I have a 2001 Volvo S40 that depending on the day won’t start. The engine doesn’t even sound like it attempts to turn over - it just makes a click. If you turn the key 4 to 5 times then the engine turns over fine. It does not do this all of the time, so it has been hard to get it to do it when a mechanic was watching. It does not seem to matter if the temperatur is warm or cold, or if the engine is warm or cold. Any help would be great! Thanks!
Common problem. Your starter motor assembly needs replacing.
When you turn the key to “start”, a solenoid and level assembly slides the starter motor gear into engagement with the flywheel ring gear and also engages two contacts that energize the circuit to the motor windings. These contacts get fried over time and become erratic. The click you hear is the bendix assembly moving everything, but the circuit has no power because of the fried contacts.
this is a classic symptom of a failing starter solenoid. The starter uses a lot of current, and so it needs a solenoid to operate the high current switch to power the starter. The high current terminals in this switch get damaged over time by arcing, and so they conduct less and less efficiently and intermittently. Sometimes too, the coil which advances the contacts weakens, or the contact shaft binds but usually if you replace the solenoid that solves the problem until the starter bushes wear out.
Thanks for the information. I have a haynes book for this car, but I haven’t been able to find where the starter solenoid is. Any ideas or a picture of it?
The solenoid is usually part of the starter motor assembly. By following the main battery cable it will lead you to the solenoid. The cable ties to it.
Don’t listen to anybody about it being some crazy expensive problem. For some reason on the S40 when you need a new battery it does this clicking noise. it’s not the ECM or the starter or anything else it just needs a new battery. this happened to me and even give me an anti-skid warning and an airbag warning but it was all because I needed a new battery. IMG_20180719_021759|375x500
Sam , this thread is 8 years old . They may not even have the vehicle anymore.
Ppl still look at threads for answers to similar questions that they would have nowadays
Replacing the starter motor AND the battery solves this problem most of the time. But not always. A shop knows how to do a proper voltage test to diagnose it so you only have to replace what’s needed.