Volvo C70 Brake Problems

apolloc70apolloc70 Member Posts: 13
hey, i have the 98 coupe T5

over the past 2 weeks, while i have been driving, i feel lik the front brake are gripping the wheels...

its not the hand brake (thats the rear wheels)

some days i have no problems, others they grip/get stuck. a few hours after parking it somewhere, they will be ok !

does anyone know what this is about ?


  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 31,041
    After driving it while feeling this problem, have you gotten out and touched the front wheels? If one or both are hot, then you have a caliper (or calipers) locking up.

    Yes, I've had this problem. Its quite common on any car.

    '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '21 WRX, '20 S90 T6, '22 4xE. 62-car history and counting! MB Sprinter and '92 Nissan Gloria on the way!

  • apolloc70apolloc70 Member Posts: 13
    ya, sometimes its the right one that is really hot, sometimes its the left one.....
    im gonna take it to the shop on monday 4 sure. thanks.

    now i have a new problem, the windows !!!
    i lift them but then they freeze after like 1-2 seconds. i wait a minute and try again, they go up (for 1 second) and then they freeze !!!!
  • tom007tom007 Member Posts: 40
    I have a 2006 C70 with 2100 miles on it and it surprised me that the rear wheels will get that brake dust much worse than the front wheels.It has been doing it since mile one.It is probably five times the dust after cleaning front and rear wheels. Has anyone else noticed this on their car? The dealer said it just happens, but I was wondering if it had to do with emergency brake being adjusted too tight if that is possible.

    I would appreciate any feedback on the subject. It annoys me because the last few cars I had had a shield inside the wheel to prevent this, but it is too tight a fit on C70 to install one. Thanks for any reply.
  • lemennlemenn Member Posts: 89
    Hi Tom007:

    I am not sure to understand your problem/concern.
    Are you worry about the fact that the back wheels are not as clean as the front wheels due to brake dust deposit?

    After more than 1000 miles I cleaned twice the wheels with a "karsher"? high water pressure system and I did not notice any difference between the front and back wheels.

    I did see a little bit of black deposit, but I consider it as normal.
  • tom007tom007 Member Posts: 40
    Thanks for reply lemenn.

    I clean the back wheels with pressure washer and spoke brush also, but the brake dust on rear wheels is always about four times as much as is on front wheels.You can hardly see dust on front, but back wheels are almost black . I have been cleaning them at least twice a week to keep wheels looking good. I like for the wheels to shine. It has always been my understanding and experience that front wheels build up more than rear but this is not the case with this car.

    When I take car in for oil and filter change this month, I will have dealer check on the problem.I will post the results of his diagnosis when this is done.
  • tmarttmart Spring, TXMember Posts: 1,929
    That is curious. My 99 fronts are ALWAYS dirtier than the rears. Maybe with the hardtop, there's more weight towards the rear now.
  • tom007tom007 Member Posts: 40
    I could understand fronts because the weight goes forward when you apply brakes, but the back pads usually last twice as long as fronts because they are mainly for emergency (parking) brake on rear wheels. I will let you know solution to problem when dealer checks them.

    I am not worried about pads not holding, but just want to find out if it is normal on this model car with other owners. Most of my driving so far has been local and this is harder on brakes with stop and go driving.I only have 2100 miles so far.

    Thanks for reply.
  • grsubgrsub Member Posts: 13
    I too have noticed that the rear brakes accumulate more dust than the front. I didn't think much of it, because before I bought the C70, I asked a friend who owned 2 previous volvos. He had the ?2001 C70, and now the XC90, and when asked what he thought about volvo and his cars, his only reply was the annoying accumulation of brake dust on his wheels. He didn't tell me whether there was a front/rear difference. I've driven the car 3600 miles now, but have not had a chance to go to the dealer with issues, so I'd be interested once you get to your dealer.
  • tom007tom007 Member Posts: 40
    I just had my car into dealer to get the R163A recall service for water shield installation and as stated before, I asked them to give particular attention to the rear brakes as to the excessive dust problem which does not show up in front brakes. I was told by the service department man in charge today that the brake dust problem is just something I will have to live with as all of them do it.

    I asked about emergency brake cable needing adjustment as on american cars, the emergency brake is attached to rear wheels. He explained that the emergency brake set up on the C70 is not attached to rear rotors, but has a seperate compartment out from main rotors with small pads of it's own and is enclosed so it can not expel dust to wheels. His belief is that the rear wheels have less cooling area and therefore get hotter than front pads and rotors and therefore produce more dust because of heat. I guess I will just use my power washer more than I planned on doing, because I hate to see that dust. He explained that other foreign cars usually have black on the rear wheels. That is story I was told this morning.

    I was not a happy camper after having an appointment to have the water shield installed and driving the sixty miles (each way) to have it done having been told the part would be there and then telling me when I got there that the part had not come in yet. I had told them expressly that if part was not there to call or E-mail me. Now I have to make another trip for the installation. Oh well, the car loves the open road. Happy motoring and I wish I had better news on brake dust issue.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Member Posts: 5,238
    Brake dust is endemic on European cars. The brake pads are softer than what is used on American or Japanese cars. This is to facilitate better cooling of the pads and shorter stopping distances. The front brakes have better airflow, so the dust will sometimes not be as apparant as on the back wheels.
  • agarretttxagarretttx Member Posts: 8
    I have had a problem for a couple of months now. Squeaky brakes - especially when backing out of the driveway in the morning. The 1st time - they said operating according to specs. The 2nd time I had it in the shop, they dipped the pads in something that was supposed to help. The 3rd time (last week), I was told that they are working to develop a new pad for the C70 that is being produced now. Has anyone else had any problems or heard anything else?
  • volvo_drivervolvo_driver Member Posts: 34
    I am having the same problem and had my car in on Monday of this week. The service department said exactly the same thing "operating according to specs." I have not been back multiple times for the issue... but it is driving me nuts and I'll call them to ask them about the new pad rumor. Thanks for posting... after Monday's visit, I was wondering if it was normal.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Member Posts: 5,238
    A certain amount of brake squeak is normal for Volvo's and other European cars.
    Make sure you clean the wheels and blast the calipers once a week w/ water.
  • dahlia18dahlia18 Member Posts: 4
    I am a recent owner of a 2001 c70 and today while driving the car, I noticed that the instrument panel was displaying "disc"
    I tried to find it in the owners manual and I couldn't find anything. If anyone knows what this means, I would appreciate the feedback. It might just mean that I need new brakes??
    But they were checked a few weeks ago and was told they looked good?
    thanks...... :confuse:
  • johnh7johnh7 Member Posts: 67
    The sensor on one of the brakes may be bad and sending off a false signal. I experienced this on my old Audi A4.
  • dahlia18dahlia18 Member Posts: 4
    thank you johnh7. i will look into that. one other question for you or anyone else that might seats are automatic but when trying to move the passenger seat for people to get in/out of back, it seems like a hassle. my friend has an acura, and all he does is raise the arm on side and then it just takes off by itself. on mine, i've got to hold it the entire way. is that how they are made? or maybe it's broken? i bought it used, and i haven't figured out the car yet. and yes, i'm a girl.
  • rschleicherrschleicher Member Posts: 79

    Yes, you have to hold down the switch on the top edge of the seat. I think this is basically a safety precaution, so that no one gets wedged in or squeezed by a seat that keeps moving on its own. It also lets the back seat passenger control the movement of the seat (moving back) until it is as far back as they can comfortably take it. (Even if this is farther forward than the seat started out.)

    One little tidbit that may not be obvious is that when you are moving the seat back, if you hold the switch down the seat will stop at its previous memory position. If you want to move it even farther back, you can release and press the switch again.
  • dahlia18dahlia18 Member Posts: 4
    thank you for your reply. when you say "switch" do you mean the lever on the right side of passenger chair or is there another switch that i've completely missed?? i guess i need to look at this car a little further! thank you again.
  • rschleicherrschleicher Member Posts: 79
    Oh, my mistake! I keep missing the fact that this forum covers the 1st-gen C70 models, and is not just about the new (2006+) C70.

    My previous comment about rear-seat access was only relevant to the new C70.

    Sorry about providing misleading info.
  • dahlia18dahlia18 Member Posts: 4
    no problem... thank you.
  • jondsjonds Member Posts: 6
    I have a 2004 XC90 with about 60K miles on it, and have always had dust buildup occur very quickly after cleaning. I just did a search for fixes and see that there are "brake dust shields" sold by a company to address this problem. I'm wondering if anyone has ever used these, and if so are they effective? Just do a google search for volvo brake dust shields and you'll find one.
  • rschleicherrschleicher Member Posts: 79
    If you search around you will see two schools of thought on brake dust shields (besides Volvos they are popular for a lot of other European car brands - this topic always gets a lot of discussion on Mercedes forums, since M-B OE pads also make a lot of dust).

    Everyone seems to agree that they DO keep the dust off of your wheels to a great extent. The debate is whether they are otherwise harmful to your car, by reducing the cooling air-flow around the brakes. You will undoubtedly run across some horror stories of warped brake rotors, etc., as well as many posters who say that they use them with absolutely no problem. My guess is that for most normal driving use, there is no problem. But for some heavy-duty use, maybe they do lead to hotter brakes, and some increased risk under heavy use of brake fade, rotor warping, etc. If you aren't hot-footing it everywhere, and if you're not doing things like towing trailers, or driving in steep mountain areas all the time, you are probably just fine.
  • tom007tom007 Member Posts: 40
    Haven't posted for a long time, but saw my old posts about brake dust on rear wheels and thought I would throw out what I did. I have fought brake dust on back wheels for six years. I just had rear brakes pads installed with good quality pads and after three weeks of running, I have had little to no dust on back wheels. (I only have 22,000 miles on the 2006 C70 as of this writing). Original pads were almost to rotors. Should have lasted 40,000 miles. Front wheels have always stayed clean.Dealer always told me that it was normal for back wheels to get brake dust . Had to clean dust twice a week before.
  • tmarttmart Spring, TXMember Posts: 1,929
    On my 99, all four wheels get dirty quickly, especially the fronts.
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