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Tom, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Volvo
Satisfied Customers: 25954
Experience:  ASE Certified Master Technician
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Alarm screen "Charging failure service urgent". Car did not

Customer Question

Alarm screen "Charging failure service urgent". Car did not die. Had it delivered to dealer who replaced alternator and bearings. Had the same alarm screen after the work. Dealer pulled "Radiator tamper switch" failure off the computer but that is the only problem detected.Otherwise the dealer reports all is well with my 2012 S80 sedan. What gives?
JA: Have you done a battery test? Has there been any change in headlight brightness?
Customer: Yes, battery has been tested by two different dealers. No issues with headlights or any other electrical items
JA: Are you hoping to fix this yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Paid one dealer $1500 to replace alternator. Paid another dealer $120 to check everything. I have zero confidence in this car right now. Need to know what is going on.
JA: Anything else you think the mechanic should know?
Customer: Google suggests the problem is the radiator tamper switch, not anything in the charging system
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Volvo
Expert:  Ron replied 12 months ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am a professional here at Just Answer. I have noticed that your question was not getting a response and thought I would see if you still need help with this.I apologize for the delay and I hope I can still assist you with this here. The Charging failure service urgent warning comes on when the system sees a fault with the charging system and if you just spent $1500 having the alternator replaced then you need to return to this dealer and have them recheck there work because something they did was over looked. If the work was performed properly then this warning should not be on .

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Well that is the obvious answer which is why I took it to the dealer here where I live. The car was "repaired" at a shop 100 miles from here so taking it back to them is easier said than done. The local dealer says everything checks out fine - battery ok, alternator ok. They looked at the fault codes and saw a fault for the radiator tamper switch as the only code in the computer. Google search will show this tamper switch can show up as a charging system failure apparently. I need someone savvy enough with Volvos to weigh in on this
Expert:  Ron replied 11 months ago.

I will open the post back up for you.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Haven't heard anything back from anybody. In the meantime I had the fault show up again. It was after an hour of highway driving followed by a ten minute stop. On restart the "charging system failure" light came on and stayed on until I stopped the car for 40 minutes. When I restarted the engine the failure light did not come on.
Expert:  Tom replied 11 months ago.

Different expert here di you still need assistance ?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I have a car that seems to randomly decide it has a "charging system failure". I've spent a ton of money towing the car after getting the rather strident warning of "Service Urgent" and taking a 60 mile cab ride to an airport. I spent another ton of money to get the alternator replaced. Then I spent more money to get the system checked over again after yet another "charging system failure" light. This last effort revealed some supposedly unrelated fault with the coolant system tamper switch.
I got the "charging system failure" yesterday after an extended drive followed by a shutdown and then a resumption in driving. This is sounding like the coolant system is playing a part in what looks like a phantom problem. What makes the "charging system failure" light come on? How does this coolant system tamper switch fit in? At least one fellow Volvo owner informs there is a "bulletin" on this. Where can one find these bulletins?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
still no answer from the expert. Need some kind of response as this problem is becoming more than annoying