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Volvo S80



  • rollierollie Posts: 337
    Regarding post #380:

    sylmark, I couldn't be happier with our Volvos ('99 S80 T6 with 25k+ miles, '01 V70 T5). I shopped everything in this class (and still do from time to time) and know that if I had to do it all over again the only two cars that would make the cut in this price range are the Audi A6 2.7T and Volvo S80 T6 (in our case the S80's extra room and safety features won us over - along with the navigation system and a couple of other toys).

    My only caution before buying your car is to MAKE 100% SURE THAT THE DEALER YOU WILL HAVE YOUR CAR SERVICED AT MAKES THEIR CUSTOMERS HAPPY! Any car from any manufacturer can have a problem from time to time. In the case of Volvos, the key to a good ownership experience is having a good service department that will go to bat for you should you have a serious problem and need to work 'with' VCNA. Sit in their customer waiting lounge for awhile one morning and ask a couple of customers if about their experiences with the service department. There's no easy way to eyeball a dealership and tell which ones are bad but as a generalization I always try to deal with stand-alone Volvo dealers (I shun the dealers with multiple brands under the same roof).

    If I can answer any questions let me know.

    Good luck.

    [email protected]
  • For the first 11 months of 1999 S80 T-6 ownership, I was the happiest of Volvo owners. I am now in the beginning stage of ridding myself of the vehicle and am experiencing a total absence of commitment and/or concern to customer satisfaction from Volvo of NA and the dealer who serviced my vehicle.

    My problem began with a defective steering rack, which was replaced under warranty. Eleven days after the work was complete, while driving with my daughter in the passenger seat, the car caught fire - flames coming from underneath the car on all sides. It was determined that the dealer had replaced an O-ring incorrectly which became crimped, and in the words of the dealer, "they did not know how it lasted for as long as it did."

    Immediately after the fire occurred, I telephoned Volvo of NA who sent their inspector to the dealer. The dealer w/out my authorization repaired the car, wanted to return it, which I refused stating I expected them to buy it back from me. After they had had the car for 2 weeks, the dealer called me to say that they had test drove the vehicle for 4 days with no problem, then on the 5th day the same problem reoccurred and power steering fluid was again leaking on the catalytic converter. The dealer qoute, "We view the car unfixable and have placed a call to Volvo. This is a Volvo problem."

    I immediately called Volvo. Their answer was that they would have to inspect the car again and no one would be available until a week later. They also stated that the results of the inspection would be made known to me thru the dealer. I asked for direct feedback; they refused.

    Today I got the call from the dealer: "The car was inspected 2 days ago, it's fixed, come get it." They have yet to explain how a car that was unfixable is now fixed in two days, the same car that took eleven days for the first fix to unravel into a fire and five days for the second fix to unravel. I thank God that I stood firm refusing to accept the car back and will continue to do so.

    This car is a safety hazard! I have begun my education with the Texas Lemon Law and will be contacting every media consumer advocate that I am able to locate to tell my story to. At first the dealer and Volvo placed me in the middle of their fingerpointing. Now it appears that they are going the route of denying that any harm has been done and there is nothing wrong with the car.
    No one will ever convince me, especially with the obvious cursory inspections and servicing put forth be Volvo and this dealer, that this vehicle is or can be repaired. I will not place the lives of my family in jeopardy again with a Volvo.
  • I second Rdo's comments Re: posting 380.

    The '99 S80's, particularly the T6s, had their share of teething problems. My 2.9, also a '99, had some of the same minor problems, but they were fixed promptly and without fuss. The car has had no more early problems than my bulletproof-reliable 91 Accord.

    I must say that if the A6 2.7T were available when I made my purchase decision, I would be posting to the Audi BB instead of the Volvo BB.
    This is simply because the Audi is much more fun to drive, and, I now know, more quiet on most roads than the S80. In fact, our recently purchased Passat V6 Wagon is more fun to drive and quieter than the S80.

    Still, the $10K difference in price would have given me LONG pause. With OSD, I was able to get the 2.9 for less than $33K, and a free trip to Europe. Hard to beat.

    The S80 is a curious vehicle. It embodies all of the basic Volvo qualities - safety, durability, adequate performance, a very comfortable family car - in a body shell that promises BMW performance. A BMW it is not, but I'm afraid a lot of early purchasers thought it COULD be, and found out differently.

    "If my love's face be fair, I can forgive a thousand faults"

  • That is a hideous story, and one that WOULD make me switch brands. But not because the car is inherently a death trap.

    nogood's experiences, like most all the others I've read on this BB, began with a particular part that suffered infant mortality or a part that wasn't designed quite right.

    The part is replaced, but incompetently. Which causes a much more serious problem. VCNA is called in, and clumsily avoids dealing with the problem. The customer becomes a non-customer.

    Isn't this a problem with dealer service tech training and VCNA customer responsiveness?

    This is a well-documented problem with Volvo, and why rdo sez "check out the service department first". Volvo's new management will improve this. They will HAVE to improve this, or they won't have customers.

    Volvo is in a period of transition, learning how to make world-class cars and provide world-class service. Unfortunately, right now they make cars that don't have the emotional appeal of -say- a BMW or Porsche to keep customers coming back while they make their inevitable missteps.

    Remember that BMW and Porsche were just as bad 10 years ago as Volvo is now. But the cars they made were emotionally compelling. And now BMW at least is making reliable, emotionally compelling cars. No wonder they're doing so well.

  • Bobbie,
    Its a hard call. I have a 2000 S80 (13 months -9k miles), which has had a couple of small problems: the sub-frame bushing--noted at 2k, fixed at 3k, no recurrence, and a broken rear door handle (my son did it). When I had them repair the bushing they made a mistake putting it back together which indicated another problem but wasn't. Other than that, its been perfect and I love the car, best value going.
    But, if I had read all the posts that are now on this board when I bought my car, I probably wouldn't have... In a way I hope people vote with their feet so to speak and stay away from Volvo in order to force them to fix the true problem w/ this car--VCNA customer service and relations. Horror stories happen to every make and model of car, bad repairs happen, things break--the difference is how it gets handled and if the stories you read here are true, VCNA is as bad as it gets and its killing them. I just hope they fix it so that my car has some resale value left when I decide to sell it...
  • For VCNA to treat you such is a disgrace! They had better wake up and realize that people have many choices to choose from when buying a "luxury" car. I hope they get it together. This is my first Volvo and I am happy with it so far. I will be "judging" Volvo against Lexus, which was my previous car. Would have bought another but liked the folding seats w/o being a SUV and the safety features of the s80. I keep reading about the sub frame bushing/o ring problem. What are the symptoms/sounds? Would appreciate your response.
  • Bear with me, this got a bit long.

    Been reading for several months, have posted a few. I own a 2000 T6 with 14,000 miles. I have had no problems (save the bushing replacement which I consider a non-problem) with the vehicle and I have been generally happy with the dealership. Due to some small problems with the service advisors, I am now a customer of the service manager who takes on a few "problem children" like me (translate: expect it done right the first time!).

    All in all, I am extremely happy with the T6.

    It appears to me that there have been a few lemons out there. Don't fool yourself into believing that this doesn't happen in every car- manufacturing sector. Just stop by any car dealership from Benz to the el-cheapos and I am sure you will find many customers ready to turn in their vehicles. I also suspect that these cars comprise less than 1/10 of 1% of all sold.

    With the proliferation of the Internet, we have the opportunity to hear the complaints as well as the praise. Again, don't be fooled into thinking that problems are more prevalent because of a few horror stories. A good analogy is the claim that there are more earthquakes these days than at any time in history. This is BS. We now have better monitoring and dissemination capabilities than ever before and thus can detect better. The Internet and these bulletin boards are here for us to instruct, complain, and praise. Most people keep quiet when all is well and lambast when it isn't.

    Those of you who have unfortunately been "selected" to have a bad Volvo experience should bail while pounding heavily on VCNA on the way out. I would. However, I don't think the rest of us should bail or be worried about or even swayed by these horror stories. Like many electronic devices, if they last the first month or two, they'll usually last forever. Add the relevant amount of time when applying to vehicles!

    A final note about German engineering about which I am very familiar.

    Germans tend to over-engineer the crap out or everything - literally. This can be nice because they think of all the gadgets and what could go wrong with them. They also add all sorts of monitoring to keep their gadgets running (example: electronic brakepad thickness sensors). More stuff to break. Their stuff is so over-engineered that it makes it very difficult for the service people to know how things are supposed to function. And forget about getting any technical information from a BMW or Benz dealership. Everything associated with German engineering is usually cloaked in secrecy. I say this with no malice so please no private emails! I have spend quite a bit of time in Germany and have worked for a German manufacturing company. If their stuff all works together, it truly works better than anybody's on the planet. However, if it screws up, it can be very difficult (and expensive) to figure out.

    Ok. I'm done.
  • Actually, I was looking for the information on 303. Thanks! I purchased some through
  • We are very happy owners of S80 2.9 we got in 1999. If we have complaints, it is with the dealers. They seem unwilling to help with anything. Anyway, we had our S80 in for 30K mile service. They billed me $402.11 for it!!!!!They charged me $304 in labor and $98 in parts. Why the hell is a 30K mile service so expensive?

    Here is what they claimed on the bill.

    Completed minor secondary iginition system tune up, serviced throttle body & replaced gasket, changed oil & filter, rotated & balanced tires, retorqued suspension, added fuel injector cleaner to fuel tank. Technician completed QA checklist!

    Excuse me? All this needed to be done for 30K mile service? Can anyone confirm to me that they had the same stuff done to their car, for 30K mile service?

    They replaced front brake pads and charged $80 in labor and $60 in parts!

    The Bass/Treble button on the radio split down the middle. So, I asked them to replace it. They called saying that they will replace the whole Radio. Instead, they moved the split button to the Fader and moved that button to bass! Then they claimed on the bill that they replaced the whole radio!

    Unfortunately, my wife picked up the car and she didn't pay attention to any of the stuff. I am going to call them on Monday and discuss this with them.

    I have noticed a very disturbing trend with Volvo dealer's service. They just don't give a damn. I previously emailed Volvo, N.A. They replied to me saying that Dealers are independently owned and operated, so they can't do anything with customer service problems!

    We love the car. But we will never again buy another Volvo. NEVER.
  • Check your owner's manual and service book. 30K service checklist should show you everything that is scheduled. The other stuff sounds like a rip.
  • scottc3scottc3 Posts: 137
    Just got my recall letter. I'll call tomorrow to schedule this ball joint fix. The letter indicates it should take 1.5 hours but the dealer may require the car the whole day.

  • Can any of you technically-endowed boarders give me a detailed description of what the recall problem entails?
  • I like many, just received my recall notice. While my S80 was in the shop for the recall work, I thought that I'd get some reprogramming performed. I'd like to be able to turn off my headlights, although I would plan to drive with them on all of the time. If I get the DRLs turned off, and I leave my lights in the ON position, will the lights turnoff (and on) automatically (like they do now), or will I have manually turn the switch to the ON and OFF positions? Thanks!
  • 1) The recall is to replace the ball joints which link steering and suspension components and the front wheel. My understanding is that the current design has shown a tendency to wear causing looseness/increased play in steering the car. I think only one of the front ball joints has shown this propensity but they replace both during the recall.

    2) W/ DRL's turned off the off position is now really off, the parking and on/auto positions remain the same functionally.

    Also--The entire light logic of the car is poorly designed in my opinion, either have a reduced number or separate lights as the DRLs or let the switch do what is labeled (i.e., turn DRL's off) so on is on/auto and off is off. Also I wish they had a chime for parking lights--they don't turn off w/ the car and don't chime. I frequently leave them on and want to be able if I choose to, but I'd like the chime to remind me if I didn't mean to.
    More than I meant to say ...
  • Thought you guys might like this one (no reflection on Volvo, just a service technician -)

    I picked up my S80 from the dealer yesterday after having some minor warranty items addressed. One of them was my sunroof that wouldn't close tight. After leaving the dealer, I got up to about 35mph when the sunroof and its frame achieved liftoff, sailed backwards through the air, and shattered on the roadway into a zillion pieces. Thankfully, no one was behind me. I brought it back to the dealer and said "we have a problem". The mechanic came in and looking at me with a scowl, said "did you do something to your sunroof?" followed by the service manager telling him "no, you were supposed to put it back together, remember?" I won't forget the sight of a sunroof careening through the air and crashing out my rearview window anytime soon.

    One useful thing to pass along though, if you want something reprogrammed in the VADIS, (I wanted the 1-touch unlock) get it done with something necessary (I asked for the tech note 28-23 - uneven acceleration) and my dealer didn't charge me anything (and that was before the sunroof fiasco). I think that uneven acceleration download helped. I know the car has an adaptive transmission, but now the acceleration seems more consistant.
  • Have a 99 T6 w 10,000 miles... not a problem heretofore...Got my recall notice re ball don't have a clue..I'm trading for BMW/MB/Audi this week while I can still get around 34k according to Kelly
  • No offense, but why are you suddenly convinced to trade by getting your recall letter? Best of luck to you anyway, how about letting us hear what you got on the trade... (or are you selling it yourself?)
  • Let 'em go. Like Benz/Audi/BMW has NEVER had a recall notice. Yeah right. I used to wok at a Benz dealership in their service department. Plenty of recalls and problems.

    Just got my 2000 T6 out of the shop for its 15k service. Dealer looked up VIN and I got the new ball joints. No muss, no fuss. The recall letter was in my mailbox when I got home!

    The entire service was (as quoted) $230 (actually $226). A great job and the dealer didn't charge me for the pop-up ashtray they installed in place of the pop-up cup holder. Too many cup holders, not enough trash receptacles.

    Had a noise that sounded like an idler pulley. I mentioned my town-hall browsing and asked about the piston valve. Dealer said they hadn't seen any S80s with that problem. They have now. I got mine replaced. No muss, no fuss. Thanks to you all for keeping these info items on the board so I can bring them up to my dealer.

    Front end and steering feels "tighter" with new ball joints. These people go out of their way for good service and I am very pleased with my T6.

    Good luck to those of you bailing.
  • Anyone using a cleaner for the interior that you think works well? My taupe interior gets dirtier than any car I've ever owned, especially non-leather parts.
  • Hey, need some ideas here:

    Just got new Volvo S80, and faced with the dilemma -- to rustproof or not to rustproof?

    Dealer claimed to have applied 'basic' rust inhibitiors to doors etc. Also, according to dealer, rust-proofing will void Volvo's rust warranty (which I understand is majorly useless anyway cause it only covers rust-through).

    On top of that, there is a concern that applying extra rust-proofing to the doors might clog drain holes in it.

    So far I am thinking to have underbody rust-proofed anyway. Did I mention living in Wisconsin? (spells ROAD SALT).

    Suggestions anybody? Thx!
  • jarchjarch Posts: 16
    neil2212: I had the programming done to turn off my daylight running lights a few months ago. The light switch works as you would want/expect - if you leave it in the ON position your lights will come on every time you start your car. When you turn off your car, even though your switch is left in the ON position your lights WILL go off.

    If you turn the switch OFF, then your lights won't ever come on.
  • scottc3scottc3 Posts: 137
    It took a bit of doing, but I got the service scheduled and completed ON TIME. I left the S80 for four hours and it was ready when I got there to pick it up. Did not notice much difference, if any, but feel better it's done. I also bought 2 oil filters for future use. Glad to have the car back.
  • dfwt6dfwt6 Posts: 24
    (A little late...I've been away from the board for a while.)

    NO, that's the whole point of getting NON-METALLIC tint; however, if you don't have the GPS I'd personally recommend getting the metallic on the side windows since it's a higher performance film. Metallic tint on the BACK window is what interferes with your radio reception and GPS. Have it done professionally by a reputable shop or it won't matter what you had put on.

    Ask TX_BEHR (Glad that solved your problem, Phil).
  • dfwt6dfwt6 Posts: 24
    Regarding your comment about illogical lighting, you are partly right. No, other German cars (BMW and Mercedes I know) do have the parking lights staying on without ignition and without a warning chime. Yes, the DRL's really aren't; I suspect it was the easiest way to program the car, to just have the lights always "on" rather than figuring out how to extrapulate programming to get only the high beams on at 50%. I had mine turned off (and the one-touch all-door-unlock also).
  • dfwt6dfwt6 Posts: 24
    Your dealer experience sounds like what I'd expect Nils Sifeldt would do.

    Is your insurance company not involved?

    Consult an attorney who specializes in Texas Lemon Law litigation/advice. Don't learn it on your own.

    If you live in a metro area (like Dallas), at least one of the TV stations must have an investigative reporter looking for ways to "be on your side". If you're wanting to draw attention to the dealership and the problem I'd call them. Nobody likes that kind of press pointed at them and if there's more than one Volvo dealer in town the negative press would be hugely detrimental to their business (and a great windfall to their competitors!).

    Good luck, I can only imagine the horror of being in my burning car with my wife and boys.
  • dfwt6dfwt6 Posts: 24
    I use Meguiar's #40 for the black body moulding and it does a GREAT job of cleaning and restoring it back to the showroom black look, including taking out my overwipes of wax (Meguiars #20 poly sealant).

    Look here for online shopping:
  • mkrichmkrich Posts: 8
    I know the parking lights not going off or chiming is an intentional feature shared by other car makers, and that if left on a reasonable time they won't run down the battery. I just don't like it, largely because if I happen to leave mine on, so many people at work come tell me that I can't ignore it. And before I turned off the DRLs it happened frequently as I went to parking lights driving through a security gate then didn't reset them. Neither right nor wrong, just my opinion...
  • scottc3scottc3 Posts: 137
    Had the opportunity to drive in a Mercedes S500 the other day.. wow.. nice everything.. lot's of leg room, power to spare big time.. very nice.. then I was dropped off at my 2000 T6, got in, was driving home going 65 or so, quiet, smooth, power to spare.. drives real nice.. hummm, is there a $80K difference (a guess on my part).. no way, the T6 is great for the money... I was happy.

  • I am a proud owner of 99 S80.
    Volvo just sent me an offer for an extended warrante. Personally would entertain the 6-7 year
    100,000 mile + package. A little pricey.
    Is it worth the money?
  • javaseajavasea Posts: 11

    How much? I am considering the same in a way, but the dealer won't quote prices until I come in to deal. No way for me. For me, I will consider another dealer or source for extended warranty information. I would like to know where to go to conduct some "research" on this topic re the S80. Thanks.

    00,2.9 BD 10/99
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