4 Causes of Volvo City Safety Service Required

The City Safety Service Required is a message found in many Volvos. It points to an issue with the city safety feature of the vehicle. 

City Safety Service Required means that the safety feature is offline or unable to operate correctly. This problem may be caused by several factors, such as faulty sensors, bad cameras, non-alignment, electrical connections, software issues etc. 

The City Safety System components are usually very intricate and sensitive to handle. So, when they develop any issue, a high level of expertise is often needed to fix it. Also, the equipment necessary to resolve safety system problems can be expensive. This often makes it a good idea to get City Safety Service Required solved by an authorised dealership. 

In this article, we will focus on the causes of the City Safety Service Required and how you can fix them.

What is City Safety Service Required? 

The required city safety service indicates that your Volvo’s city safety service is not functioning. This message affects the auto-braking system of your Volvo. This means you no longer have access to the auto-braking technology, which enables drivers to avoid low-speed collisions in city traffic and tailbacks.

Essentially, the City safety service works in conjunction with collision warning and auto brakes to form Volvo Intellisafe. This system utilises laser sensors and cameras to detect vehicles, people, and objects on the road. It also detects sudden swerving in traffic.

Ordinarily, the City safety service was borne out of the necessity to combat collisions. Crucial data at the time revealed that 75% of accidents happened at speeds of around 30 km/h. Volvo took this data and formed a braking system that triggers when driving over 31 Km/h. 

A significant advantage of this feature lies in its ability to alert drivers to the possibility of a collision in traffic. 

However, as a driver, you always have total control, irrespective of whether the city safety service is on or off. You have the last say and can override the safety service feature anytime. Nevertheless, this feature will help drivers increase mindfulness on the road.

Having a city safety service displayed on your dashboard may not be catastrophic but should be sorted as a matter of significance. 

Causes of City Safety Service Required 

The City safety service in your Volvo always stays on. This safety feature comes on when the engine is switched on and goes off when the engine is off. 

If you notice the City Safety service is off while the engine is on, then there is a problem somewhere.

Below are some causes of City safety service required:

1. Faulty sensors

This is the most common cause of City safety service required. Sensors especially those located around the windshield and the wheels are crucial for the city safety service to function. They serve as the eyes and ears of this system, and as such, when they become faulty or damaged the city safety feature becomes inoperative.

2. System misalignment

Asides from sensors, the City Safety system also relies on other components like your cameras and radar system to function properly. All these systems are programmed and calibrated to work in unison. However, these components (i.e., the camera) are very sensitive and can quickly become misaligned from a minor accident or vibrations.

When these components/systems become misaligned or are not well calibrated, a “City Safety System Required” message may appear.

3. Obstruction or Damage to the Sensors

Any obstruction or damage to essential sensors would limit the overview of surroundings which can lead to inaccurate readings. In addition,  Volvo manufacturers explicitly stated specific limitations to the City Safety System caused by dirt, Ice, fog, snow, or heavy rain. 

Ultimately, the City safety system will be left with a limited capacity to operate, often causing the “City Safety Service Required” message.

4. Software Errors / Glitch

The City safety system is part of an interconnected electronic system that forms Volvo Intellisafe. They comprise well-programmed software that provides and translates surrounding data to ensure the safest outcome.

However, this software can be subject to glitches. Electrical failures, physical damage, or manufacturer mistakes can cause software glitches. When glitches happen, all the supporting systems fail. In this case, the City safety system would go off.

Fixes for City Safety Service Required 

You can fix the “City Service Required” message in several ways. The specific fix that may apply to your car reflects the cause of the problem.

Here are some common fixes and steps you can take to resolve the “City Service Required” message:

1. Clean Sensors and Cameras

If the problem is caused by obstruction to sensors and camera lenses, you’ll need to clean whatever is blocking or affecting the sensors and the cameras. When cleaning, it is advisable to use a soft microfibre cloth and car detergent. Use gentle swipes on the surface to avoid leaving residual marks and scratches. 

2. Re-calibrate or re-align the system

System Calibration is a very sensitive process. It requires specialised scanning and alignment tools, racks, service information, etc. You can drive into a dealership or a mechanic workshop to recalibrate your vehicle’s sensors. This process can take anywhere from 15mins to 2hrs.

3. Software debugging and update

Volvo manufacturers often make software updates available for their vehicles. They release these updates to address any software-related glitches or bugs in previous versions. You can visit a dealership to have the system software inspected and updated.

4. Inspect Battery

Inspect your battery to check if it is in good condition and has enough voltage to carry the respective electronic system.

5. Diagnosis and Repair

If you cannot detect any issues, your best option is to seek professional help. A reputable mechanic will carry out a comprehensive diagnosis and necessary repairs. 


In a nutshell, city safety service detects stationary or moving vehicles and objects on the road. As an advanced driver assistance system (ADAS), it makes driving more safer. 

When in doubt about the condition of this safety system, consulting a dealership is always a great Idea. Most authorised dealerships are well-equipped with the best equipment on the market. So, they are best positioned to fix issues with the city safety service. 

Finally, ensure you purchase only high-quality aftermarket replacements for your Volvo. Also, any alignment made must be done to fit the factory settings.

  • Edmond Davis

    I'm Edmond Davis, an automotive expert with years of experience in vehicle repair, performance, and safety. I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Automotive Engineering and have worked with major companies like Ford, GM, and Chrysler. I'm a trusted source of information for anyone looking to learn more about cars or improve their driving experience.

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