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Volvo V70 Brake Problems

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,281
Discuss V70 brake problems and share your solutions here.

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  • teigemanteigeman Posts: 1
    My wife and I just bought a used 2002 v70 with 35k miles on it. We got a good deal, a good trade in, and a great interest rate. We love the car. With two little kiddies, we needed something that is safe, roomy, and comfortable for long rides to the grandparents' homes for long weekends.

    We have had the car for about a week and the CD player has ceased to function. We took it in for an oil change and it also needs a $600 brake job (new rotors all round). I am a bit concerned about these unexpected flaws, and about the information I am reading about the v70's brakes on various spots on the Internet.

    Could someone with some experience answer a couple of questions for me?

    1. Is the CD player covered under manufacturers 5 year 50k warranty? I am thinking 'no way!' but had to ask.

    2. The repair shop with whom we have been doing business for many years works on volvos a lot. They told us that due to the design/materials of the volvos brakes it is possible that we would have to replace rotors each time the brakes start to go! Is this true?

    Other than these things, the car seems rock solid, and very comfortable. I think you'll agree that these problems and expenses, within a week of purchase, are reason for anyone to be concerned.

    If you could answer those questions, and provide any general impressions on maintenance costs for the '02 v70 wagons, it would be most appreciated!

    Thanks, and happy motoring to all!

  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Yes the cd player is covered under warranty. Warranty is 4 yrs/50K

    I take it that you didn't buy the car from a Volvo dealer?

    The brake design on Volvo's is optimized for short stopping distances and rapid heat dissapation.
    Heat is the enemy of a braking system.
    The pads are very soft in order to facilitate heat disapation. The rotors are thinner that other car makes in order to do the same thing.
    Over time, heat buildup warps brake rotors, and if you don't change the pads at the right time, you can score and damage the rotors.
    On a run of the mill car the rotors can be turned, that is they can be machined flat again.
    Volvo rotors cannot be turned.
    The rotors DO NOT need to be replaced every time you do pads. Only if you score them or overheat them. Yes, eventually they will need to be replaced under normal maintenance, but not every time.
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    Judging by posts on other forums the brake discs of a number of modern cars (most? all?) are not designed to be turned. So we try to go easy on the brakes on our 2004 V70. We leave plenty of room between us and the vehicle in front so that we control speed mostly with the accelerator. We coast up to red lights, and use other tactics without infuriating the drivers behind. This also save fuel--we get about 23.5 mpg in town and 30 mpg on the highway.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    "the brake discs of a number of modern cars (most? all?) are not designed to be turned. So we try to go easy on the brakes on our 2004 V70."

    ATE replacement front rotors cost $52 each. Mintex pads are $35 a set.

    My 2004 V70 has 40K miles on it now and the pads/rotors are fine - I'll probably get another year out of them.

    Why is $140 every 3 years enough to make you change my driving style?
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    You are right that drastically changing one's driving style to save wear on consumable parts of the brakes doesn't make sense. I should have said that saving on brake repair is another benefit of a general policy of careful driving whose main purpose is to save fuel and minimize risk of a crash.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I've been keeping a close eye on my front brake pads for the past few months. Well, our 2004 V70 passed 45,000 miles 2 weeks ago and I finally decided to do the service.

    My local dealership wanted $800 to do the 45,000 mile scheduled maintenance - and that didn't include the brakes. Needless to say, I wasn't going to pay that!

    I bought 6 quarts of Mobil 1 10W-40 synthetic for $36.00, an oil filter from the dealer for $6.00, and Mintex "red box" front pads from for $37.00.

    Last weekend, I spent about 2 hours in my driveway inspecting belts and hoses, changing the oil and filter, and replacing the front pads. The rotors were in fine shape but the pads were down to about 3mm of material remaining (we used them up!). I was pleased to see that the calipers are basic Ate units - really easy to work with.

    Oh yeah, the OE Michelin tires are down to 5/32 tread depth. I'll replace them with a set of ultra high-performance all-seasons before the end of the year. I have a set of Pirelli PZero Nero's on my BMW and they are terrific, but I'm thinking about trying the Kumho Ecsta ASX on the Volvo (the Kumho's are very highly rated and almost half the price of the Pirelli's).
  • I own the 2004 wagon, At 37,000 miles I find out that the rotors and pads need replacing. Dealer quotes 980.00 local (good)shop quotes 830.00

    What I find confusing is that there is no warning sensors to indicate worn pads...Can this be true? I dont th8ink we drive the wagon hard and live in a warm coastal environment. Pads I can figure but rotors at 37,000? Dealer said it's normal and that they suggest rotors and pads around 25 - 30,000 miles..Hughhh?

    Any one out there have a take? thanks! [email protected]
  • Can anyone save me a trip to the mechanic or dealer? I purchased a 1998 Volvo xc70 6 months ago, and am truly in love with the car. A few days ago while driving the ABS warning light came on and also illuminated the "Tracs Off" warning light. The warning light seems to go on and off randomly now, but there is no squeak or noise coming from the brakes or tires. Has this happened to anyone else, and if so will this be a costly repair. Thanks very much for your advice. [email protected]
  • I had a similar experience. My 2001 V70 brakes went at 30k and the Volvo dealer replaced the front pads only. Next time (another 20k) all four pads and the rotors were changed but this was with another Volvo dealer. Another 30k and I went to local shop and they said the front rotor and pads needed changing. They said that was because of "manufacturer recommendations". I think that is the key b/c because Volvo "recommends" it and it helps all the shops sell brakes and rotors. I finally took it to a friend who runs an auto shop and he said what someon said in an earlier post, basically it depends if the the rotor was scored or warped but it was not a given that they needed to be changed as a set (pad and rotor). I did also hear that the rotors were not designed for resurfacing b/c of the thickness (or lack of).
  • Your ABS control module is going bad. Eventually it will fail completely and you could also see a lost in your cruise-control and/or speedometer.

    Go to ebay and search under v70 to find the abs repair guy (BBA re manufacturing) and opt to send yours in for repair ~$66 or get a replacement for ~$100. Otherwise expect to pay upwards of $500 - $700+ if you take to repair shop.

    FYI: car is still drivable if you only remove the control module & not the pump. It's a easy DIY job and takes only ~1-2 hour to do. The ebay site shows you how to remove/install.

    Hope this helps.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Maybe, maybe not...
  • True, but this is a very common problem (replaced once on my R and twice on my GLT (also a '98). If you are seeing this problem but not getting CEL, go with this first. If there is a corresponding CEL: read code which could indicate a faulty/dirty ABS wheel sensor (a less common problem but possible).
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Check the code first, then replace the module only if it is faulty.
  • My 2001 V70 wagon has developed a rushing air noise where the brake pedal goes through the firewall. The air noise stops when you apply the brake but then comes right back. Otherwise, the brakes seem to work fine. The noise is just annoying.
  • Does the noise have a whinning sound to it? Sounds like what I had on my 2001 V70 wagon and it turned out to be a faulty break booster. That is an expensive fix (~$800-$1000) so you may want to get a professional opinion.
  • Ouch! Sound reasonable. I will take it in and see. Thanks
    It started as a whining sound but progressed to a rushing sound.
  • 01 v70 xc low brake pedal, new front discs,rotors, bled, still low but better, notice that front pass and rear drivers wheels can still be turned by hand when car is raised. brake fluid gets dirty after a few miles. also need to adjust pkg brk so any info on location and procedure.
  • kimw3kimw3 Posts: 1
    Your post was a while back. I am curious what ever ended up happening? I am having a similar issue. First started as a high pitched squeal as if someone were letting air out of a balloon with the nozzle stretched tight. It has progressed to more like a rushing noise. Almost as if I have an extra air vent under my dash where the pedals are. There isn't actual air being blown there but it sure SOUNDS like there is! I am hoping to hear your results as I may have my car in the shop on 18th which is next week. If you can give me a pre-emptive heads up that would be GREAT!
  • Hi there my friend,

    I saw your message concerning ABS warning light on in your Volvo.
    I too have similar problem with my Volvo XC 70. The ABS lights are on and also at times together with the engine light.

    Have mechanic checked and cleaned the ABS sensors still not fixed. Have also reset the computer - still not fixed.

    I just wonder whether your ABS problem has been rectifed?

    Can you please advise.

    Thank you

    Ah Kow Yee
    Boonah, Queensland,
    4310 Australia.
  • gre3gre3 Posts: 2
    Lots of people ask about hissing noise coming from under dash, this is caused by the rear seal in the brake booster dislodging or is worn out, if the hiss stops when you put your foot on the brake peddle and comes back when you release the peddle then the seal is definitely dislodging.
    It may be possible to reseat the seal after pulling back the bellows at the rear of the booster. For many Volvo boosters the rear seal is the only available service part and failure to rectify the problem will result in the main diaphram rupturing requiring the replacement of the booster this is typical of V70 Australian models, and very difficult and expensive to replace. On american models which are fitted with a vacuum pump this will lead to pump failure if not rectified as the pump will run continuously and burn out the pump.
  • gre3gre3 Posts: 2
    V7O Brake boosters are different in design to a lot other boosters in that they do not have a guide bush and seal at the front where the push rod meets the master cylinder, therefore it is essential to attend to the following. 1. ensure the master cylinder is not leaking fluid from the rear. (fluid will leak into the booster and ruin it). 2. Before installing the master cylinder to the booster ensure you fit a new seal to the joint face between the master cylinder and the booster. (if there is a leak between the master cylinder and the booster when the engine is shut down the vacuum will be depleted, it will also allow ingress of dust etc into the booster, and other associated problems). 3. Extreme care must be taken to carefully ensure the correct alignment of the master cylinder to booster. (because the booster does not have a support bush for the push rod careful assembly is critical, the push rod must not be deflected from its central position as it is mounted on a plastic fitting which will dislodge or break away if it has side pressure exerted on it).
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