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Relax with the lawsuits guys. The problem with RDARs locking and needing to be unlocked and then have the software updated does not apply to any cars after 2012.
 

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Strange, I said it in the beginning of this thread but nobody seems to care. Sat-radio. I even send a “lawsuit link”...
Many owners had the RDAR update and continue to receive the low battery warning message. It is one issue for some cars but NOT the only issue for all cars, even if it fixed your problem.
 

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Does the start/stop still function. A computer monitors all voltage in and out of the battery. If the state of charge of the battery is below 80%, start/stop will not work and you will probably get a low battery message.
Not driving long enough per trip will not necessarily drain the battery it just does not have enough time to keep the battery charged above 80%. Volvo batteries do fail. The big battery and the 2nd battery.
Also with start/stop all Volvos have a 2nd smaller helper battery. It is located under the hood cowl, pass side, on S60, behind the front positive jumper location on XC90. The smaller battery should be 12V, tested across the post.
A failed small battery will have 6V or 0V. The failed small battery can also set the message and/or cause start/stop to stop working.
The only way to test the state of charge on both batteries is with VIDA. The Volvo hand held tester will give a state of charge reading as well as other hand held battery testers.
It really does not matter what the Volvo hand held state of charge reads. It is what the CEM reads on the car that determines start/stop and low the battery message.
You can try charging the battery over night or longer and see if the message goes out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
When does it come on? Only when sitting with the key on and engine off?
When I open the car door it shows in the display. Again when I switch the engine off.
Car has keyless ignition (don't know if that's standard, or even relevant).

My wife has a 2015.5 XC70 T6 - At 3 years and 35K miles, battery warning showed up while sitting in a parking lot listening to the radio. Car would not start. Waited about 1/2 hour and car started okay. Took it to the dealer a couple of days later and they said the battery was shot, replaced under warranty. I have a 2016 S60 Polestar with 55K miles. I periodically get the warning message, but the car sits for extended periods of time due to weather, (I don't take it out in the snow - wrong tires). I can put the car on a trickle charger for a day or two and then clear the message using the message review and clear function on the turn signal stalk. When car is driven, it is generally for several hours at a time. Dealer has checked the battery and it is good.

I do wonder about having the keys too close to the cars as they are constantly talking to each other and I wonder if that runs down the battery over time. Our keys are about 20 - 25 feet from the cars through two walls.
My keys are stored in the house about 40 ft from the car. So I'm thinking that's not the issue in my case anyway.

The first time I got the message (right after taking possession of the car a few months ago) I hooked up a trickle charger overnight and the battery charged and held the charge. And as I said before, the dealer checked out the battery and said it's good. Too bad, because I'd really like to have a new one under warranty. But then they're not that expensive, in the aftermarket anyway. But then it's hard to see how you remove it from underneath the cowl.

Does the start/stop still function. A computer monitors all voltage in and out of the battery. If the state of charge of the battery is below 80%, start/stop will not work and you will probably get a low battery message.
Not driving long enough per trip will not necessarily drain the battery it just does not have enough time to keep the battery charged above 80%. Volvo batteries do fail. The big battery and the 2nd battery.
Also with start/stop all Volvos have a 2nd smaller helper battery. It is located under the hood cowl, pass side, on S60, behind the front positive jumper location on XC90. The smaller battery should be 12V, tested across the post.
A failed small battery will have 6V or 0V. The failed small battery can also set the message and/or cause start/stop to stop working.
The only way to test the state of charge on both batteries is with VIDA. The Volvo hand held tester will give a state of charge reading as well as other hand held battery testers.
It really does not matter what the Volvo hand held state of charge reads. It is what the CEM reads on the car that determines start/stop and low the battery message.
You can try charging the battery over night or longer and see if the message goes out.
Well that's a lot of good information. My previous few cars did have an auxiliary battery (though it was in the trunk) so I was wondering about that. I'll check it out. My stop/start has been disabled as long as I've had the car. However I consider this a feature not a bug, which is why I never made a point of it with the dealer. But! Might that be a magic phrase? Because the car is still under factory warranty and that's a malfunction. Hmm.

The car hasn't been used daily, and often only for short trips. So that's likely part of the equation.

Thanks to everyone for their responses.
 

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2011 XC60 T6. Low battery warning started soon after I bought the vehicle in July 2017. Happened after the tailgate was left open all night (never would have figured that would drain the battery as even my 96 A6 shuts the lights off after a given duration, fixed that on the XC60 by adding a switch next to the tailgate light so I could keep it open at the beach). The XC would not start the next morning, replaced the battery as it seemed tired when tested after a good charge and I didn't know it's history. Since then I have tried several proceedures found in the forum and online to reset the BMS yet the warning will not go away. I can leave the lights on for a day and a half and the thing will crank right up but can't leave the radio on for 2 minutes due to this (foolish?) design. The battery always reads at least 12.6 and I have left a logging voltmeter on it overnight measuring voltage over a series resistor to look for parasitic loads and found none. The battery voltage is rock solid all night.
I then put a battery simulator on it and held it at 13 volts, performed all of the BMS reset proceedures each night and locked the car to hibernate it overnight each time and still, even at 13 volts, the Low Warning still ignites in the morning. Something is wrong with this circuit and it is driving me batty.
 

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2011 XC60 T6. Low battery warning started soon after I bought the vehicle in July 2017. Happened after the tailgate was left open all night (never would have figured that would drain the battery as even my 96 A6 shuts the lights off after a given duration, fixed that on the XC60 by adding a switch next to the tailgate light so I could keep it open at the beach). The XC would not start the next morning, replaced the battery as it seemed tired when tested after a good charge and I didn't know it's history. Since then I have tried several proceedures found in the forum and online to reset the BMS yet the warning will not go away. I can leave the lights on for a day and a half and the thing will crank right up but can't leave the radio on for 2 minutes due to this (foolish?) design. The battery always reads at least 12.6 and I have left a logging voltmeter on it overnight measuring voltage over a series resistor to look for parasitic loads and found none. The battery voltage is rock solid all night.
I then put a battery simulator on it and held it at 13 volts, performed all of the BMS reset proceedures each night and locked the car to hibernate it overnight each time and still, even at 13 volts, the Low Warning still ignites in the morning. Something is wrong with this circuit and it is driving me batty.
Did you try resetting the BMS with VIDA?
 

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Haven't made the investment on the VIDA yet. Wanted to sometime ago but the solutions didn't seem that simple (older revs of windows to run it, etc.) If I could find simple straight forward solution I would consider it again. I may take it in for 65K service and see what they think. I just don't want to go through the mess of having them throw parts at it (like another battery, a cable, etc.) when it seems clear to me that it's computer/software/design issue. It fundamentally is a design issue I feel as why do you need a reset proceedure just to have a simple circuit that measures voltage, current and capacity of a lead acid battery. Why can't it just detect that the voltage is now above the threshold and is fully charged like millions upon millions of other devices that can do it with lithium technology that is far more complex than a lead acid charging circuit. Rant apologies.
Another electrical system that bugs me is if I open the tailgate, put the garbage in the cargo area, start the XC, drive it to the end of the driveway, take the garbage out while the XC is still running, you then cannot close the tailgate with the overhead button nor the button on the dash. If forces you to turn off the engine to close it or close it manually which isn't very easy.
Don't get me wrong, love the vehicle for sure, just the electrical quirks are painful.
That said, any help with a simple VIDA solution would be very much appreciated.
 

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The BMS needs to be reset when the battery is replaced, so that is definitely where I would start. Not with made up speculative procedures people post here. The only way that works is with VIDA. I've had plenty of cars come in with new batteries installed elsewhere with a complaint of the low battery light coming on. First thing I do is check how long since the BMS was last reset and I haven't had one that was reset. I reset it, charge the battery if needed and send it on it's way. Haven't had one come back.
 

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Thanks for the information, that is undeniable data for the proper procedure yielding good results. I'll certainly give it a go and get back here.
 

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Remarkably the Low Warning is gone today. Whatever fiddling and diddling I performed has reset the condition in the BMS, can now run accessories with car off for extended periods. Still think it should just reset itself when the battery is disconnected (just like the programmed radio stations 🙂 ). Hopefully Volvo never adds a Washer Fluid Monitoring System with a reset requirement 🙂
 

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My 2005 S60 can be driven during daylight hours with the headlights off. The headlights are a big drain on the charging system. It's nice to have a reliable car with a fully charged battery that starts right up when needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
My 2005 S60 can be driven during daylight hours with the headlights off. The headlights are a big drain on the charging system. It's nice to have a reliable car with a fully charged battery that starts right up when needed.
What about air conditioning? Where I live it's very hot and humid most of the year. The A/C compressor runs off a belt of course, but does the system also drain the battery? By which I mean interfere with charging, as headlights etc do? Obviously the A/C only works when the car is running, but nothing at all works when the car is not running. I can't even adjust settings without running the engine.
 

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-Yes, it is true that there is some load on the charging system when the air conditioning system is operating. The compressor is driven directly off the engine, but the fan is using electricity. I suspect the load is about 10 amps. Headlights might require 30 amps, unless you have LED type headlights. Not sure about how much power they require. Since you are still having issues with this charging system/battery, in your situation, I would be visiting a local shop that specializes in auto and truck electrics. They might be able to install an alternator that delivers more power. No doubt this would void your warranty.
 

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-a one amp charger, applied over a 24 hour period, is appropriate to the main battery in your Volvo S60. That is 24 amp-hours of charge, enough to bring the battery back to nearly full charge, but not enough to overcharge significantly. This would be done once per week, or more often, if the "low battery warning" appears mid-week. There should be ventilation when charging is being done, so hydrogen gas does not accumulate. Also, the battery can be touched by hand during the charging process, and it may feel warm, but should never feel hot to the touch. At one amp charging rate, I doubt that the battery will get warm. This routine will need to be followed when the car is used locally, less than 200 miles per week. When you go on a trip, say 300 miles per day, or more, the vehicle charging system should maintain the battery at full charge, and no extra charging would be required.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Yeah, thanks. I've used the trickle charger and the battery seems to hold the charge. Also, as mentioned upthread, the dealer has also checked out the battery and they say it's okay. SA says the warning is 'normal' but unfortunately it means no functions can be used or adjusted without the engine running. And no I don't want any aftermarket solutions which could void the warranty.
 

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So I get the old low battery sign as well, when I had my summer wheels put on I had the guy at OK tire test my battery and it said it good but not great.
I am not too sure but do I have to have the software reset if I change my battery? I have a 2015.5 V60 CC with 35km's on it. I told volvo about it on my most recent
service, I am still under warranty, so do I just tell them I want a new one?

Or am I just better off buying a good aftermarket one and going from there?

Thanks,

Dave
 

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There is a technical side to this discussion, and a customer service side to this discussion, but to me, in a very basic sense, people expect their car to start up and run when they need to go somewhere, and for that to happen, the battery has to be fully charged. Some owners will drive the vehicle 100 miles or more per day, and others might only drive 100 miles per week. Somehow, the battery has to be charged up and ready to go when needed. Volvo has added in various electronic features that draw some current when the car is parked and the ignition is turned off. They will have to come up with a way to keep the battery charged up, or owners will lose confidence in the reliability of the vehicle.
 

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I don't have a S60, I have XC70. But if the engine compartment is the same, there is a possibility that you could invest in a "T7" battery, which is about 1.5" longer than the "H6" battery. The battery compartment (in front of the driver) accomodates the T7, which is 12.4" long. I was getting the same annoying "Low Battery" on my XC70 when I first bought it. I found out that the power-lift tailgate was the major juice-user while the engine is off. I upgraded to the Interstate MT-92 T7 battery, and I've never seen that message since. I recommend Interstate brand.

I would call Interstate and ask them to verify that their "T7" fits your car. Based on the 2016 S60 Owners Manual p343, it looks like it will fit.

The engine starter motor by far consumes the most current from the battery. It occurs that the "Stop-Start" feature added with the 2015.5 models puts much more demand on battery capacity than previous models. In standstill traffic, the number of engine starts can be exceedingly frequent, with inadequate recharging time in between....this feature should be turned off in traffic jams.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 · (Edited)
Thanks pbierre, I will file this information away for reference! Although, with the way the factory-supplied battery is wedged up underneath the cowl in the S60, I can't imagine that replacing it will be a simple task.

And Eric, agreed. Other cars manage to avoid this issue. Shouldn't be rocket science.
 
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