A charging system failure Volvo issue can be a challenge to deal with.
After all, you would expect that electrical cars are supposed to run seamlessly. On the other hand, there are several problems that may come with these cars. After all, the system is more complex. Before, the components were operated mechanically.
However, they are now controlled or powered electrically. Thus, the charging system has a big job to do, as it serves as the vehicle’s lifeblood. This is why it is important that all components function correctly to ensure proper performance.
So, if you are dealing with a charging system failure with your Volvo, consider these reasons and some solutions you may want to try.
Charging System Failure Volvo Problems
First of all, let’s talk about the charging system. Basically, this is designed to generate and circulate the electrical energy that your vehicle’s components use. There are two key components to this system such as the alternator and the battery.
The battery is responsible for storing the electrical energy that is generated by the alternator. Your engine powers the alternator through serpentine belts or fan belts, which run around the pulleys.
The crank pulley turns the belt. Then, the crankshaft turns as a result because of the engine’s internal combustion. Afterwards, the alternator pulley rotates, which transforms mechanical energy to electricity.
With the speed that your alternator is fixed directly to the RPM of your engine, this makes it important to regulate the alternator’s output to prevent overcharging your battery.
As for the battery, it is a container made of plastic, which stores power produced by the alternator in a chemical form. It is designed to start your vehicle, and there are different types of batteries that vary in terms of the longevity and price point.
Batteries are also in various sizes and the rating depends on their capability to produce an electricity current or amperage. For instance, diesel motors need more current when starting a vehicle while petrol requires less current. Hence, bigger batteries are used for diesel motors.
Now, sometimes charging system failure happens. Here are the reasons why it occurs:
1. Power Loss
This refers to anything that obtains power when your motor is turned off such as the radio, headlights, and your air conditioning system. There are also some components that may do the same thing as your motor runs, which is to draw electrical power such as with aftermarket radios. These tend to use up the battery charge, which means you will need to start your vehicle again.
2. Dead Battery
As we have mentioned earlier, your battery stores power that is then used for starting your engine. Thus, even if your alternator is working well, you won’t be able to start your engine if you have a dead battery. Many causes are linked with a dead battery such as undercharging, overcharging, or a bad alternator.
Moreover, your battery may also be dead when there are damages to the battery terminals or the connections are loose. You may need to use a multimeter to test your battery’s power. If the voltage is at 12.5 volts, it should be fine. But if it is about 75 percent on a 12.3-volt battery or 25 percent on an 11.8-volt battery, it means it is undercharged. The external temperature also influences the effectiveness of your battery.
3. Electronic Control Unit
Your Electronic Control Unit or ECU manages your vehicle’s electrical system, so it is able to run within the tolerances specified. If your ECU fails to work properly, it is unable to maintain the performance of various components in your vehicle such as the alternator. For instance, you need to make sure that your alternator obtains proper electrical supply.
When you have a faulty ECU, a charging system failure may occur. But it is still important to determine other possible causes of this problem since this is the costliest and most difficult to fix. Use an OBD II scanner to check for error codes and to determine the charging voltage of your alternator.
4. Alternator Issues
When your alternator is unable to generate ample electrical supply, it cannot keep your battery sufficiently charged. You need an alternator that can generate 13 to 14.5 volts. Since your battery is only responsible for storing energy carried by your alternator, then the voltage may drop and electrical parts will malfunction when your alternator is not working as it should.
Therefore, you can tell that your alternator is bad when there are seized rotor bearings, worn out brushes, burnt or corroded fusible links, a bad voltage regulator, and poor electrical connection or a short in your magnetic windings.
Additional Details On Charging System Failure In Volvo
There are also cases when broken or won belts can cause the charging system to fail. When there is a slipping belt issue, this is due to loose or faulty fan belt tensioners that need to be fixed.
Be sure to check your wiring, as well, when a charging system failure occurs. Damaged wires can often lead to a voltage loss. The same holds true with dirty terminals, so you should keep these parts free from dirt and debris to ensure their proper operation.
When fixing a charging system failure, you first need to determine which component is faulty. You will then have to replace the bad component such as the alternator, wire, or the switch, depending on your diagnosis.
This is why it is important to perform proper diagnosis since you can then rule out certain problems that usually entail a more invasive and pricier fix. You can either do the diagnosis yourself or take your vehicle to an authorized dealer or specialist that can help you determine the actual cause of the problem that needs to be resolved.
But the most important thing is to get this issue addressed sooner than later to prevent further problems that can lead to more expensive repair costs.