Volvo’s app-based remote start feature is designed to conveniently warm up or cool down your car from a distance. But when the app fails to start your Volvo, it defeats the purpose and convenience of this technology. Understanding common causes and helpful fixes will get remote start working properly again.
The remote start system relies on a combination of mobile app connectivity, telematics module signals and onboard computer processing. Glitches in any part of this chain can prevent successful ignition. With some targeted troubleshooting, you can pinpoint and resolve the specific issue preventing your Volvo app remote start command from going through.
Table of Contents
- Why the Volvo App Isn’t Starting Your Car Remotely
- Step-by-Step Volvo Remote Start Troubleshooting
- Preventing Future Volvo App Remote Start Problems
Why the Volvo App Isn’t Starting Your Car Remotely
Here are the most prevalent technical issues that can disrupt the remote start function:
1. Connection or Authentication Problems
The mobile app must maintain a constant connection with the vehicle’s telematics control unit to work properly. Network communication failures or software authentication errors will lead to remote start failure. Resetting app connectivity can solve intermittent connection problems.
2. Low Telematics Module Battery
The telematics control module contains a backup battery that allows it to receive remote start signals when the car is off. If this battery runs down, the module can’t activate the starter motor on command. Replacing the battery restores functionality.
3. Car Battery Issues
Naturally, the main car battery must have sufficient charge and be in good health to turn over the starter motor. A discharged or bad battery prevents the remote start signal from igniting the engine. Testing and recharging or replacing the car’s 12V battery as needed will get things working.
4. Faulty Fob or Telematics Module
Like any electronic device, the wireless fob or onboard telematics module can malfunction over time. Failed internal components lead to an inability to receive and relay the remote start command. Replacing defective fob batteries or the entire telematics module will be necessary in these situations.
5. Software Bugs and Glitches
Even robust systems like Volvo On Call aren’t immune to software hiccups. App updates on your phone or intermittent electrical glitches can cause temporary compatibility issues or bugs that disable remote functions. Force closing and restarting the app or resetting the car’s computer often clears up software quirks.
6. Car Locked or In Gear
Safety features require the car to be unlocked and in Park for remote ignition to work. The system will block any start attempts when doors are locked or the transmission is not in Park. Simply leaving the car unlocked and in gear avoids this frustration.
Step-by-Step Volvo Remote Start Troubleshooting
With so many potential trouble spots, a logical diagnostic approach is best for identifying the true issue:
1. Verify App Connection and Settings
First, confirm the app shows an active connection to the car and no error messages. Try resetting the app and phone if needed. Also check for correct remote start settings enabled.
2. Try Alternate Start Methods
See if other start methods like the remote key fob are successful. If so, the app is likely the issue. Try reinstalling the app and clearing cache and data.
3. Test Telematics Components
Check the telematics module battery voltage and condition. Replace if low or dead. The module itself can also fail, requiring replacement. Also ensure the main car battery is fully charged and tested good.
4. Review Vehicle Status and Positions
Don’t overlook the obvious! Verify doors are unlocked and transmission is in Park – required positions for any remote or auto start sequence.
5. Update Software
Run app, vehicle, and phone software updates to cover any potential bugs. Reset app and phone if issues continue. For stubborn problems, disconnect then reconnect battery to reset car’s computer.
6. Schedule Dealer Diagnostics
For recurrent or complex issues, your Volvo dealer has advanced diagnostic capabilities to pinpoint problems. Their scans can detect faults with the remote start module, antenna, transmitter and more. This avoids prolonged guesswork.
Preventing Future Volvo App Remote Start Problems
Once fixed, a few best practices will help avoid a repeat of Volvo app start failures:
- Maintain reliable cellular service and validate app connectivity to the car.
- Recharge or replace the telematics module battery every 2-3 years.
- Keep the main car battery properly charged and serviced.
- Update the app regularly and restart your phone as needed.
- Clear app cache and data periodically to avoid bugs.
- Lock doors but keep transmission in Park for easy remote starting.
- Follow all Volvo remote start troubleshooting tips in the owner’s manual.
- Have your dealer inspect associated systems during routine maintenance.
By combining attentive car care, app management, and proactive troubleshooting, Volvo owners can enjoy the full benefits of remote start commands and be confident their vehicle will start on demand.
The elegance of starting your Volvo with a tap on your smartphone is lost when technical glitches strike. But a bit of targeted troubleshooting to pinpoint the cause, paired with good maintenance practices, will have you back on the road and running comfortably on remote command in no time. With a refined diagnostic strategy, the ability to remotely control your Volvo is right at your fingertips once again.