a high quality Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) battery that would be compatible with my car? I've looked at a few places online, but haven't found one yet.
2. Aside from Interstate, are there any other battery brands that XC60 owners had good experience with? I hear good things about Optima and the DieHard gold line, but have no experience with either.
3. "IF" I need to replace the alternator, I will either do it myself or take it to a local mechanic who said he can do the work for $170. Is any kind of software update or OBD reset required afterward?
If I recall correctly, the alternator is coupled indirectly and I think it's actually clutched. So it only comes in when needed. An AGM battery is a wise choice in this type of vehicle where it probably isn't needed in conventional charging arrangements. There is a special tool that's needed to change the alternator.

When my XC60 was having issues it drove just fine but needed to be jumped or charged almost every other day. I replaced the battery and reset the reminder and hadn't had an issue since. Currently at 119k.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks MjollnirXC60. Our car has similar mileage as yours (114k). I just found a DieHard Platinum AGM Battery, Group Size H6, 760 CCA at a local parts store that I may try. I used to think that Interstate was a great brand, but now I have my doubts. I'm still waiting for test results from Firestone before I make a decision though.

Also, for any others still following this thread: I forgot to mention that I left my battery on a trickle-charger all night last night. Set it on 2 amp, standard charge for about 12 hours. When I removed the clamps this morning, the battery was still as dead as it was the day prior.
 

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Thanks MjollnirXC60. Our car has similar mileage as yours (114k). I just found a DieHard Platinum AGM Battery, Group Size H6, 760 CCA at a local parts store that I may try. I used to think that Interstate was a great brand, but now I have my doubts. I'm still waiting for test results from Firestone before I make a decision though.

Also, for any others still following this thread: I forgot to mention that I left my battery on a trickle-charger all night last night. Set it on 2 amp, standard charge for about 12 hours. When I removed the clamps this morning, the battery was still as dead as it was the day prior.
Then it's 100% a battery problem then. Maybe the alternator is having some issues, but if a charger didn't get it to read anything overnight then it's definitely a battery problem IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, according to the local Firestone, there is a problem with the alternator (and possibly the battery). Apparently, the alternator is creating an unusual "ripple" charge effect which may potentially damage the battery and cause it to not indicate proper charge. They can and will replace the battery under warranty for a nominal fee, but recommended replacing or rebuilding the alternator. This also dovetails with what another person at a different parts store told me yesterday, so I'm probably going to replace the alternator and then, maybe, the battery.

I hear bad things about Bosch alternators that are manufactured or re-manufactured in North America. Does anyone know where I can get a good, reliable alternator, without paying through the nose for Volvo prices? FCPEuro has Bosh and Volvo OEM (which could, themselves be Bosch...).

Likewise, does anyone else have any thoughts on an AGM battery that might be a good fit for my T6?
 

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Well, according to the local Firestone, there is a problem with the alternator (and possibly the battery). Apparently, the alternator is creating an unusual "ripple" charge effect which may potentially damage the battery and cause it to not indicate proper charge. They can and will replace the battery under warranty for a nominal fee, but recommended replacing or rebuilding the alternator. This also dovetails with what another person at a different parts store told me yesterday, so I'm probably going to replace the alternator and then, maybe, the battery.

I hear bad things about Bosch alternators that are manufactured or re-manufactured in North America. Does anyone know where I can get a good, reliable alternator, without paying through the nose for Volvo prices? FCPEuro has Bosh and Volvo OEM (which could, themselves be Bosch...).

Likewise, does anyone else have any thoughts on an AGM battery that might be a good fit for my T6?
I was going to comment on the Bosch vs Volvo OEM alternator. I had to replace my alternator a couple years ago and had trouble with the Bosch ones. The car uses Linbus to communicate with the alternator and the Bosch ones, even though they are the OEM supplier, the car doesn't like it. I went through 2 new Bosch units and neither worked. I ended up getting a low miles used one on eBay and it has worked great since.
 

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OEM is Bosch (I looked at both my 13 XC60 and 15V60 with T6). These alternators have a smart module built in which I assume capable of doing it's own diagnostics and communication over CAN or LIN to the PCM. My assumption is the module information needs to be updated within the BCM or whatever module communicates with the alternator.


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