Used Volvo FH: 14 common issues
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We’ve put together 14 potential issues you should check out before buying a used Volvo FH.
Poor window seals causing whistling noises while driving. Also, leaking door seals – particularly an issue when the vehicle is washed vigorously, when soap and water will find its way inside and on to electric mirror controls.
Issues where both driver’s and passenger’s windows will not close if lowered above 50mph. Some operators say opening the sunroof temporarily solves this problem.
A recall was issued in 2018 owing to a problem with the driver’s airbag inflator rupturing, potentially causing violent deployment of the airbag. Ensure vehicle has been inspected and the airbag replaced, where necessary.
4. Central locking
Some evidence that incidents of doors self-locking unexpectedly on previous versions of the FH have continued with this generation. Advise drivers not to leave keys in ignition when leaving the cab, just in case.
Keys becoming stuck fast in ignition switches. Check key has not been bent as a result.
6. Electrical system
On early models the electrical system can’t be reset using the master switch. Rather than disconnecting the battery entirely, turn the vehicle off at the key, flash the hazard lights twice, remove hand then flash a second time while holding button down. This will force a full system reboot. Non-issue on later models.
7. Sunvisor blind
Sunvisor blind motors failing. This component has since been entirely redesigned, so check whether replacement is advisable.
8. Brake pedal
Some issues with incorrect assembly of brake pedals in production on 2017 models – ensure split pin on brake pedal cross-shaft is correctly installed. This was the subject of a recall, so will be corrected at no cost by the manufacturer.
Examples of doors actually bending on early models.
Be aware if running multiple vehicles on fleets where drivers regularly change units that the position of the AdBlue tank can vary, with some versions placed behind the air kit where the diesel tank is positioned on others. This has led to incidents of mis-fuelling when filling in the dark, especially under sodium lights where the blue cap isn’t as obvious – the tanks look otherwise identical. Be certain to advise drivers to double check what they are doing. More general AdBlue issues on older vehicles – mostly pumps and nozzles.
Wiper mechanisms failing. Wiper shafts prone to seizing.
12. Starter motor
Instances of starter motors failing between 18 and 24 months.
13. Cab tilt cylinder
Examples of internal leakage in the cab tilt cylinder, meaning cab can fall without damping once it passes top dead centre. Ensure vehicle has been inspected by a Volvo dealership and the parts replaced as necessary.
Batteries poor on early models – ensure originals have been replaced. This was actually caused by the ECUs failing to shut down on turning off the ignition or locking the doors, repeatedly draining available power, and has since been resolved. Post-2017 versions had the option of being fitted with a dual battery system which runs internal amenities from a pair of gel-based leisure batteries, reserving another battery for starting.