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Discussion Starter #1
Well crap. When my wife and I began the search for her next vehicle I said "Stay away from the Europeans. I need a brake from all the repairs and issues!" (we have owned several BMWs and while great to drive, they are a pain in the butt to deal with - esp since all of ours are out of warranty.

Anyway, after test driving everything we gravitated back to the Europeans and got the XC60. Today, two weeks later, we have our first check engine light. Simultaneously, I notice the outside temp display is dorked up (i.e. bad temps like -40F or just three dashes) and bizarre behavior from the climate control system.

I check the code and it is a P0070 code (ambient air temperature circuit) which makes sense relative to the symptoms. A little research shows the sensor is located in one of the outside rearview mirrors (looks like the driver's side on this car - $15 part, but you have to remove door panel/mirror/etc). However, if it is like the other Volvo models it could actually be a connector issue at the door connector, or corroded wiring/connectors inside the door OR worst case chafed wiring in the a-pillar. Consistent with other reports of "corrosion" this occurred today after a heavy rain.
Nice.

The worst part is I am sitting here loathing taking it in simply because my experience with repair shops (the handful of times I have used them in the past 20 years) has been 100% poor. Normally, I'd be tackling this w/o even thinking about it, but I'm compelled to take it in since it is under warranty. Will report back with the results...
 

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The worst part is I am sitting here loathing taking it in simply because my experience with repair shops (the handful of times I have used them in the past 20 years) has been 100% poor. Normally, I'd be tackling this w/o even thinking about it, but I'm compelled to take it in since it is under warranty. Will report back with the results...
Don't blame you for being annoyed only two weeks in...I feel ya. However, it's a no brainer...take it in to your dealer's service, get your loaner (hopefully your dealer offers that benefit to its sales customers), have the repair done. This will be your opp'y to test your dealer's service responsiveness and competence for future reference.
 

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just drop, wait and pick it up at the dealer......enjoy your life and your xc60, relax.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wife is dropping it off tomorrow morning - they indicated she will get a loaner. Of course, I couldn't resist writing up a nice one pager on my suspected diagnosis, etc. Will be asking them to look into the sunroof rattle too while they are at it. As an aside, she is going to test drive a regular (non-RD) T6 tomorrow while she is there to compare the ride, etc.
 

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Wife is dropping it off tomorrow morning - they indicated she will get a loaner. Of course, I couldn't resist writing up a nice one pager on my suspected diagnosis, etc. Will be asking them to look into the sunroof rattle too while they are at it. As an aside, she is going to test drive a regular (non-RD) T6 tomorrow while she is there to compare the ride, etc.
Cab,
That does somewhat suck two weeks in to your new ride. Let us know what they find. I have been following your posts and didn't realize you developed a sunroof rattle already. Will your wife be testing out the non-r with the 4c setup?

It would be great if the dealership gave here the non-R as her loaner car for the day.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My wife dropped the car off this morning. I asked her how it went and she indicated the service writer REFUSED TO ACCEPT the e-mail I had sent with her describing my assessment of the issue, saying "the techs won't use it". Needless to say, count that as strike 1 in my book. I understand customers are often idiots and don't know what they are talking about, but anyone reading my write-up below could probably glean, that MAYBE, just MAYBE I have something to add to this.

As an aside, our "two week old" car was actually a manager demo so it had 1700 miles on it when we bought it (has about 2200 now)...still, not a lot and typical of what we might have put on it in 8 weeks or so. We are having them check the ambinet temp sensor issue, a mild sunroof rattle (seems to come and go so I suspect I'll get the "couldn't hear it" comment), a slight power steering whine, the string popping sound issue when you first hit accelerator (they already told her that was "nomrla"), and an issue with the headliner trim.

She did not test drive another XC60 as it was raining, BUT we did get another XC60 as a loaner (200 miles on it). It is a FWD base model 3.2 with the cloth interior (and probably has 17" rims). I'm actually OK with this as it should be the opposite extreme from our RD in terms of ride and handling and will tell me a lot with regard to how much delta there is with a softer suspension and big fat sidewalls.

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Write-Up

Symptoms of Issue
1. Check Engine light came on yesterday (03/20).

2. Simultaneously with #1 above, ambient/outside temperature reading on dash began behaving erratically showing temperatures like -40 degrees (that's 40 degrees below zero), or simply showing nothing (i.e. "-- -- --").

3. Climate controls began behaving erratically (i.e. warm air coming from vents, defrost kicking on, etc.)

OBD II Code
Utilized Autotap software and checked OBD II code.
Confirmed Diagnostic Trouble Codes:
Code: Description:
P0073 Ambient Air Temperature Sensor Circuit High

My Interpretation of the Code
This code is entirely consistent with the symptoms above. The climate control system looks at a lot of inputs on today's cars including the ambient temperature. As an example, this car can automatically engage the defrost function if the temperature drops below 48 degrees. In this case, it was doing exactly that since is was getting a "bad" reading from the ambient temperature sensor. It also won't spit out cold air unless you turn the temp setting to the lowest possible setting since it thinks it is freezing outside.

It is IMPORTANT to note that this happened after yesterday's heavy rain (see comments below regarding corrosion), but this may or may not be related.

Possible Diagnosis
Based on my research (and experience with this type of stuff) it appears the ambient temperature sensor is located in one (or both) of the outside rearview mirrors. I think, for the XC60, it is located in the Driver's side mirror but I could be wrong. My guess is:

1. The sensor itself has gone out or...
2. The connection to the sensor is messed up (corrosion on connectors) or...
3. The door module or switch is messed up (failed or corrosion on connectors)

To get to the sensor and/or wiring harness it looks like the door panel has to be removed as does the mirror itself. No big deal, but I always look forward to breaking a few clips when removing a door panel.

Is it the sensor or the wiring or door module?
There is little info available about the XC60 specifically since it is so new, BUT this appears to be a pretty common problem on some other Volvo models. With regard to those models, the following is true:

1. The ambient air temp sensor seems to be fairly reliable, but does sometimes fail

2. The REAL causes of the issues look to be related to corrosion or chafed wires. More specifically:
a. There is a connector where the wiring harness goes into the door. The contacts on this get corroded and need to be cleaned and then greased <== Most common issue/solution

b. There are connections inside the door to the DDM module which also get corroded, sometimes this requires replacement of the DDM module, other times it can be cleaned, etc.

c. The wiring harness in the a-pillar is chafed and needs to be replaced (4-5 hour job). This usually results in other symptoms with door locks, window switches, etc. I don't recall seeing any of those symptoms, so we'll hope that isn't it.

Finally, there are various TSBs from Volvo on this issue for their other cars. Volvo started out just recommending "greasing" the connectors, but all that does is attempt to waterproof the connection. They really need to be cleaned and then greased (if corrosion is the cause). Minimally, the connections should be checked, cleaned, etc. which is easy enough.
 

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a tech would look at that for a second and throw it in the garbage. they have plenty of tools at their disposal to figure it out.
do you go to webMD and prediagnose yourself before going to the doctor?
 

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a tech would look at that for a second and throw it in the garbage. they have plenty of tools at their disposal to figure it out.
do you go to webMD and prediagnose yourself before going to the doctor?
Well, even though I might do as much work as cab, I'm never so comprehensive with my writeup (bad typist anyway). My independent mechanic loves to get as much info from me as he can. The Audi dealer service rep does too (I'm not a Volvo owner 'til next month).

In the past though I've been to larger volume dealers that don't want to listen to anything at all. If out of warranty I end up with a big bill and unfixed problems. One vehicle of mine had two known factory problems that the mechanics all said had no solution - until I presented them with copies of the factory TSB's.

So my point is: if this is well received by your mechanic, then go for it. If not, then yes, you are wasting your time, especially if it's on the factory dime.

Oh and yes, I also research medical items before I see my (MAYO CLINIC) physician. He encourages it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
a tech would look at that for a second and throw it in the garbage. they have plenty of tools at their disposal to figure it out.
do you go to webMD and prediagnose yourself before going to the doctor?
Which is just one of the reasons most of them are less competent at their job than I am at THEIR job! I was actually at a party for my brother the other day and he introduces me to a friend of his saying we have a mutual interest in cars. I start talking to the guy and it turns out he owns his own independant garage and has several mechanics working for him (I am in IT and have several folks working for me). He says that he bought all of his guys laptops for their stations over a year ago so they could actually research stuff before diving in since he was keenly aware of the need to research issues these days. He was frustrated because none of his guys ever use them! His biggest complaint was that they all think they are great "mechanics" when in fact most are just parts swappers (with "I don't need no manual, I got 25 years of experience" attitudes). We ended up spending our entire time talking about the challenges of dealing with underqualified employees and the difficuluties in getting them to own problems, research stuff appropriately, etc. At any point in the conversation we could have each been talking about employees at the other guy'scompany and you wouldn't have known the difference. If this repair had been on my dime, I would have walked out w/o even thinking about it.

Like JLoft my experience (and why I've done so much myself) is you just end up with big bills and unfixed problems. The latter is my biggest complaint in any of the tech service industries. I can deal with the complete ream job on the price...it's the misdiagnosis and failed repair attempts I can't stand.

Let's hope the repair goes well and there are no issues.

On a more positive note, I got some seat time in the base 3.2 FWD model tonight and will post my impressions later in my "Ride Quality" thread
 

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Hi Cab,

Read your review on ur test drives on d Q5, X3 and XC60 posted a month ago. Those reviews including those that were posted by others help me to decide on d xc60 as well. :)

I did numerous test drives on q5 n x3 and my final choice was still xc60 which I inked on d dotted line a week ago.

It's unfortunate that u r facing this issue and I know how frustrating it's going to be to deal with it. Hope ur dealer is able to rectify it well.
 

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a tech would look at that for a second and throw it in the garbage. they have plenty of tools at their disposal to figure it out.
do you go to webMD and prediagnose yourself before going to the doctor?
A good description of symptoms always helps...I am in IT, and I wish that our clients would tell us more than "It does not work"...even though when it comes to computers, we have tools to check on every line of code...

Good write-up points to the right direction and saves a ton of time...

There are more techs that know less about the cars than I do, than those that know more...

Doctors? I truly wish that you can blindly trust to any...

Just a couple days ago, my daughter who has some mild thyroids problem and under the observation for many years went to her doctor, who gave her a clean bill of health...I looked at her blood work test and noticed that the ONLY abnormal factor we control for years is missing from the report...

See what I mean? And this is potentially life-threatening issue, if not controlled properly...she was "properly" diagnosed at rather prestigious medical facility, using "plenty of tools at their disposal" which yet failed to notice the ONLY problem that exists...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
An (well) educated consumer should be a retailer's best friend, but many don't view it that way. With regard to the issues above the ambient air sensor connection inside the door (harness) was the issue - basically, exactly as I indicated in my write-up. They fixed the sunroof rattle - indicated a clip was missing. Sure enough, I haven't heard it rattle since (very pleased with this). Power steering whine was not addressed (i.e. indicated they top off the fluid, but the whine is still there...it is slight though so I'll just pay attention to it as see if it gets worse). I noticed the rear wiper arm was hanging down onto the painted part of the door yesterday and the arm has a lot of play in it. My guess is that it is stripped internally. Since a new arm is only $36 I may just order one on my own dime since the alternative is driving it 22 miles (in the opposite direction from my morning commute) and trying to get back before they close after work, etc. There is a dealer closer to my office, but I'm trying to leverage our original dealer initially.
 
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