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Volvo S40



  • We have 3 kids ages 4, 2 and 2. I just finished my lease on a 2000 S40 and purchased a 2004. If you look at the posts you will see a lot of the problems were in the 2000 model year - From 2003-4 I think things are much better. One great feature you can get (and should in your case) is the integrated booster seats. No other manufacturer offers these currently. They are great for kids age 3+. My older son loves to ride in them. And they are extremely easy to operate - no more of those bulky booster seats you have to move from car to car.

    You can fit 2 adults and 2 kids no problem but I wouldn't go much more than that. I would really use the S40 as a second car, not the main car as it is a little on the small size.

    Since this is the last few months of the old model its a great deal. I got a car with premium pack, cold weather pack, booster seats for about $22k. I believe its a much better value than the Honda, but as a former Honda owner also can vouch for their reliability.

    One more thing- you don't have to make a decision on the extended warranty until one month before the four year 48k mile warranty ends - you can buy it up till then.
  • What does Volvo charge for an extended warranty? I just picked up an '00 S40 w/ 48k miles and 2 mos. left before it hits 4 yrs old. I have all of the svc records and it has been pretty reliable with the exception of a front axle replacement under warranty. Should I be worried?

    Also, can I install the integrated child safety seat or is that a factory installed option as opposed to a dlr installed option?

    I'd like to add a cd player. If I buy the Volvo HU615 (that was the optional unit for this car), is it simply a matter of plug and play w/o having mess with the wiring, etc.?

    There seems to be alot of confusion over what DSA actually does. Can someone clarify this for me? Is it simply a traction control system or is it an electronic stability program as well? The owner's manual mentions something about the DSA keeping the car stability so I am led to believe that it is more than just traction control.

    Are the wood dash kits available aftermarket? I'm looking for a good price on it.

  • Since I have had the 2000 S40 when the A/C is on it will surge making a noise that is very loud and annoying. I have timed it and it will surge for 15 sec and then be off 15 sec. This is a frequent but intermittant problem. It keeps on this cycle until you turn the A/c off. Has anyone had this problem and know how to fix it.
  • jhorljhorl Posts: 89
    I have a 2004 S-40 LSE and I also have the noise you are refering to. It almost sounds like fluid rushing through the lines. I havent researched it yet.
  • Thanks for the advice but I ended up going with a 2004 Accord EX-L automatic as a replacement for my 03 Accord EX-L coupe 5-speed. The S40 was a nice idea but the Accord is roomier, safer, and will be more reliable if this message forum is any indicator. S40's are still a good-looking car though and I wouldn't deter anyone else from buying one if it fits their needs. With the deals and so-so resale you can get alot of car for the money.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I saw pics of the new 05 S50 from the auto show (I think it was Frankfurt) today in a magazine at the bookstore. Looks very promising from the pics.
  • we called brighton and they said no money off the s40...and we said at everyone else has $5 to $6k off advertised. jeesh! i'd like to stay local. any dealers/sales people to contact in the boston area for a fair deal?
  • dsurlydsurly Posts: 1
    I recently leased a beautiful red 2004 S40. During the test drive it pulled to the left. I didn't think much of it, but I had them "adjust" it before I drove it home. After two 4-wheel alignments and a replaced steering rack in less than three weeks of ownership the problem was reduced but not eliminated. The dealership bought the vehicle back.

    I was given the opportunity to simply leave it at that or find an S40 that drove straight. Much to my surprise, the next three 2004 S40's all pulled to the left. This was very disappointing, because I'd really love to own one of these cars, but the consistency of this problem concerns me.

    Assuming tire pressure and road conditions have been accounted for, what's going on here? Is there something intrinsically wrong with the alignment/suspension of these vehicles? Has anyone else had a similar problem, if so, how was it fixed?

    Any and all comments are welcome.
  • We had a similar problem with our 2000 S40. It turned out that their was a slow leak in the left from tire. As it continued to lose air the pulling became worse. The seal was fixed and the problem was eliminated. If I were you however I would stear clear of the S40. We have had nothing but trouble with ours ( and if you read older postings you will see the same). Our latest adventure was with the left headlight continually going out. It took the dealer (Bill Gray in Pittsburgh) 4 times over the course of several months to finally fix it.
  • OK, I know people on this board said not to get an S40 now since the new ones are coming out soon, but I can't wait that long. Right now I really want to get a Hyundai Sonata LX, but I would prefer to lease -- and the residual value on that car is such that leasing might not be an option. So my backup plan is the Volvo S40. I would lease for 4 years. I have heard some people say the car is great, and I have heard some say it's crap. Given that I would only have it for 4 years, the life of the warranty, does anyone have any opinions on why I should or should not consider the S40 if my Hyundai plan falls through? Basically what I want is a sedan w/leather that isn't bland-looking (so forget Hondas, Toyotas and Nissans) and that is affordable lease-wise (low down payment, under $250 monthly payment). So far the Sonata and S40 are all I have come up with. Thank you!!!
  • The S 40 is an entry level sedan, With that said, it is every bit the car that the Sonata is and more (saftey, LSE is sporty etc...) Drawbacks: the '05 S-40 is supposed to blow away all in it's class ( I sell them so I'm a bit biased). The '05 was introduced at the Frankfurt show and is really easy on the eye's. Good luck...
  • Thanks for your input. Yea, I *really* wish I could wait until the '05s come out, but my current lease is up the first week of January 2004. If I could wait, I think the new S40 would be my first choice. The current S40 was my first choice until I read some bad reviews. That led me to research all the other cars in my price range, and I was so impressed with the Sonata; even more so after the test-drive. But like I said, I may not be able to lease the Sonata, and I need to keep my payments low. So back to the Volvo I may go! That is, as long as no one thinks I would be making a *major* mistake by leasing the 2004 S40 for 4 years .... :) Thanks!
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    If the payment fits and you like the car go ahead.
    True the new 40 will be nicer, but will also be more $$$$.
    Lots of incentives for the current 40.
    If your leasing who cares about resale anyway?
  • volvomax, I know it's early, but do you have at least an idea of how much more the new S40 will be? The current LSE version lists for about $27,000 but can be had for much less due to incentives. Will a comparably equipped new S40 (base engine, automatic, leather, etc.) list higher than this, or will the list be close and the car will end up costing more just because there will be no incentives? Thanks.
  • we own a 2000 s40 and have 95,000 miles on it. we love the car and are wondering if anyone out there knows how many miles we can hope to put on it before dies? so far we've had no problems and we can't tell it has more miles than the 4 it had when we bought it. what's the average mile lifeline for a volvo??
  • jhorljhorl Posts: 89
    Has anybody else had a problem with the car pulling to the left. I've had mine in the shop twice already and it still is not fixed. They have done wheel alignments both times. If they cant get it fixed next time I will try to pursue a buy back. Has anyone been through this with a dealer and if so how does it work.

  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    According to my sources, the new S40 should have the same price range as the current car,although w/out the incentives.
    So figure on $23-29,000 for MSRP.
    Obviously if your looking for a deal go with the current car.
  • Hello -

    I am about to purchase an '01 S40 SE. I have done a lot of research on the car. I am impressed. The one piece of research I have not done is maintenance cost. Can someone provide some feedback in regards to the cost of maintenance on this car.

    Your input is greatly appreciated.
  • After my last post I started reading more of the messages posted on this board. I am concerned hearing some of the reviews of the earlier millenium models (2001). I am seriously looking at a 2001 S40 with 40k miles. I am not a big car buyer, don't have money to throw away and have to have something reliable. Are the criticisms and complaints on this board something I should take seriously and as a result perhaps not make the purchase? Or should I make the purchase?

    concerned in LA
  • Hi:

    Wonder if any of you current S40 owners have had encounters with the engine stuttering on aceleration occasionally - any fix suggestions
    could never duplicate it at the workshop.
    Mechanics states the Engine and sparks are fine?
  • 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.
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