I've asked this also on volvoforums, but since here are also general car discussion I would like to ask here also.

I own a Volvo s80 2.4d 2009 (with 300.000 km) and since the weather got colder I noticed weird behavior on cold starts. I've noticed that this happens every time the car is cold and at cca. 1°C and below. When I push the start button, engine starts with no problem whatsoever and turns on at about 750 RPM. What is weird is, that at that time (aprox. 2 seconds) radio and lights (and probably other stuff) is not working and only turns on after that 2 seconds. The engine sound is also weird. Then, after 2 seconds everything comes on and also the engine RPM gets higher to 1200 RPM and the sound "becomes" normal. I've changed the car battery and only codes I get are the bad nr. 2 and nr. 3 glow plugs, but I suppose this shouldn't be the problem.

Any thoughts?

1 Answer 1


Many cars switch off the radio and other electricals whenever starting the engine. They are then turned on after the engine has started and the voltage of the charging system is stabilized.

A diesel at cold start can very well sound a bit rough. However, if the noise comes from a sticking starter motor (i.e. it sounds the same as turning the key continuously for 2 seconds after starting the car would sound), you could consider remedying the issue.

I don't see any indication of a severe problem in your question, other than the codes for bad glow plugs. Do replace them!

  • That's also what I've been quietly hopping for. The sound is not similar as how you describe it, but unfortunately I also can't describe it more, because it's specific. Do you think a sticking starter would be affected only in the cold weather? I didn't seem to notice such problem in warm weather/hot engine. At the end I really, really hope it's not the alternator.
    – spaceman
    Dec 16, 2019 at 11:00
  • It could also be a loose belt or power steering pump.
    – juhist
    Dec 16, 2019 at 11:18
  • Thank you. Why would you think of power steering pump?
    – spaceman
    Dec 16, 2019 at 11:31
  • It's a rotating accessory just like the alternator. But I think loose belt would be more likely as a loose belt is generally slipping only for few seconds.
    – juhist
    Dec 16, 2019 at 11:33
  • 1
    @spaceman - I'm betting your entire issue with how the engine runs has to do with the glow plugs. If you have two cylinders doing a cold start, it's going to sound a little weird as well as the possibility for it to be running slow at startup until the engine starts actually firing on those cylinders. As far as the radio, just as juhist states, this doesn't sound like an issue to me. Dec 17, 2019 at 14:26

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