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Q: Intermittent not starting

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About a month ago my car would not start, I kept turning the key and after about 5 turns it started, this happened every other day or so then stopped for 2 weeks then happened again and I had to call the AA, as soon as he arrived it started 1st time, he plugged in the computer to my car and no issues showed up. The problem stopped again for a week and started again on 4 days ago, had to have the car jump started, was good for another day then had to jump start again yesterday but it would not start at all battery absolutely dead so bought a new battery, installed it and the car started straight away. Got in to come to work today and took 6 minutes to start, did start in the end got to work turned the car off waited 2 minutes and started again without problem.

My car has 70000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

The important thing to understand is that bad connections are the culprit with symptoms such as this. A connection may look good on visual inspection, but could still be faulty.

Your Volvo has several factors that must be considered. Your car may have a security system that is inhibiting your car from starting, a bad connection in the starting circuits or the clutch sensor may not be signalling properly to the powertrain control module (PCM). A simple test you can begin with is to check and see if you have a floor mat that is bunched up under the clutch pedal. This can limit how far the clutch pedal can be depressed. Believe it or not, this is very common. Next, do you have a repaired battery cable end? Often these ends are not very good.

If you have checked these two items and are certain they aren’t the cause, the next thing to do is locate the starter relay and remove it. From that point you can check and see if the PCM is sending a signal to the relay, which then will send a signal to the starter. If you are getting a signal from the PCM, use a jumper wire to give the starter solenoid power from the starter relay connector. If the starter goes, then you have now confirmed these two parts of the circuit.

If you find the PCM isn’t sending a power to the relay, the next thing to do is check that the PCM is getting a signal from the ignition switch. Of course, all of these electrical tests require knowledge of how to read wiring diagrams, a test light and access to a wiring diagram and the locations of various components.

If you need assistance diagnosing or repairing this issue, a certified YourMechanic technician can be dispatched to your location to inspect your car’s non-starting issue and help diagnose and repair it for you.

Good luck!

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