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Volvo S40 Corner Lights

Diagnosing Usual Problems of Volvo S40 Corner Lights

The cornering lamps of the Volvo S40 are not often the parts that we expect to cause problems. In fact, most corner lights function normally throughout the lifespan of the vehicle. But various factors such as age and weather conditions can cause the corner lights to break down. And once they do start to fail, the corner lights must be repaired or replaced as soon as possible. Otherwise, you're likely end up with a ticket or, even worse, in a car accident. In this article, we'll enumerate some of the common problems of Volvo S40 corner lights and how to diagnose them.

The corner light doesn't turn on

The corner lights automatically illuminate alongside with the turn signal lights, but if they fail to activate it's either because the bulb inside the corner light has burned out or if one of its electrical connections has gone bad. First, detach the corner light bulb from its housing and check if it's still in good condition. If the bulb has blackened or the filament inside is broken, the bulb is damaged and needs to be replaced. If the corner light appears fine, the problem might be with a cut or defective wire. However, if external lights in your S40 aside from the corner lights are not turning on, the problem would likely be with a blown fuse.

Water(condensation) inside the corner light housing

In some instances, particularly in humid areas, droplets form and accumulate inside the corner light of the S40. This is due to condensation from by varying temperatures inside and outside the lens. When the outside temperature goes down and, cool outside air enters the housing. If the lens is colder than the air outside the housing, droplets of water will condense on the inside of the lens. Normally these droplets evaporate once the outside temperature rises up, but if the vehicle has been parked in a shady, damp area or in an underground parking lot, the condensation might pool at the bottom of the housing. If there is a significant amount of condensation inside the lens, the corner light has to be disassembled and allow it to dry to prevent the onset of mold. Also, check the openings around the corner light are not clogged with mud, insect eggs and other debris.

Dim light

If the light emitted by the corner light is fainter than usual, it might not be receiving enough power due to a bad alternator. Test the alternator with a multimeter to see if it is providing sufficient power levels.

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  • Caring for Volvo S40 Corner Lights 27 February 2013

    The corner lights are not usually the first things on the maintenance checklist of Volvo S40 car owners. Granted, the external lights of the Volvo S40 are designed to be reliable and as hassle-free as possible, but proper use and regular maintenance can significantly extend their service life. In this article, we'll show you some simple tips on caring for your Volvo S40 headlights.


    Check for and clear excessive condensation from the corner light lens.


    Due to varying temperatures inside and outside the corner light housing (especially during cool night) tiny droplets might form on the inner side of the corner light lens. These droplets normally evaporate through openings around the corner light once the temperature increases, but the openings might become clogged by mud, insect eggs and other debris, trapping the condensation inside the housing and potentially damaging the electrical connections. If there is significant buildup of condensation on your S40's corner light, detach the corner light lens, wipe it with alcohol (to prevent the onset of mold) and allow it to dry before putting it back to its mounting. In addition, we also recommend checking the vents around the corner light and clear it of any obstructions to prevent moisture from being trapped inside the corner light housing again.


    Spray the bulb mountings with rust protectant when installing a new corner light bulb or light assembly.


    Spraying protectant on the corner light bulb mountings when changing the bulb or the entire corner light assembly helps prevent the onset of rust. We recommend using silicone-based protectant as it is inert, non-flammable, and can seep through the nooks and crannies of the bulb mounting.


    Avoid parking your car for long periods under the sun.


    The S40 corner lights are made from high-grade plastic, but they are still vulnerable to UV degradation from sunlight. If left out in the sun for too long, the lens will start to fade and crack. So if the vehicle is going to be parked for quite some time, park it in a shaded area or, if that is not possible, cover it with a UV-resistant cover.