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Volvo Won't Start

I have a weird issue - I think. I recently purchased a 2005 Volvo XC90 V8 with about 150k miles. The car runs great and is really in good shape. The one issue I have is that sometimes the car wont start. There is just a clicking noise when turning the key. This only seems to happen immediately after the car is stopped. If I wait 10-15 minutes the car starts up just fine.

Could be a bad starter. Are your battery terminals clean and battery in good shape? The other possibility is fuel pressure which can be tested easily. Is the check engine light on?

A bunch of clicks (that almost sound like grinding)? Or just one click and then nothing?

Either way, the place to start is with cleaning the terminals on the main cables - both at the battery and at the starter & grounds.

Check engine light is not on. I actually took it into the shop first thing after buying the car and had some work done (struts, brakes, MAS sensor, plugs, and a whole bunch of other stuff). They checked out the starter and battery and it checked out.

The check engine light was on, prior to taking it in. I’ll drive it a while and see if it comes back. The starting issue was there prior as well.

The clicking is a repeated, slower than normal, click. Not really fast like typical issues.

The fact that the starter and battery checked out when you bought it means nothing. Start with the cables. You have the classic symptoms of not enough power to energize the starter (the fact that other electrical things might work is irrelevant). The first step is to deal with the cables. You can also have the battery load tested for free at most auto parts stores.

I’ll have that checked. It just seems weird that no matter what, if I wait 15-20 minutes after turning off it will start just fine. It just doesn’t want to right after I turn it off.

And to be as clear as possible, the clicking is two clicks near each other a pause, then two, then pause. And its about 1 set of clicks per second. So not like super fast clicking that I have heard in the past.

"It just seems weird that no matter what, if I wait 15-20 minutes after turning off it will start just fine. It just doesn’t want to right after I turn it off. "

Electricity is weird. And things that interfere with it can be weird. And heat often matters when things go wonky. In your mind, it might be time. In terms of electrical resistance, it is probably heat (and the cooling off period of 15-20 minutes).

With the information you’ve given and without being there to test, no one can “diagnose” it. But plenty of people have done very expensive and needless things to cars for want of some clean and tight battery cable connections. It’s the cheapest and most fundamental thing to remove from the plate first. If it doesn’t help, then you can move on to things that cost real money.

Ill see about replacing the cables. Unfortunately the battery is in the back, but I’m sure I can Google my way through it. The connectors look good on the battery, no corrosion that I can see.

I would not replace the cables. You take the ends off - from the battery end, and at the starter and grounds. You clean them all (even if they look “clean”) and you reconnect them and make them good and tight.

In addition, if you really do need new cables then you don’t really need to guess about that. They can be tested for voltage drop.

It might not even be your cables, and you may be headed for a new starter.

All I did was disconnect my battery and reconnect it and it started! Nobody was prepared to give me that simple advice! Good luck!

Is the Tracy w/the recent post above the OP? Or somebody with the same problem? In any event, when an engine won’t crank, the best way to get to the bottom of it is a voltage test at the starter motor during attempted cranking. That would quickly show up a problematic connection at the battery, as the voltage would be below 10.5 volts at the starter during attempted cranking. No harm done to first clean and tighten the battery connections of course and having a go at it. Might work, and if it did would save the work of getting under the car to attach test leads to the starter.

I expect the reason OP didn’t get that advice was b/c of the relationship to the engine temperature. Usually if the battery connections are the problem it will crank better with a warm engine, not worse. W/some vehicles there’s a heat shield to keep the starter from over heating from the exhaust system. Sometimes that heat shield gets removed b/c it is in the way of servicing something. That can cause this symptom too.