Volvo won't start once a month

I have a 1998 Volvo V90 that has a problem starting. The frustrating thing is the car starts and runs fine before it randomly decides not to start. This has happened five times now, usually occurring every 3-5 weeks. When the car decides not to start, I turn the key in the ignition only to hear one loud click (with no cranking) that I now call the click of death. The 1st time the car didnt’ start I took it to mechanic #1, who could not diagnose the problem. The 2nd time the card didn’t start, I took the car to mechanic #2, who credited the problem to an old battery. We put in a new battery, but the problem has returned 3 more times since the new battery. I have been jump starting the car each time I get the ‘click of death’, which works fine and gets the car running again. I am just tired of dealing with the random times (and locations) when my car decides it doesn’t want to start. Any suggestions?

Bad solenoid? Back starter? Bad starter wire?

Is something slowly draining my battery?

Don’t know for sure but the next step I’d take is to clean off the battery terminals and cables at the battery. Then clean the other ends of the battery cables where the cables connect to ground and the solenoid. Inspect the battery cables as well.

The fact that your starting motor cranks the car with a “jump” indicates that the starter is OK. However, it is not getting all the current flow it needs from your new battery.

Another possible is the solenoid is worn out. The click means contact is being made but the contacts inside of the solenoid could be “pitted” and not allowing enough current to flow to the starter. If the solenoid is cheap (not likely with a Volvo) and easy to access then replace it and see if your problem is resolved.

Just avoid “that time of the month” ? :wink: