The car is equipped with two brake circuits. If a brake circuit is damaged then the brake pedal will engage deeper and a higher pressure on the pedal is needed to produce the normal braking effect.
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 electricity and diesel 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.
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
A V60 Plug-in Hybrid is equipped with a so-called "brake by wire" brake system. After each time the engine is started there is an automatic function check of the brake system when the driver depresses the brake pedal to take the gear selector from 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 - for harder braking, as well as outside the speed range, the braking is complemented by the hydraulic brake system.
Cleaning the brake discs
Coatings of dirt and water on the brake discs may result in delayed brake function. With wet road surfaces, prior to long-stay parking and after the car has been washed, it is therefore advisable to carry out cleaning by braking gently for a short period while driving.
To keep the car as safe and reliable as possible, follow the Volvo service intervals as specified in the Service and Warranty Booklet.
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.