Used Volvo FH: 14 common issues
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.
CM Show 2020: Reduce costs of brought in services with help from ERA
Procurement consultants Expense Reduction Analysts (ERA) are attending The Commercial Motor Show offering to help companies reduce the costs of their brought in goods and services.
Operating across the world, with multiple experts in a wide-ranging array of fields, ERA look at all manner of procurement categories, from office products through to transport related costs, to secure the best deals for their clients.
They operate on a contingency fee basis, taking the risk on delivering a saving, only taking a fee from any share in the savings achieved.
ERA will undertake a tender process, not only based on price but also soft benchmarks like service levels, with the client ultimately deciding if they want to make a switch. Expenditure is then audited on a monthly basis, for example on fuel or tyres, and the costs checked against industry benchmarks in order to keep an eye on overall spend.
ERA will also monitor any off-piste spending and give management simple to follow actions if there are any recommendations based on their reports.
“Anything that a company buys in, we’ve probably got an expert in the organisation who can look at it,” explains Ken Rogers, ERA principal consultant. “For the transport industry, we’re focusing on fuel, tyres, insurance and other peripheral costs. My background is in transport, having run a logistics business, and we can have a proper conversation with people, one that is not just about price. We look at service and in some of our recommendations we will give customers the option of maybe going with a cheaper supplier who we rate at perhaps 7/10 or a supplier who gives at 10/10 service but will cost slightly more. We don’t take commissions from suppliers – with the exception of electricity, where that is standard practice for the industry – and always act for the client. They then establish a commercial relationship between the supplier and the client.”