Troubleshooting Volvo AWD Disabled, Service Required

When your Volvo displays the ‘AWD Disabled Service Required’ message, it’s crucial to address the issue promptly to ensure optimal vehicle performance. This comprehensive guide will help you understand the underlying causes and provide expert tips on diagnosing and resolving the problem. With our step-by-step instructions, you can confidently tackle this common Volvo AWD issue and keep your car running smoothly.

A problem Volvo owners may experience is an error message on the dashboard stating AWD Disabled – Service Required. This problem is often due to issues with the Differential Electronic Module (DEM), a blown fuse, or a defective Volvo AOC pump. This problem affects models with AWD, including the Volvo XC90 XC70 V70 S60 S80 S40. Volvo differs from most all-wheel-drive systems because all four wheels are not permanently driven. Volvo AWD system is engaged by the Differential Electronic Module (DEM) located under the vehicle when needed.  Under regular driving circumstances, only the front wheels are driven. When wheel slippage is detected, the computer control unit redirects torque to the rear wheels to compensate for the loss of traction at the front.


  • AWD Light On
  • AWD Disabled – Service Required Warning
  • No communication with DEM module
  • Related Fault Codes
    • DEM0005 Control Valve Internal Fault
    • DEM0006 Haldex Pump Bad / Feed pump faulty signal
    • DEM0007 Pressure Sensor Defective

Common Problems

Volvo AWD Disabled Service Required

AWD Disabled Service Required message on the dashboard is the first thing you notice. This message sometimes comes on in conjunction with DTSC or anti-skid system warnings. As the system is not permanently on, it is possible that you don’t notice that the system hasn’t been working for a long time.  Common problems with the Volvo AWD system include:

DEM Module

The differential installs a Volvo DEM module under the vehicle and is prone to corrosion and water damage. Mounted in the rear axle, they are exposed to elements. This can lead to casing and electric board corrosion, which usually causes malfunction.


Common symptoms include no communication with the module when you read Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC) codes. Once you lose communication with the DEM module, the AWD message will come on.
Codes: P0960, P0961, P0962, or P0606.

The YOUCANIC Full System Scanner can read and clear fault codes through every vehicle’s control module.

Pump Failure

Another possible failure is a defective Volvo AOC pump. This can be caused by age and wear, but it can also result from a blocked oil filter. In addition to pump renewal, replace the  Volvo AOC filter and oil. The Volvo AWD system pump failure is the lack of service. 

Code: P1889 – oil pressure pump performance.

Clogged Filter

Intermittent AWD Malfunction warning on the dashboard, combined with AWD sporadically not working, is usually caused by blocked filters. In perspective, filters can become clogged as early as 50,000 miles due to clutch material clogging the filter. This causes pump failure.

The problem may start with the pump fuse that keeps blowing. Replacing oil and filter every 30k miles or three years is recommended to avoid this problem.

Electrical Problems

Problems with the electrical system, either a flat battery or an overcharging alternator, can trigger AWD-related codes, such as P0562 or P0562. Simply deleting them solves the problem in most cases.

Open Circuit

Damaged wires or corroded terminals can cause no communication Differential Electronic Module as well.

Troubleshooting Volvo AWD Problems

  1. Clean Connections – Check and clean all electrical connections at the rear differential, DEM, pump, and pressure sensor.
  2. Fuse – Check the fuse for AWD / DEM, typically a 7.5A labeled as fuse 17 or 23 in the Rear Electronic Module (REM).
  3. Replace Volvo Haldex Oil and Filter.
  4. If the DEM module is defective, it will be repaired or replaced. As with any other problem, there are several solutions. See options in the next section.
  5. If none of the tips above work, scanning the AWD system for codes is the next recommended step. The Volvo diagnostic scanners can communicate with the Haldex AWD ECU.

Replace or Repair Volvo DEM Module

If you have a defective DEM module, you will need to replace or repair it. Here are some options:

  • Repair existing DEM Module – You can get your DEM module remanufactured by a specialist. The Haldex system has a wide range of applications, and as these problems are relatively common, several specialists offer this service. Not only that the remanufactured DEM module offers a considerably lower price than a new one, but it also does not need to be reprogrammed. The only real drawback is that the remanufacturing process takes 4-10 days. Remove your DEM module and ship it to a specialist that offers Volvo DEM Repair Service, which you can order on eBay.
  • Dealer Repair – Installing a new DEM module is a prominent and straightforward solution. The new module must be programmed, and a dealer best does this. As one might imagine, this is by far the most expensive option. At a Volvo dealership, DEM module replacement costs $1000+.
  • Used DEM Module – Acquiring a used DEM module might seem cheaper, but they can be hard to find. And, as with any used part, you might end up with a part that will fail soon.

Understand Volvo Haldex AWD system.

If you want to understand Volvo Haldex AWD problems, it is essential to point out that several generations of the Haldex AWD system exist.

  • Generation 1, from 1998 – this system utilizes an electronically controlled hydraulic-mechanical All-Wheel-Drive concept, which attempts to engage the rear wheels when the front wheels start to slip.
  • Generation 2, from 2001 – is an electronically controlled permanent 4×4 system with an automatic power distribution between the front and rear wheels. This depends on the road conditions, but normally 95% of the power goes to the front wheels. It was used in Volvo XC70 and XC90.
  • Generation 3, from 2006 – this system aims to provide a more immediate off-road response. Electronics can pre-tension the clutch and activate all-wheel drive before a wheel slip occurs, providing enhanced capabilities. It has been installed in most Volvo cars from those ages.
  • Generation 4, from 2008 – is similar to generation 3, with some changes regarding the pump type.

In conclusion, addressing the ‘Volvo AWD Disabled Service Required’ message is an essential aspect of maintaining your vehicle’s performance and safety. By following the expert tips and guidance provided in this guide, you can accurately diagnose and resolve the issue, ensuring a smooth and reliable driving experience. Remember to always consult your vehicle’s manual or seek professional assistance if you’re unsure about any steps in the process. Your Volvo’s well-being is a top priority, and taking the time to understand and address these issues demonstrates responsible vehicle ownership. We hope you find the Troubleshooting Volvo AWD Disabled; Service Required guide helpful. Check these troubleshooting and repair guides for more help on your Volvo.


  • Rushit Hila • ASE Certified

    Rushit Hila, an ASE-certified engineer (G1 Automotive Maintenance and Repair), brings over two decades of hands-on experience in the automotive world to his writing. With a strong educational background, including a Master of Science in Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, he has honed his skills and expertise through years of practical work. As a respected authority in the field, Mr. Hila is dedicated to offering insightful and valuable content that resonates with both vehicle owners and mechanics.

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  1. Great info thanks so much!

  2. After replacing my 2013 Volvo xc60 DEM with a new one, the rear continues to jutter (feels like driving over rumble strips) when starting cold especially when turning and applying throttle. As the car is driven it is less noticeable. The dealer says the AOC unit needs to be replaced at over $5,000.

    1. Did you resolve the issue? Just wandering! My car was doing that before it went out and I did the oil flush as well as the filter clean up, it still won’t clear the disable message and I have checked the fuse and the fuse under the dash is good! I’m looking into checking connection and May be pulling the pump out to check it again. Any info related to the 2013 would be appreciated, thanks!