2013 Volvo XC70 battery trouble

6 months ago, AAA replaced the dead battery in my car with one of a slightly larger capacity. Since then the battery warning light comes on every time I turn on the ignition although the battery is 68% charged.
Two Volvo dealers tell me that the battery gauge does not “recognize” the battery of a slightly larger capacity. The recommendation is that the almost new battery be replaced with a “genuine Volvo replacement battery” – no doubt at a considerable cost… Alternatively, the battery gauge should be “disconnected.”. All this seems to me to be to be ridiculous. Any thoughts? Any suggestions? Many thanks.
Sundaram V Ramanan MD
West Hartford CT

If the car is reading that correctly, the battery is not getting fully charged. It should read over 90% even after a start. It should be charged overnight with a good charger and then re-evaluate.

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Mr Mustangman:

Thank you so much for your help. I did try a trickle charger, but even at 68%, the charger turned itself off and I could not get it to the 90% level. Should I get it charged in a regular garage or are there sort of battery specialists? Thanks again.


P.S.From where can I buy an instrument that measures the level of charge of the battery? Thanks again. R.

I am assuming the car is what is telling you your battery is at 68%. A trickle charger should have brought the battery up to 100% as that is the best way to charge a battery. If it didn’t, one of 2 things is wrong. 1) The battery AAA sold you is defective and won’t charge beyond 68% or 2) The car itself can’t properly read the state of charge of the battery.

The battery can be tested at any auto parts store or most auto repair shops without removing it. There really is no such thing as a “battery specialist” in the auto repair world. Heck, the auto parts store will usually replace it for you if you buy it there. Have it tested first. If it fails, replace it with the correct battery. I suspect it will fail.

Also, Volvo does not make batteries, they buy them from suppliers that make batteries. Those same suppliers sell them to the parts stores and repair shops but they aren’t labeled “Volvo.”

Mr Mustangman:

You have been so helpful. I’ll do all that so say and I’ll do all that you suggest and let you know what happens. Thanks again.


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I have not heard of any gauge installed in a vehicle that tells you what the charge state is of the battery by giving a percentage of charge of the battery. But I don’t own a Volvo either. I suppose having an extra high capacity battery in place of the original one could make the gauge think there is a charge problem. Not knowing how the design of the gauge works I can’t say for sure if it correct or not. Normally, installing a higher capacity battery should be no problem with the battery warning system. The battery you have may have a weak cell and that is causing the issue. Testing the battery and the charging system properly should give you the answers you are looking for.

Dear Mr/Ms Cougar:

Many thanks for your suggestion. The battery I had installed a few months ago was provided by AAA and they then told me that it was a larger capacity unit that the original fixture. So I guess it is possible that the built in warning system misinterpreted the charge of the battery as being too low. I’ll try charging it to a higher level and see whether the warning light disappears. Thank you so much again.


Dr Ramanan

You can get a battery and charging system monitor like this for under $20.

Do you know if a new battery has to be registered with the vehicle computer when it’s replaced in your vehicle?


If not, contact the dealer to find out.

Because if this isn’t done if required, it can mess up the charging system, and damage the battery.


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Dear Mr Corollaguy1

Thank you so much for your guidance. I have learned that I cannot depend on the best advice from the dealer who sold me the car and must depend on thoughtful and friendly helpers like you. Thanks again.

Sundaram V Ramanan MD

Battery is agm. Correct?

I think that you will be disappointed with that cheap volt meter, it won’t solve the vehicles problem.

Dear Mr/Ms Nevada_545

Thank you for your advice. have already ordered the Equus Innova unit and it should arrive any time. If it doesn’t serve my purpose, I can mercifully return it (without cost) to my local Walmart. Any suggestions for something better? Thank you.


Not sure what agm means. – forgive my ignorance.


AGM: Absorbed Glass Mat.
May or may not be suitable for your Volvo.
Your comment about not trusting dealer—Volvo Dealer?

Ramanan , I think there is a communication problem here . I don’t believe the dealer is saying the battery has to be made by Volvo ( they don’t make batteries ) but the right size and rating and may need to be programed to the vehicle . Also you may have other problems . If you don’t trust the dealer do a search for a Volvo shop . I would suggest another Volvo dealer but that might not be anywhere near you .

OEM battery is AGM. did you install AN AGM battery? your volvo may not like a non-agm battery. as in the charging system may not like it

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Thank you so much Mr Cavell. Yo7u have been very helpful. I shall look into the type of replacement battery.

Thanks again.

Sundaram Ramanan

Dear Sir

Thank you so much for your advice. I shall pursue it assiduously as I continue on my Volvo adventures.

Thanks again.


Thank you so much. I do not know what “Absorbed Glass Mat” means, but I shall do all I can to enhance my education in battery-lore. Thanks again.