5 Causes of Volvo Parking Brake Temporarily Unavailable

Newer models of Volvo cars have discarded the traditional handbrake and are now opting for electronic parking brakes, which are more efficient.

However, since it is an electronic system, it relies heavily on electrical components like the battery wiring. When a problem develops with the wiring system of the EPB, it may trigger the “parking brake temporarily unavailable” warning message. 

Other factors could also trigger the warning message, some of which we will discuss as you continue reading.

What is a Parking Brake Temporarily Unavailable?

A “parking brake temporarily unavailable” warning will appear on your dashboard when something is wrong with your Volvo’s electronic hand brake or electronic parking brake (EPB). 

The EPB is a new technology that replaces the regular hand brakes shifting the ideology of hand brakes. Unlike the manual lever, which requires pulling, EPB uses a button.

In addition, the button activates the electric motors to press the brake pad to the brake disc. In most cases, EPB automatically activates the gear once the car is in park or switched off. 

It is considered more reliable than the regular or traditional handbrake. However, EPB comes with its issues. 

There have been reports of the  Parking Brake Temporarily Unavailable error by Volvo drivers. It comes with associated symptoms that make driving quite difficult.

Such as the vehicle automatically turn off after the warning message comes up or difficulty starting their car, especially when it suddenly switches off.

Causes of Parking Brake Temporarily Unavailable

Many factors could cause a parking brake temporarily unavailable error. However, the most common cause of this issue can be related to the battery and other related components

Below are the factors that trigger a temporarily unavailable parking brake error message. 

1. Battery issue 

A battery issue is the leading cause of temporarily unavailable parking brakes. The EPB system relies heavily on electronic current coming from the battery to function. It is because it is an electronically powered system. 

If you are using an old battery, the battery might release a low electric current to the EPB, which is insufficient to power the system. You have a non-functioning electronic brake, hence the error message.  

2. Failed EPB module

The EPB module is a computer system hardware in the car. It controls the EPB system by sending a signal to the actuator motor to activate the rear brake pads. 

Sometimes some contamination finds its way into the module. When this happens, it interrupts the normal working condition of the module, making it either malfunction or slow down. 

If there is enough quantity in the module, contaminants like water can ultimately damage it. No cleaning or drying will get it to work back when in this condition. 

3. Wiring issue 

A wiring issue is another popular cause of the parking brake’s temporarily unavailable warning message. The wiring issue could be between the battery and the EPB system. It means that the system will either get low or no voltage. 

The wiring issue could also be a connection between the module and the actuator. When there is a wiring problem, the module cannot communicate with the actuator. It will lead to a lease function EPB system.  

4. EPB software issue 

A module in the vehicle controls the EPB system. The module can adequately ensure the system is working well with the help of a list of programs that make up the EPB software. 

Furthermore, the programs cannot run correctly when the software is corrupted, outdated, or glitches. The proper signals will not be sent to the actuator, and the system does not function. 

5. Driving without a seatbelt 

Volvo is known for paying attention to safety and may go to the extreme to ensure that the driver observes safety protocols. When the driver is driving without a seatbelt, it could trigger the, or there is a glitch in the system error message. In some cases, the car will stop. 

In this situation, you should stop your car, put on your seat belt, and restart the vehicle. The error message should be solved by doing that.  

How to Fix the Parking Brake Temporarily Unavailable?

If you want to solve the “parking brake temporarily unavailable” error message, you need a proper diagnosis. Accurate diagnosis helps identify the cause and gives insight into how to solve the problem. 

Firstly, carry out diagnostic testing via an OBD II scan tool. It helps you get the exact component of the car that is the source of the problem. If you do not have a scan tool, you can physically inspect related parts of the vehicle that could cause the error message. 

Below are ways to solve a “parking brake temporarily unavailable” error message. 

1. Charge your vehicle battery if it is low on voltage; if the problem continues, you may have a damaged battery, replace it. 

2. Try to clean the EPB hardware; you can find it with the help of your vehicle’s manual. If the module is still not working correctly, then it is damaged, try and get it replaced. 

3. Examine wires related to the EPB system, and inspect for corrosion, exposed wires, disconnection, and more. If you can find these damages, replace the cables. 

4. Try and check your EPB for software issues; you can do this with the help of a scan tool. You can solve this issue by updating the software. 

5. Try to observe safety protocols, like wearing a seatbelt when driving. If the warning comes up because you did not put a seatbelt on, stop the car, wear your seatbelt, and start the car again. 

Final Thoughts

We do not recommend you continue driving if you get the “parking brake temporarily unavailable” warning message. The parking brakes play an essential role in the safety of your vehicle. Proceed to identify the cause of the message, some of which have been discussed above.  You may experience difficulties starting the car or stalling. Consult a professional mechanic if you need help.

  • 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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