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99 S80 T6 'brake failure - stop safely asap' + more

Help, Advice, Owners' Discussion and DIY Tutorials on the Volvo S80 model. Sometimes called an "executive car", the S80 was and continues to be Volvo's top-of-the-line passenger car.
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Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:04 pm
Year and Model: S80 T6 1999
Location: midwest

99 S80 T6 'brake failure - stop safely asap' + more

Post by petergibbons » Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:25 pm


My wife called me today to inform me the 99 Volvo S80 t6 we bought last week was flashing all types of messages and warning lights after a short ride on the highway from school.

I took a look and the problems I'm encountering are:
- all instrument panel items (except speedometer) are not working
- - warning lights are on
- - - BRAKE
- - - ABS
- - - Orange triangle light of skidding car

- the info panel reads "brake failure - stop safely asap" (i can't scroll through any more messages like normal)
- no power windows
- no turn signals
- cruise light stuck on
- sporadic cold air condition, other times just blows clamy air
- steering volume/cruise controls not working

It drives fine and the brakes work perfectly...

After some reading on here my newbie diagnosis would be ABS or electronic control unit. Is there a way I can diagnose further? Can anyone shed some more light on this issue or what I should do next?

Would a Volvo dealer charge me an arm and a leg just to get it on the rack and tell me whats going on if i'm not under warranty?

Thanks for your time, its much appreciated.

Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:14 am
Year and Model: V70XC / 2001
Location: Towson, MD

Re: 99 S80 T6 'brake failure - stop safely asap' + more

Post by BerniniCaCO3 » Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:49 pm

Actually, under vsfl ('Volvo safety for life'), I think --let me know if I'm misinformed-- that ALL volvos of any age, regardless of whether you're the original owner, are covered for 1 free hour of diagnostics. This is something fairly new; it works well too because before they charged $100 to pull codes! But it works for them, too, because people who before would delay paying the $100, now get the codes read, and maybe end up paying for the work.

1999 is a watershed year; might be the older vadis, might be the newer vida-- someone else here ought to know.
Either way, stop by the dealer, 1 hour ought to be enough time, the codes they'll pull for free will give a much better sense of what's actually going on than most of us can tell you over a message board.
From the sheer number of things going on, a very uninformed guess on my part would be that some module, or maybe a wiring harness to a module, or a cem, etc., took a dump. If I had more experience, I'd have memorized what single point of failure might control all those systems, abs to power windows, but alas I don't know off hand :-)

Once you know what and where you're going for, the forum should be able to talk you through the probable R&R if it's not just a software reset. Some of these electronics can be very expensive, and I half wonder if junkyard parts would be ill advised?
Also, once you find out what you need to do, DO call around. I was looking for a camshaft solenoid for a friend's 1999 Volvo, and got quotes from $120 to $320 depending on the dealer and their markup. I'm not kidding. Who cares if you get some module from california or maine? They can ship it, probably.

Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:04 pm
Year and Model: S80 T6 1999
Location: midwest

Re: 99 S80 T6 'brake failure - stop safely asap' + more

Post by petergibbons » Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:35 am

Appreciate the reply.

Took the car up to a place that claims to work on volvos and had the codes reset, unfortunately they appeared again right away and they told me to take it to a Volvo dealership and said something about the ECU.

I've got an appointment at the Volvo certified place next tuesday, looks like i'll be dropping a grand. yah!

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