What is the exact function of the Winter and Wet 'W' feature on the gear shift box?


Asked by Nesse18 Jul 26, 2007 at 07:23 AM about the 2004 Volvo S80 2.5T AWD

Question type: General

As this is an AWD vehicle, I am not clear on what occurs when the 'W' button is pushed? There is no explanation in the manual, other than you use this when driving in wet and winter conditions. I'd like to understand what the function truly is, so that I can determine when it is best to invoke.

5 Answers


The 'W' stands for 'Wet'. This can be used when you are on rainy roads. It mainly helps when you are in a stopped position such as a red light. When you are in the 'W'mode the transmission is adjusted so that when you are accelerating from a stopped position you do not spin your wheels. In essence it starts you off at a higher gear with less torque on the tires.

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.

It starts you off in second gear to reduce power to the wheels to prevent them from spinning.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
Jonathan Ashley

The wetmode also controls throttle input and torque converter slip. Im not sure if on the AWD models it does anything to the transfer case. Also uses the brakes to control slip to e/wheel individually

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I have wondered about this myself. I have had the "W" feature on a number of S70s & XC70's I have driven extensively. It definitely has a positive effect on slow speed winter driving and maneuvering. One thing I would add to the previous explanations is that when engaged the "W" button SEEMS to limit the range of the accelerator pedal so you can't over-rev the engine and spin the tires so easily. In other words in non-W operation the gas pedal will allow the engine to go to full-throttle for the full travel distance of the gas pedal, but in "W" it allows the engine to only go to say 25% of full-throttle for the full travel of the pedal- which is exactly what you want to do on snow, ice or slippery roads. I.e. Go real easy on the gas pedal, sudden accelerations tend to break the wheels loose from the roadway. This is a simple thing to do in an electronic throttle control system as is used on these cars. In older mechanically linked throttle mechanisms, changing the effective pedal travel would have been much more complex to implement.

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.

Thank you for the answer. We have a 2002 volvo and the W button is screwing up. Is there any way that we can deactivate it as we don't need winter driving.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

Looking for a Used S80 in your area?
CarGurus has 1,633 nationwide S80 listings starting at $1,995.

Search Volvo S80 Questions

Volvo S80 Experts

#1 Joneser
Reputation 180
#2 John Leone
John Leone
Reputation 110
#3 tenspeed
Reputation 100
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Volvo S60"
144 Great Deals out of 7,730 listings starting at $1,995
Used Volvo XC90"
93 Great Deals out of 3,238 listings starting at $1,500
Used Volvo XC70"
55 Great Deals out of 1,857 listings starting at $2,850
Used BMW 5 Series"
375 Great Deals out of 18,431 listings starting at $1,500
Used Volvo S40"
45 Great Deals out of 1,275 listings starting at $2,495
Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class"
542 Great Deals out of 24,404 listings starting at $1,450
Used Audi A6"
114 Great Deals out of 6,517 listings starting at $2,300
Used Mercedes-Benz C-Class"
673 Great Deals out of 25,621 listings starting at $1,500
Used BMW 3 Series"
987 Great Deals out of 37,629 listings starting at $1,500
Used Honda Accord"
1,051 Great Deals out of 71,289 listings starting at $1,491
Used Volvo C70"
31 Great Deals out of 643 listings starting at $2,195
Used Volvo V70"
15 Great Deals out of 576 listings starting at $750
Used Acura TL"
257 Great Deals out of 6,513 listings starting at $1,100

Used Cars For Sale

2015 Volvo S80 For Sale
3 Great Deals out of 300 listings starting at $31,995
2014 Volvo S80 For Sale
62 listings starting at $22,573
2013 Volvo S80 For Sale
41 listings starting at $20,399
2012 Volvo S80 For Sale
4 Great Deals out of 85 listings starting at $13,995