The car is equipped with two brake circuits for safety reasons.
The driver's brake pedal pressure is assisted by a brake servo.
The brake servo doesn't operate until after the engine has been started, see Starting the engine.
If the foot brake is used in a de-energised car with the electric motor and internal combustion engine switched off - e.g. if the car is being towed - then pedal travel is slightly longer and a higher pedal pressure must be used to brake the car.
For cars with the Hill start assist (HSA)* function, the pedal returns more slowly than usual to normal position if the car is parked on a gradient or on an uneven surface.
In very hilly terrain or when driving with a heavy load the brakes can be relieved by using engine braking. Engine braking is most efficiently used if the same gear is used downhill as up.
For more general information on heavy loads on the car, see Engine oil - adverse driving conditions.
Function check when the engine is started
The car is equipped with a "brake by wire" brake system. After each engine start, an automatic function check is made of the brake system when the driver depresses the brake pedal in order move the gear selector out of the P position; see Automatic gearbox - Geartronic. In connection with the function check, in some cases, the information display may show a message and a symbol, see examples in the table at the end of this section.
During the function check the pedal travel is slightly longer than during normal braking.
Light braking - hybrid battery charging
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 engine braking is indicated in the combined instrument panel with animation.
This function is active in the speed range 150-5 km/h(93-3 mph) - for harder braking, as well as outside the speed range, the braking is complemented by the hydraulic brake system.
Braking on wet roads
When driving for a long 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 harder. For this reason, maintain a greater distance to the traffic ahead.
Brake the car firmly after driving on wet roads and after a car wash. The brake discs are then warmed up, dry more quickly and are protected against corrosion. Take the prevailing traffic situation into account 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. For this reason, keep an extra large safety distance to the vehicle ahead. Also make sure of the following:
- Brake occasionally 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 when driving is finished and before the next journey starts.
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 and messages
Constant glow – Check the brake fluid level. If the level is low, fill with brake fluid and check for the cause of the brake fluid loss.
Constant glow for 2 seconds when the engine is started - automatic function check.
Fully depress the brake pedal in order to leave the P-position
Foot pressure on the brake pedal is too low.
Brake pedal characteristics changed Service required
May be shown in very cold weather or if the gear selector has been moved from the P position with the brake pedal insufficiently depressed.
If the error message remains: Contact a workshop - an authorised Volvo workshop is recommended.
If and illuminate at the same time, there may be a fault 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.