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S40 & V40

Chapter 4 - Starting and driving

pg. 61 Starting and driving

Starting and driving

This section on starting and driving contains items such as starting the engine, operating the gear selector, towing, trailers, etc.
Fuel requirements, Refueling 62
Driving economy 64
Starting the engine 65
Automatic transmission 66
Points to remember 68
Emergency towing 70
Vehicle towing information 71
Jump starting, Proposition 65 Battery Warning 72
Brake system, ABS 73
Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD) 74
Winter driving, Before a long distance trip 75
Detachable trailer hitch, installing/removing 76
Trailer towing 78

pg. 62 Fuel requirements

Deposit control (detergent) gasoline
Volvo recommends the use of detergent gasoline to control engine deposits. Detergent gasoline is effective in keeping injectors and intake valves clean. Consistent use of deposit control gasolines will help ensure good driveability and fuel economy. If you are not sure whether the gasoline contains deposit control additives, check with the service station operator.

Unleaded fuel
Each Volvo has a three-way catalytic converter and must use only unleaded gasoline. U.S. and Canadian regulations require that pumps delivering unleaded gasoline be labelled "UNLEADED". Only these pumps have nozzles which fit your car's filler inlet. It is unlawful to dispense leaded fuel into a vehicle labelled "unleaded gasoline only". Leaded gasoline damages the three-way catalytic converter and the heated oxygen sensor system. Repeated use of leaded gasoline will lessen the effectiveness of the emission control system and could result in loss of emission warranty coverage. State and local vehicle inspection programs will make detection of misfueling easier, possibly resulting in emission test failure for misfueled vehicles.

NOTE: Some U.S. and Canadian gasolines contain an octane enhancing additive called methyl-cyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT). If such fuels are used, your Emission Control System performance may be affected, and the Check Engine Lamp located on your instrument panel may light. If this occurs, please return your vehicle to an authorized Volvo retailer for service.

Carbon Monoxide - Important Warning
Carbon monoxide is a poisonous, colorless, and odorless gas. It is present in all exhaust gases. If you ever smell exhaust fumes inside the vehicle, make sure the passenger compartment is ventilated, and immediately return the vehicle to your retailer for correction.

Fuel Formulations
Do not use gasoline that contains lead as a knock inhibitor, and do not use lead additives. Besides damaging the exhaust emission control systems on your car, lead has been strongly linked to certain forms of cancer.
Many fuels contain benzene as a solvent. Unburned benzene has been strongly linked to certain forms of cancer. If you live in an area where you must fill your own gas tank, take precautions. These may include:

  • standing upwind away from the filler nozzle while refueling
  • refueling only at gas stations with vapor recovery systems that fully seal the mouth of the filler neck during refueling
  • wear neoprene gloves while handling a fuel filler nozzle.

    Use of Additives
    With the exception of gas line antifreeze during winter months, do not add solvents, thickeners, or other store-bought additives to your car's fuel, cooling, or lubricating systems. Overuse may damage your engine, and some of these additives contain organically volatile chemicals. Do not needlessly expose yourself to these chemicals.

    Although some oil consumption occurs during normal engine operation, more oil is consumed when the engine is new as the internal parts generate higher friction while wearing in to each other. From the time the engine is new until the first service is performed, the oil consumption could be higher than normal. For this reason, it is especially important to check the oil every time you refuel your car during this period. See page 114.

    pg. 63 Fuel requirements, Refueling

    Octane rating
    Volvo engines are designed for optimum performance on unleaded premium gasoline with an octane rating. AKI of 91, or above. AKI (ANTI KNOCK INDEX) is an average of the Research Octane Number, RON, and the Motor Octane Number, MON. (RON + MON/2).
    The minimum octane requirement is AKI 87 (RON 91).

    Gasoline containing alcohol and ethers
    "Oxygenated fuels"
    Some fuel suppliers sell gasoline containing "oxygenates" which are usually alcohols or ethers. In some areas, state or local laws require that the service pump be marked indicating use of alcohols or ethers.
    However, there are areas in which the pumps are unmarked. If you are not sure whether there is alcohol or ethers in the gasoline you buy, check with the service station operator. To meet seasonal air quality standards, some areas require the use of "oxygenated" fuel.
    Volvo allows the use of the following "oxygenated" fuels; however, the octane ratings listed on this page must still be met.

    Alcohol — Ethanol
    Fuels containing up to 10% ethanol by volume may be used.
    Ethanol may also be referred to as Ethyl alcohol, or "Gasohol".

    Ethers — MTBE
    Fuels containing up to 15% MTBE may be used.

    The fuel tank is designed to hold approximately: 16 US gallons (60 liters) with sufficient volume left over to accommodate possible expansion of the fuel in hot weather.

    Never carry a cell phone that is switched on while refueling your vehicle. If the phone rings, this may cause a spark that could ignite gasoline fumes, resulting in fire and injury.

    Fuel filler door
    The fuel filler door (on the left rear fender) is unlocked along with the car's central locking system.
    Open fuel filler cap slowly during hot weather.


  • Do not refuel with the engine running *. Turn the ignition off or to position I. If the ignition is on, an incorrect reading could occur in the fuel gauge.
  • After refueling, close the fuel filler cap by turning it clockwise until it clicks into place *.
  • Avoid spilling gasoline during refueling. Gasoline containing alcohol can cause paint damage that may not be covered under the New Vehicle Limited Warranty.
  • Do not use gasolines containing methanol (methyl alcohol, wood alcohol). This practice can result in vehicle performance deterioration and can damage critical parts in the fuel system. Such damage may not be covered under the New Vehicle Limited Warranty.
  • Do not overfill the fuel tank. Overfilling could damage the emission control system.

    * If the fuel filler cap is not closed tightly or if the engine is running when the car is refueled, the Check Engine Lamp may indicate a fault. However, your vehicle's performance will not be affected. Use only Volvo original or approved fuel filler caps.

    pg. 64 Driving economy

    Economical driving conserves natural resources
    Better driving economy may be obtained by thinking ahead, avoiding rapid starts and stops and adjusting the speed of your vehicle to immediate traffic conditions. Observe the following rules:

  • Bring the engine to normal operating temperature as soon as possible by driving with a light foot on the accelerator pedal for the first few minutes of operation. A cold engine uses more fuel and is subject to increased wear.
  • Whenever possible, avoid using the car for short trips. Short trips do not allow the engine to reach normal operating temperature.
  • Drive carefully and avoid rapid acceleration and hard braking.
  • Do not exceed posted speed limits.
  • Avoid carrying unnecessary items (extra load) in the car.
  • Maintain correct tire pressure. Check tire pressure regularly (check when tires are cold).
  • Remove snow tires when threat of snow or ice has ended.
  • Note that roof racks, ski racks, etc., increase air resistance and thereby fuel consumption.
  • Avoid using automatic transmission kick-down feature unless necessary.
  • Avoid using the air conditioning when it is not required. When engaged, the air conditioner's compressor places an additional load on the engine. However, please note that fuel consumption is lower with the air conditioning on than it is when driving with the air conditioning switched off and the windows down.
  • Utilizing the fuel consumption modes in the Trip Computer can help you "learn" how to drive more economically.

    Other factors which decrease gas mileage are:

  • Dirty air cleaner
  • Dirty engine oil and clogged oil filter
  • Dragging brakes
  • Incorrect front end alignment
    Some of the above mentioned items and others are checked at the standard Maintenance Service intervals.

    NOTE: The automatic transmission's (D)rive position should be used as often as possible to help improve fuel economy.


  • It is recommended that tires of the same make and dimensions be used on all four wheels (including the use of snow tires). Do not use bias ply tires as this will adversely alter vehicle handling characteristics. Maintain correct tire pressure.
  • Do not drive with trunk lid open! A warning light in the instrument panel will indicate that the trunk is open. Poisonous exhaust gases may enter via the open trunk lid. If the trunk lid/tailgate must be kept open for any reason, proceed as follows:
  • Close the windows.
  • Set the ventilation system control to air flow to floor, windshield and side windows and blower control to its highest setting.
  • pg. 65 Starting the engine

    Starting and stopping

    1. Fasten the seat belt.

    Before starting, check that the seat, steering wheel and mirrors are adjusted properly. Make sure the brake pedal can be depressed completely. Move the seat closer if necessary. Refer to section "front seats".

    2. Make sure the gear selector is in the Park position.

    3. Without touching the accelerator pedal, turn the ignition key to the starting position. Allow the starter to operate for up to 5 seconds. Release the key as soon as the engine starts. If the engine fails to start, repeat step 3.
    For cold starts at altitudes above 6000 ft (1800 meters), depress the accelerator pedal halfway and turn the key to the starting position. Release the pedal slowly when the engine starts. Depress the brake pedal and release the parking brake.

    4. To release the gear selector from the (P)ark position, the ignition key must be in position II and the brake pedal must be depressed.

    5. Select the desired gear. The gear engages after a slight delay which is especially noticeable when selecting R.

    NOTE: Your car is equipped with a KEYLOCK system. When the engine is switched off, the gear selector must be in the (P)ark position before the starting key can be removed from the ignition switch.

    Volvo offers floor mats specially manufactured for your vehicle. They must be properly placed and secured in the mat clips.
    An extra mat on the driver's floor can cause the accelerator pedal to catch. Check that the movement of the accelerator pedal is not impeded. No more than one protective floor covering may be used at one time.


    The engine should be idling; never accelerate until after you feel the gear engage! Too-rapid acceleration immediately after selecting a gear will cause harsh engagement and premature transmission wear.

    NOTE: Selecting P or N when idling at a standstill for prolonged periods of time will help prevent overheating of transmission oil.

    Ignition sleep mode
    If the key is turned to "drive" position (see page 26) for several minutes without the engine running, the car's starting system will power down to "sleep" mode. To start the car, momentarily turn the key back to the "locked" position. Then start the car as you would normally do.

    Always place the gear selector in Park and apply the parking brake before leaving the vehicle. Never leave the car unattended with the engine running.
    Always open the garage doors fully before starting the engine inside a garage to ensure adequate ventilation. The exhaust gases contain carbon monoxide, which is invisible and odorless but very poisonous.

    Never race the engine immediately after starting. Oil flow may not reach some lubricating points fast enough to prevent engine damage.
    Do not race the engine just prior to switching off!

    pg. 66 Automatic transmission

    Gear selector positions

    P Park
    The transmission must be in Park position to start the engine, and to allow removal of the key from the ignition when you leave the car. The car should be stationary when you select P! In the position P the transmission is mechanically locked. Always apply the parking brake when parking!

    Shift lock
    In order to move the gear selector from P position to the other gear positions the key must be in driving position (position II) and the brake pedal must be depressed. See page 99 for information on how to move the gear selector manually in case of a dead battery.

    R Reverse
    The car must be at a standstill before you select Reverse gear.

    N Neutral position
    The N position is the neutral position. The engine can be started, but no gear is selected. Apply the parking brake when the car is stationary with the gear selector in position N.

    D Driving position
    D is the normal driving position. The gear selector automatically shifts up and down between the transmission gears, based on the level of acceleration and the speed. The car should be stationary when you select D from position R.

    4 Low gear position
    Shifting up and down between the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th occurs automatically.
    Shifting up to Drive does not occur.
    Position 4 can be used:

  • for mountain driving
  • for driving with trailer
  • to increase the engine braking

    3 Low gear position
    Shifting up and down between the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd occurs automatically.
    The 4th and Drive gears will not be engaged.
    Position 3 can be used:

  • for mountain driving
  • for driving with trailer
  • to increase the engine braking

    L Low gear position
    Choose position L if you want to drive with the 1st or 2nd gear engaged. Position L gives the best possible engine braking effect when, for example, mountain driving.
    Shifting up to 5th does not occur.
    Position 4 can be used:

  • for mountain driving
  • for driving with trailer
  • to increase the engine braking

    Downshifting protection
    There is a built in protection in the transmission which prevents over revving in the engine when you select one of the low gear positions.

    pg. 67 Automatic transmission

    W - Winter/Wet Weather
    Use the W button to turn the Winter/Wet Weather function on or off.
    The Winter/Wet Weather function limits downshifting during acceleration, helping to reduce wheel spin. Because downshifting is limited in W mode, performance may seem sluggish and fuel economy may be reduced.
    W mode is recommended for acceleration from a standstill on rain-slicked roads.

    Automatic transmission - shift gate positions
    The gear selector can be moved freely between N and D. Selections of other positions are obtained by depressing the selector knob prior to moving the selector.
    Slightly depressing the selector knob allows selection of positions R, N, D, 4, 3 and L. Fully depressing the selector knob allows selection of position P. This is also necessary when initially bringing the selector out of position P. Fully depressing the selector knob permits shifting freely between all positions.

    Automatic shift to a lower gear (kick-down) is achieved by depressing the accelerator pedal fully and briskly. An upshift will be achieved when approaching the top speed for a particular gear or by releasing the accelerator pedal slightly. Kick-down can be used for maximum acceleration or when passing at highway speeds. Avoid using the kick-down function during the break-in period (first 1,200 miles of vehicle operation).

    Transmission Lamp
    If the indicator lamp (see page 21 item 18) begins to flash, this is an indication of a fault in the automatic transmission. The Check Engine Lamp will also light up if a fault is detected. If the transmission does not shift properly, place the gear selector in position L. Please contact your Volvo retailer if this occurs.

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