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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. I currently am driving a 2012 T6 AWD with the halogen lamps. I've noticed that their output doesn't seem to be particularly steady, sort of wavering between bright, dimmer, flickering, kind of at a stop with my foot on the brake, or in park. Can't tell while I'm driving. Battery voltage is fine, alt charging voltage is fine (14.34V) and seems steady.

There's definitely some salt spray exposure into the engine bay, so I am wondering if there's just a bad or corroded ground somewhere. I pulled the headlamps and looked at their connectors, and they appear to be clean. Wondering if there is any recommendation on ground points to look at here, or thoughts on if this ... maybe is normal (it's not severe, just noticeable) or if there's another angle to attack this at.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
As an update with this, this is getting worse now that it is colder in the morning. Dome light exhibits the same , wavering between the battery voltage brightness and brighter. Presumably that's the regulator or the alternator, and not the battery. Going to test this further then, if need be, chronicle replacing it. The dealer I picked it up from (non Volvo) was already tossing around insanity numbers to play with a diagnosis, and they don't have VIDA or anything useful anyways.
 

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I have noticed this with my 2010 XC60 T6 and on my 2012 S60 T6. Have brought it up with service with them telling me everything is fine, which in the end it was (Sold the 2010 with 130K on it without any electrical issues)

I notice it a bit with my 2015 XC60 T6 but none were as bad as my 2010. Voltage was always good with no fluctuations, I think it is just a function of the alternator regulator and quality.

Hello all. I currently am driving a 2012 T6 AWD with the halogen lamps. I've noticed that their output doesn't seem to be particularly steady, sort of wavering between bright, dimmer, flickering, kind of at a stop with my foot on the brake, or in park. Can't tell while I'm driving. Battery voltage is fine, alt charging voltage is fine (14.34V) and seems steady.

There's definitely some salt spray exposure into the engine bay, so I am wondering if there's just a bad or corroded ground somewhere. I pulled the headlamps and looked at their connectors, and they appear to be clean. Wondering if there is any recommendation on ground points to look at here, or thoughts on if this ... maybe is normal (it's not severe, just noticeable) or if there's another angle to attack this at.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just to wrap this saga up, at this point it appears to have been the battery.

The way I ended up purchasing this vehicle used (a different story, but, buying it from the Volvo dealer rather than 3rd party off lease is worth some money, in my opinion), I had to go through a GM repair shop initially. Their testing observed that the voltage would dip and rise. Alternator output looked okay on a meter, same with the battery voltage, but, they use the same sort of tester that Autozone or NAPA would have at their store. They said all that was ship shape, and referred me off to the Volvo dealer for maintenance.

The dealer ended up concluding the battery had some sort of issue and needed to be replaced. Since I already paid for diagnostic, it was not worth my time to go put a battery in elsewhere, so I did end up sucking up the markup and fees. If I had to guess it was probably some high IR type issue, but I had no issue with crank/start, voltage looked in spec while charging save for the wavering, looked good cold and held well when shut off so I was beyond my usual parking-lot mechanic skills.

Since the battery has been replaced, everything has been fine. There's the occasional flicker when starting the car, or a barely noticeable difference in headlight output hitting the window motors, but all of that is to be expected. Lights are nice and bright.

Previous battery was OEM, original. Car was in service 6/2012 so it didn't last very long in my opinion. My takeaway is to find a good mechanic willing to work on the car (the GM dealer, understandably, didn't want to do anything other than probe it with a tester). I have not had time to establish a relationship with an independent shop, and other things forced me to take the path I did.
 

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I assume you are over 50k miles, because you should still have time left on the warranty.
 
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