On older Volvos, owners often dismissed ABS messages because the culprit was likely a faulty solder on the control module; no functioning ABS, but not harm to the car. However, ABS warnings should be addressed immediately on modern day vehicles. A faulty ABS is dangerous in emergency braking situations and it may even cause the ABS to activate under normal braking conditions.
When an ABS warning light comes on in a P1 Volvo, the DSTC light will also trigger, as the two systems work hand in hand. But if the sensor checks out fine, the battery is good, and the grounds are all clean, there is a possibility the failure is due to the hub bearings slowly separating from the spindle. Even just one millimeter of movement will be enough for warning lights to begin appearing. ABS and traction control are the first warnings to appear, but this problem can also trip the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), the blind spot information system (BLIS), tail lamp failure warning, and it may even disengage the shift block on manual cars, which prevents the driver from engaging 1st or Reverse while in motion.
If the bearing has in fact worked its way out, you or a shop will need to remove the hub assembly, press the bearing back into place, and then install Volvo's bearing lock brace. However, I would highly recommend installing the brace as preventative maintenance, especially if you frequently track your car or run aftermarket wheels with an extreme offset.
Volvo's wheel bearing lock brace kit can be purchased from FCP Euro
The kit provides all the necessary parts for installation on one hub bearing, so order two kits for installation on both front hub assemblies.
Required Tools: For Brace Installation Only
As mentioned above, if you are encountering these faults and your hub bearing has separated from the spindle, you will need to press the bearing back into place using a shop press. Once the hub assembly is back on the car, or if you are merely installing this brace as preventative maintenance, use the following instructions for installation.
- Jack and jack stands
- Necessary tools to remove front wheels
- 13mm or 15mm wrench for brake caliper hanger bolts
- 8mm socket wrench
With the car securely supported on jack stands, remove the front wheels.
Remove the two caliper hanger bolts from behind the brake caliper. Depending on your model year and brake size, these bolts may either be 13mm or 15mm. Use an object to support the caliper so it is not hanging by the brake line.
With the rotor removed, you can now view the hub bearing to see if it has separated from the spindle. It is normal for the bearing to protrude about 0.5mm, as seen in the picture below.
Remove the three 8mm bolts which hold the brake dust shield in place. The lock brace will mount over the dust shield and share the same threaded holes.
Using the extended 8mm bolts, included in the kit, install the wheel bearing lock brace. Only tighten these bolts by hand, being extra careful not to over torque. These small bolts can break easily.
With the brace installed, it should sit flush against the hub bearing.
Replace the rotor and brake caliper using the fresh caliper hanger bolts included in the kit.
If you had the axle disconnected and hub assembly off of the car, use the included replacement axle bolt when reinstalling.
If there were any warning messages on your dash board, disconnect the battery to reset the codes. These faults code will not be accessible with a standard code reading tool.
You may also drive the vehicle and the warnings should clear themselves after passing the 11mph ABS check.
Michael lives in Dahlonega, GA where he works full time as manager of an accounts receivable department. Despite a bachelors in New Media Arts, his true passion is in modifying and maintaining the cars that he and his wife own; Volvo for life. Many in the Volvo community might recognize his screen name, MyNameIdeasWereTaken.