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New battery and starter...still not turning over.

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New battery and starter...still not turning over.

  #1  
Old 03-15-2019, 05:32 PM
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Default New battery and starter...still not turning over.

Hello!

New here and hoping to get some advice.

2007 Volvo S40 2.4i with 220,000 miles.

Had a radiator hose give out and car overheated.
Fixed the hose and getting white smoke occasionally on starting...I'm assuming head gasket issues.
Too many miles....too much invested, keep adding radiator fluid to limp along.
Car runs fine otherwise.

Leaving work one day...car wouldn't even turn over.
Finally started.

Mechanic said starter was bad....replaced the starter.
Started fine (a little warmer weather) for 2 weeks.

Left work today...wouldn't turn over.

What the heck!

Battery is new...3 months old.

I would appreciate thoughts and advice.

Sincerely
 
  #2  
Old 03-16-2019, 12:13 PM
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A little philosophy about car repairs first...

When asking for help, it's always good to give enough info for someone reading your request to be able to actually help you. By "wouldn't turn over" I'm thinking it could mean that there's no click, or maybe there's a click but no movement of the engine - or maybe the engine's actually turning, but not fast enough to start. Is the battery fully charged (headlights and all accessories work exactly as they should, or better yet - the battery voltage is correct)?

Starters that don't work are about the easiest thing to troubleshoot there is. If you've got a solid 12 volts at the big red (supply) connection to the starter, AND you're getting a solid 12 volts to the small connection at the starter, and it's not "acting like a starter", then the starter itself is bad (again?). Maybe the replacement you got wasn't rebuilt correctly, or is just a bad starter (especially if it's a knock-off built by a less-than-reputable company - there are lots of 'em out there). If either of those voltages at the starter aren't there, or are dropping more than a small fraction of a volt from the battery voltage, then you simply work backward (hopefully with a voltmeter) and see where the voltage "goes away". Voila! You've just found the problem.

On the head gasket issue - yeah, the right way to do it is to pull and rebuild the head. With the mileage and presumed low value of the car, this would be a perfect candidate for one of the "fix in a bottle" products. I've read up on lots of them, and some seem to get pretty good reviews from lots and lots of users. Always take that stuff with a grain of salt, but it sure beats pouring gallons of antifreeze through your poor motor (they really don't like drinking that stuff...). I wouldn't recommend doing this on a car that's "worth fixing" but if I was trying to get another year or two out of a vehicle on its last legs, I'd sure be willing to pay $20 to try to do an "easy fix".
 
  #3  
Old 03-16-2019, 01:21 PM
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Thank you habbyguy.

By not turning over...I mean - nothing - turn the key and nothing.
No even trying to start.

Turn the key back...try again and nothing...but hold it in the start position,
and it gives a slight attempt to start.....then ramps up some more and starts.

I also had the car alarm issue and took out a fuse that I read will stop the battery drain.
Maybe it has something to do with that? (Sorry - I should have added that in my original post)

The starter that was installed was brand new - with a warranty.
They also said the battery tested fine (new -about 3 months ago).
I will give them a call and see if they have any idea what might be happening.

I called for a quote on fixing the head gasket - around $1300.

You are right...at this point - not worth putting any more $ into the car. :/

I put some AT-205 reseal in it - didn't fix anything.

I like the car...it runs great, but it's nickel and diming me!
 
  #4  
Old 03-16-2019, 01:29 PM
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The car alarm is tied into the immobilizer system, so yes, I can believe disabling it could have an effect. Put the fuse back in and see what happens. Also, if you see a key symbol lighting up on your dash, that's a sign you have an immobilizer issue.

Also, try jiggling the gearshift and see if that might help (there's an interlock that can get flaky / out of adjustment, that keeps the car from starting unless the shift lever is in the P position).

R13 in your under-hood fusebox should be engaging when you turn the key. If it isn't (and you don't have a key symbol on the dash), check the voltage going to that relay coil to see if it's getting commanded to turn on (and to send the voltage to your starter). Other than that, the original suggestions about checking the voltage at the big and little red wires at the starter still apply.
 
  #5  
Old 03-16-2019, 01:41 PM
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Thanks again habbyguy.

No key symbol or immobilizer issues.

If I put the fuse back in, wouldn't that cause the battery to drain again?

It really does seem like a battery drain of some kind.

I'm gonna go back to the place that installed the starter and see if they can figure anything out.
 
  #6  
Old 03-16-2019, 02:46 PM
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Two things...

1) If the alarm circuit really IS causing a huge battery drain, and...
2) The alarm is tied into the immobilizer / starting circuit,
3) That would indicate a problem with the alarm circuit that seems like it could keep the car from starting.

I only wish the Volvo manual was more user-friendly. Looking up the diagram on my Acura took seconds - with Volvo, it's a "process"...
 
  #7  
Old 03-16-2019, 07:56 PM
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Also,never assume the starter is good, especially if it's a reman unit. I have had reman alternators go bad within days of installation. Starters are no different. The auto parts companies put these crappy *** reman units back into service with the tiniest of repairs to a core. Splash some paint on it and resell it.
 
  #8  
Old 03-17-2019, 08:56 AM
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It cost $260 to replace the starter.

Since the car isn't worth dumping any more $...I actually asked the installer
to get a cheaper starter, but he insisted on getting an OEM with warranty.
 
  #9  
Old 03-17-2019, 09:24 PM
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I missed the part where you wrote it was new. Sorry about that!

Ok, something else to consider is the ignition switch itself. My 2005 would intermittently act like you describe where you turn the key and the engine would not turn over. You would turn the key off and back to start several times and eventually it would turn over and run.
 
  #10  
Old 03-18-2019, 09:03 AM
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Thanks Hudini...I had seen that issue in a Google search - seems it's a very good possibility.
 
  #11  
Old 03-18-2019, 12:40 PM
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Sounds like a possibility. I would seriously recommend monitoring the voltage getting to the "control" input (the small red - I think - wire to the starter). That will essentially tell you whether the problem is the starter or the lack of the signal getting TO the starter, and might eliminate a lot of hassle.

OTOH, sometimes it is possible to discern a mechanically intermittent thing (like a starter switch) by rocking it around, etc. - if you can get it to act up while you're moving it around, you can reasonably determine that's the problem. Thing is, there are a LOT of other things that can cause your starter to not engage, and I'd hate to see you go through the considerable trouble and expense of swapping out the ignition switch only to find out it was something else.
 
  #12  
Old 03-18-2019, 05:29 PM
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Yes please test to make sure it's not the starter or the wiring. I'm basically a parts swapper, unfortunately. I've learned a ton about testing over the years but I'm still far from anywhere near a real mechanic.
 
  #13  
Old 03-18-2019, 07:56 PM
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Thanks for the thoughts and advice.

I know nothing about the electrical side.
I have some friends that may be able to help figure this out.
 

Last edited by chain123; 03-18-2019 at 07:59 PM.
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