2011 Volvo c30 undiagnosed noise

I took my 2011 c30 in for its 30000 mile routine service to a local Volvo dealer service dept in Sept 2014 and ever since I am hearing an intermittent clank after starting the engine. I also hear the noise while driving (it eventually stops after a while) and for about 10 minutes after shutting the engine down. The time between clanks is about 20 - 30 seconds. It is a single clank sound (like metal hitting metal). The car operates fine and no warning messages.

I took it back to the Volvo dealer service dept and after 2 days they were perplexed, and asked me to bring it back the following week when their Master mechanic was in-house, which I did.

They had the car for 5 more days and never could diagnose the issue and were told by Volvo HQ to give the car back to me. The service dept told me they sent all the info, including documentation and audio of the noise to Volvo HQ and that I would hear back from them.

Here is the response I finally received on Feb 18 from the service manager: “I spoke with tech again on this matter. Tech reviewed the case and the notes from Volvo. The noise concern has been left open ended for now until the noise gets worse as per Volvo. Or if they have other cases of this same concern with other same type cars/engines. At that time Volvo would contact us if there is a repair that needs to be done and we would contact you. Otherwise there is no additional diagnostics and or inspections to be done unless its getting much worse. As per Volvo and tech.”

The car is under warranty for 1 more year, and my next service (37,500) won’t be until the fall as I don’t drive much. The noise is still the same, not better or worse. It still drives fine and there are no warning lights. However, I don’t like leaving this opened-ended. Any advice? Thanks.

I think you’re going to have to walk around the car after every trip and catch it clanking. See if you can locate the source (front, rear, right, left). If possible, record it and post here. Exhaust systems can expand and contract. A spring can bind up and release.

I suggest you bring it back to the dealer

Politely explain that you really like the vehicle, but you’re concerned that something is going on, because of the noise

Politely remind them that their master mechanic heard it himself, and that you hear it quite often, and it’s unnerving

Also explain you’re worried that the noise is leading to something expensive and catastrophic failing, right after the warranty ends, and you don’t want to be left holding the bag at that point, so to speak

Drop the keys on their desk and tell them you’re not taking the car back until they diagnose and repair the noise

If you are not firm, they will jerk you around until the vehicle’s out of warranty, at which time they’ll wash their hands of the noise and the vehicle. And you may have to pay a hefty repair bill, when whatever it is that’s making the noise fails completely

“Drop the keys on their desk and tell them you’re not taking the car back until they diagnose and repair the noise”

That might work, or it might not.
I can recall my uncle taking his brand-new 1960 Chrysler New Yorker convertible (a magnificent-looking, very powerful car) back to the dealership repeatedly because of some nagging issue that came up after driving for a few miles.

He discovered after his third attempt that they were just giving him “curb service”.
What does that mean?
It means that by placing a pebble on top of one of his tires, he proved that, five days later, his car had never been moved from the place where he had parked it–at the curb. However, all of the documentation read “Can’t duplicate complaint”.

He eventually went to a different dealership, and that shop was able to resolve the problem.

I think that it would be more difficult for a dealership to get away with this type of stuff nowadays, but–you never know…

It seems to me that if a dealer was notified of a problem while in warranty, they are on the hook even after the warranty expires.

When the car was in for the 30,000 service, the dealer probably poked around a lot to find additional services to offer. This would require some disassembly. There might be something loose associated with the wheels, exhaust, or engine cowling that they didn’t put back properly.

I’ll bet that a broken weld on a heat shield is causing your problem. If I sit there and listen to my 2010 Corolla, it makes metal pinging noises after I turn it off. The exhaust has done it since I got it. It does not make the noise until I turn it off and it sits.

Thanks all for the advice. I’ll try to pinpoint the area of the car where the noise is coming from and post it here. I have already decided to take the car to a different dealer for the next service. The last dealer inspected the heat shield and catalytic converter and they were not the culprit. It seems like something is expanding and contracting.