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Volvo S40



  • januszjanusz Posts: 1
    Today I encountered the first major disappointment with my 2000 S40. My wife took it to the dealer for a routine checkup and was told that rear brakes must be replaced. The car is slightly over one year and has 19,000 miles on it. So far the car has been OK and I was rather patient with the ever-popping "check engine" light. I didn't make a fuss about the headlight bulbs burning excessively. Today, however, I got really mad. New REAR brakes after lousy 19,000 miles !!! It is known fact that 80% of braking is done with the FRONT brakes and the front brakes in my car are OK. My 10 year old Buick didn't need rear brakes for the first 100,000 miles. Dealer, of course, refused to cover this replacement under warranty and made a statement that I am planning to use against Volvo. He said: "...what did you expect, Volvo is known for brakes to last 10 to 15 thousand miles. They were designed that way." This is outrageous. I called Volvo Headquarters and was told that the field rep will review my case. He better, because I intend to take Volvo to court. Not to recoup the lousy $160.00 the dealer charged me but as a matter of principal. If any of you experienced similar problem please let me know. I need the ammunition. Maybe when we join forces we can accomplish something substantial. Please write me at
  • peterpan2peterpan2 Posts: 11
    Is there a 2002 S40 due out any time soon ?
  • drblockdrblock Posts: 1
    I am considering buying or leasing a new 2001 S40 within the next few weeks. However, I am concerned about how the car will hold up in the climate I live in (Buffalo, NY). I know that there is a cold weather package offered on the S40, but, still--winters here can be rough.

    Does anyone reading this board have experience with the S40 (or any other Volvos, for that matter) in rough, cold climates? Does the car hold up well, not just in maneuvering hazardous conditions, but also in resisting rust damage (both on the paint and in the undercarriage).

    Your thoughts will be appreciated. Thanks!
  • wwaipowerwwaipower Posts: 1
    Mine is a 2001 S40. Have got it for two months and so far so good. But I started to notice a rattling after 2000 kms and it seems to be coming from the rear shaft and the noise is heard from the trunk. It's noticeable when you turn off your radio. It's of course quiet when riding on perfect plain road. Has anyone had the same problem?
  • robertagrobertag Posts: 6
    Very happy with handling. No DSA but excellent snow tires and had no problems at all. This was driving in Toronto & Montreal all winter. Haven't seen any rust, but then, I wouldn't expect it either after only 8 months.
  • Okay, I have read many posts here that the 2000 S40 made them unhappy. I am considering a 2001 S40 and have test driven it several times. Seems quiet, good pickup. Do not like the manual dial for the info on the car or the manual knob for climate control but both small issues. Seats are comfy and well it should be safe as it is a Volvo. The current deal is $2,000 down and $289 for 48 months for a lease. The car has the leatherette, cold weather package, sunroof. Any thoughts or comments are appreciated. I also looked at an Audi A4 (money factor not as good but loved the ride) and a Saab 9-3 (still drives like a....Saab) but really like the value, feel, and look of the Volvo. Thanks to all.
  • shawn325ishawn325i Posts: 100
    My 98 S70 se has been a great car in all seasons. It has been a very solid safe performer in the snow, Volvo is actually known for this as the winters in Sweden are brutal.

    No rust!! 4 years old
  • coolmatt44coolmatt44 Posts: 54
    Up until recently Volvo's did terrible in the snow, they were all rear wheal drive, I remember once as a child our volvo actually slid off the road and all the way up someones lawn in only about 2 inches of snow. Now they do wonderful (especially the AWD) but people use to get brutely angry because volvo's should have done better than they did (because of the assumption that because Sweden had harsh winters they should have winter friendly cars)
  • dianeb773dianeb773 Posts: 19
    I had a 2000 S40 with 18,600 miles that I just traded for an Audi A6 2.8. I thought I was getting a good car but replaced the rear brake pads at 14,000 and the front pads just before I got rid of it. The problem that cinched me getting rid of the car was an annoying squeak in the right rear. I had it at the dealer twice (one week, then 3 days at a time) and they still couldn't find the problem. They replaced the right strut and that was actually a bent strut so they replaced it a second time and nothing helped. The service manager told me he actually had 2 other cars in for the same thing. As I was driving to pick up my Audi the squeak was actually louder than it had ever been. I knew I would have been frustrated and angry if I had kept that car so I'm glad that I got rid of it. I broke even and I have to say, I love my new Audi. I thought a Volvo would have been a dependable, long-lasting car. I will never recommend or purchase Volvo again.
  • s40girls40girl Posts: 2
    I can't believe that people are saying that the Volvo S40 is a lemon! I just signed on the dotted line two days ago and am picking it up in a month. Am I going to have to kick myself later? I assume people are talking about the 2000 model and not the 2001 one. Hopefully this year's model runs smoothly. I currently drive a 1999 Volvo S70 GLT and its had its share of problems, but not to the extent that was described above.
  • shawn325ishawn325i Posts: 100
    again, Volvo's are known for being good winter cars!!! How long have they been FWD and or AWD???The fact that you had some difficultey with your Volvo in the snow probably says more about the person's driving in that condition than anything.

    Besides, I believe the question was rgarding today Volvo's not yesterdays.
  • robertagrobertag Posts: 6
    I'm afraid some of it applies to the 2001. So far, I've had to visit the dealer for a recall, a broken power door lock, rattle, seat back that won't recline, stalling problem, and now my rear brakes are shot after only 16,000km!
    Hope you have better luck than I do.
    But, on the other hand, it's still a nice car to drive.
  • For anyone who feels that an occasional lemon does not necessarily make for a bad car model, go back and read the posts and compare them to other cars/manufacturers. Where else do you see dozens of posts complaining about the same recurring problems? While every manufacturer has the occasional lemon, MOST owners of the S40 have had the same persistent problems which seem to indicate that Volvo (or more accurately volvo/FORD) is no longer making a good, safe product.
  • maggienmaggien Posts: 6
    Sue -
    I also just bought a 2001 S40. I was assured by the dealer that they were very dependable cars but am incredibly depressed to read all of these posts.
    I got an incredible deal and thats why I purchased it. They told me that when/if I had problems with the car I would get a service loaner. Have other people at least got that when they have problems? Robert? How long are the brakes under warranty? I do stop-go commute every day in LA.
    If everyone is having problems then we need to insist that the dealership fix them. is it that they can't find them or are trying to tell everyone that its just them? I had a lemon Saturn with recurring problems and can't deal with it if the Volvo is the same. Life is too full to spend time at the dealers.
  • I too was told that a loaner car would be available. This was true the first couple of times that I took the car in, but once I started having recurring problems I was not given the loaner. Instead they gave me a voucher for the local rental outlet down the street which would always tell me that the voucher didn't quite cover the cost of a comparable car. The volvo roadside service was also worthless. The last time the car broke down I waited over 4 hours for their "guaranteed 45 minute service" and finally called the auto club.
  • ArasGArasG Posts: 1
    Bought my sport edition after looking at Passats (Audi) and several others. I was ready to pick up a S40, when I went to the dealer to pick one, the Sport Edition had arrived. Fell in love immediately.

    Bough mine at the end of January and now have 8500 flawless miles. A joy to drive, comfortable (even for a 6'3" guy like myself). Have to take it in for an oil change at the dealer (Did the first one myself at 4000 miles). Get compliments everywhere I go and has plenty of Horsepower. (97 octane is currently $1.30 here in Florida)

    Just got notice of a recall (replace a diode on the fan... big deal !).

    Glad I made this choice
  • s40girls40girl Posts: 2
    Thanks Rob for sharing your experience. The more I think about it, the more I want to go back to the dealer and rip up the papers! For a 30K plus car, I'm disappointed to hear it has so many problems. I'm beginning to feel that the problems don't just affect specific cars, but the entire model.

    Well, a few more weeks and I go to pick it up. I'll let you know if I'm enjoying the ride or kicking myself everyday.
  • robertagrobertag Posts: 6
    I was told by the dealer's service dept. that there is no such thing as warranty on brakes because it's a "wear & tear" item. I have, however, read on other forums that some people have been sucesfull in having Volvo pay for at least part of the repair cost. I have an appointment this Friday so... we'll see.
    As far as a loaner goes, I do get one from my local dealer, although it usually takes up to a week's notice. Another dealer closer to Toronto will charge $10/day for a car but also has a free shuttle to and from the subway (which I prefer anyway).
  • I saw both the S40 and V40 at the local Volvo dealer recently. My first impressions were that these two are some of the nicest cars I've come across in this category. However reading the posts here makes turns me right off the idea of getting one. The NHTSA complaints database has quite a few service bulletins, but not that many consumer complaints -- that could also be because so few of them are sold in North America.

    Would you think that by the 2002 MY these issues would be worked out? My understanding is that this car has been around since 96 in Europe and I'm surprised to see that there are still so many issues.

    Would you estimate that the V40 would have the same reliability problems as well?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Considering the S40 and V40 are the same car except for the body shell, I would say yes. Of course, you all know that buying any car is like gambling, no matter what kind you get. Some have the promse of better reliability, but no one can be sure. Anyone can get a lemon.
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