The Volvo XC90 has been on the market for a better part of two decades and some model years of the XC90 are more reliable than others. For instance, the very first model years of the XC90 (2003-2005) are known to experience a whole host of electrical issues, but newer models, especially the 2016 model, are not much better.
In this article, we are going to mention all the common Volvo XC90 electrical problems which means that we are going to dwell deeper into what it means to own, maintain, and endure some of the XC90’s most common electrical problems.
These problems include malfunctioning infotainment systems, electrical system failures, exterior lighting problems, power seat malfunction, and sensor and warning light malfunctions. It’s worth mentioning that Volvo has been proactive in addressing these issues and releasing software updates to address reported problems
However, this does not mean that you are not completely free of these problems, so it’s a good idea to be vigilant about these problems when shopping for an XC90. We should also state that not all XC90 models suffer from these problems, some of them do while others do not.
Malfunctioning Infotainment System
The Volvo XC90 is a true premium mid-size SUV which means that it is packed with a whole load of features, especially within its infotainment system. However, some owners have reported occasional glitches and failures in this system. From touchscreen responsiveness issues to freezing or rebooting, these malfunctions can be frustrating for drivers.
You can solve these via software updates, and system resets, but these can also sometimes require hardware replacement parts which can be remarkably expensive. Either way, an occasional glitch of bug isn’t going to be too big of an issue, but if the problem persists, it can be really frustrating and distracting if it happens while driving.
Electrical System Failures
One of the more significant electrical problems reported by some Volvo XC90 owners is complete electrical system failure. This frustrating issue results in the sudden loss of functionality in various components, including lights, power windows, and even the infotainment system. If you do experience a full-on electrical system failure, chances are that you won’t be able to drive the car at all.
The root causes of these failures can vary, ranging from faulty wiring to malfunctioning control modules or relays. Wiring issues can lead to intermittent or permanent failures, while faulty relays can disrupt the flow of electrical current. Malfunctioning control modules, responsible for coordinating various functions, can also contribute to the overall electrical system failure.
Exterior Lighting Problems
Exterior lighting problems have also been reported by numerous Volvo XC90 owners, encompassing headlights, taillights, and turn signals. These issues can manifest as intermittent failures or complete malfunctions of the lighting system. One of the common reasons behind these problems is faulty bulbs, which may require replacement to restore proper functionality.
Additionally, wiring problems can disrupt the electrical connection to the lights, resulting in erratic or non-functional lighting. Control module failures can also contribute to exterior lighting issues, as these modules play a crucial role in controlling and coordinating the operation of various lighting components.
Power Seat Problems
Another problem that sometimes frustrates Volvo XC90 owners is a seat that fails to respond to your commands. This means that the seat can either get stuck in a single position, fails to adjust properly, or intermittently cuts off your ability to adjust it.
In most cases, electrically adjustable seats are a costly optional extra which further makes this problem more serious. If you aren’t able to adjust the seats to your liking, it can affect your on-road safety. These problems are usually caused by faulty motors, wiring problems, or problems with the power seat module.
Sensor and Warning Light Problems
The Volvo XC90, renowned for its advanced safety features, has faced occasional reports of sensor and warning light malfunctions from some owners. These issues can encompass a range of systems, including the ABS warning light, traction control system, and parking assist sensors. Sensor failures can lead to inaccurate readings or failure to detect certain conditions, greatly compromising the effectiveness of safety systems.
Wiring problems, such as damaged or loose connections, can disrupt the communication between sensors and control modules, triggering false alerts or rendering the systems non-functional. Software glitches are another potential cause, as complex algorithms and programming govern the operation of these systems.
Is the Volvo XC90 a Reliable Car?
When it first came out, the Volvo XC90 was not the most reliable premium SUV out there, but Volvo has made significant strides in the past decade in improving the reliability of all of its models. Volvo has implemented rigorous quality control measures and introduced technological advancements to enhance the reliability of its vehicles, including the XC90.
Regular maintenance and servicing according to the manufacturer’s recommendations can also contribute to the longevity and reliability of the vehicle. The way you drive the car and where you drive it can also contribute to how reliable it is going to be. The XC90 sure is a complex SUV, but if you take proper care of it, it is going to last.
Should I Buy a Volvo XC90?
If you are after a mid-size premium SUV that manages to transport up to seven people in a very luxurious and safe package, the XC90 is a great choice. It is powered by various 2.0L 4-cylinder engines which aren’t ideal, especially compared to brands such as BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar, Range Rover, and Audi, all of which offer not only 6-cylinder but also 8-cylinder models.
On the other hand, the XC90 is widely renowned for being able to offer good fuel economy in addition to decent performance. So, if you want an understated, yet premium design, great safety records, lots of space, a minimalistic, Ikea-like interior (but with better quality), and efficient engines, the XC90 is one of the best mid-size SUVs out there.
Is There an Electric Volvo XC90?
The Volvo XC90 is not offered as a full-on EV at the moment, the closest thing you can get is a PHEV that can do negligible amounts of electrical miles, but Volvo did recently showcase its Volvo EX90 which is both an XC90 successor and a full-on electric SUV.