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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
An '04. Just picked it up from a friend last week. Was in the driveway with the doors open (interior lights on) radio playing while I learned how to reprogram it to my tastes. After about 20-30 min, I see a "Low Battery" message on the dash info screen. Hmmm. I started the car and continued programming. Next morning, by coincidence, I get a Check Engine light. Hmmm. I'm figuring it was related to some weird behavior due to the battery, which was the original from '04 I think, so 11 years later, I'm not surprised! I brought it to my friend at the auto parts store and he puts his elec. system analyzer on the battery, while still hooked up. It's reading 0 CCA, yet still starts the car. So we disconnect it from the car, and then get 270 cca, but he can't continue the test deeper to check the alternator because the scanner is saying "interference", which in his experience, means something is still on or draining with the car off and all doors closed. We also tried the scan from up front on the aux (for jump starting) terms too and still got the "interference" message but strangely, an increase in CCA to 400, still kinda weak but better. We put the new battery in anyway and got the same results. 0 CCA in the back, and the "interference" message, so we still don't know the health of the alternator. BUT, any ideas on what would cause the interference or what would be a drain with the car off? Bear in mind, it never died or needed to be jumped while my buddy owned it, nor for the 5 days I've owned it. Starts a few turns into the cycle, no problem. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
After spending the night here searching and reading, I read some interesting stuff regarding wayward alarms. Neglected to mention in the first post that this message comes up at startup ("alarm service required" maybe?) Wondering if a leaking alarm module battery could be causing a small short via a corroded circuit board, and maybe that's the interference the analyzer is seeing? Just a theory! I have three keys and none seem to work, and my buddy said it was ages since they did. Another "hmmm...." lol
 

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Note sure what responses you might get from others but, in my opinion, for sure a new battery is in your future. If not now then soon. If it's original, 11 years is a long time. Can't tell where you're from but colder climate will just make it more glaring.
Parasitic drain from a leaking siren module causing test "interference", sure, that's very logical. Check and get back with exactly the message you're seeing on startup, that'll help folks to help you in getting closer to the issue.
Three keys and none seem to work, they turn in the lock but won't start the car? Or are you referring to the remotes (which would also be odd as new, an XC90 comes with 2 remote fobs and a valet key with no remote when delivered new). So hard to tell what's what by what you wrote.

More detail might be better and, if you want to isolate the siren module, check your manual to be sure but think it's fuse 8 on the fuse panel, left side of the dash. Pull it and no more siren current drawn (but close your sunroof if you have one before you do). I'm still gonna say a new battery at some point regardless, but reply on your siren module message, battery test results if you do it again, and the non-working keys once you get a chance for more ideas.

Hope this helps (for now)...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sorry for the delay, and poor delivery! I did install a new 750CCA battery. CEL is off now for two days, and no low battery message yet, so I guess that's good. Still need to know what else may cause parasitic drain, or what else could cause scanner interference. I mentioned the "Alarm Service Required" message too, and my theory that maybe the leaky little battery in the alarm module may cause drain if there is corrosion across some PCB traces or components. As far as the keys, two will manually unlock the car and/or start it. One of those two will also randomly lock and unlock the car if it gets near the vehicle for some reason, so that one stays far far away from the car. lol. The third, a brand new one, supposedly can't be programmed since my buddy threw away the packing thinking it was useless, but the dealer told him they needed the barcode info off of that. Oh well. Actually as of yesterday, I have a bigger problem regarding a just-redeveloped oil leak... :-( Gonna get interesting!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This car is a whole lot more complicated than my previous '96 850 wagon or '90 740 wagon... sheesh!
 

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"As far as the keys, two will manually unlock the car and/or start it. One of those two will also randomly lock and unlock the car if it gets near the vehicle for some reason, so that one stays far far away from the car. lol. The third, a brand new one, supposedly can't be programmed since my buddy...."

So let's start with the two keys (correct assumption on the third, dealer needs the barcode do to software load for the remote). They turn in the lock and start the car, that's good. So the keys are cut to your cylinder and the transponders are programmed to your vehicle. That's also a good thing.

This is a 2004 so the it's a separate key plus remote on a ring, correct? Or is it the switchblade type all in one? In either case, how fresh is the battery in each remote? CR2032 if I recall correctly. And have you split the case and had a look inside? Might want to go there first. If batteries are new and it's not full of crud, maybe I can't personally help but it's worth a try off the bat.

As far as your siren module, probably needs replaced at some point if you're getting any random alarms and/or the notification of alarm triggered. Probably is the cause of the parasitic drain you're experiencing. But it can likely wait while you sort out your oil leak. Location of the leak? Got any photos to share would be good (someone has instructions how to do it, please post). Maybe some folks can help with that problem if you're a little more descriptive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the response! And yes, three switchblade type keys. I'll get in there and check the CR2032's. Not getting any random alarms or alarm triggered messages. We'll probably just pull the fuse and retest one of these days. Now the oil problem. 9 months ago, at 119k miles, my buddy went out to the garage one morning to a noticeable puddle of oil on his floor. Took it to the dealer, who replaced the cam and crank seals, cleaned it out and replaced the timing belt while in there. Like I said, that was 9 months ago and there's only been an additional 6k miles added since that repair.....All was well until I started seeing a small spot on my driveway every day since early this week, maybe nickel-sized. So it's slow so far. Might be rolling around the plastic shield covering the motor's underside, but it IS dripping from right under what I would guess is the timing belt cover. (Passenger side) Only problem I'm having is crawling under cars and turning wrenches, having a just had an operated on torn rotator cuff, and the other rotator cuff scheduled for surgery soon...:-( I'm just guessing the worst at this point that the new repair is failing already, or at best, maybe the oil pain gasket or something else needs tightening.
 

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If the leak is not too bad, live with it (add oil) until you can get the cover off then see where it's coming from. That'll get you closer to what exactly it is. PCV service was done when? Oil change interval and what has been used (dino vs synth)? Not too many places for oil to be leaking from inside the cover (intake cam, exhaust cam, crank, pan). Could be excessive pressure from a plugged PCV, could be (like in my case) a manually installed front exhaust cam seal with a worn out VVT pulley (seal replaced the first time, seal and pulley the second). Could be a couple of things but I'm going for PCV overpressure followed by a possible worn VVT hub with too much in-out play as a walk-in guess...

Good luck and let us know what you find! And don't be too discouraged, if you can get ahead of these issues (and the inevitable front suspension rebuild), you'll probably have a very reasonable and reliable car to drive for another 100k. I hope....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks GG! Actually, my 'new' mechanic said the same thing. He advised against driving it much if at all, just to be safe. And he mentioned the same thing about the PCV overpressure. Have to wait 3-4 weeks to see him though...Previous owner (my friend, and chiropractic Dr.) knows very little about cars and has no idea what kind of oil was used or if any PCV service was done. Sweet guy but hard on cars. I doubt he did anything other than an occasional oil change. When I got it home, it was down 1-1/2 quarts, and there was very little PS fluid in it, along with 4 tires only inflated to 25 lbs.... sheesh. And it was beyond filthy. I spent three days reconning it, it's gorgeous now. And can't complain about the price: $3800. So after the initial disappointment, I too am hoping for the best! More news shortly!
 
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