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Volvo S40



  • ddw5ddw5 Posts: 23
    Our 2000 S40 has 31k miles on it and we have had a problem free and enjoyable exerience with it. Service costs are manageable; I have a local mechanic do routine oil changes and used the dealer for the 15k and 30k service. Dealer provides free loaners which is also very convenient.

    I know some posters have had problems but in our case we would definately buy again.
  • My wife loves her 2000 S40 - with 40K miles, it has been trouble free, save front headlamps that need frequent replacement and brakes that have a relatively short life. I have driven it across country twice and enjoyed the ride. Maintenance - well we had Honda's prior to this car and I will say the routine S40 maintenance is LESS expensive than the Hondas. Enjoy.
  • Do you run regular gas or premium? I asked this question in the V40 forum, but there's not much activity over there. Consumer Reports says the S40/V40 requires regular, but the S40 discussion seems to indicate that buyers are told to use regular, but then when engine lights come one they are told to switch to premium to take care of the problems.
         Anyway, it's good to hear some positive comments about this vehicle. If I like everything else about the vehicle, I guess I could live with frequent headlight replacement and a brake job every 15K or 20K. (But at 109K I don't ever recall replacing a headlight bulb on my '94 Corolla wagon, and I'm still on the original brakes; manual transmission helps on the latter, I'm sure.) In addition to the V40 I am considering the Subaru Outback wagon, and the as-yet-nonexistent Mazda 6 wagon.
         Two more questions: (1) Why hasn't anyone crash-tested the S40/V40 as yet? The reviews say "crash test results are not available, but Volvo is known for safety." (2) Does anyone know if the S40/V40 engine is interference type or noninterference type. In other words, if the timing belt/chain breaks, could the engine be fried?
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    The S40 was tested in the offset impact by IIHS. Here's the link:

    It did relatively good, but wasn't rated a best pick like the cheaper Lancer, Civic, Aerio, Corolla, Bettle, Jetta, Impreza, and Mini Cooper.
  • We run premium gas - factory recommended 91 octane for optimum performance and efficiency because of high compression ratio. We have run with regular (87) for awhile and notice very little difference. We never had engine light come on because of octane, however, it has come on when the gas cap was removed prior to shutting engine off. I believe owners manual warns about this.

    We had similar experience with my '91 Accord (5-speed manual) - original brakes to 115K miles. I think headlights replaced twice in the 160K miles we had the car. However, Honda seems to replace MANY more parts at normal maintenance intervals - almost all factory recommended based on owners manual. That seems to be why maintenance is lower for us on our Volvo.

    In 2005, the V40 will be replaced by the V50 - that should be a sweet car, especially with the normal 5 cylinder engine options and I think manual transmission availability.

    If you are used to wagons, the S40 may be a disappointment in size and functionality, but certainly not the ride and solid feel.

    Regarding last two questions, I cannot offer any information.

    Good luck!!
  • I had planned to test-drive a V40 yesterday. The dealer was supposed to have one on the lot, but they couldn't find it! I call it "The Case of the Missing Volvo." I sat in an S40 instead, with moonroof (which I don't want), but I really need to sit in a wagon to see about rear-seat headroom. I found the rear in the S40 to be pretty tight, and I'm only about 5'10".
         I asked the salesman about gasoline, and he claimed that all Volvo engines are designed to run on regular. So it's interesting that the owner's manual recommends 91 octane. When pressed, the dealer did admit that they put mid-grade fuel (89 octane) in cars with turbos when they fill them for the first "free" tank of gas.
         The crash test website is great. Very interesting that some of these cars score better than the S40.
  • Although your salesman may be technically correct regarding Volvo engines and octane, it is highly misleading. I believe the engines are designed to compensate its firing based on octane level - so yes you can make the streeeeeeeeeeeeeeetch that the engine was designed for regular gas. However, the manual is clear on its recommendation for 91 octane.

    Regarding his implication that the octane level is important in turbos only - now that is a complete crock of ****! Our S60 is a non-turbo, and the difference is MUCH more noticeable if we change octane levels. With the non-turbo you are pushing the engine more to its limits and therefore need to take full advantage of the high compression by letting the engine fire at is most efficient point for performance.
  • The dealer found the V40 that was missing the other day. I don't want a moonroof, but I do want the power driver's seat because the manual driver's seat adjusts tilt but not overall seat height. The dealer said the only way to get that combination would be to special-order it after committing to buy the car. Is that true? There are several other dealers within an hour's drive of my home. Would it be worth calling them to see if they have a V40 with power seat but no moonroof? Thanks.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Prem unleaded is the required gasoline for the car.
    The manual seat can be adjusted for height.
    pull up on the front lever and lean back, this will raise the front half of the seat.
    Pull up on the rear lever and lean forward, this will raise the rear half of the seat.
    Reverse the process to lower the seat.

    It is highly unlikely that you would find a base V40 w/ a power seat.
    Also, V40's can no longer be ordered.
  • ddw5ddw5 Posts: 23
    I've actually noticed some knocking if I put regular octane in our S40. I alternate between 89 and 93 and have no problems...most stations near me don't carry 91 octane.

    I've replace rear brakes at 20k miles but no fronts through 31k miles...odd but true.

    I've also replaced each headlights once in 2 years. Since they are on all the time I figured that's not unreasonable.
  • Thanks for the additional input. Maybe I will call the other Volvo dealers in my area and see what they have to offer before I opt for a Subaru Outback wagon.
         The manual height adjustment would be fine with me. The brochure talks about "driver seat with manual tilt, recline and adjustable lumbar support." The salesman told me in no uncertain terms that I would need the power seat to get full height adjustment on the seat cushion because the manual seat adjusts only tilt.
         Salesman also told me we could special order a V40 since the V50 won't be introduced until a year or so after the new S40 -- because Volvo still is under contract to produce the V40 "for a while yet."
         Regular gas. Moonroof doesn't take away any headroom at all. I'll find that the V40 is smaller than my Corolla wagon (not true) so I really should be looking at the V70. And the V40 is selling like hotcakes, which is why they can't keep them on the lot. This salesman obviously doesn't know the first thing about the vehicle.
  • A couple of folks commented on the headlights for the V40. I complained to the dealer about that in January 2003. They replaced the bulbs and wiring harnesses at no charge. The maintenance printout is confusing, but one of the lines references S.B. 37-0008.

    I also had a problem with the air conditioner freezing up. That was corrected by the dealer with a software update.

    I got 30k miles on the back brakes and 46k on the front.
  • How often do people change the oil? Dealer told me 7500 miles and I have been following that.

    Anybody have a strage squealing/high pitched rubbing sound when turning the wheel at driveway speeds. I do not believe it is the tires as it sounds like it comes from the steering column and never occured before 4-5 months ago.

    I am attempting to use SWAPALEASE to get out of my care early. I think that I have a person lined up and may be getting rid of it soon. Want to make sure things are right for the next lessee. Price, no equity, and a desire to not have a car anymore has fuled my desire to get out.

    Anyhoo...any comments would be appreciated!
  • Since both these cars have the same frame and the M3s has a Cotesworth designed engine, what are the advantages of the S40 besides o-60 times?
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    I think Volvo is making a mistake with the new S40's styling. It looks exactly like the S60 and S80, only smaller. Now all the Volvos look alike with the only distinction being size. I understand their should be a family resemblance but they could have done something different with the front styling and the tailights. The look is getting old fast.
  • If you take a closer look at the new S40 inside and out, it has many differences. The interior is completely redesigned, and the exterior dimensions of the car are of different proportions that its larger siblings. The car is shorter and wider, and the inside cabin has been designed to maximize space so it will be roomier than its competing vehicles like the A4 and 3series.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Proportions may be different but you can't deny the front end, tailights, and roofline look exactly like its bigger brothers. Very little difference in shape, particularly the tailights. They had to reach out to do something different with the interior and simply ended up with a wacky vertical arrangement of buttons that doesn't look too ergonomically correct. I think Volvo needs to loosen up on their styling theme a little.
  • You are right that they are essentially the same exterior. That is the way most companies do it, i.e. BMW and Audi. I think what Volvo has done is create a car that is very much a volvo but as a first it has a young, sporty appeal. Putting the T5 engine in this car is going to make it a rocket, and once the 6 speed with AWD is released it should be great. Also, the center console design was made to mimic your TV remote, the most used controller in a persons life. Not to say its going to be ergonomically amazing but it is an interesting concept.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Volvo has a better warranty, better dealer network, more power, better powerplant choices, of course safety. The Mazda won't offer WHIPS or the High strength and ultra high strength cage structures. Materials, ride quality, the list goes on and on.

    As for styling, most European automakers choose to have a consistent theme with their products.
    The reinforces brand image and gives a sense of continuity to the brand.
    Mercedes C class, E class and S class look alot alike, so do Audis and Bimmers.
    Volvo's new style is quite a departure for them,and remember this is a car that has to look good 5 yrs or 10 yrs or 15 yrs from now. I don't think a wild car will age well and be accepted well at resale time. See Bangles BMW's for example.
  • Thanks to everyone for your input. Yesterday I sat in an S40 without moonroof and found the manual seat to be fine in terms of height adjustment. Then I drove a V40, unfortunately with moonroof, and was favorably impressed. (The sales manager had told me they had a V40 without moonroof on the lot, but when I got there he said it was due in any day now. Truth or fiction?) Fortunately I was "assigned" to a saleswoman who was truthful and reasonably knowledgable. She said there are good incentives because the V50 is on the horizon. Full maintenance including wear and tear (breaks, headlights) now included for 3 years or 36,000 miles. So IF they actually get a V40 in without moonroof so I have adequate headroom, I will pursue it if the price is right. Otherwise it will be an Outback wagon or possibly the new Mazda6 wagon.
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