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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My wife has a 2011 XC60 which has keyless entry. I tried to start the to start the car this morning when I came out of church, and pressed the start button - nothing. No dash lights, no interior lights, no sign of any electrical activity whatsoever. You could not insert either of our keys into the dash, they would pop back out.

Someone offered to jump the XC60 off, and we connected the cables. The wipers came on immediately, though they were not used on the way there. I got in, and the car started strong immediately. Generally whenever I have jumped off a vehicle with a battery that has been run down completely (as this appeared to be since there was NO apparent electrical activity) you have to let the dead battery charge a bit before it has enough to start the car. But the car started strong immediately. I drove the car home and turned it off, after parking it where I could jump it off again off necessary, and it immediately started again. Started it again about an hour later with no problem.

What I know this is not:
The car was in park the whole time. I checked that first when it wouldn't start, and there were no dash lights at all, no sign of any electrical activity. I didn't touch the gear select lever after we connected the jumper cables to the other car. So it is not apparently an interlock issue.

It is not the battery in the key fob. They are good, and they operate the car now after the fact. The car would not accept either of our fobs into the dash during the time it would not start.

I have no possible explanation for this, unless perhaps there is an intermittently open connection between cells within the battery itself. Perhaps jumping the car off may have arced enough to reestablish the connection.

I thought about just replacing the battery, but am concerned it might be something else and my wife might be left stranded.

Any thoughts or experience welcome.
 

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I've had two similar experiences with our 2010 T6 --- sort of. I got the jump starts but was NOT able to re-start after disconnecting the jumper cables. Both times it was a dead battery, and both times the dead battery would not accept a charge. If you've never replaced the battery on a 2011, I'd say you've been lucky. I am a long-term and very loyal Volvo owner, but I don't think much of the Volvo batteries in the XC60. I suggest you get a new battery from the nearest dealer (easy to install yourself, and then return the old battery to the parts department). After installing each new battery, I had the dealer do a full check of the electrical/charging systems. Nothing found. I thought it was weird that both batteries just stopped working, with no warning. No slow cranking, no charging light on the dash, no dim lights like the old cars. Also weird: on the second battery failure, I left the supposedly "dead" battery in the car overnight, still connected to the car's electrical system. There might not have been enough juice to start the car, but there evidently was enough for a poltergeist-sponsored light show. Random flashing of headlights, turn signals, brake lights, and taillights. Good luck!
 

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could it be a low voltage cut off? But with batteries that old I am not surprised that you had to replace them. I tend to replace st 3 years regardless of the months the battery is rated for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update: Took XC60 to dealer. When I arrived at dealer, Low Battery message was showing. Dealer called later, said battery tested ok - twice. Checked several other things but no trouble found. they are keeping it overnight, will test more tomorrow. Since it is apparently the original battery, I decided to replace it regardless (in the event it is an intermittent open connection within the battery), and since the battery is near its end of life anyway. I'll post follow up in the event they find anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Dealer couldn't find problem, even though I had problem, and low battery warning showed when I arrived at dealer. The problem is apparently intermittent. My gut feeling is that it is an intermittently open connection within the battery, especially since when it wouldn't start it was as if there was no battery at all in the vehicle. It is the original battery, about 5 years old, and near the end of life anyway. So I had the dealer replace the battery so that if the problem re-occurs there will be no question that the issue is not the battery, and that the replacement is the proper battery.

Gotta love intermittent problems.
 
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