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CarDoc, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Volvo
Satisfied Customers: 606
Experience:  IMI L3 Motor Vehicle Mechanic
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It is difficult to start, but starts when in gear most of

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it is difficult to start, but starts when in gear most of the time. and the gears are difficult to change
JA: Will the headlights turn on? Is the battery fully charged?
Customer: yes, but i have seen a low battery display sign on dashboard
JA: What is the model/year of your Volvo?
Customer: 2016, V40
JA: Are you fixing your V40 yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: I am confused
JA: What confuses you?
Customer: exactly what really needs fixing
JA: Anything else you want the Mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: no

Hi, How are you?
I'm Shabaz, one of the automotive experts, I'm sorry you're experiencing problems with your car, I will do my best to help you today.

What is the engine size, and fuel type?

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
it is 1.6l and unleaded
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
i can change the gears when engine is off, until i turn it on then it is difficult

When you try to start with the car in neutral, does the engine struggle to turn over?

Have you tried to start the car by only pushing the clutch down without putting it into gear?

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
it struggles, i have to do the clutch and the brake together

You definitely have a weak battery because when you push the clutch down, you are removing the gearbox load off the engine which allows it to turn over faster.

Regarding the gear changing issue; do you know when the clutch+flywheel was last changed?

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
I just checked ,it will not start with just the clutch
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
no, but I have seen a Low battery warning sign a couple of times on the dashboard

How long have you owned the car and do know when the battery was last replaced?

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
I got it Oct 2019, and the last serice was Feb 2109
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
sorry i mean Feb 2019
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
are you saying the low battery has nothing to do with the gear changing issue, that occurs when the engine is on only ?

A battery isn't replaced in a service unless it is stated on a seperate invoice at the time of a service.

I believe that you have a combination of problems which involves a weak battery and bad clutch+flywheel and possibly a bad starter motor. This will have to be tested/inspected at a garage.

When it comes to the battery, this could be weakened if there is excessive load on the engine when starting the car. An issue with the flywheel+clutch can put excessive load on an engine when either component is failing.

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
my query is again, is it possible to be failing and yet one is able to change gears when engine is off. This first occurred in Feb 2020 and then dissappeared until now

Yes it is one of the signs of clutch failure.

I would recommend replacing the battery and first get the gear linkage reset so, you know for sure that your gearstick is in sync with the gear selector on the transmission. The possible clutch+flywheel failure can be looked at later if the linkage reset does not fix the gearshifting issue.

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Ok, will do as advised and then get back to you guys
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Thank you for the advise

My pleasure, you can message back on here and I will be happy to help you further.

Thank you for visiting JustAnswer.

Customer: replied 18 days ago.

Hi, just a follow-up, did you manage to get the problem sorted?

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