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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I have a V50 2009. Runs and drives great 99% of the time.

But if the car sits for 3 days and if during the 3 days it rains / snows / abnormally cold weather the car wont start - and the key fobs wont open the doors.

Emergency key blade is almost useless, it had worked previously with alot of force but this week when the issue occurred the emergency key blade would NOT turn the lock so we had to have a roadside locksmith jimmy the car open so we could pop the hood and jump start the car.

Also noticed when trying to open trunk as plan B the licence plate light on the rear hatch was ON while the car was dead... so all lights dead, locks wont open - BUT license plate rear mini lights on the hatch - they were on???

Once in the car confirmed no start - no sounds, no dash lights, no headlights - dead... just like a dead battery.

Once jump started, with no issues, the was car driven for 5 minutes and all is well again - seems too short to charge the battery, but 5 min drive was enough to eliminate the non start issue.

This is happened on and off for a few years - battery and alternator tested = good (about 1 year old for both).

Seems to be predictable fi the car sits for 3 days and we have cold/wet/snow weather.

Any ideas appreciated... garage we took it to previously ran diagnostics and found nothing.

2 ISSUES: #1 Why does the car not start, and #2 Why do the doors not open / even with the emergency blade key.

THANKS - PAUL.
 

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You may want to start with replacing the battery. I'm going to assume it's original??? It's funny how sensitive our cars are to the battery. Even being off by a little can and will cause some electrical gremlins to appear.

You could also check the door harness connector on the drivers door. It too is known to cause problems. Pull it apart, make sure it's clean and put some dielectric grease on it. Not sure about the '09's, but the '06's are known to have issues with the harness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Will try the new battery - we did a winter in MI in very freezing conditions which may have killed it, now we are in SF bay area weather is very mild but even so there has been a few cold mornings and 2 days of rain recently.

Also with regards to the door not opening:

#1.Is it typical to be locked out of Volvos when the battery dies. Other cars I owned seemed to have enough residual power to pop the locks even with a dead battery - getting in the car to pop the hood to jump the car is damn near impossible (roadside service jimmy'd the door open).. does everyone get locked out once there Volvo battery dies?

#2.The emergency blade was useless - starting to wonder if its NOT the right blade, I swear it worked before but my wife thinks that was on my previous C30 not the current V50 - starting to wonder if the blade key on the V50 is random and NOT correct - came with the car (used), fits the lock, turns, hits massive resistance and feels like its about to snap but does NOT pop the lock. How much resistance is typical on the emergency blade? Are the blade keys typically a pain or should the lock open smoothly with minimal resistance with the emergency blade?

Thanks much - Paul.
 

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I got a blade key remotely cut from the car's VIN from mySwedishParts.com for around $30. It works smoothly and easily. I haven't had the door's innards out, so I don't know how hard a "remove and replace" would be to check the lubrication. I would be surprised, though, if a wrong key would turn at all, even if just one pin were out of place. That's what keys are supposed to do.

If you are at all DIY, you should get the free VMware VIDA image. It is a full Volvo repair guide to all Volvo models since 1999. Section 831 is the r&r for the door latch. Apparently the latch mechanism is on a carrier panel inside the door. Once it's out, I would expect that lubricating it would be pretty easy.

Having a low battery causes our cars to go crazy; so much so that that's the first thing I think of when someone describes crazy behavior.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I havent tried the clockwise turn on the key blade - my wife may have as she lived thru this hands on I was remote - I will check thats a great suggestion THANKS!!!

Also got new battery yesterday - 2nd one in last 1-2 years... lets see if it lasts a bit longer this time!!!
 

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thats weird. you shouldn't be going through batteries that quickly. Heat kills batteries more than cold. Maybe you have some other electrical problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OK so I think we have confirmed its some other electrical problem.... as suspected by the group the battery being killed is the symptom not the root cause...

New battery installed by local volvo garage 2 weeks ago after they ran diagnostics and said no drain detected but battery was bad (less than 2 years old on battery and alternator)... new battery then car drives fine for a week.... wife breaks foot 1 week ago... car is parked for 7 days, California fall weather so nothing extreme weather wise... I have bad feeling this morning and decide to drive it to work today to keep it active... and there it is... battery completely dead, locked out again.... car basically sat with new battery after driving for a week, sat for a week idle and we are back to square one dead battery doors locked.

I have a bad feeling this is going to be an exercise in chasing ghosts w/the volvo garage running diagnostics and changing random expensive items weekly :(

Any further thoughts def. appreciated from the group - Thanks in advance, Paul.
 

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I'd try to figure out what's draining the battery after a week of sitting. That's not normal. Something is staying on and draining the battery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That would seem logical - volvo garage ran a test 2 weeks ago though when they replaced the battery and they said there was no drain / draw on the battery with the car off keys out. They only kept it overnight though. I am starting to think the draw is intermittent. No draw 90% of the time, 90% of the time car starts just fine. But 10% of the time or 5% of the time something is not going "off" completely and drawing current while the car is off.

Tough part then is every time the garage does a draw test its going to show negative and look just fine - only thing I can think of is to let them have the car for a week and ask them to check the draw on the battery daily... but seems so random could end up chaisng this for months and get no where.

:(
 

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Definitely have an issue. I think you'd be better off testing for the draw yourself. This is really odd on a 2009. I was going to mention the vacuum assist pump but that issue was solved well before 2009.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quick update for closure as we seem to have found the issue - knock on wood.

Independent mechanic suggested issue may be with SIRIUS radio - we don't have SIRIUS and never had - but the car was bought used so maybe OG owner did? Mechanic suggested SIRIUS was kicking on and draining battery when we were not in the car? Apparently known issue that cost $250 for the software upgrade to fix - we opted to simply disconnect the radio.

That was 4 weeks ago and have had ZERO re occurance since and the car has sat for several days at a time over Christmas which normally would have meant guaranteed non start.

So conclusion = SIRIUS was the root cause. Disconnect radio = solution.

Thanks to all for the advice past few months.
 
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