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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Spent the day at the beach with my 2 year old. Got back to the car, pressed the start button and BOOM. Smoke coming from under the hood and car dead. Took three hours to get a tow truck onsite. Had to unhook the car seat and get a Lyft home ($65 later :(). I've never had that happen before. Tow truck driver said it was probably too hot, but it only hit 80 in Santa Cruz.

This is the original battery and the car only has 23K miles.
 

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It would seem based on your description that that battery was defective, maybe an internal cell short or two? I suppose that you have some cleaning to do to remove/wash out the acidic fluids from the battery.
 

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Yup, sounds like a defective battery, with an internal short. You should have quickly poured water in the area, That acid can/will cause problems.
 

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Wow, so in Phoenix Arizona where's it's 110° right now, 120° at Sky Harbor in about 30 days, Volvo's would be exploding all over town if it were due to heat.

It's the dealership who should be cleaning up that mess, not the customer. Or maybe have a Volvo exec fly out from Sweden and clean it up. This way Volvo engineers may be less likely to miss something that would cause this to happen again. When someone else has to clean up the mess, the person who caused it is less likely to learn from their mistake.

It's like the low life's who flick their cigarette butts on the ground. If someone cleans up after them, the litterbug never learns to respect the environment because they know that there will be someone there to pick up after them. Unfortunately humans need to be taught responsibility.

Maybe responsibility can be programmed into the foolish Swedes who are willingly chipping themselves.
 

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Um, this has nothing to do with Volvo, or Sweden. This is nothing more than a defective battery. It can happen to anyone. The reason it should be cleaned quickly, is B/C the acid will start eating the paint and anything it came contact with, as it dries.
 

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This happened to me with my 850. A four year old battery blew up when I tried to start the car. I'm just glad I was at home and that the hood was closed when it happened. I rolled the car out of the garage, flooded the area with water, removed the battery, and used a box of baking soda to neutralize the acid.

Those warnings are on batteries for a reason. I'm also glad that newer Volvos have an enclosure for the battery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Also, this should be covered under warranty.
According to the Volvo warranty, it's the same warranty period as the car - 4yr/50K. That expired in April. I'm wondering if the dealer would have caught any signs that the battery was bad when I had it serviced in April. I haven't pulled my service summary to check if they did a battery inspection. Will find out Tuesday, which is the earliest I'm able to get it towed there (my schedule, not theirs).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, this has turned into a real s**t show. Called Volvo roadside on Monday to pre-arrange a Tuesday 10am pick up. They said no problem. Tow truck shows up at 11:30 and it's not the flat bed that I specified several times. Left at the dealer and no update by 5pm. Leave a vm for the service adviser, don't hear back. Call again at 6pm and the service adviser has left for the day. Got a call this morning that the car is ready and Volvo won't extend any goodwill for the battery. Pay the $496 they charged me for a battery(!!!) get to my car and there is a Volvo On Call Service Required message. The service adviser tells me I can leave it and they will diagnose the problem, for another $199, WTF??? I had to get back home because my spouse was taking a break from work to watch our daughter while I picked up the car. When I'm calmer, I'm going to call them back and straighten it out. I already paid a $199 diagnostic charge, not sure why they would charge me again when it's obviously connected to the battery issue. Unbelievable. I am NOT impressed with AutoNation Volvo San Jose!
 

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Holey smoke!!!
In addition to them being late and lack of communication, $496 for a battery?? what kind of battery did they put in?
This is highway robbery and you should not let them get away with it.
My battery was complaining once when I was still under warranty. I called the dealer I bought it from and he said it's not covered under warranty. I called another dealer and they replaced it for free.
This dealer is fleecing you!!
 

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I had this happen to me also. a little over 1yr & half ago my GF & I were leaving dinner one night. we got in & I hit start & BOOM!!

I already had 2 replaced under warranty. I called them the next morning & told them about it. they offered to warranty it. I asked if they would reimburse me if I bought another battery. they did. no other problems since.

that stealership is taking you for a ride!
 

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Holey smoke!!!
In addition to them being late and lack of communication, $496 for a battery?? what kind of battery did they put in?
This is highway robbery and you should not let them get away with it.
My battery was complaining once when I was still under warranty. I called the dealer I bought it from and he said it's not covered under warranty. I called another dealer and they replaced it for free.
This dealer is fleecing you!!
Good info. Maybe I should go out of my way to find a second dealer. My battery has failed at the exact same mileage as the OP (23K) and my dealer says TS even though I'm still under factory warranty. What did you say to the second dealer? Who did you speak with? TIA

ETA: And yeah, the $496 for the battery doesn't surprise me. My car was delivered with only one key and they want $440 for a spare. I'm actually waiting for a tow right now which is why I have so much time to post here today. But the lead time they quoted is 90 minutes and since they might not even show up with a flatbed (see OP) I think I'll cancel and try again tomorrow which is a 'normal business day'.
 

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Wow, these dealers are unbelievable. The money they try to extort for a simple repair is completely unacceptable. A new battery should cost around $100 and takes maybe 10 minutes to replace. The repair should have cost *maybe* $200 which is relatively fair to both the customer and service dept. $500 plus another $199 diagnostic fee for what is likely just a code that needs to be cleared due to the battery being disconnected? That tells you everything you need to know about their motivation, which is to line their pockets, customer satisfaction be damned. Be sure to check your email and absolutely crucify them when you get your customer satisfaction survey. Feel free to mention specific people by name in the comments fields. There needs to be more accountability because these people are absolutely driving people away from not only the dealership, but from Volvo itself, as people will make their next expensive purchase with a brand that wants you to be happy and not have to grab ankles every time something goes wrong.

I’m still bitter about getting charged more than $600 when my dealership replaced a parking sensor a year ago...that was the final straw, after being denied a loaner car on a previous visit and having them disregard a number of things I brought to their attention while also overcharging me for other things it did not need. Now, a year later, I have another sensor issue. I can tell you I will NOT be going to them for the fix.

Sorry to digress, lol.
 

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Yeah, rail them by name in a survey. Because the service advisor sets the prices. Great job.

A battery isn't $100, sorry.
And yes, we need to plug in to reset the BMS so yes, we charge for that. I don't know what you do for a living, but I doubt you do it for free.
 

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Wow, these dealers are unbelievable. The money they try to extort for a simple repair is completely unacceptable. A new battery should cost around $100 and takes maybe 10 minutes to replace. The repair should have cost *maybe* $200 which is relatively fair to both the customer and service dept. $500 plus another $199 diagnostic fee for what is likely just a code that needs to be cleared due to the battery being disconnected? That tells you everything you need to know about their motivation, which is to line their pockets, customer satisfaction be damned. Be sure to check your email and absolutely crucify them when you get your customer satisfaction survey. Feel free to mention specific people by name in the comments fields. There needs to be more accountability because these people are absolutely driving people away from not only the dealership, but from Volvo itself, as people will make their next expensive purchase with a brand that wants you to be happy and not have to grab ankles every time something goes wrong.

I’m still bitter about getting charged more than $600 when my dealership replaced a parking sensor a year ago...that was the final straw, after being denied a loaner car on a previous visit and having them disregard a number of things I brought to their attention while also overcharging me for other things it did not need. Now, a year later, I have another sensor issue. I can tell you I will NOT be going to them for the fix.

Sorry to digress, lol.
Where are you finding these $100 batteries? The Interstate MTX/MTZ batteries that I always use in my cars run between $200 and $300 depending on the group size and whether it's an MTX or MTZ line battery. Granted these are both AGM batteries with either 3 year (MTX) or 4 year (MTZ) free replacement, but still. And yes, that's free replacement, not a pro-rated warranty period. That said, I've never had to use those warranties since I've never had an automotive battery last fewer than 6 years. I've had a couple of old fashioned flooded motorcycle batteries die after 2-3 years, but ever since I found AGM alternatives and got my tender set up even my motorcycle batteries are lasting 6+ years now.

If we assume a top of the line Interstate battery ($300) and the extra labor of removing and reinstalling the OP's R-Design strut brace causing the book time to likely be 0.5 hours, I could easily see a new battery running $360 (more if the local labor rates for OP are higher than the ~120/hour that they run in my area). Even a basic Interstate would run around $250 with labor I'd expect.

$496 is still incredibly high, I'll agree there, but I wouldn't put a $100 battery in any car or truck I own - just wouldn't trust it.
 

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And yes, we need to plug in to reset the BMS so yes, we charge for that. I don't know what you do for a living, but I doubt you do it for free.
OP's warranty expired in April 2019. I think some good will should have been extended here. Battery shouldn't explode in 4 years or 2 months after warranty terminates. But yes, you are right on the labor part + batteries are expensive.

I'm not impressed with the dealerships response though.
 

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According to the Volvo warranty, it's the same warranty period as the car - 4yr/50K. That expired in April. I'm wondering if the dealer would have caught any signs that the battery was bad when I had it serviced in April. I haven't pulled my service summary to check if they did a battery inspection. Will find out Tuesday, which is the earliest I'm able to get it towed there (my schedule, not theirs).
I'm going to try and help you here....

First step is to go into the dealership and speak to the Service Manager or General Manager Monday - Friday during normal business hours. Ideally, I'd shoot for general manager. Bring a copy of your receipt with the record of being towed and description of problem (battery exploded). Politely explain the situation, reiterating that your warranty ONLY expired in April 2019 and would Dealership be willing to do any good will OR reach out to Volvo Corporate on your behalf?

If the attitude seems cold, we can write the executives and see if Volvo Corporate might extend a gesture of good will, seeing you've only been out of warranty 2 months. And battery exploding is quite the catastrophic failure on one that's 4 years old.
 

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Let me add a bit of perspective. I own two cars, a 2017 V60 and a 2009 Pontiac G8 GT. When it comes to the cost of parts and repairs, which do you think is more expensive? If you said Volvo, you'd be wrong.

Example: I wanted to replace the two mufflers on my Pontiac. Friendly dealer price: $1200. Each. Installation not included.
 
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