Volvo Won't Start

Two days ago, about to drive across town, I put the key in the ignition of my 2005 Volvo, turned it, and nothing happened. No click, no sound of a dead battery trying–nothing. And then I looked at the message space, which said “Start Prevented: Try Again.” So I did, about six times, with absolutely no luck. Fortunately, a neighbor driving by offered to take me across town and back, so I left the car in my driveway. Two hours later I came back, put the key in the ignition–and it started right up! It’s been starting fine ever since, but…what happened?

You probably need a new “immobilizer” antenna. Another problem with these systems is having 2 keys to the vehicle in close proximity to each other. This will cause the message to appear. Some dealers are now advising the owners with this message to simply lock/unlock several times to clear the problem. Most articles about this problem say the fix is to replace the antenna.

We actually lost (misplaced?) the second key about 8 months ago, so that isn’t the problem. However, given that this happened once, is it liekely to happen again? Can I obviate the problem by using only the valet key to start the car? And if this is going to be an ongoing problem, how much do you think it will cost to replace the immobilizer antenna?

You will need to get an estimate locally as labor varies widely by region. I can tell you the antenna is around $100. This is a fairly common problem with Volvos so it’s likely to happen again. Just try the lock/unlock several times in a row to see if it resets.