Volvo safety is legendary. But do you know why?
Volvo Passive And Active Safety Features
Volvo incorporates both passive and active safety features into it’s cars.
Passive Safety Features (Crash Protection) - These features aim to minimize the effects of an accident; includes
- Airbags (Frontal Airbags
- Side Airbags and Curtains
- Seat-Belt Restraint System (SRS)
The Seat Belt Restraint System consists of safety belt load limiter and safety belt pre-tensioner –A device that eliminates seat belt slack in the event of a crash.
So, when your SRS Airbag light is illuminated on your dash, it means that there is a fault in the SRS System.This could be a sensor that has failed.
Active Safety Features (Crash Avoidance) - These features aim to actively avoid an accident; includes,
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
- Blind Spot Information System (BLIS)
- Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
- Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
Other Safety Features include:
Adaptive Headlights – Headlamps that bend in the direction you are steering the wheel, effective at illuminating the road around turns.
Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto brake – When a pedestrian unexpectedly steps out in front of an on-coming Volvo, a flashing red warning light on the windshield and a loud alarm sound alerts you if you fail to brake immediately. The Volvo automatically applies full brakes, coming to a dead stop or slowing down.
Every year, when Volvo releases a new model, dealership employees get to take all these wonderful tests online, to familiarise themselves with new Volvo features.
The tests are a pain in-the-you-know-what. But the extra knowledge has paid-off for me, because when a customer who is having difficulties with some features on his or her new Volvo calls in, I know how to solve their dilemma.
One hard to use feature is located on the Sensus Infotainment System.
Customer’s usually call to ask for help with the new Sensus Infotainment System, especially how to turn off the radio because it’s tricky, you have to hold down the power button for 5 seconds to shut down the radio.
The second hard to use feature is the new box keys that slide into the dashboard.
The new box key is confusing to Volvo owners who are used to inserting and turning the key in the ignition lock cylinder. This is now a two or three step process.
The trick here is to first slide the box key into the dash — gently does it — if you push too hard it will pop out again. Next, Step on the brake pedal and push down on the START/STOP button, to start or stop the engine. Don’t yank out the box key. I see customer do that all the time with our Volvo Loaner cars — replacement vehicles.
The third hard to use feature is the hands-free Blue-tooth.
The problem here is pairing up your phone to the blue-tooth. Software Engineers and IT Experts too, have difficulties with Volvo’s Blue-tooth.
We get quite a few customers who just purchased a new Volvo havIng issues with pairing up their phones. Just last week, a customer called about this same issue. His blackberry phone initially paired up just fine with the bluetooth and worked great for six months. Then out of the blue it the phone stopped working with the car.
What the accessories technician says to do is, first isolate the problem. Use a different type of phone and see if it pairs up with the car. And if it does, then the problem lies with the first phone, in this case, the blackberry.
Next, call the blackberry help line and find out if blackberry recently did a software update on the phone. If they did an update, then here lies the problem. We discovered that Blackberry had indeed updated the software. The solution was to get the old software put back in the phone. This can be a pain if Blackberry or any other phone keeps updating the software on a regular basis. Volvo should come up with a software patch to accommodate phone software updates.
Blue-tooth dropping calls is entirely another issue, probably a software bug in the blue-tooth.
About Volvo Anti-Skid Light
When You see this warning light illuminated on your dash, safely pull over and come to a dead stop.
Switch off and restart the engine.
If the light stays on, call your Volvo Dealership or Volvo Specialist and set up an appointment and have the problem diagnosed as soon as possible.
Volvo Anti Skid Service Light means that the Dynamic Stability Traction Control (DSTC) system has been automatically disengaged due to a fault in that system.
For example, the DSTC System on your Volvo consists of four functions.
Volvo Dynamic Stability Traction Control System
- Volvo Traction control (TC)
Traction Control is engaged when one wheel loses traction or grip on icy roads, mud or loose gravel and starts to spin. TC compensates by immediately cutting off power to the spinning wheel, transferring the extra power to the opposite wheel on the same axle. The Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) then kicks in, applies a pulsating braking force to stop the spinning wheel. ABS acts like the police, brings back order, ensuring the wheels are spinning at the same speed.
- Volvo Spin control (SC)
Spin control prevent the drive wheels from spinning while the vehicle is accelerating.
- Volvo Active Yaw Control (AYC) – on XC90′s. Yaw control, helps maintain directional stability when cornering. Anti-lock Braking System, applies braking force to one or more of the wheels when it senses the car sliding sideways or in the case of wheels spinning out.
- Volvo Roll Stability Control (RSC) - on XC90
Roll Stability Control is engaged when your Volvo SUV becomes unstable and weight shifts to one side, like it’s about to roll over. Anti Locking Braking (ABS) is applied to brake one or more of the wheels, and to help maintain stability.
Recently, one morning, a customer called the dealership to find out how much it would cost to have a bike rack installed on her 2009 XC90. So, I set out to do some research on trailer hitches.
Our expert Accessories Technician, David, says there are three ways to do this.
A trailer hitch installation will run you about $1100 ($700 for parts + $400 labor). And a Trailer Hitch consists of a cross member, a ball mount and a two inch diameter ball.
A hitch mounted bike carrier is a safe and easy way to transport up to 4 bikes on a tow hitch.
A quick locking-coupling makes it easy to fit a bike carrier onto the tow hitch. And an added advantage is that it’s easy to load a bike because the height is low. The bike carrier holds up to 4 bikes — 4 non scratch cradles lock down the bikes. Dual quick release levers makes it easy to unload the bikes and if you are worried about security, there is an integrated locking cable which stores conveniently in the carrier arm. A bike carrier will cost you about $400 to install.
2. Fork Mounted Bike carrier - Roof Bike Carrier
This is a very stable way to transport a bike, with little to no risk of swaying or rattling. This kit is used to carry a racing type bike without the front wheel attached. However, you have to need cross bars installed to make this attachement possible. This will cost you about $100 to install.
3. Upright Bike Carrier - Roof Bike Carier
If you have load bars and crossbars installed on the roof of your Volvo, this frame-mounted rack can be easily attached. However, if you have a T-Track crossbar, you may require additional installation kits for some attachments. We carry two types, the Aluminum Upright Bike Carrier and the Regular Upright Bike Carrier.This attachment will cost you about $125 for installation.
Get Rebates from Volvo Parts
Trailer hitch up to $35, Roof Bike Carrier $20, Load Bars/ Cross Bars $15
Road Networks are constantly changing, which in turn affects traffic patterns.
To get the best directions possible for your Volvo. Get a map update. Visit the NAVTEQ website for both American and European Maps – saves you money and time. You can also visit your Local Volvo Dealership — Parts Department – to purchase the most recent Volvo Map Updates.
For some reason it’s always the Volvo Passenger Side View Mirror that suffers damage.
But most times it’s just the Volvo Mirror Glass that is knocked out of place or shattered.
That’s when you go “phew! I dodged a bullet“, as my boss likes to say. Wiping the imaginary sweat off his brow.
Purchase a Replacement Volvo Side View Mirror Glass, and have it glued back on, don’t break into a sweat my friend.
So, after suffering damage to your passenger side view mirror, you need to call your Volvo Dealership as soon as possible and have a Volvo Technician look at it. Thus, you cannot just walk in and have it repaired on the spot, it doesn’t work that way.
This is because Side View Mirrors have become very complex pieces of equipment and our parts department does not keep them on hand. Once the technician has assessed the damage to your Volvo’s Side View Mirror, he or she will walk you to the parts department and help you order the correct parts. That’s if you don’t need the entire Volvo Side View Mirror replaced.
Then simply make an appointment, and two days later we can have it fixed for you.
Watch out when….
You are backing out of your tight garage space one day, and Whack!.
To your horror you discover the passenger side view mirror dangling from the side of your vehicle, held only by the merciful grace of the power cord.
Whack! Watch out at the parking lot.
Have you noticed that car’s nowadays are getting bigger and bigger while the garage space is getting tighter and tighter? Parking spaces have slimmed down while a lot of people have gained weight and become bigger. So a trip to the supermarket parking lot is a disaster waiting to happen. I usually try to park as far away from other cars as possible and just walk to the store. This helps avoid people who aggressively open their car doors and slam into your car, ripping off your Volvo Side View Mirror in the process.
The narrow side streets of Washington DC do not like side view mirrors, at all. And it’s only a matter of time before your poor Volvo’s Side View Mirror is sideswiped by a passing car.
With no proof that another car was involved in the damage to your Side View Mirror, you may have to file this as a collision claim with your insurance company and see your premiums go up.
Most people have a $500 deductible and a replacement side mirror for a new Volvo equipped with a blind spot camera (Bliss) will cost you up to $2000 to replace. On the other hand, a replacement Volvo Side View Mirror without a camera will cost you up to $800. In this case, it would be wise to eat the cost – pay out of pocket – and not suffer increased insurance premiums.
You now have to make a choice of going to a dealership or to a independent Auto Body Shop. A dealership will charge the going labor rate; about $112 -$116 an hour while a body shop will charge you about $40 an hour. The body shop will paint your side view mirror to match the body paint. While the Dealership has to pre-order a side view mirror cover that matches the exterior paint job. You decide.
Before you embark on that long distance road trip this weekend, make sure your car is safe to drive. Do a quick safety check.
7 things you can check yourself today
- Make sure you have sufficient fresh oil in the engine. The best way to do this is to pull out your oil dip stick, wipe it off with a clean cloth and re-insert it into the hole. Pull out the dip stick again and hold it horizontally. Look and see if the oil level falls between the low and high marks. Also look at the condition of the oil. Does it look clean – the color of honey. If the oil looks dark and dirty, get an oil/filter change.
- Check for leaks; fuel, oil, coolant leakage.
- Check the condition of engine drive belts and coolant hoses – look for cracks, tears, splits or a loose belt.
- Check the condition of the battery – make sure the battery’s terminals are free of corrosion. Watch out for parasitic drain. Parasitic drain will kill your battery – drain on the battery when the car is turned off from accessories like GPS etc.
- Inspect your tires carefully – the spare tire too – and replace tires that are worn out. Tread that is 2/32nd and below is considered worn out. Check your tire pressures, 38 psi to 40 psi is okay.
- Check all lights. Especially High beams, Low beams and Brake lights.
- Check to see if you have Reflective Warning Triangles in your trunk just incase your car breaks down. Also check to see if you have Volvo Road Side Service contact tel # 1.800.638.6586 or AAA if you have it, tel # 1.800.222.4357
Tip – The brakes, front wheel alignment, and steering gear should be checked by your Volvo Dealership only.
Volvo Replacement Light Bulbs:S60 Bulbs, S80 Bulbs, S40 Bulbs, C70 Bulbs, XC90 Bulbs, XC60 Bulbs, XC70 Bulbs, V70 Bulbs, 850 Bulbs
- Volvo High beam
- Volvo Low beam
- Volvo Bi-Xenon headlight (option)
- Volvo Front fog lights
- Volvo Rear fog lights
- Volvo Front parking lights, Volvo front/rear side marker lights, Volvo license plate light, rear foot-well lighting
- Volvo Front turn signals
- Volvo Side indicator turn signals
- Volvo Brake lights, backup lights
- Volvo Rear turn signals
- Volvo Rear parking lights
- Volvo Vanity mirror lighting
- Volvo Front foot-well lighting, cargo area lighting, Trunk lighting
- Volvo Glove compartment lighting
Some bulbs may be difficult for you to replace yourself. So, let an authorized Volvo retailer replace these bulbs for you please.
This is probably the most common service we do on a daily basis. simply call your Volvo Dealership or Volvo Service Center and ask what time to come in for the Volvo Express Bulb Change service. Express bulb change — service while you wait – takes between 30 and 45 minutes. So, please don’t ask for a loaner car. No person, in their right mind will give you a loaner car for bulb change.
In our Dealership the best time is between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. If you cannot make it this morning, then ask to come in at 1 p.m., right after our guys — Volvo Technicians — get back from a greasy lunch at MacDonald’s.
Now, you can change your burned out bulbs yourself, but I don’t recommend it because new model Volvo’s require you to remove the whole headlight assembly to get access to the bulbs — It’s a very tight squeeze in the engine compartment.
When you purchase new bulbs do not touch the glass on the halogen bulbs with your fingers. Your finger tips may have Grease, oil, and other impurities, which can be carbonized onto the bulb and cause damage to the reflector. Wear gloves or use a clean dry cloth to hold the bulb with.
Also, be sure to use bulbs of the correct type and voltage.
Don’t forget to Switch off the ignition before you attempt a bulb change.
Please don’t mess around with Bi-Xenon headlight lamps (An option when you buy a new Volvo). Bi-Xenon’s require high voltage to power the headlights; therefore, these bulbs should only be replaced by an authorized Volvo service technician.
Bi- Xenon headlight lamps produce high intensity light — exhibits a distinctive bright, white, heavenly light – as compared to Halogen lamps, which exhibit a more down to earth, kind of light.
Bi- Xenon headlight lamps are not only three times more brighter than regular Halogen lamps but also more expensive.
Bi-Xenon bulbs are so expensive, they will burn a hole in your wallet — $145-$215 for each bulb and you need two.
But on the brighter side they will last longer, 2000 hours of average service life as compared to 500-1000 hours for regular halogen lamps.
Bi-Xenon Ballast Flikering or Dimming problems: How to tell if you have a bad Ballast or a bad Bi -Xenon Bulb
Simply swap ballasts. If the opposite lamp does not work, then the ballast is faulty. However, if the ballast works then you can assume the bulb is faulty. A new ballast will cost you $500. And if you need two, one for each headlight lamp, that will run you $1000.
A failing bulb — dimming bulb — requires more and more voltage to produce an arc. The only problem here is that the ballast puts out only 12 volts. Thus, the bulb will eventually die out.
How a Bi-Xenon Bulb Works
Bi-Xenon headlight lamps — high-intensity discharge lamps or HID — require a ballast/igniter to produces that brilliant white light. Bi-Xenon head lamp is a metal-halide lamp, a lamp that produce intense white light when electricity is arced through a gaseous mixture of vaporized mercury and metal halides. Inside the metal-halide lamp, is a compact arc tube containing a high-pressure mixture of xenon, mercury, and metal halides. (Xenon is a rare inert gas present in the earth’s atmosphere in trace amounts)
Metal halide bulbs require electronic ballasts to limit the arc’s current. Electronic ballasts consist of an electronic oscillator which generates a high frequency current to drive the lamp. As a package, the Electronic ballast also includes the igniter circuit.
An underpowered metal-halide bulb — as a result of a lower operating temperature — will emit a bluish light because of the evaporation of mercury alone. This normaly happens at start up, when the optimum bulb temperature has not been reached — Xenon arc only happens during the start-up process.
The Hard Truths About Low Tire Pressure
When the Volvo low tire pressure light –Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) – is illuminated on your dashboard it means that one of your tires is dangerously low in pressure. So, you should call your local Volvo dealership and ask for express tire service. And have them check all your tires, for low pressure as well as tire failure. If the tire pressure in any one of the tires is at 18 psi or below, have it checked out because it may have already suffered irreparable damage.
The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is designed to monitor the tire pressure of tires mounted on your Volvo. The TPMS sensor — RFID Chip — signal’s the driver if a tire falls below a predetermined level. However, do not wait until the light comes on. Make it a habit to use a manual pressure gauge, at least once a month, to check your tires. Recommended tire pressure for Volvo is 38 Psi.
Tire damage will also activate the TPMS light; Impact damage from huge potholes
Impact damage is a result of tire hazards — Potholes, Curbs and Road Debris. Damage may not be visible to the naked eye because it could be internal. And a tire damaged by a sudden impact may fail today, tomorrow or even next week.
Symptoms of tire damage
- Air leaking out of cuts, cracks, penetrations. Symptoms of under-inflation
- Unusual tire wear.
- Bulge on tire sidewall.
- Vibrations or pulling to one side.
Make a visual inspection of your tires if you sense unusual vibration. See if there is air leaking out of the tire. A pressure check with a gauge will let you know right away and if you see a difference of at least 2 psi in one tire then you know that the tire has a problem. Next, look for a nail that may have penetrated the tire, or hissing air leak from a damaged valve — Valve leak –., it is also possible that your alloy rim is bent, resulting in air loss.
Repair all tires with the combination method – plug plus inside patch. Plug only repairs are not effective.
A tire should be removed from the rim and inspected prior to any repair. This will prevent more damage to the tire as a result of contaminants — moisture and other debris — entering the tire structure. When a tire is repaired without first inspecting the rim, it may fail suddenly at a later date and start to leak air.
Tread Wear Characteristics
Under-inflation – Causes thin tread wear along the edges. Too little air, and the tire will ride on it’s outer edges.
Over-inflation – Causes thin tread wear in the center of the tire. Put too much air and the tire will ride in the center, the point of contact with the surface of the road.
Out of balance – Causes patchy wear or flat spots on the tire. Also causes more vibrations in the tire.
Out of Alignment – Causes camber wear. Which means, increasingly more wear on inner or outer edges of the tire. Also causes the car to pull to one side, either to the left or to the right.
Tip – Never repair a tire with less than 2/32nds of an inch tread remaining. The tire is worn out, get rid of it, quick.
A tire with sidewall damage, such as a bulge should be replaced as soon as possible.
Volvo Tire Advantage:24 Months, Tire Road Hazard Protection Program
This Complimentary Program covers eligible tires – Volvo-Recommended Tires – for a term of 24 months from the date of purchase of tire/tires, or until 2/32″ or less of tread remains, which ever comes first.
Now, if your tire was damaged by road hazards — puncture, bruise, or break due to nails, glass and potholes etc — as a result of normal driving, the tire repair will be covered up to $20, beyond that ,you are responsible.
But if the tire cannot be repaired and you meet all the guidelines as stated below, you can get up to 100% replacement value — within 12 months of purchase – for the exact same tire, and up to 50% replacement value if damage occurs between 12 to 24 months after purchase. For example, if the tire cost $100 then you get $50.
The Volvo Tire Advantage program is only available to the original purchaser of the tire and is not transferable.
Last week, a lady got stranded, after her black 2010 XC90 with New York license plates struck a massive pothole in the Washington DC Area, at least that is what she claimed.
She had her car towed to a tire shop somewhere in Landover Maryland, but they did not carry the tire she needed for her Volvo. So, she got a friend to give her a ride to the nearest Volvo Service center, which happened to be our Dealership.
She informed us that she had the Volvo Tire Advantage –24 Month Road Hazard protection plan – because she had recently purchased four new tires from her local Volvo Dealer in New York.
The only problem was that she did not have her damaged tire with her. So, we arranged to have her Volvo XC90 towed to us, courtesy of Volvo Road Side service. And on further inspection of the car after it was towed in, we discovered that the strut was bent out-of-shape, like a pretzel — let’s just say that the tire was the least of her problems.
How to make a claim:you need to do the following three things
- Return the tire to your Volvo Dealership – where you bought the tire — and have the tire examined.
- If the Volvo Dealership determines that the tire cannot be repaired and is found to be eligible for coverage under this program, the followings terms below must be met.
- You must sign the repair order or replacement invoice and provide the dealership with the original invoice when you purchased the tire. The dealership will make copies of the original invoice and the repair / replacement order — the original invoice will be returned to you. The damaged tire must be surrendered to the dealership.
If the tire fails during the first 12 months of the 24 month period, and you meet the above guidelines, the Volvo Dealership where you bought the tire/tires will replace your tire with an exact make/model of tire, if available. 100% coverage.
After the first 12 months, if your tire fails, the coverage will be 50% of the original purchase price. So, if the tire cost you $200, then you get only $100 for the tire.
The program limits the coverage to no more than $399 per tire for the 100% coverage. You are responsible for any additional charges, including but not limited to, mounting, balancing, taxes and other expenses.