Volvo developed sluggish turnover. Why?


Asked by Jul 01, 2013 at 08:52 PM about the 2003 Volvo S40 1.9T

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Has been getting worse by the day for past 2
weeks. Now almost not turning over.
Recently administered transmission flush & (per
service light) oil change and had battery tested.
Those eliminated, I'm lost.
Not sure if related but seems to have most trouble
first start of the day. Also wondering if hot outdoor
temperature could be factor?

37 Answers

the battery should be younger than Five you will have alternator problems---the Black wire connection to the chassis ground needs to be wirebrushed down to a shiny surface so that the 300 cold cranking amps can be achieved---here and the one going to the motorblock...usually near the alternator~

1 people found this helpful.
Best Answer Mark helpful

Hi. ksnow. good to see your happy face today~~it is rare in this 112 degree heat~


Thank you. Good to have you save my car.

1 people found this helpful.

seems so easy, once you've been snuffed with this problem...back in WIsconsin would try to save fifty dollar beaters and try to make them last as long as possible with NO Money~ this is where I learned most of what I know...from getting ice piranhas nibblin' at my ears and fingers and -18 degrees where Nuthin' starts~

1 people found this helpful.

Well I, for one, appreciate your suffering in order to deliver me your vast knowledge.

1 people found this helpful.

I live in Clearlake, CA----the poorest city ever in street does not even have pavement...there are NO streetlights here....I have to take only the paved roads or my MINI gets clobbered is 112 degrees, but I am happy...been away from Wisconsin since 1988, and I ain't goin' back~

we lived in Oakland and waited for the price to increase...yes 15 years in the Ghetto where shopping carts go down the street collecting cans....your battery...break a window to get the paintbrush...very magical fifteen years, but the price in can get a spot for $44,000 what will cost $440,000 an hour and a half down thru NAPA county and Vallejo and our apartment in El Cerrito~


That over Wisconsin? Must have been terrible! I'm in Fresno btw & not much cooler here.

1 people found this helpful.

You're braver than I!

1 people found this helpful.

thank you for taking interest in ole' Judge Roy...a few very beautiful people are here DavidH25 (I owe my presence to him), Racer_X is a medical orderly and helpin' people is in his blood, Tom Deyman is always courteous and friendly, Tenspeed knows everything....(no argument there), Everytime I say something is going to be supportive and do not believe this is the correct forum for airing out your knickers~, but find myself in a defensive posture which I find most disconcerting....your encouragement is TAKEN TO heart~yessss!

Damn, has to be HOT in Fresno too---hopefully there aren't any fires nearby for you...people and creatures are killed...sadness...

good luck on your repair...I know the heat can make a few people drink a lot of beer....promise them that you'll buy a whole case if you would work the pliers and wrench and wirebrush for me~ I know and I am disabled with MS and have my drunken neighbor help me...he's best in the AM, can lord above him making sure the job gets done properly for some beer~

holey smokes...a 2003 battery? gives me faith in my 2006 battery (that it would last that long) Batteries go bad ten percent per year...that is to say that will NOT take a charge by ten percent....until it will not take a charge at all....which is where you are at right now~ yes a new battery (do not buy a walmart battery...if only they treated people like Costco does, I'd be okay with them) but spend $125.00 on an Interstate battery, they are guaranteed for life and will "pro-rate" your replacement (in other words give you tremendous trade-in)~ Don't know what you're plannin' for battery? NAPA is good, they stuck with me though the tough times (like when my truck caught fire)~


I just checked the battery and it's 2010 & tested fine. So wire cleaning in order?

1 people found this helpful.

Fine? would it survive a load test of a dead short for three seconds and still be able to start the see this is called a 'load test' and there are evil little devices that apply a direct short for testing purposes...although your handy tester gadget says "you're fine" is not testing the AMPS which is the meat on the bone~....12.5 yes...apply a dead-short for three seconds and see if bat-tty is still see must look 'pon the top to see the "knock off labels" which indicate the date of the first charge....degrade ten percent per year...FACT. so the age of the battery is really the only consideration....yes you can squeak by with a marginal battery, but should be strong and healthy and survive a "load test"~

it's a 2010...well buy me a donut~, yes the coarse wirebrush 'till shiny will fix you right up~!

don't do the load test....though NAPA is over-anxious to put it on their machine...this is not necessary~ only seven planes of hell please~


That would explain why, if ignition left in position between off & on for just a few seconds, kills the battery but a jump starts her up with no hesitation. So should I bother cleaning wires or just buy new battery?


Lmao okay, will get to scrubbin!

...well there is a "memory effect" with these such that if you leave your lights on...then go into the ballgame...and you come out and they are on...and it will not start....turn the lights OFF and wait five minutes and it wlll have "remembered" it's last state (no really...the memory effect, google it if you don't believe me)~ there is no reason why the battery should....wait what year is this? 2013-2010, your battery is three years old...still healthy...charge it should be okay~

If it's puffin' with the corrosion use a garden hose to get rid of the nasties~

spray yourself with the fine mist setting for a refreshing cool-down~...a couple of deserve a reward for taking on this challenging endeavor~

It is not bad to "wash down" your engine know with coolant etc. is designed to take some moisture under that hood, as long as you stay away from ignition components you can use "foamy engine brite" which I used to do when I did 'steam cleaning' of engines back in 1993~ a can of WD-40 on high voltage components such as coil packs and high-tension wires will get you out of the engine wash if you've gotten too much water on the high-voltage components....i ramble and am bored...please forgive-~

you know that bit about leaving the ignition on then coming back to not be able to start it shows you the Amperage required to pull your starter wasn't there...reinforces the need to clean the OTHER end of the black wire...yesss~


Awesome. Eager to get the old man on the job!

1 people found this helpful.

IN case you did not notice you are the Number 3 expert on Volvo S40's ~ do you see how a person is sucked into this thing...a compulsion may be called upon for your knowledge of this model car, now~


From inquirer to professional huh? I'm not hateful enough to advise anyone on this subject. Volvo S40's everywhere just breathed easy.

2 people found this helpful.

If your battery is a 2010, it may just be the battery. I know it checks out okay but I have a 2000 S40 and I keep every record of what I have done to my car. The battery needs to be replaced on my car every three years +/- which is a little annoying. I just changed mine in March of 2013, February 2010, and July 2007 for example. Our cars have the same battery Ford super heavy duty F250 have which was a surprise to see for our compact car. If you have AAA, they will come to your location, test it, take your old battery, and install the new one.

1 people found this helpful.

Wow, wish I had AAA! I cleaned & tightened the terminals & it seems to have made it a little better but I plan on replacing battery, moreso now. Thank you.

was gonna give you ten more, but seems like you'd rather NOT be a knowledgeable source for these know when you entered "your garage" a review of how this car is doin' and what you think of it is needed to make it already you've an opinion...whether or not you realized it people will LOOK at the review to make their decisions~ has nothing to do with being an "expert" but your experiences are important to the rest of the world.~

"hateful enough"...just cannot let that one pass...a few of the haters are out here but please reflect on the nice guys, like myself, DavidH25, Tom Deyman, Racer_X...all will go to bat for you FREE of charge....if that ain't love for your fellow man, not sure what qualifies....please do not let those who put negative energy out there get to you...the car havin' problems is all the negativity a person could stand...but I digress~

It is all based on LOVE and compassion...go use facebook if you want to air out all your dirty linens....not here you will be reported by you see that little gear in the upper right hand corner...that's my safety net to stop the haters from sayin' stuff~

eighty degree morning....all night. Commander H (high pressure) is havin' his way with all of the western US~ never felt it so warm overnite in my seven years at Clearlake~ Leaving the house (screen doors) open did not do a damn thing...can't you change the weather ksnow?....I'm waiting...

you miss LEAD, venom5150? tin-antimony is what they are now. We are finished with LEAD as a society...if we could only be as judicious of mercury which has contaminated Clearlake since the 1850's....making each and every catch Poisonous....fine if you don't mind a little methyl- mercury in that can eat one or two without damage, I've been told but it is a scourge of which there hasn't been a reliable way to rid our most precious largest fresh-body of water in California...rescue our fishing you've gotta throw 'em back, but people still fish~

used LEAD balancing weights as part of my dynamic wheel balancing in 1982...thought they still used them for wheel balancing, but now there are STEEL weights now...see what thirty years of NOT being a tire- buddy can do? feel so out of touch....where are my pushbuttons? there aren't any pre-set pushbuttons on that radio, only the despicable beepbeeepbeeep business....the hell I say~!


Oh if only.. but I guarantee if I could do that I would possess some magical vehicular superhero powers as well!

1 people found this helpful.

You do. Imagination is more valuable than knowledge....keep that in mind. Got rid of those negative things...homey does not roll that way usually~ When i read back, am alarmed by it, like feedback comes back to me from four months ago and can only think "I said that?" careful what we WILL come back to bite you~

1 people found this helpful.

Your Answer


Looking for a Used S40 in your area?

CarGurus has 737 nationwide S40 listings starting at $1,500.


Volvo S40 Experts

  • #1
  • #2
    Tom Demyan
  • #3
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Volvo S60
129 Great Deals out of 8,058 listings starting at $1,552
Used Volvo S80
28 Great Deals out of 783 listings starting at $1,000
Used Volvo XC90
75 Great Deals out of 10,446 listings starting at $799
Used BMW 3 Series
864 Great Deals out of 32,479 listings starting at $900
Used Volvo C70
14 Great Deals out of 424 listings starting at $2,495
Used Audi A4
208 Great Deals out of 12,562 listings starting at $1,800
Used Volkswagen Jetta
406 Great Deals out of 24,944 listings starting at $1,800
Used Toyota Camry
781 Great Deals out of 70,999 listings starting at $1,000
Used Honda Civic
342 Great Deals out of 52,518 listings starting at $1,200
Used Honda Accord
445 Great Deals out of 102,224 listings starting at $800
Used Toyota Corolla
555 Great Deals out of 67,434 listings starting at $1,495

Used Cars For Sale

2011 Volvo S40 For Sale
48 listings starting at $4,999
2010 Volvo S40 For Sale
52 listings starting at $5,000
2009 Volvo S40 For Sale
3 Great Deals out of 48 listings starting at $4,200
2008 Volvo S40 For Sale
72 listings starting at $3,195
2007 Volvo S40 For Sale
119 listings starting at $2,530

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.