The ABS (Anti-lock Brake System) and anti-skid systems in a Volvo vehicle are designed to prevent the wheels from locking up during heavy braking and to maintain traction and stability on the road. When the ABS anti-skid service required message appears, it generally indicates an issue with one or more of the components of the brake system and that service is needed to resolve the issue.
Volvo ABS uses wheel speed sensors to monitor the rotation of each wheel. If the system detects that one or more wheels are locking up during braking, it will automatically intervene by reducing brake pressure to that wheel, allowing it to continue rotating. This helps the driver to maintain steering control and to avoid skidding or losing control of the vehicle.
Volvo Anti-skid system, also known as electronic stability control (ESC), monitors the vehicle’s motion and compares it with the driver’s intended direction. If the system detects that the vehicle is not following the driver’s intended direction, it will automatically apply the brakes to individual wheels and reduce engine power if necessary to help the driver regain control of the vehicle.
When the ABS anti-skid service required message appears, it could indicate a problem with one or more of the components of the brake system, such as a malfunctioning wheel speed sensor, a problem with the brake control module, or a problem with the brake pads or rotors. It may also indicate a problem with the anti-skid system, such as a malfunctioning yaw rate sensor or a problem with the control module.
The best way to diagnose and correct the issue is by connecting the vehicle to a diagnostic scanner and reading the trouble codes stored in the ABS and Anti-skid control modules. This will clearly indicate the problem, and the mechanic can proceed with the repair accordingly.
What does Volvo ABS Anti Skid Service Required Mean?
Volvo warning message ABS Anti-skid service required displays on the instrument cluster when the ABS malfunctions. Volvo anti-lock brake system (ABS) light will come on when the ABS module detects a problem with the ABS pump, ABS wheel speed sensors, steering angle sensor, or the ABS control module. Wheels may lock up during braking and lose tractive contact with the road. The vehicle may skid and require a longer distance to stop during hard braking situations.
If your Volvo has traction or stability control, those systems get disabled since they depend on the ABS to function properly. The check engine light may also come on if you continue driving with the ABS light. The car may even go into limp mode or even stall while driving.
In addition to the ABS light, you may experience one or more symptoms.
- ABS Service Required
- Brake light on
- Anti-skid disabled
- Traction light on, STC light on
- Traction Off
- Check engine light
- Car shuts off unexpectedly
- Odometer shows —— mileage
- The cruise control stops working
- Transmission shift light
- Brake failure, stop asap
- Speedometer works intermittently
- Sluggish acceleration
- Anti Skid Temporarily Off
Many of these symptoms are intermittent. You may experience these problems more frequently if the weather is extremely hot or humid or if you are driving on a bumpy road. They often disappear when the car is restarted. A defective Central Electronic Module causes some of these symptoms.
Some common causes that trigger Volvo ABS anti-skid service required message include:
- Faulty wheel speed sensors: These sensors monitor the rotation of each wheel and send information to the ABS control module. If a sensor is malfunctioning or damaged, the ABS may not be able to properly monitor the wheel speed, which can lead to the service required message.
- Worn brake pads or rotors: If the brake pads or rotors are worn or damaged, it can affect the ABS’s ability to control the brake pressure properly.
- Failed brake control module: The brake control module is responsible for processing information from the wheel speed sensors and controlling the brake pressure. It can result in the ABS anti-skid service required message if it fails.
- Failed yaw rate sensor: The yaw rate sensor is used by the anti-skid system to measure the vehicle’s rotation and compare it to the driver’s intended direction. It can result in the ABS anti-skid service required message if it fails.
- Failed control module: The control module is the central processor of the ABS and anti-skid systems. It can result in the ABS anti-skid service required message if it fails.
- Corroded or damaged wiring: Wiring that is corroded or damaged can cause communication errors between the ABS control module and other components, resulting in the ABS anti-skid service required message.
- Wiring short
- Central Electronic Module (CEM) defective
- Low battery voltage
It’s important to note that other issues can also cause the ABS anti-skid service required message. The most accurate diagnosis can only be obtained by connecting the vehicle to a diagnostic scanner and reading the trouble codes stored in the ABS and Anti-skid control modules.
Soft Reset Volvo ABS
Park the car in a safe spot. Turn off the ignition. Wait for fifteen seconds and restart the car. In many cases, a soft reset will turn off the Volvo ABS light. If the ABS light comes back on, have your Volvo diagnosed, as the problem will eventually return.
Read Volvo ABS Codes
The next step is to use a scanner such as the YOUCANIC full system scanner to read Volvo ABS module fault codes. Generic OBD2 scanners are not able to read Volvo ABS codes. Use a Volvo-specific scanner. The YOUCANIC Full System Scanner can read and clear fault codes through every vehicle’s control module.
Troubleshooting Volvo ABS Malfunctions
The Volvo ABS warning light on the instrument cluster should go out after starting the engine, indicating the system is okay. If the light stays on after starting the engine, it is an indication that there is a malfunction.
Volvo ABS units have a very high failure rate due to faulty solder joints. The traction control light may come on when the ABS module fails and the ABS light. Once the ABS module fails due to broken joints, it loses communication with the ABS pump, wheel speed sensors, and other modules. A fault code in the ABS module describes what triggered the ABS error. You can use the YOUCANIC Full System Scanner to diagnose the Volvo ABS module.
Remember that you can’t use a generic OBD2 scanner to diagnose Volvo ABS problems. You can use any Volvo scanner that can read ABS module fault codes. ABS module failure on Volvo vehicles such as XC70, V70, S60, S40, V40, V50, XC60, XC90, S60, S70, S80, C30, and XC90 is quite common.
If you get a fault code for the high-pressure ABS pump or a defective wheel speed sensor, the issue may be the ABS module itself and not those components.
Common Volvo ABS Fault Codes
- ECM-A02B Communication, the control module for ABS-faulty signal
- CEM-1A5F Communication with ABS control module Signal missing
- ABS-0070 Pump motor faulty signal
- ABS-0080 Control Module faulty signal
- ABS – 0115 Communication between control modules
Quite often, mechanics who do not have experience working on Volvo vehicles may misdiagnose the problem.
For example, they replace the ABS wheel speed sensor because the fault says a bad sensor. Replacing the ABS wheel speed sensor may not fix the problem because the issue is with the ABS module’s connections.
The first step is to check the fuses for the ABS module. You don’t need any special tools for this. Locate the fuse panel on the engine bay and the dashboard side. Look at the chart for the fuse for ABS. If the fuse is blown, replace the fuse.
Replace ABS Relay
Inspect the ABS relay typically located in the fuse box in the engine bay. It isn’t easy to visually verify if the relay is working properly. Replace the ABS relay with a working relay.
Wheel Speed Sensor
When you read the ABS codes with a Volvo scanner, you may get a fault code for a faulty wheel sensor signal circuit fault. The first step would be to remove one wheel and check your wheel speed sensors for dirt or debris.
Next, you will need to replace the ABS sensor. If the ABS light stays on after replacing the wheel ABS sensor, clear the fault codes from the ABS module. If you cannot clear the ABS fault codes, the most likely issue is a defective ABS module.
Check the Brake Fluid Level
A low brake fluid level will trigger the brake light to come on and a warning message. Check the brake fluid level as soon as possible. Have your car diagnosed ASAP if you keep loose brake fluid. Your car should not lose any brake fluid. If you are losing brake fluid, you have an issue that needs to be addressed immediately.
How to fix a Volvo ABS module?
There are a couple of ways to fix Volvo ABS module problems.
- You can have the Volvo dealer replace the ABS module, which costs $1000+. The dealer’s average Volvo ABS module repair cost ranges between $1500-$2000.
- A cheaper alternative is to remove the module and send it to a specialist that offers Volvo ABS Module Repair Service, which you can order on eBay. The specialist will disassemble the ABS module and repair the broken connections.
Replacing the module with a used unit works on older models. Used modules no longer work on newer Volvo models because the VIN must be codded into the module and match the car.
What does it mean when my Volvo says anti-skid temporarily off?
When your Volvo displays the message “Anti-skid temporarily off,” it generally means that the vehicle’s electronic stability control (ESC) system has detected a problem and been deactivated. The ESC system, also known as the anti-skid system, is designed to help the driver maintain control of the vehicle by automatically applying the brakes to individual wheels and reducing engine power if necessary.
If the battery supplying power to the ABS/DSTC system is low, the system may behave abnormally, and as a safety measure, it will be temporarily disabled. This message may occasionally appear, particularly if the ignition has been on for an extended period. To avoid any potential issues, it’s recommended to have the battery checked by a qualified Volvo technician who can use a diagnostic scanner. Your Volvo dealer may even offer a free battery check. It’s best to address this issue as soon as possible to ensure the proper functioning of the ABS/DSTC system and to avoid any potential safety hazards.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I continue to drive my Volvo if the ABS light is on?
When the anti-lock brake system fails, the brakes will still operate normally but without ABS. The wheels may lock up if you slam on the brakes during an emergency-stopping situation. If your Volvo is equipped with traction control, that system will also be disabled. You can continue to drive with extra caution. Get your Volvo diagnosed as soon as possible.
Where is the Volvo ABS module located?
The Abs Module is located on the left side of the engine compartment under the ABS pump. It has Torx bolts but can also be removed with a 4mm socket.
Can I drive my car with no ABS module?
Most models, yes. We do not recommend it. The ABS module can be removed and the pump left in place, allowing the vehicle to be driven with normal brakes but no ABS.
Does Volvo make its own ABS module?
Volvo does not make its own ABS Control Module. They are, in most cases, made by Bosch or ATE.
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