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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    83

    Default Your Low Battery Message Experience

    Have you experienced this message and did I over-react? Since I could not find a message thread on this forum, I decided to post this for information purposes.

    I've seen this message at least 4 times in the past 6 months, but never before (owned 2008 since new); twice while the engine is turned off - listening to the radio, once while using an AC converter to power portable devices (and engine off) and once as I started the XC70 last Winter. I have never require a boost nor any starting problems, even after leaving the car un-driven for up to a week. Last Spring I checked the battery's electrolyte level and topped it up with distilled water. The "Low Battery" message reoccurred last week, so I decided to replace my original 6 year old original battery, not wishing to get stranded one day. I know a car battery will not last forever and with the temperature extremes in Canada, I replaced the battery more as a proactive measure (also could use the original battery in other projects). I've read on other forums that this seems to be a common diagnostic message.

    Has anyone else had similar experiences? Is there a technical reason for this diagnostic message? For my fellow Canadians, CTC does sell a reasonably priced 100% compatible battery with a 3 year replacement warranty and 9 years pro-rated warranty.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    61

    Default

    no worries - normal warning when your battery gets low on voltage. Keep in mind that car modules are very sensitive on voltage fluctuations and if the battery goes down they start to act with all kind of different DTC codes. So good thing you changed the battery. BTW I bought mind this winter from the Volvo dealer - OEM battery per say - and the price compared to Canadian Tire was some $20-$30 more for the "OEM" battery.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    83

    Default

    Thanks for your opinion. Strange that I never experienced this message earlier, but likewise I do consider the battery cannot be totally reliable. I'm going into Dodge (a.k.a. Ottawa) today and may swing by the dealership to see if they have a new XC90 - first Edition 62 of 1927.

    I did visit the Ottawa dealership and you were correct on the cost of the OEM battery. Still, with taxes I saved $65 and have a longer warranty - let's see if I will have to eat crow by 2023?

    PS: No new XC90 in their showroom
    Last edited by CVOLVO; 09-09-2014 at 02:52 PM. Reason: Cost of CTC vs Volvo battery

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    73

    Default

    I have "Low battery" message popping up every time when I shut the engine but keep listening to the radio, or talking on the phone with bluetooth or phone charger on. It takes only about 20-30 seconds for it to pop-up. Really annoying !!!. After another 30 secs or so it goes into "power save mode" shuts down the bluetooth and radio, and possibly something else?.
    Just had car at the dealer for 67.5 Kmiles, they tested the battery and it passed all the "VIDA tests", service manager tried to convince me that this is "normal" behavior. Really?
    I understand that listening to the radio drains the battery, but I used to be able to do it for at least 30-40 mins before with no visible effect on the battery. My Subaru Legacy has no problems with it. It started doing it few month ago. They did some software update when I was at the dealer at 60Kmiles service, is it related? Is the hot weather a factor here?
    The car is 2011 XC70 3.2. It's under CPO warranty. 67.5Kmiles.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    601

    Default

    About two weeks ago I replaced the battery in mine, 2008, and the negative cable as well. For a while I was getting a quick message in the cluster stating service park brake (or similar as it came and went so quickly) and the engine seems to be starting funny strange odd. As well the accessory on time before the low battery message came on was not as long as it should be.

    I checked the battery and and cables and found the negative cable blooming with green corrosion. I removed the cable and cut back the insulation to clean cable and used a baking soda soak to try and get rid of all of the corrosion. It seemed like I got it all. Reinstalled the cable. Checked the electrolyte level in the battery, found it strange and disappointing that the battery was not maintenance free, topped the battery up a litre of H2O. Thought that all would be good.

    Rechecked the next weekend and found new corrosion bloom on the cable, much more than what should show up in a week. Checked the battery in the negative post area and found that the battery case was cracked at the negative post. This was causing excessive corrosion much quicker than normal.

    Replaced the battery with a Costco one, $106 and coughed up the expensive $82 for a new negative cable from local Volvo dealer. Much better now. The negative cable was in stock with a few more to be had in stock. Tells me there may be issues somewhere.

    A warning as well.
    Volvo seems to think that running the hood release cable through the battery box is a good idea. In real life not a good thing. I no longer have the plastic coating on the cable assembly due to the leaking acid onto the cable routed immediately under the negative post.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    South Wales UK
    Posts
    1,901

    Default

    2010 XC70 which in a couple of months is 5 years old, but so far so good with the battery, although I did a voltage check a few months ago and found the reading to be 12.2V (60% Charged State) which I thought to be low while the engine still starts OK and no error messages appear.
    The dealer also advised me that 12.2V was 'OK'

    Interestingly the Radio, Hi-Fi, Bluetooth etc all shut down after 15 minutes when the engine has been stopped but that is controlled by the software which it describes in the User Manual.

    I did remove the battery when we went away for a month without the car and put it on a 20Watt Solar Panel to keep it fully charged which worked OK and it is now back in place and 'performing' OK once again.

    Seeing as the motor is Diesel I do wonder if the battery lasts longer due to the amount of towing that we do so the power from the Alternator is not constantly 'cooking' the battery when the engine is running as the power is being sent to other items in the caravan like fridge and leisure battery.
    I have also so far not had to top up the electrolyte, but keep a bottle of de-ionised water handy just in case.

    While I did find a bit of white corrosion on one of the terminals when the battery was removed I cleaned it off and applied some vaseline but there was nothing on the hood cable.

    Just out of curiosity did you re-route the hood cable or did the length not give you enough slack to be able to do this?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    601

    Default

    Did not reroute the cable. Did make sure that I cleaned the cable and then painted it to prevent any rusting. Will be checking things next shop night at work to make sure than nothing further is going bad.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    83

    Default

    It has been just over a year since I replaced my original battery with the CTC equivalent. I've not experienced the low battery message and never had a problem starting in last winter's coldest temperatures. Coincidentally I kept the original Volvo battery and used it in my vintage Allis Chalmers WD45 tractor all summer, without any problems either. I can only surmise the display message is very sensitive and a means to warn you that an impending failure is possible. 8 more years on the CTC pro-rated warranty hoping the XC70 survives as long too.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Northwest Pennsylvania
    Posts
    706

    Default

    Just saw this for the first time today - turned off the lights and it went away. Battery is only 2 months old - worried it may be the alternator, but the charging light is not lit.
    '04 XC70 (petrol/auto), Nautic Blue / Graphite, Premium, Touring, Boosters, Xenia Wheels w/235x60 Nokian WR's (wife's kid-hauler)
    '09 C70 retractable hard top convertible. Red with black interior.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Oakville
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by skibo View Post
    Just saw this for the first time today - turned off the lights and it went away. Battery is only 2 months old - worried it may be the alternator, but the charging light is not lit.
    I was getting this message as well after replacing my battery from Costco in my MY11 XC70. It got to a point where if I was listening to the radio with engine off, the low battery warning would come on in about 2 minutes, fast forward four months and no more messages. I suspect this is due to how Volvo's computer is programmed(there is probably a battery reset program that need to happen). I even measured battery voltages before and during engine idle and all was normal.

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