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Volvo Truck Brake Suspension & Problems: 9 Faults & Fixes!

The brake and suspension in Volvo trucks work hard to ensure safety and comfort among drivers. 

While they are designed to last the whole life of the truck with little maintenance, the components of the brake and suspension system may wear out over time. 

But how can one tell if there are problems with the brake and suspension? Read on to know more.

A short summary of common Volvo Truck Brake Problems to Expect:

Volvo trucks’ most common brake problems are issues in the brake pedal, engine brakes, truck hill assist, parking brake, ABS and air pressure, and brake contamination. These problems must be addressed before they could damage other parts of the brake system, leading to costly repairs.

A short summary of common Volvo Truck Suspension Problems to Expect:

A Volvo truck’s most common suspension problems are improper wheel alignment, bad shocks, burst or deformed air springs, bad control arms, and air leaks in the air suspension. While Volvo’s suspension system is resilient, its components may wear out and break when the truck is used over time.

Volvo VNL Brake Problem

According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), Volve recalled several VNL models due to brake problems. The good thing about being subjected to the recall campaign is that the company will fix the problem or replace the system in issue for free.

  • Brake air pressure issues

In 2013, Volvo recalled its VNL 2006 to 2013 models because the trucks were not equipped with the redundant clutch disengagement switch.

Without the disengagement switch, it will not signal the brake air pressure switch, preventing the clutch from disengaging when using the brake. 

Hence, the distance required when braking or stopping the vehicle is long. This issue will heighten the risk of crashes on the road.

Since it’s part of Volvo’s recall campaign, the only remedy is to report it to Volvo so the latter can fix the issue.

This problem did not manifest in VNL 2014 to the latest models because VOLVO has removed the brake pedal micro switch.

It has been found that the micro switch provided a redundant signal affecting the transmission control module leading to the defective brake.

  • Brake Contamination

In 2017, Volvo recalled some of their VNL 2013 and 2017 models due to the truck’s dryer system software issues. Unfortunately, the software allows condensation into the VNL truck’s air, resulting in water and oil entering the brake. 

The brake issue increases the risk of collision. The good thing though, is that the problem has been caught early. And no crashes were reported due to defective brakes.

Should you have the same problem with your VNL 2013 or 2017 models, you can have it fixed by Volvo for free. Volvo will replace or update the defective software with a new one. 

  • Breaking of Brake Pedal

The latest VNL models recalled by Volvo are the 2020 to 2021 models with manufacturing dates of September 2019 to August 2020.

It is reported that some of the VNL 2020 to 2021 models have issues with the brake pedal breaking apart. According to the NHTSA report, the pedal plate may have casting process defects resulting in attachment issues in the brake pedal. 

Because of this issue, the truck will have difficulty stopping at a certain distance. 

  • Parking Brake Issue

Due to parking brake issues, Volvo recalled certain VNL vehicles built from July 8 to December 8, 2021. If you hear an air leak before the park brake sets, it indicates that the parking brake has a problem.

If this is the case, the driver will lose control of the truck, making it vulnerable to collisions or crashes.

Truckers or owner-operators must report the issue to Volvo or any dealer to inspect the problem and replace the defect when necessary.

Volvo encouraged all VNL models subjected to the recall program must coordinate with them.

However, If your truck is not included in the recall campaign, you can still check or fix if there are some problems with your VNL truck. To do this, follow these steps:

Step 1: Try pumping the brake pedal several times when the truck is low on brakes. 

Step 2: If it stops with a few pumps, you must adjust your brakes or add more brake fluid. 

Step 3: if the truck still moves even if you press the brakes, you might need new brake linings. 

Volvo Truck Engine Brake Problems

A Volvo truck engine brake may not work because of a broken oil temperature and level sensor problems.

If the oil temperature sensors or the ECM won’t recognize or read any oil in the engine, the engine brake may fail to activate. 

To fix this issue, follow these steps:

Step 1: You need to check for the oil pan. Sometimes the engine brake problem is caused by corrosion in the filter or the connection. 

We recommend replacing the whole oil pan and sensors for the brakes to work correctly.

Step 2: Check the oil temperature sensors, micro switches, and the switch itself to be sure that it will fix the issue immediately. 

Jake’s brakes sometimes have a loud sound when you activate them. 

This issue is usually caused by overuse or worn brake linings. 

You can fix this immediately by replacing the brake linings with a new one. Follow the steps below:  

Step 1: When replacing the brake linings, the brakes are extremely hot when you have just driven your truck. Let it cool for a while. 

Step 2: Jack the truck and access the caliper. 

Step 3: Disassemble the brake and replace the pads. 

Volvo Truck Hill Assists Problems

The most common problem with Volvo Truck Hill Assist is when it pops a notification that the system is unavailable.

This problem may arise due to a broken brake light fuse or the OBD port having a data reader. You can fix this by restarting the car, rebooting, or turning the hill assist off thoroughly. 

When there is a problem with any hill start assist sensors, it usually sets a warning and triggers the not available alert. 

Furthermore, the hill start assist sensors are stored in different modules such as the ABS, PCM, TCM, or RCM. It’s essential to check these components. 

Broken brake lights trigger the unavailable hill assist because when the hill assist is activated, it pressurizes the brakes. 

The brake lights are part of the whole assist system. If the brake lights fuse is blown, you need to replace it. 

Restating the truck usually fixes the issue. 

The hill assist will work normally once you restart the truck.

But if the error codes continue to flush, you should check the brake light fuse to assess the problem further.

Volvo Truck Parking Brake Problem

As mentioned, some VNL trucks have been part of Volvo’s recall campaign due to their parking brake issues. 

However, Volvo vehicles are also affected by the same issue, such as VAH, VHD, and VNR 2021 models.

Fortunately, you can resolve the parking brake issue independently, even without having Volvo fix it. Follow these steps. 

Step 1: Park your truck and loosen the affected wheel’s lug nut. 

Step 2: Remove the wheel and locate the electrical connector to the caliper. 

Step 3: With a multimeter, check the power received by the electrical actuator. 

Step 4: Check the voltage reading and actuator. You need to turn on the ignition and activate the parking brake. 

Step 5: When it indicates a voltage lower than 120 volts to zero, you must check the fuse or the wirings and be ready for replacement. 

The switch must have a problem if the actuator is higher than zero. Replace it eventually. 

Step 6: Once done. Place everything back in the reverse method. 

Volvo Truck ABS Problem

When you notice on Volvo trucks that the ABS light is on and there is an Anti-Skid required warning, you have to fix it immediately.

This issue is most likely an indicator that there is a problem with the ABS pump, ABS wheel speed sensors, ABS wheel speed sensors, steering angle sensor, or the ABS control module. 

If you leave the Anti-locking brake system or ABS lights on while driving, the engine light may also light up, followed by the car limping or stalling while driving. 

This is extremely dangerous and might cause further damage to the truck in the long run. 

The easy way to fix this ABS issue is by resetting the vehicle. Park the truck in a good spot and turn off the ignition. Wait for fifteen minutes before turning it on. 

If this doesn’t fix the issue, check for the fuse and replace it if necessary. 

You can also clean your wheel speed sensors and check the brake fluid level to fix the problem.

Volvo Truck Air Compressor Problems

The problems with a Volvo truck air compressor can be caused by the failure of the compressor drive, piston rings, air governor, unloader, valves, and head gasket.

You need to check each of these parts to identify which needs to be fixed or replaced. Make sure to don’t leave anything unchecked.

You can test the piston rings and the compressor drives simultaneously. To do this, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Disconnect the discharge line and push the compression tester equipped with a rubber into the outlet fitting.

Step 2: Remove the air governor if the compressor does not build 120 psi. If the compressor works without the air governor, check the dryer. 

Step 3: Replace the governor if you notice no air coming from the dryer. But if there is air present, repair the dryer. 

Volvo Truck Air Dryer Problems

Air leak is one common problem of the Volvo truck air dryer. This problem may occur when there is a weak spring at the relief valve. You can quickly fix these issues by replacing the air dryer.  

When the air leaks, the air dryer might pop off. 

Hence, checking for any air leakage in the air governor and dryer pop-off valve is vital. It is located in the center tap of the governor. 

One fix is to stick a cajun bolt on the leak, which will magically stop the air leaks. 

Volvo Truck Suspension Problems

There is a problem with your Volvo Truck suspension when you often experience a bumpy ride, dipping when braking, drifting to one side as you turn, and when the steering wheel is difficult to maneuver.

The noise you hear while driving means the shocks are already worn out. 

However, the suspension wears out when the truck pulls to another side when turning. 

Now, if you see that the truck stands uneven, this indicates a damaged part in the suspension. 

You can fix them by following these seven easy steps:

Step 1: Park your truck in an excellent location. Jack it nicely. 

Step 2: Spray a metal cleaner on the shock mountings. 

Step 3: Remove the shock bolts from the shock tower. 

Step 4: Disconnect the shock from the suspension, then remove the shock absorbers. 

Step 5: To install the new one, you need to fit the shock absorbers back into the control arm. 

Step 6: Affix the anti-roll bar. 

Step 7: Before tightening the bolts, ensure that the torque specifications are secured. 

Volvo Truck Air Suspension Problems

There is an issue with the air suspension when the truck runs noisier, with sagging ride height and sloppy handles through bumps and corners

These symptoms may occur when air suspension components such as the air spring, air dryer, compressor, and airlines are worn out. 

While problems in the air suspension are not a dangerous failure, you need to fix or repair the issues right away. Otherwise, the rest of the suspension system will break.

To fix the issue, check out the following steps:

Step 1: Check each component of the air suspension system to identify the problem.

Step 2: Once you have located which part has the issue, replace the component with a new one. 

After all, the problems in the air suspension components are typically caused by wear and tear.

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