'Top Tips' from the experts

Volvo Truck and Bus Centre London are always trying to find ways to help their customers with useful information and special offers like our 'Fitted-Price', promotions and customer eNewsletter.
We are always being asked for advice on various topics such as fuel efficiency which is important these days, vehicle/part maintenance or fitting of specific parts.

We are only too pleased to help our customers whenever we can, hence the setting up of this 'Top Tips' section of our website in which we offer customers practical help and advice relating to the running and maintenance of their vehicles.
Should you wish to contact us, you can use our online form  or phone your nearest depot, see listing to the right for phone numbers.


Volvo guide for better battery performance

1 Batteries can wear out.
The more they are used and the harder they work the faster this will happen.

2. Battery performance is greatly reduced in cold weather.
This means that batteries that are worn out may be ok in Summer but, may fail in Winter.

3. What can be done to reduce the wear.

  • Turn off consumers when not required.
  • Turn off the isolator if the vehicle is not being used.
  • A full external recharge once a month is recommended.
  • Fitting a battery reconditioner can reduce the impact of heavy use on the battery. (Ask your dealer about a Fitted-Price)

For a full battery check contact your local dealer.

Economical Driving Tips

Economical Driving Tips

Correct use of rev counter colours.

The engines, in a modern Volvo Truck, have been developed to produce maximum fuel efficiency at low engine revs. The following notes explain how the different coloured sectors should be used to help you get the best from your Volvo Truck.

The GREEN sector represents the rev band where the engine produces the best fuel efficiency and you should aim to drive within this band as much as possible. Change down a full gear when the revs reach the bottom of the green band and change up a full gear when the revs reach the top of the green band.

The BLACK sector on the FM/FH and the BLUE sector on the FL/FE, is where the engine revs need to be to get the maximum braking efficiency from the auxiliary braking systems. To achieve this it may be necessary to change down by one or more gears to maintain the engine revs in these sectors.

The RED sector is where the engine revs should NEVER be as this is where severe engine
damage will occur.

Driving economically.

E verytime you pull away use first gear or first gear low split
hange down a full gear, but wait as long as possible as the speed drops
O n acceleration, skip a gear when possible. Try the 1-3-5 or 1-3-4 shift pattern
N ote the road conditions. Plan ahead and brake as little as possible
O perate the vehicle within the lower half of the Green band
M aintain yourself and your truck in good working order
our top speed should be as constant and as low as possible
T yres need to be checked regularly
I dling engines waste fuel
TO should only be used when necessary
S heeting, air deflectors and bodywork need to be checked

First at the scene of an accident

Think about your own safety first, Alert other road users

Before calling the emergency number gather the following information:

  • Number of injured people
  • Anybody trapped
  • Vehicles with airbags released
  • Any leakages / spillages (dangerous goods involved)

Call the emergency number and tell them:

  • The information above
  • How you can be reached

Within the EU the emergency number is 112.  If you are in another country, find out the emergency number for that country before making the journey.

It is important that you think about your own safety first and alert other road users!


Ten Point Walk Round

1. Starting at the front of the vehicle, raise the front grill and check all the relevant fluid levels,
i.e. engine oil and coolant, clutch and brake fluid if applicable, screen wash level if applicable
and check the radiator, intercooler and other coolers for any damage, blockage or leakage.

2. Insert your digital tacho card, enter information and select the correct activity mode. Check
that the park brake is fully applied, the gearbox is in neutral and start the engine. Whilst
waiting for the air pressure to build up, scan all instruments and controls for any immediate
problems and check your horn, wipers and washers. Switch on all your lights for checking
as you walk round, but you may need help when checking brake lights, indicators and head
lights etc. When the air pressure is up, switch off the engine and exit the cab.

3. Check the screen wash level and clean the side windows and mirrors. Check the offside
wheel and tyre for loose nuts, damage & pressure. Check that the side locker is closed, check
any air tanks for moisture & listen for air leaks. Check the rear wheels, tyres and nuts. Check
the trailer fifth wheel latch safety pin and for correct engagement of the kingpin. Check &
clean the rear lights. Check the security of the mud-wings and battery cover if applicable.

4. Walk down the side of the vehicle/trailer and continue to listen for air leaks whilst checking
any additional trailer coupling mechanisms, superstructure & load security, trailer legs, marker
lights, and the wheels and tyres.

5. Check and clean the rear light clusters, check any vehicle/trailer doors & number plate.

6. On the opposite side of the vehicle/trailer listen for air leaks whilst checking the wheels
and tyres, marker lights, trailer park brake and trailer legs and the superstructure and load.

7. Check the tractor unit mud-wing security, wheels and tyres, any air tanks, clean and check
rear lights and battery cover security if applicable. Climb onto the catwalk and check the
trailer suzies and remember to check the trailer plating certificate and MOT disc validity.

8. Check the side locker, clean the windows and mirrors, top up the washer fluid reservoir if
necessary and check the nearside wheel and tyre.

9. Clean the windscreen and check the lights and front view mirror.

10. Finally, re-enter the cab, put your seatbelt on, adjust seat, steering wheel and mirrors and
carry out a final check of all instruments and controls. Check and reset the blocking valve if
necessary. Switch on the cruise control, if fitted, and as you pull away test the operation of the
brakes. This will also ensure that the cruise control system is tested and ready for operation.





I-Shift is a manual transmission with an automatic shift system and can be driven in automatic or manual mode.  It can also be supplied with different levels of software, i.e. Basic, Distribution & Construction, Fuel Economy & Heavy Duty.

I-Shift is known as AT2412D, AT2612D, ATO2612D, AT2812D & ATO3112D. It has a clutch plate but no clutch pedal and has 12 forward and 4 reverse gears. It has no synchromesh in the base unit.  It is 71kg lighter & 175mm shorter than a manual gearbox.


The Gear Lever

  • Is fixed to the drivers seat.
  • Can be folded flat by selecting neutral & pressing the 'Fold' button.
  • Has positions for Automatic, Manual, Reverse & Neutral.
  • Has buttons for Economy, Performance & Limp Mode.
  • Has a switch for shifting up or down manually.
  • Has an interlock trigger to prevent accidental engagement.


The Display

The display shows the status of I-Shift in 'Gauge' mode and Indicates the mode selected and the gear engaged.

E = Economy
P = Performance
A = Automatic
R = Reverse
B = Brake Programme
F = Gear Lever folded down
E+ = I-Roll available
P+ = Extended Performance
M= Manual
N = Neutral
L = Limp Mode

Uses arrows to indicate available up/down shifts

I-Shift Driving Tips

General I-Shift information

  • The gear lever must be in neutral to start the engine.
  • Build up the air pressure fully before driving away
  • Select 'Gauge' mode on the display to see the status of I-Shift.
  • The Economy mode will always be selected on engine start up.
  • You do not need to stop the vehicle shifting between manual & automatic.