Volvo XC60 Air Suspension Problems

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Have you decided to park that fancy Volvo XC60 luxury SUV in your garage? But hold on! Before you do that, there’s something you should know: it comes with its fair share of potential issues. And guess what? The air suspension system is one area where trouble seems to pop up quite often. 

While having some minor hiccups in air suspensions is pretty normal, some Volvo XC60 air suspension problems are marked as widespread concerns through technical journals. Some of these problems reported include a compressor malfunction due to a blown fuse, knocking noises from the rear end, loose rear suspension dust cover, and malfunctioning level control.

However, don’t freak out just yet if you’re wondering why this swanky SUV has all these problems and how to get rid of them; we’ve got your back. We’ll fill you in on the common issues owners face and even give you some tips for troubleshooting the system.

How Does Volvo XC60 Air Suspension Work?

Volvo XC60 Air Suspension Problems

The modified air suspension in the Volvo XC60 seems new to you if you’re a potential, and it’s usual indeed. But, we have seen even owners of Volvo XC60 don’t have sufficient knowledge about this air suspension’s basics. 

Nevertheless, it’s always good to be acquainted with the suspension system before dealing with its potential issues. So, how does the air suspension in the Volvo XC60 work? Volvo air suspension system replaces conventional fixed-firmness dampers and rigid-ride height springs with an adaptive suspension with remarkable capabilities. 

In the Volvo XC60, you have the four-corner air suspension there are airbags underneath each of the wheels, this allows you to inflate and deflate, and you can control height as well as toughness. 

Normally, when you are in automatic mode, as you get faster in the car, it will start dropping to save fuel, reduce drag, and give you better road holding. 

You can also manually adjust it when you change your drive modes to off-road mode or eco. Volvo has thoughtfully included an easy entry setting accessible through its intuitive touch-screen display.

Causes of Volvo XC60 Air Suspension Problems

As previously stated, air suspensions are prone to problems due to the utilization of rubber components, sensors, and other fragile parts. 

Whether you have a brand new system or one that has been altered, you can anticipate similar reasons for air suspension issues, excluding manufacturing defects. Below, we will explain some typical reasons why your Volvo XC90 might have trouble with its air suspension.

Moisture Intrusion

Moisture getting into the air suspension system is a big deal for Volvo XC90 SUVs. The XC90’s air suspension system relies on pressurized air to uphold the vehicle’s weight, ensure comfortable rides, and adapt ride height when necessary. 

Moisture intrusion can impact multiple system components, including the air springs, valves, and compressors. As moisture infiltrates these essential elements, it gradually leads to corrosion and degradation. Consequently, corroded parts may experience suboptimal performance or complete failure.

Manufacturing Defects

Manufacturing defects can occasionally be the culprit behind air suspension problems. Take, for example, the use of low-quality seals that deteriorate rapidly, resulting in air leaks within the system. 

These leaks not only compromise the overall operation of the air suspension system but also give rise to unexpected ride quality issues and potential failure. 

In the case of the Volvo XC60, there is one major manufacturing defect related to the air compressor fuse that the company itself has acknowledged. Recurring problems with a specific component often point to a lack of quality control or manufacturing defects.

Extremely Low Temperature

Severe cold weather can greatly affect the air suspension system of a Volvo XC90. The primary concern during freezing conditions is the heightened vulnerability to air leaks within the suspension system. 

The frigid temperatures cause rubber seals and gaskets to shrink, which may result in minor fissures or openings where air can seep out. Furthermore, sub-zero temperatures exert added pressure on sensors, valving solenoids, and compressor motors.

Use of Rubber Materials in Certain Parts

Over time, the rubber components of the air suspension system deteriorate as a result of being exposed to different environmental conditions and enduring intense usage. 

The continuous application of compression and extension force on these materials can lead to their brittleness, which in turn causes leaks or cracks that ultimately undermine the overall performance of the air suspension system.

How To Tell Air Suspension Issues in Volvo XC60 

So, how do you figure out if there’s an issue with your Volvo XC60’s air suspension? Well, one clue could be that pesky suspension warning light. Yeah, that thing is legit. But what if the warning system hasn’t caught on to anything wrong yet? 

In that case, watch for a few telltale signs that something is wrong with your air suspension system. Take a look at these common symptoms outlined below.

Rough Ride

Are you encountering a bumpy and unpleasant journey? This could be an indication of hidden problems with the air suspension in your Volvo XC90. If you notice excessive bouncing, lurching, or jerking, it may be due to worn-out struts or shocks or a malfunction with the air springs or compressor. 

Therefore, it is crucial to thoroughly examine the possible causes when your vehicle exhibits excessive bouncing, lurching, or jerking.

Uneven Ride Height

If your Volvo XC90 is sitting lower or higher than normal, especially on one side, it might indicate that something’s up with the air suspension system. You see, when there’s a noticeable difference in ride height, it usually means there’s an issue going on underneath the hood. 

It could be because there’s not enough air pressure in the suspension components, and they’re getting squished more than they should be. This can happen if there are leaks in the airlines, busted air springs, or wonky control valves.

Strange Noise

Unusual noises from your Volvo XC60 can be more than just an annoyance; they can indicate a significant issue with the air suspension system. One of the most common noises you may hear is a loud hissing or whistling when the vehicle is in motion. 

This noise is often caused by leaks in the air suspension system, which result in a loss of pressure and compromised ride quality.

Another concerning noise to listen out for is a grinding or clunking sound when going over bumps or uneven surfaces. This could indicate worn-out components within the air suspension system, such as strut mounts or bushings.

Leaking Fluid

Leaking fluid around the wheels or underneath your car is a significant red flag that should not be ignored. It typically indicates a failing air strut or a damaged seal in the system, which can lead to further damage if not addressed promptly. 

Volvo XC60 Air Suspension Problems

We’ve been hearing some serious gripes from Volvo XC60 owners about their air suspension. People are getting all worked up about it, and we don’t blame them. After extensive analysis of complaints filed with NHTSA, technical journals, and forum threads, we have brought you all the deets on these issues and possible fixes. Let’s dive in.

1. Compressor Malfunction Due to A Blown Fuse

The air suspension system in Volvo XC60 vehicles often presents a recurring problem for owners, which is compressor malfunction due to a blown fuse often indicated by a suspension warning message. This issue is the most frequent one we have encountered with the air suspension of Volvo XC60s thus far. 

Even Volvo has acknowledged this problem. According to Volvo, there is a potential malfunction in the air compressor of the 2018-2020 XC60 models due to residue from an anti-corrosive agent that may be present in a valve within the compressor. 

When faced with such instances, drivers will observe a notification on their car’s Driver’s Information Module display indicating the need for suspension system service. Moreover, specific diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC) SUM-B104177 and SUM-C103B4B C103B98 will be stored in the diagnostic memory, and there might also be a blown fuse for the air compressor. 

The good news is that if your Volvo has this problem, your authorized Volvo retailer will replace the Rear Suspension Air Compressor for you. On top of that, Volvo has extended the official warranty to 7 years just for this issue.

Potential Solution:

If your XC60 is covered by either the standard or extended warranty, consider yourself fortunate. However, if you lack any warranty coverage, fear not, as we have some helpful tips to resolve the issue at hand. 

The suspension warning message tends to manifest itself primarily in frigid temperatures, suggesting two potential culprits: a blown compressor fuse or a malfunctioning compressor. 

Rather than resorting to extreme measures such as disassembling your compressor, it is always prudent to begin troubleshooting with the following steps.

  • To begin troubleshooting your compressor, start by checking the fuse. This simple step can save you time and effort if the fuse is indeed the cause of the problem. 
  • Remember to park your vehicle in a warmer environment before attempting this, as extreme cold can affect electrical components. If you find a blown fuse, replace it with a new one and then start your vehicle again to see if this resolves the suspension system issue. 
  • In many cases, a blown fuse indicates an impending failure of the compressor itself. However, if replacing the fuse doesn’t restore functionality, and the compressor fails to start, likely, the compressor has indeed failed. 
  • The root cause of such failures seems to be temperatures dropping below -15C, which can cause moisture in the air circuit to freeze and expand, leading to blockage of airlines and excessive pressure build-up that ultimately causes compressor failure. 
  • Unfortunately, in these cases, replacing the air compressor is necessary to restore the proper functioning of your suspension system.

2. Knocking Noises From The Rear End

A substantial portion of Volvo XC60 owners, particularly those with 2011-2016 models, have consistently reported encountering a bothersome knocking noise emanating from the rear end of their vehicles. 

This unsettling issue appears to manifest in various ways, as different owners describe the symptoms through varying terms, such as unusual clicking or clonking suspension noises. 

Owners who have experienced this knocking noise problem often note that it occurs during specific driving conditions or maneuvers, such as going over bumps or turning sharply at slower speeds. 

The intensity and frequency of these disruptive sounds can vary among vehicles but have been found to consistently disrupt the smoothness and comfort typically associated with Volvo’s renowned reputation for luxury and performance.

Potential Solution:

To effectively address this problem, we suggest the following steps:

  • Begin by thoroughly inspecting the air suspension components for visible damage or wear. Check the rubber bushings, shock absorbers, control arms, and other relevant parts.
  • Take the vehicle on a test drive over different surfaces and listen carefully for any abnormal noises coming from the car’s rear end. Pay attention to how the noise changes with different driving conditions.
  • Examine if adjusting the ride height of the air suspension makes any difference in reducing or eliminating the knocking noise.
  • Ensure that the suspension system is properly calibrated using diagnostic tools provided by Volvo’s service department.
  • In some cases, updating the software of the vehicle’s electronic control module may resolve issues related to air suspension noises.
  • If no obvious signs of damage are found during inspection, consider replacing worn-out or faulty components such as bushings or shock absorbers.

3. Loose Air Suspension Dust Cover

A concerning issue has emerged amongst a notable group of Volvo XC60 owners, particularly those with models from 2018 and 2019. Numerous complaints have been reported regarding loose rear air suspension dust covers, prompting an urgent need for troubleshooting. 

Upon investigation, the root cause of this problem may lie in the design or manufacturing process of the dust cover itself. Many affected owners have reported that their rear air suspension dust covers were not securely fastened or tightly sealed, leading to increased vulnerability to loosening and potential detachment.

The loose dust cover creates an irritating noise and raises concerns about long-term durability and potential damage to other components in the surrounding area.

Potential Solution:

If you’ve noticed that the dust cover on your Volvo XC60 is loose, it’s important to take action to prevent any further damage. In this case, the solution is to replace the air spring as recommended by VIDA completely. 

However, if the issue is limited to only one side and the dust cover is not loose but secured with a plastic tie strap (either black or white), there’s a different approach to fixing it.

In such situations, updating the plastic tie strap on the air spring with a new metal tie strap is advised. This replacement can easily be carried out using the instructions provided for your reference.

4. Malfunctioning Level Control

One of the most frequent air suspension issues that have caused panic among Volvo XC60 owners, regardless of the specific model year, revolves around a malfunctioning level control system. 

Numerous users have expressed their frustration, pointing out that it feels as if the internal electronics are preventing the system from properly leveling their cars. In simpler terms, it appears the vehicle becomes stuck at a fixed ride height without any adjustment. 

This problem becomes particularly troublesome when owners attempt to jack up their vehicles. An electrical malfunction within the level control module or sensor can cause the issue. This could disrupt communication between vital components responsible for adjusting the suspension and maintaining optimal ride height.

Furthermore, wiring problems or loose connections might also be culprits in hindering the proper functioning of the level control system.

Potential Solution:

To address this problem, we recommend following a series of troubleshooting steps. Firstly, ensure the air compressor is functioning properly by checking for any visible damage or leaks. If there are any signs of damage, replacing or repairing the compressor may be necessary.

Next, examine the air springs and airlines for any potential leaks or tears. These components are prone to wear out over time and can cause improper leveling. In case of any issues, professional inspection and replacement might be necessary.

Additionally, inspecting the level sensors at each wheel on the vehicle is crucial. These sensors are vital in measuring and maintaining an even ride height. Ensure they are clean and free from any debris or buildup that could interfere with their functionality.

Final Words

The air suspension problems plaguing the Volvo XC60 have raised red flags for owners of this otherwise remarkable SUV. The reported troubles with leaks, malfunctions, and expensive repairs have undeniably marred the reputation of this particular attribute. 

Although Volvo has acknowledged certain issues and taken steps to rectify them through recalls and extended warranties, it is evident that additional enhancements are necessary. 

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