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Old 03-30-2021, 11:32 PM   #1
Duder
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Default Helping out a Neighbor - 2001 S60 NA

Nice lady down the street has a 2001 S60, an NA 5-cylinder she bought new and drives rarely. It has just over 70k miles. Since the pandemic started she hasn't driven it at all, so of course the battery died.

They replaced the old battery a few months ago but now the new one is dead so she asked me to take a look since I'm clearly the neighborhood's resident Volvo guy

I confirmed the battery was stone dead, showing 0.64 volts. I charged it with my smart charger at 15A for about 5 hours and it came back to life just fine (again, newer battery, less than 1 year old). It started up immediately and seems to run great.

I haven't ever worked on a P2 car and therefore don't know all the ins and outs.

They told me that the alarm was going off incessantly a few months ago, and wondered if that was the reason for the short battery life. I can definitely see the logic in that. The red alarm status light is flashing rapidly which they said isn't normal behavior either. What are the common alarm issues with these cars? I found something about the siren failing and causing issues, but I haven't dug into the system any deeper than that.

There's a slow coolant weep at the thermostat housing, looks like an easy fix. Owner said she smelled "something weird" inside the car too... I looked under the dash and saw clear coolant stains on the carpet near the center console / gas pedal area, so clearly there is also a leak at the heater core, or one of the hoses or the valve maybe.

The other bit of useful evidence here, beside the extended sitting and the alarm issues, was rodent droppings in the engine bay. I didn't see any evidence of chewed wiring but only did a cursory look.

Any links, resources, or tips would be appreciated, as I told the neighbors I would do some research and get back to them with a few hypotheses and maybe help them fix whatever the root cause of battery death is. Thanks!
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Old 03-31-2021, 09:21 AM   #2
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There is a battery inside the alarm unit that goes bad and starts leaking. Possibly causing all sorts of electrical issues.
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Old 03-31-2021, 12:11 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Janspeed View Post
There is a battery inside the alarm unit that goes bad and starts leaking. Possibly causing all sorts of electrical issues.
Cool, thanks for confirming that. I think FCP Euro's site has an explainer page about that issue. I will check that out on the car.
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Old 03-31-2021, 12:22 PM   #4
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It’s pretty common for P2 cars to have heater core leaks. I think it’s arranged a lot like an 850/70 where you can just pull the kick panel, disconnect the hoses, slide it out, and reverse to install the new one. I’m sure there’s a write up or YT vid out there somewhere showing the procedure.
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Old 03-31-2021, 08:32 PM   #5
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Use an amp meter to see if there is a battery drain and make sure the power off current draw is correct.
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Old 03-31-2021, 10:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kampman View Post
Itís pretty common for P2 cars to have heater core leaks. I think itís arranged a lot like an 850/70 where you can just pull the kick panel, disconnect the hoses, slide it out, and reverse to install the new one. Iím sure thereís a write up or YT vid out there somewhere showing the procedure.
Cool, that's good to know it's not a bad job. I might help her out and do that one too.

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Use an amp meter to see if there is a battery drain and make sure the power off current draw is correct.
I did that a few days ago, saw 0.0A on the meter, but only later realized that I forgot to switch the positive lead connection to the other post on the meter. Will have to go back and do it again.
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Old 04-01-2021, 02:36 PM   #7
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Looking for something like 50 milliamps or less as the normal drain when powered down.
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Old 04-03-2021, 11:43 AM   #8
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Alarm issues are rampant on p2s I just had the dealer do the software delete on the bms

https://www.swedespeed.com/threads/t...637399.209013/

But yes will kill the battery
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