Foot brake

The foot brake is used to reduce the car's speed while driving.

Foot brake system

The car is equipped with two brake circuits. If a brake circuit is damaged, the brake pedal will engage deeper. Higher pressure on the pedal will therefore be needed to produce the normal braking effect.


In a de-energised car with the electric motor and fuel-driven engine switched off it is not possible to brake the car.

In very hilly terrain or when driving with a heavy load, the brakes can be relieved by using engine braking in gear position B.

Use drive mode Off Road for increased engine braking while driving on steep downhill gradients at low speeds.

Anti-lock braking system

The car has anti-lock brakes, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), which prevent the wheels from locking while braking and allows maintained steering control. Vibration may be felt in the brake pedal when this is engaged and this is normal.

A short test of the ABS system is made automatically after the engine has been started when the driver releases the brake pedal. A further automatic test of the system may be made at low speed. The test may be experienced as pulses in the brake pedal.

Light braking charges the hybrid battery

The electric motor's engine brake is used during light braking. The car's kinetic energy is then converted to electrical energy instead, which is used to charge the hybrid battery. Battery charging with electric motor braking is indicated in the driver display, see the section "Hybrid related information in the driver display".

This function is active in the speed interval 150-5 km/h (93-3 mph). During heavier braking, as well as outside the speed interval, braking is supplemented by the hydraulic brake system.

P5-1646-XC90H-Hybrid battery gauge regenerating
The driver display indicates charging during electric motor braking.

Braking on wet roads

When driving for a prolonged period of time in heavy rain without braking, the braking effect may be delayed slightly when next using the brakes. This may also be the case after a car wash. It is then necessary to depress the brake pedal more forcefully. You should therefore maintain a greater distance to the vehicles in front.

Brake the car firmly after driving on wet roads or using a car wash. This warms up the brake discs, enabling them to dry faster and protecting them against corrosion. Bear in mind the current traffic situation when braking.

Braking on salted roads

When driving on salted roads, a layer of salt may form on the brake discs and brake linings. This may extend braking distance. You should therefore maintain an extra large safety distance to vehicles in front. In addition, make sure you do the following:

  • Brake now and again to remove any layer of salt. Make sure that other road users are not put at risk by the braking.
  • Gently depress the brake pedal after finishing driving and before starting your next trip.


To keep the car as safe and reliable as possible, follow the Volvo service intervals as specified in the Service and Warranty Booklet.

New and replaced brake linings and brake discs do not provide optimal braking effect until they have been "worn in" a few hundred kilometres. Compensate for the reduced braking effect by depressing the brake pedal harder. Volvo recommends only fitting brake linings that are approved for your Volvo.


The wear on the brake system's components must be checked regularly.

Contact a workshop for information about the procedure or engage a workshop to carry out the inspection - an authorised Volvo workshop is recommended.

Symbols in the driver display

P5-1507 Symbol Brake red
Check the brake fluid level. If the level is low, fill with brake fluid and check for the cause of the brake fluid loss.
P5-1507 Symbol Brake warning
Fault in pedal sensor.
P5-1507 Symbol ABS brake

Constant glow for 2 seconds when the engine is started: Automatic function check.

Constant glow for more than 2 seconds: Fault in the ABS system. The car's normal brake system is still working, but without the ABS function.

P5-1546-XC90-Dim Soul symbol-Brake pedal
If the message Brake pedal Characteristics changed Service required is shown then the system for Brake-by-Wire is inoperative. The brake pedal engages deeper and a higher pedal pressure is required to achieve braking effect.


If both the warning lamps for brake fault and ABS fault illuminate at the same time, a fault has occurred in the brake system.

  • If the level in the brake fluid reservoir is normal at this stage, drive carefully to the nearest workshop and have the brake system checked - an authorised Volvo workshop is recommended.
  • If the brake fluid is below the MIN level in the brake fluid reservoir, do not drive further before topping up the brake fluid. The reason for the loss of brake fluid must be investigated.