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Volvo S80

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  • rms409rms409 Posts: 10
    Regarding my car's history, it is brand new, was not in an accident or previously owned.

    I called the Volvo dealership this morning and asked why my 2002 Volvo S80 did not have the black bumper and side door guards. The very helpful saleslady replied that the half year models were manufactured without them for aesthetic reasons. But they had the same guards but were the same color as the car. This is true, I do have the strips and they are the same color as the car - ash gold.

    So, question answered. I guess we learn something new everyday about the Volvo! But thanks for your response, sampate.
  • oper8rnoper8rn Posts: 5
    I bought a used 1999 Volvo S80 with 49,000 miles one year ago. I now have 70,000 mi on my car. I wish that I had found this website before buying.

    I had always wanted a Volvo, because of safety, and because I thought that the car would be an "investment"...lasting me 200,000 miles or more with meticulous maintenance.

    I have been dissappointed by the problems I have had, which echo those of others on this board. I may have bought mine used, but am I wrong to believe that a VOLVO which had an original sticker price of $43,000 should be a solid car without headaches?

    I have had numberous headlight and tail-light burnouts, electrical problems such as doorlock failure, gas line problems, and clunking transmission. Now there is a recall on the engine fan which overheats and damages electrical wiring...which may explain some of those problems.

    Luckily, my extended warranty has taken care of the cost to repair most of these problems. However, I am concerned about expensive repair bills when my warranty runs out. Every repair has been $800-1000. I have only had to pay $100 deductible, which is bad enough. My Volvo dealer has been unable to find a problem in my transmission in the 2 days that they had my car...when I left the dealership the car's transmission clunked into 2nd and 3rd gear about 5 miles away. I find that to be very frustrating.

    I have learned an expensive lesson. Thoroughly research the car you are to buy, and NEVER, NEVER buy a model the first year it comes out...wait a couple of years for the bugs to be worked out. I am now looking into other cars with a 5 star safety rating, and a proven reliability track record....like Honda. I will compromise for something a bit more boring that won't nickle and dime me to death with repairs.
  • paltingpalting Posts: 26
    I'm sad that such a great car is getting a bad rep. I believe that the problem S80's are a significant minority of the whole s80 population. Certainly a lot less in relative numbers compared to all other brands out there in the same price range.

    I have a 1999 S80 T6, and have had the engine fan replaced. Other that, I've had no problems over the last 4 years. Yes, 4 years. Had one of the first ones delivered. And, I've USED the car. Have gone cross counry, shuttled 4 kids, raced and won over a BMW 530i. A joy to drive, a great ride, my winter driver, still turns heads with incredulous people turning their heads "That can't be a Volvo!".

    For a family sedan that seats 5 comfortably but can blow the doors off a BMW, at a price certainly more reasonable than a lot of cars in it's class, with the legendary safety of the Volvo as attested to by one of the posts, the Volvo S80 IMHO is unbeatable.

    Would I buy another? In a heartbeat. Would I recommend it? Wholeheartedly and without reservation.
  • godeacsgodeacs Posts: 481
    you are one of the lucky ones! The 1999 S80 is notorious for reliability issues (check out CR - read what they say, based on owner inputs). The current Volvos are nowhere near as reliable as the older models such as the 240, 740, 850, etc. That's why I unloaded my 960 last year (after 20 yrs of owning Volvos). For that price, there are FAR better choices out there than the S80. Having said that, the S80s seem to have improved the past few years...though, still not enough to get a recommendation from CR.
  • paltingpalting Posts: 26
    I'm a loyal CR subscriber, and have been one for almost 20 years. As far as the Volvo goes, I'm not one of the lucky ones. I'm one of the usual one's. Reliability reports for CR, unfortunately are based on the number of consumers who report in problems. It is not based on a random survey of S80 owners.. Their manner of obtaining reliability data is one of the most skewed forms, and most prone to error.

    Far better choices? Read your own source. Based on the CR report itself, the Volvo S80 2.9, the least of the S80 line, beat out the MB C320, the Lexus ES300, Lincoln LS V6, Audi A4 Quattro, Acura 3.2 TL, Infiniti I35, Chrysler 300M. One of three that beat the S80 was the BMW 330i, a car whose forte is performance but got it's doors blown by yours truly(actually a 530I). They could not recommend it simply because of the unfortunate way they judge reliability.

    I highly recommend it, for all the same reasons CR still rated the S80 2.9 ahead of the others mentioned above, but also for the personal reasons I mentioned in the prior post.
  • trash32trash32 Posts: 1
    I've got a 00 S80 2.9. 3 years in August, 21000 miles.
    Problems: Had the notorious clunk--bushing replaced at about 7K, no problem since. I have a slight tear in the top rear corner of my driver door seal, will be fixed shortly. My son was able to do something to a rear door lock by snatching it open as I was unlocking the car. All corrected under warranty. I consider these to be minor annoyances, 1 was self-inflicted.
    Likes: Seats, ride, stereo, headlights, interior ergonomics.
    Dislikes: Light functionality -- stupid feature to have DRL's functionally same as "On" except can't select brights--I had them turned off, still drive w/ lights on much of the time. Don't like no bell when parking lights left on. Remote--short range and 2-step (w/ noticeable delay) unlock--had it reprogrammed for 1 step unlock.
    Could be better: Engine power, 2.9 very smooth but could stand more low end throttle response. I don't feel its particularly underpowered, just have to get on the throttle harder than most cars to get same response. Road noise should be a bit more muffled. Could be mostly tires, seems like about the right amount of engine noise.
    Bottom line: Great car, no reliability issues for me so far, fun to drive, best features and layout of any car I've sat in. Tested Acura CL type S, didn't think the performance was that much better. Definitely wouldn't give up the S80's features for it. I thought when I purchased (Overseas delivery) it was overall a terrific value, I still do, don't know what car I would replace it with for near the price.
  • denoon1denoon1 Posts: 1
    Today I rented a 2.9 S80 and drove it 350 miles of town and country roads. Avg fuel consumption was 25.3 and avg speed was 39mph. The car is probably the best I have driven in some time.
    steering is excellent,ride is solid and noise levels are very low. The seats were comfortable for the first 2hrs. but it started to become difficult to sit still for the next hour. Iwas glad to get out.(On returning the car, my wife picked me up in her new Taurus and her seats were a relief.)After lunch and on the return trip it was the same story. Power was not bad for a 2.9 and braking was good. Alot of squeaks for a car with only 7000 miles. Poor quality control I think. Typical of Ford products. Overall I liked the car but I probably won't buy one if I have to get out every 2 hrs. I think the seats are too small for a person of my size (6'and 185lbs) My problem is I don't know what to look at next. I need a front wheel driven auto.
  • godeacsgodeacs Posts: 481
    I'm not gonna argue with you! I will say again the 1999 S80 has had NUMERPOUS reliability issues. For you to say CR's data is skewed is just looking the other way! It's based on data from Volvo owners - what more do you want? Also, check out local Carmax sites and see the number of 1999 S80s on their lots - you'd be surprised. Now why would someone unload a 2yr old Volvo at Carmax? Mmmmm....nuff said!

    Bottom line: for a $40K car, the S80 (esp the '99) has had far too many reliability issues.
  • oper8rnoper8rn Posts: 5
    I agree...for a $40 K car, the '99 S80 has had far too many reliability issues.

    Since my 1st posting on 4-14-02 I have talked to someone at the Volvo dealership where I bought my '99 S80...Mooer's Volvo in Richmond, Virginia. They suggested that I speak with the service manager, with whom I have an appointment tomorrow. I will let you know how it goes.

    The Mooer's dealership has an excellent reputation for customer service...so we shall see what happens. I am going to give them an opportunity to fix my transmission and other problems.

    I am angry about the problems I've had with the car. However, I have too much invested in my car to walk away without a fight. I want a new transmission among other things. I have decided to go up the chain of command until I get something resolved. I will inform you of my progress...or lack thereof.
  • I had a 99 S80-T6 with virtually every problem you've enumerated and some additional as well. Even had to have the transmission replaced a few months ago with less than 40K miles on the car. As I found myself drawing close to the end of the warranty period I felt I had no choice but to dump the car - sold it last week at Carmax and bought a spanking new Audi A6. While there are some things I'll miss about the S80 (great seats and sound system), what I won;t miss is the complete lack of confidence in reliability.
  • andruvandruv Posts: 6
    Love the car, dont want a 40K headache.
  • Bought my S80 a year ago and couldn't be happier. I have had virtually zero problems with the car, and have been very pleased with it in just about every critical area. Unlike denoon1, these seats fit me like a glove. Living in Minnesota, I love the heated seats. The sound system is plenty good for a base system, and the climate control works like a dream. Borton Volvo has been great to work with, and the service department has been first class.

    I have steered a couple co-workers away from the 99/00 model years due to the problems reported on this site, but have heard mostly good feedback on this site and have had a very good experience with my 01. I expect you will have the same experience with the 02.
  • andruvandruv Posts: 6
    Can anyone recommend one?

    Also, pros and cons on buying new S80 now, or waiting till later in the year?
  • oper8rnoper8rn Posts: 5
    Re: 1999 S80 2.9

    Good luck with your new Audi! I have 20K more miles on my warranty, and as I get closer to the end, I may decide to dump mine as well.

    My dealership is going to update the software controlling my transmission to see if that fixes my problem. They said that it would cost only $48. I said...I don't think so! I asked them to explain to me again why it is my responsibility to pay for a software "update"...why the heck wasn't the proper software loaded to begin with??? It is a matter of principle...THEY will reload the software free of charge, or I will escalate to the owner of the dealership. I am a good customer who is getting seriously turned off.

    I will update with my transmission performance post software update.
  • rms409rms409 Posts: 10
    Can anyone from the Queens/Nassau County area recommend a Volvo dealership? I bought the car at Emet Motors, but to get to that part of town is rather inconvenient and the area around the dealership is always congested. I haven't had the car long enough to know if the service department is good or not, but would rather go through less stress when it is time to have it serviced.

    BTW, is it normal to feel the car shifting into gear when you first start to accelerate? I always feel the transmission shifting at this point in my 2002 S80 2.9.

    Thanks for your input.
  • andruvandruv Posts: 6
    Pushed over by current 3K incentives on 2002 S80's (so you can get for below original invoice price)

    hope the reliability issues arent so bad this year, love the car.
  • oper8rnoper8rn Posts: 5
    My dealership updated the software on my transmission; however, much to my disappointment, it did not fix my "shuttering and vibration" problems. It is an intermitten problem when the car shifts from 1st to 2nd, and is more pronounced from 2nd to 3rd gears.

    My dealership is Mooer's Volvo in Richmond, Virginia. They gave me a loaner car, even offered to pick up my car and bring the loaner to my home. They updated the software on my transmission free of charge...after some haggling. My car was washed when I went to pick it up. Overall, their customer service was excellent.

    Then on the way home...the vibration in the transmission happened again...now they think that they have expended all possiblities...so it looks like a new transmission for my 1999 S80.
  • I have a 2001 S80 2.9. Great comfort and looks, and so far (36K miles) engine and drive train reliability perfect. But the suspension system has been problematic. A pesistent "thunk" has significantly lowered my satisfaction with the car. The dealership has been as good as it is possible to be, given that they haven't succeeded in fixing the problem. They have replaced both front ball joints, the right front McPherson strut, both rear stabilizer bars, both rear shocks and the right rear shock mount. Each fix causes the problem to go away for a while, but it reappears, as it has yet again.
    The car has blown almost every bulb in front and back. No problems for a while, though because the dealer claims GE has made a more robust bulb.
    Thinking of trading it simply due to the embarrassment of taking people in a $40k car that sounds like a 72 Ford.
  • oak4oak4 Posts: 5
    Unloaded my T6 this week after owning it for six months and 5 trips to the dealer for warranty repairs. I thought I got a great deal for a 99 T6 with 18,000 miles for $27,500.00. I had no major problems but it was always something (broken upper motor mount,cracked radiator,mass airflow sensor,abs service light).The dealer gave great service and was always very nice to us. On our last visit my wife asked why so many problems with the car and the service writer held up a fist full of work orders and said most were for S80's and that there would always be problems with the car. The sad part is I really loved the car. The interior was so nice. The seats were the most comfortable I ever sat in in a car. The sound system was nice but poor speaker quality(several were changed under warranty). The engine was also sweet and had loads of thrust above 4000 rpm. We contacted Volvo about the problems we were having and they said that is what the warranty is for. Only problem is that its up in 1 year and then it would be too expensive to own. Extended warranty came up as an issue but with a $100.00 deductible it would not be worth it. We found a 99 Lexus GS 400 at a Lexus dealer and traded the car. He did not want the T6 and gave us $21,500 which is what the brooker would give him. He asked us to take it to Car Max or sell it on our own to get more but looking in the paper and on Edmunds for trade in value I don't think I could of got much more. This was learning and costly 6 months. I lost $6000.00 in value, paid $560.00 a month and paid $485.00 for the 30k service. The car was to go in for the ABS trouble on Thursday but we traded it Wednesday and called the dealer to cancel the service. He asked why we canceled the service and we told him we traded it on a Lexus. He said"You made the right decesion and you will be happy". This is just my $0.02 worth so do your home work before you buy any car.
  • godeacsgodeacs Posts: 481
    when the Volvo service guys are admitting the 1999 S80s numerous problems. At least they are honest, other manufacturers might just say "what problems?", "your car is the exception" (I heard that one about my S90!)...etc

    oak4...good luck with the Lexus!
  • shaunsshauns Posts: 24
    for the 2 '99 S80 drivers left that will be replacing the tires instead of trading the car
    in for something else...

    The factory Michelin MXMs on my '99 S80 2.9 just
    flatted out ( right on schedule, at 34K, just like
    the owner's manual says ), so I took the car in to my dealer's tire center for replacements.

    I've long been dissatisfied with the S-80's road noise and vibration isolation, particularly over textured roads ( our '01 Passat is vastly quieter ). I've suspected that the factory tires were partially to blame, so I asked the clerk for tires that had lower noise levels and ride comfort.

    He put me into some private label Yokohama Avid H-4/V-4 equivalents, called National Ovations. The difference was quite startling. Noise levels, while not significantly different on a noise level meter, were significantly muted and less harsh. Ride comfort was improved. Steering effort was lighter and the irritating S-80 torque steer far diminished. I could not detect any degradation in handling or braking, either wet or dry. A 50K warranty . And all for $480 installed. Replacement Michelins would have run near $700.

    I should mention that I don't flog my S80 like a BMW driver would, but I don't just drive it to the store & back for Metamucil, either.

    I talked with my service reps about the differences, and they said that the factory put on the Michelins for two reasons: Name, and to make sure that the tires stick really well to improve the handling numbers for the enthusiast mags. The Pilots are really too much tire for the intended use of the S80, which is comfortable executive transport.

    So, if there's anyone out there with as many miles on their S80 as I do on mine, look around
    carefully for better tire replacements. You'll be pleasantly suprised.

    BTW - I really can't complain that much about my '99. There have been a couple of problems with it, but in general it has been trouble free. It was one of the LAST '99s, so had a lot of the rolling improvements made for the '00 model year. Looks like I'll have to keep it for a while, given the horrible aftermarket. But that's OK. Euro delivery took the sting out
    big time.

    On the other hand, when it comes time for a new car, I won't be getting another Volvo. After driving our Passat for a year, it's clear that the top of the mass-market car brands offers more bang for the buck. And that if you really want a luxury car, the traditional names are head and shoulders above the luxowannabes.

    SS
  • kjewelkjewel Posts: 19
    2000 T6 with ~35,000 miles. The Michelins died as expected and I just put a set of the (P225/55VR-16) Yokohama Avid V4s on it. After researching, these seemed like the best trade-off for noise/handling. I am very happy with them, and they were significantly cheaper than the Pilots.

    I bought them through tirerack.com and had them mounted at a Costco. Tirerack has a nice section on driver comparisons for many different types of tires.

    My lease rxpires later this year, and I plan on keeping the car. Best damn seats of any care I've ever driven. The car has been basically trouble-free.
  • Volvo put V rate tires on atr least 17 inch S80 tires which results in 30K wear out if you take care of tires (big tires do waer out quicker but...). There is apparently a not well known service bulletin out saying to put H rated tires to extend tire wear. Just bad luck for those of us that paid for and received bad design match tires. Bad luck since this NOT a performace car. Greart straight away acceleration but that is it. Anyone get any satisfaction from
    Volvo?
  • drew31drew31 Posts: 4
    Highly recommend Hassel Volvo in Glen Cove - about a 1/2 hour drive from Queens/ Nassau border. Service, expertise, attention, courtesy up to Lexus standards - which was my previous car.
  • bucky1bucky1 Posts: 20
    I have just replaced the tires on my 1999 S80 2.9. The original tires were Michelin MXM4 @ 215/55-16 I did my research at Tire Rack and ended up buying a full set of Bridgestone Potenza RE950 from Tire Rack. Since the 16x7 wheels were the same size as those used on the T6, I decided to go +1 on the tire size to 225/55-16 (same as the T6). The new tires are H rated. The tires cost $460 (delivered by FedEx overnight) and $100 to mount and balance by a Tire Rack affiliated installer in my local area.

    My $560 investment has been very rewarding. The car has never had a better ride. The new tires are sooo much quieter than the Michelins were. Conversations throughout the cabin are easily audible even at interstate speeds. Going +1 oversize has given the car much better cornering. It is almost like having a new car the difference is so noticeable.

    I also want to recommend the K&N air filter. The difference in acceleration has been noticeable since replacing the OEM filter.

    Between the new tires and the K&N air filter, it's almost like having a T6. Just kidding...but it definitely is an improvement over the original equipment.
  • jwlarchejwlarche Posts: 2
    my car has been towed for the second time from the front of my home, because it would not start. the dealer replaced the battery, the first time. This time the car is on week 2 at the dealership and no word about how the electrical problem will be solved. In Georgia after the second try to repair an electrical problem the car qualifies for the lemon law. has anyone had this problem.
  • pluskinpluskin Posts: 79
    I took possesion of a new Volvo S80 this week. I have the premium stereo system. Now what's driving me crazy, is that although it has an in-dash CD changer holding 4 CD's, I believe it also has the ability to switch to a separate external CD changer that holds a dozen or so more CD's. And while the CD changer cartridge was in my glovebox, for the life of me I can't figure out where to plug it in! Can't find the changer in the trunk, the glovebox, anywhere... Am I overlooking the obvious? Or did the factory leave it out?
  • n0v8orn0v8or Posts: 169
    Look behind the trim panel on the left side of the trunk. It removes easily with a quarter-turn plastic fastener. Turn and pull toward you. You will find a power distribution panel with relays and fuses, and perhaps a changer as well.
  • gangeltgangelt Posts: 11
    I just ordered the above vehicle. The first time I tested a S80 2.9 I didn't like the seats or the power. So I looked elsewhere. A month or so later I went back and tested a T6. Very comfortable and fun to drive (much better seats). The same day I tested a BMW 530i. A great car and also fun to drive, but I felt more at home in the Volvo. This will be my 3rd Volvo (240, and 850 wagon). If you haven't checked out what the put in this anniversary edition you should. Basicaly it is the S80 Executive with a bench rear seat. Now I just have to wait to pick it up in Goteborg in June. I agree with those that say don't buy a car in it's first year. Also don't keep knocking a car for it's first year problems.
  • jwlarchejwlarche Posts: 2
    My S80 is now in the dealership on week #3. service mgr. claims they are still doing test. this is a new car only 18,000 miles. The car has been towed 2 times from my house to the same volvo dealership. The first time the battery was replaced, this time volvo has replaced a part on the engine...whats up with getting my car to run and start. I am really getting real upset with this total process and this S80.
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