Stop! Get Your Volvo Brakes Checked

If someone were to ask you, the most important part to check on your Volvo, what would you say?

Would it be your carburettor? Your tires? Your battery? Your transmission?

All of them are quite important and we've touched on several in previous blogs but most Volvo owners would answer firmly: Brakes.

They would be right.

Your Volvo brakes, when properly maintained, are the difference between life and death. It's imperative for you to keep them in excellent working condition and it's really not that difficult to do. But first, what are the 5 Signs that your Volvo's brakes may need maintenance?:

  1. Brake pads are worn. Just look between the spokes of your wheel and see the rotor inside. If they're thinner than 1/4", they need to be changed.
  2. Weird noises. If you are hearing screeching sounds when you press on the brake, the pads need to be replaced.
  3. Pulling to left or right when braking. The calipers might be stuck or you may have uneven brake pads. (It may also be worn tires, so have them checked as well.) 
  4. Vibrations when at a stop. Your rotors may be warped and you're feeling it through the brake pedal. 
  5. Mushy or Floored pedal. If you have to push the brake pedal all the way to the floor, the pads may be worn or there could be an air leak or brake fluid leak.
When this happens, take your Volvo to the local Volvo dealership and they will perform the following Five (5) Tasks to Maintain Your Volvo Brakes:

  1. Check your brake fluid. Volvo brake fluid shouldn't corrode the metal, plastic or rubber parts in the brake system. It also needs to perform at high temperatures when it's being used. Most Volvos use DOT 4+ brake fluid with 195-degree Celsius boiling point which withstand heat during braking. Brake fluid absorbs water and that can endanger braking your car over long distances. So, have your brake fluid changed every two years. (You may want to have your Volvo dealership technician check it if you are unsure.)
  2. Change your Volvo brake fluid if it has a milky color. When you see a milky looking brake fluid color, you have water or condensation in your fluid and you need to change it quickly. If you fail to do it, you could tear up your master cylinder and wheel cylinders. 
  3. Have new brake fluid added to your master cylinder. Your Volvo technician can do this for you.
  4. Bleed the brake lines to get air out of them. Usually it takes one technician to pump the brakes as the other one watches the bleeder valve. They then close the valve when brake fluid flows through.
  5. Inspect the brake pads and rotors. Your Volvo technician then removes the tire to see if the brake pads are showing wear to the extent that you can't see any of the pad, then it's time to replace them.
So, take good care of your Volvo brakes. It may be all that stands between you and tragedy.
Categories: Service

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