The brake pedal is used to apply the vehicle's regular brakes, which are part of the brake system.

The vehicle is equipped with two brake circuits. If one brake circuit is damaged, the brake pedal may go down further when depressed. More pressure will then be required from the driver for normal braking effect.

The driver's pressure on the brake pedal is enhanced by a power braking function.


Power braking only functions if the engine is running.

If the brake pedal is used when the engine is turned off, the pedal will feel stiffer than usual and greater pressure must be applied to brake the vehicle.

In very hilly areas or when driving with a heavy load, engine braking in manual gear should be used to augment the brakes. Engine braking is most effective if the same gear is used both uphill and downhill. Use the Off Road* drive mode to increase the engine braking effect when driving on steep downgrades at low speeds.

Anti-lock brakes

The vehicle is equipped with an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS1), which helps prevent the wheels from locking and helps maintain steering control when braking. Vibrations may be felt from the brake pedal when ABS is operating, which is normal.

After the vehicle is started, a brief test of the ABS system is automatically performed when the driver releases the brake pedal. An additional automatic test of the system may be performed when the vehicle is traveling at a low speed. During the test, the brake pedal may feel as though it is pulsating.

Symbols in the instrument panel

P5-1507 Symbol Brake red


P5-1507-XC90-USA- brake warning symbol


Check the brake fluid level. If the level is low, fill brake fluid and check to determine the reason for the loss of brake fluid.
P5-1507 Symbol ABS brake


P5-1507-XC90-USA-ABS warning symbol


Steady glow for 2 seconds after the engine is started: Automatic function check.

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


If the warning symbols for both brake fault and ABS fault are lit simultaneously, there may be a fault in the brake system.

  • If the brake fluid reservoir level is normal when this occurs, drive carefully to the nearest workshop to have the brake system checked - an authorized Volvo workshop is recommended.
  • If the brake fluid has fallen below the MIN level in the brake fluid reservoir, the vehicle should not be driven until the brake fluid has been filled. The reason for the brake fluid loss must be checked.
  1. * Option/accessory.
  2. 1 Anti-lock Braking System
  3. 2 In Canada.
  4. 3 In the US.