Volvos made in the early '00s are generally very reliable modes of transport when properly maintained. Few things regularly go wrong on them, though there is an issue that affects nearly every car made in that era. The alarm siren Volvo installed in those models regularly goes bad and leaves owners with an "Alarm System Service Required" message on the dashboard, and an alarm siren that won't shut off. Whether you refer to it as the “siren of death” like our former Volvo techs do, or not, your 1999+ Volvo S60, S80, or V70 will likely be affected.
Replacing the siren module is straightforward and should take care of the error message you're encountering. The module is encased in a riveted metal box meant to prevent would-be thieves from damaging the module to silence it and is mounted just ahead of the passenger's side front wheel, behind the fender liner. Inside of the siren is a rechargeable battery that, by now, has likely failed and isn't able to hold a charge. Over time, that battery will leak and destroy the module's printed circuit board, leaving you with an alarm siren that won't shut off.
Symptoms Of A Failed Siren Module Battery
- A sounding alarm that doesn’t shut off with the key in the ignition
- UEM-0004 Siren Communication Fault
There aren’t any hidden tell-tale signs that a failed battery is about to cause a seemingly never-ending alarm siren. Once it does occur, there should be a warning message that appears on the LCD screen in the lower left-hand corner of the instrument cluster stating “Alarm System Service Required.” Checking the code with a scan tool could bring up a number of codes, but UEM-0004 is specific to this battery issue.
How Much Will It Cost To Replace The Alarm Siren Module In My Volvo?
Replacing the alarm siren in your P2 Volvo is the only way to eliminate the issues caused by the leaking battery. A new alarm siren unit isn’t the least expensive piece around at about $250, but it is a guaranteed fix to the constant alarm. Volvo also recommends that you use a new mounting bolt during installation, and that’ll run you another few bucks.
How Long Will It Take To Replace The Alarm Siren Module In My Volvo?
The alarm siren is tucked behind the passenger’s side headlight behind the plastic fender lining. You’ll need to drill out the rivets that Volvo chose to secure the liner to the fender and bumper, but that’s about the only involved part of the job. Set aside an hour or two for the job, start to finish.
Parts Required To Replace A Volvo Alarm Siren Module:
Tools Required To Replace The Alarm Siren In A P2 Volvo S60:
How To Replace Your Volvo Alarm Siren Module:
Before replacement, ensure the alarm system fuse on the CEM under the steering wheel is not blown. If it is blown, replace it, then continue with the repair if necessary.
Step 1: Gain Access To The Siren Module
The siren module sits just ahead of the fender liner in the passenger’s side wheel well. Start the job by jacking up the front of the vehicle and placing it securely on jack stands. Then use a 19mm socket to remove the wheel.
Then turn your attention to the seven rivets that secure the fender liner to the bumper and fender. Use a drill to remove the center of the rivets before pulling them out with some pliers. After that, use a 10mm socket to remove the three plastic nuts securing the liner to the inner chassis.
Pull the fender liner out after removing the nuts.
Step 2: Replace The Siren Module
The siren module is secured to the chassis via a single bolt. Locate the module and unplug it before turning your attention towards the bolt. Unfortunately, Volvo used a single shear-head bolt, so there isn’t a way to remove it with a socket or bit.
Instead, you’ll need to use a punch and hammer to rotate the smooth head to the left, or you can cut a slot in it with a Dremel tool and then use a flathead screwdriver to back it out. Both processes can be a bit tricky, so don't get discouraged.
Pull the old unit out and fit the new one into place. Thread in the new bolt by hand before using a T40 bit socket to tighten the bolt and snap the head off. Then plug in the new controller and test out its new functionality. Move on to reassembly after the new module is checked.
Step 3: Refit The Fender Liner & Wheel
Grab the fender liner and fit it back into position in the car. Then, thread on the three 10mm nuts Volvo used to secure the liner to the chassis. Don't get them tight just yet as you might need to adjust the liner when installing the rivets. After that grab your rivet gun and resecure the fender liner to the fender and bumper.
With the new siren installed and the fender-liner riveted back in, a simple VIDA software download may need to be performed by an independent Volvo technician or dealership. This will pair the siren with the car and eliminate any lingering errors.
We hope that this tutorial was informational and helpful. If you have any questions about fixing the Volvo Alarm System Service Required message, ask in the comments section below. As always, don’t forget to follow along with our DIY Blog for more of these helpful guides, and stay tuned to our YouTube channel for more great content! Let us know in the comments below if you have any questions or concerns. Happy wrenching!
Owner of a flat-six swapped 1998 Impreza 2.5RS and a 1973 Porsche 914. Horizontally opposed views, only.