SwedeSpeed - Volvo Performance Forum banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm fairly new to car ownership and also new to posting on this site, so please let me know if I make any mistakes.
To start, I own a 2008 volvo s40 AWD T5. It has ~84000 miles on it. I bought it 2 years ago with 64k miles.

The problem: In the 2 years I've owned the car, I have had the alternator replaced twice, most recently 4 months ago. Yesterday, during my drive home the car displayed the "Power System Service Urgent" red triangle of doom. I continued driving as I was on the highway but close to home. It went off after 2 minutes, but as I exited the highway it came back on followed by ABS lights, battery light, etc. and then flashed to "power steering service". Then power steering went out. Managed to hobble the car into my driveway where it is sitting now. I can turn the car on and it will run fine, with power steering and AC for a few seconds before exhibiting the same symptoms. All signs point to a bad alternator or belt, and this EXACT scenario happened to me 4 months ago which led to getting the alternator replaced for the second time.

Background: This car has had a lot of service done in the 2 yrs I've owned it. I'll mention relevant services here: In Jan '18, I experienced a loud whistling in the engine and it running "rough". Brought it to my dad's mechanic who replaced the alternator (not sure if it even needed replacing because same symptoms persisted). Research told me it was the PCV. Volvo dealer confirmed it was and replaced it. May '18 I experienced the "Power System Service Urgent" light for the first time, but it would shut off if I turned the car off so I just did that and ignored the problem (bad, I know. But I had to replace two wheel bearings and 2 struts by then so couldn't afford more service. Plus it happened rarely). April '19 I experienced the power system light, then ABS and power steering failure thing. A mechanic I trust (different than original) told me the alternator was wrecked and it was a cheap alternator that never would have lasted. He said he prefers to rebuild alternators when possible, but in this case I'm better off getting a new one. He got the old mechanic to refund me money that would go towards the new alternator, and said this alternator will last me a while. 4 months later, the same problem occurs.

So my question is, is it really the alternator? My mechanic said it sounds like a belt issue, but I would think that my AC wouldn't work (albeit briefly) if it was the serpentine belt. Can something be overloading the alternator and causing these repeated failures? I'm towing it in for service tomorrow morning and am looking for advice on anything I can diagnose tonight or maybe ask my mechanic to check out.

Thanks for the help!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
939 Posts
There are two serpentine belts - one from the crank to the AC compressor, and then another from the AC compressor to the alternator. As per your mechanic, it could be the latter.

Additionally, it could be a bad battery causing the alternator to work overtime.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,480 Posts
If it is belt related, you may need a new tensioner. It sure sounds like an alternator again though. There are at least 3 different alternators for these cars based on VIN and brand of alternator. I wonder if the right one was installed or quality issue.

Also, check all the ground lugs to see that they are clean and tight.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top