Car model and year: 2005 Volvo V50 Turbo
When started , every now and then Starter making a sound like a car that is already started, and you start it again. Been more frequent.
Affordable code reader advice:
- Volvo Vida dice
Really depends what you want from your code reader. You can get a blue tooth code reader which links to a smart phone app for about $15 these days. Code readers go up in price as you start to expand the code sets – ie all will do the powertrain (emissions and some transmission codes) P codes, then as you go up in price you get chassis codes for the ABS, the SRS codes, more detailed transmission codes and the ability to view/record run time data. Top of the food chain are the models that can read Volvo proprietary codes ($100-150) and the king is the Volvo VIDA DICE tool which is the full blown service shop tool used by dealers (beware, to get the real deal you need software licenses, Volvo does sell temp subscriptions but it’s really for a fully skilled mechanic. Actually, the cheap Volvo Vida dice can do well for OBD diagnosis job if not program.)
Recommend:Low Cost 2014D VIDA DICE Diagnostic Tool for VOLVO
- Torque Pro app + OBD Bluetooth “dongle”
The Bluetooth OBD system that I use is the Torque Pro app (I use it on a droid phone, but it may be available for others). The app is cheap ($5-10) and the OBD Bluetooth “dongle” is only $10-12. The capability is amazing, so you can do advanced troubleshooting like graphing the oxygen sensor outputs, or set up a custom dashboard (I do this for my long road trips, and it’s SO much better than other options).
I’m not aware of any starter-related OBD codes, so I doubt that the reader will do you a lot of good. To be honest, I can’t really decode your description of the initial issue, so it’s hard to offer much more advice.
- on the starter issue. That you may need to diagnose the old fashion way – you can check voltage drops when you turn the key on, inspect cables to start. Typically starters fail one of two ways – the solenoid/gear can get worn or fail – and the motor will just give the click click sound or the brushes/windings/bearings can go and the starter will crank slowly and draw a lot of current. Sometimes you can wack the starter with a mallet on the solenoid and it will free up (assuming you’re stranded). The worst case is you may have a chipped tooth or two on the fly wheel (ie a dead spot) – which means you’d need to pull the tranny and replace the flywheel (most people would just leave this as a character issue for the car 🙂 not a very common thing so its likely you may need to replace the starter and possibly the cable to the battery.
What I’d recommend is to split the troubleshooting in half. Put your voltmeter on the “signal wire” (the small red (?) wire going to the starter that tells it to engage). Then, if it remains at 12 volts with the key in the start position when it behaves like that, you now the problem is the starter. If the 12 volts drops out when the starter disengages itself (seemingly) then you know that the problem is in the ignition switch / immobilizer / whatever else Volvo put there.
The only other thing I can think of is that you would want to check the ground to the starter (through the engine block). Easy enough – just use the engine block for the negative lead of your voltmeter, and the big red lead for the positive. Then if the battery voltage stays when the starter disengages you know that your positive and negative connections to the starter / engine block are good.
FYI, It was the starter. Could not get at the damn thing myself. Had to bring it to a mechanic. $700 we got the actual Volvo starter, could have save about $200 with OEM, but we will have this car for a while and the motor is solid.