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Volvo S80



  • Hello all,

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    -Ian Rosdale
  • While I can't speak for Volvo's customer service, so far I've been extremely fortunate with my Volvo. While I don't own an S80 (I've owned a '01 V70 which I've had since May), this car shares the same platform as the S80.

    For what it's worth, reponding to item #512... safety is what also won out for my wife and I. Volvo's quality track-record has traditionally been strong. The problems facing the '99 and '00 S80 were an issue for us, but we felt that our safety was more of a priority. Luckily I haven't experienced the issues that some have already written in their comments above. For us, we'll continue to enjoy the comfort, performance and utility of our V70 T5 as it safely transports us around the US.

    I also came across a safety story the other day that I thought might be of interest re: the '01 S80. While the story is from the (Australian) Sydney Morning Herald, the information still appears applicable here...

    "Volvo's S80 has romped crash tests on both sides
    of the Atlantic, prompting the Swedish car builder
    to boast that its sexier new cars are among the
    safest in the world. According to Volvo, the S80 the first car in the world to get top results in
    both European and American independent crash tests carried out by the three independent test institutes, Euro-NCAP, US-NCAP and IIHS (Insurance
    Institute of Highway Safety).

    The ongoing NCAP tests are part of the consumer
    information provided by NHTSA, the American traffic safety authority. The cars tested are evaluated in both a frontal crash test and in a side impact test.

    The S80 last year became the first car in the
    world to score full points for both the driver and
    passengers in side-impact tests. Further frontal impact tests last month saw the S80 again
    score the five-star top rating.

    The car previously had been awarded the highest
    possible ranking in the American Insurance
    Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) frontal impact
    test, "Best Pick", and top marks in the European
    NCAP tests which involves both a frontal offset
    crash and side-impact tests against both a dummy
    car and a lamp post.

    Understandably, Volvo is pleased. And it is
    especially pleased that it has maintained its
    safety mantle despite its much-vaunted trend
    towards building sexier-looking cars.

    "Here we have a number of different tests, carried
    out by three mutually independent organisations,
    all coming to the very same conclusion, says
    Christer Gustafsson, safety expert at Volvo Car
    Corporation. "As a company policy, we do not
    generally draw attention to top results in
    individual tests since we do not feel that a single test is sufficient to assess a car model's overall safety level, but this clearly shows that the Volvo S80 has a safety level of absolute world

    Mr Gustafsson said the S80 was in fact safer than
    the tests suggested. "The tests only cover some of
    the situations that the Volvo S80 is designed to
    withstand," he said. "Nor do the tests rate the
    multitude of advanced systems found in the car, for example the WHIPS whiplash-protection system."

    Volvo also is crowing about the fact that its new
    S60 sedan has been awarded the the Golden Steering
    Wheel 2000 in a ceremony in Berlin. The S60 is the
    25th winner of the award, made by an international
    jury of motorsport representatives and car experts, who test each entrants for two days and evaluate them for road performance, fuel consumption and environmental aspects, design, interior, engine, driving comfort, space and cost effectiveness."
  • jek6jek6 Posts: 1
    Re the folks looking for price guidance, you should now be able to pay a reasonable profit to a Volvo dealer similar to any other nearLux car; don't pay more.

    To the folks examining quality ratings: I too have had minimal problems with my 2000 S80 T6 and would HIGHLY recommend it, even with a bug here or there. I like it more every day.
  • We finally got our T-6 back from the dealer. Apparently the shiftlock solenoid burnt up (that was their term). I'm assuming this is the one that ensures that you have your foot on the brake before you shift. It melted the shifting linkage which made the stick unable to come out of park. They replaced the whole assembly.
  • sas7sas7 Posts: 1
    I'm considering leasing the '01 S80 T6 (with sunroof, security package and dolby surround). Can anyone tell me what kind of deals they've been getting on these (e.g., 3 year lease, 12K miles per year, no money down)?

    Also, I've read posts regarding the wood/leather steering wheel option. The dealer I visited advised that such an option does not exist. Can anyone enlighten me on this?
  • jarchjarch Posts: 16
    The wood/leather steering wheel option *does* exist (at least as of 2000 model year cars), but it is typically a factory order option(most US cars don't come equipped with it). I almost ordered it with my car (2000 S80) but decided against it only because I was a bit worried about it getting too hot to touch in warm weather...
  • I own a MY2000 S80 T6. Has anyone noticed a pulsing of the engine during a normal acceleration. It is a very noticeable sensation. I get three or four strong pulses when getting it up to speed. The turbo was not even engaged. I appreciate any feedback anyone might have.
  • dfwt6dfwt6 Posts: 24
    Not sure what you mean by "turbo was not engaged". If you've got a T-6, it's working at 1500+ RPM. It will create power surges from time to time through the power curve but I accept this as normal behavior of this car as it is consistent with other turbos I've driven.
  • Howdy. I got my 2001 S80 2.9 this weekend (on Volvo's 3-year lease special), and when I was signing the paperwork, the finance guy wanted to know if I wanted to purchase any "value-added" items, like LoJack or "Finishing Touch" sealant. Now, I'm pretty up-to-speed on LoJack, and I'm definitely considering getting it. The only snag there is that LoJack's web site says the MSRP on their "System 1" is $595, and my dealer charges $695 (or $650 on sale during December). The dealer claims their cost is $595, but I wonder...

    In any case, my real question is about the "Finishing Touch" protectant, which next to the LoJack I know almost nothing about. The dealer's flyer has this to say on it:

    Finishing Touch- Fuse Polymers and Teflon
    right into your new vehicles [sic.] paint. No more worries about
    Oxidation, Bird Droppings, Tree Sap, or Waxing.
    Forget about the Coffee or Soft Drink Stains in your brand
    new interior. 100% Refund if you trade in your
    car to Volvo of Orange County.
    The coating is on sale for $325 during December. Now, on the surface, this stuff certainly smacks of the stereotypical "undercoating" (as seen in "Fargo") whose only real purpose is to increase the dealer's profits. The fact that they refund your money if you trade the car in, though (which I'm told includes bringing a lease vehicle back and getting a new one) kind of makes it sound like the dealer really wants the stuff on your car. Also, my sales advisor said he had it on his two Volvos, for whatever that's worth.

    Anyway, does anyone know anything about this stuff? Does it really work? I sometimes get so busy that I don't get a chance to get bird droppings off the paint right away, so if this stuff really protects the paint from being damaged in that situation, it'd be valuable to me (though I dunno if it's worth $325). The stuff is either a product of or is distributed by Southwest Dealer Services, Inc., but there's no additional info on their website.

    The only information I was able to find on the web or on Usenet was a thread entitled "Question: Finishing Touch Coating" on The four respondents all recommended against it, but it was clear that most or all of them didn't know anything about this particular product and were just making a knee-jerk reaction. Also, they said that instead, you should apply a wax-based product yourself every couple of months or so. I have neither time nor desire to wash and wax my car myself, so their advice may not be of any use from my perspective.

    Anyway, anyone have any suggestions?
  • dfwt6dfwt6 Posts: 24
    Three-hundred twenty-five red flags against that finishing touch. Did they ask you about underbody coating too? Did they offer PMI? God, you should hate any finance guy still in business doing that garbage.

    Don't fall for it. Dealer is looking for high-profit add-on's and they're usually worth about 1/10th of what was paid, if there's any value at all. Lojack is an exception and you'll have to make a judgement call on that yourself for value vs. expense, but if you're not sure about pricing games, get a 2nd price! I'm in Dallas and it's available, but I don't know a lot of people with it here and car theft, at least in my little corner of DFW, isn't a huge problem.

    Anyway, it's been widely recounted here to DO NOT APPLY ANY WAX OR SEALANTS FOR FIRST SIX MONTHS OF OWNERSHIP for unspecific reasons having to do with curing of paint. Personal recommendation is to (a) find a hand-wash near you that does $99 detailing or a mobile detailer and do that once every 3 months for a wax or every 6 months with a poly seal, or (b) find an hour or two every six months to do it yourself. I do the poly seal myself, recommend Meguiar's, order on the web, I have purchased from Autopia.

    Try to get the bird poop off ASAP always. There are spray misters out there that you can keep in the trunk that will do the trick if you can't get to a garden hose fast enough. If you're driving a dark color, you probably can't get it off fast enough anyway.

    Best of luck to you!
  • DFWT6,I have had my S80 T6 for over a year now. The sensation I feel is new. I am certain it is not the turbo causing the pulsing. My point about the turbo not being engaged was to indicate that it was occuring during a mild acceleration.
  • jq3jq3 Posts: 52
    expect to pay over invoice on a '01 S80? I've never had or dealt with Volvo before so I'm not familiar with their service.

    Also, what about lease deals?

  • Haven't logged on for quite some time so please forgive me if this query is repetitive.

    I have now owned my S80 T6 for over a year; the car has 6,500 gently driven miles on it. I still adore it but it has experienced many of the relatively minor problems mentioned by other owners when I began reading the posts over a year ago.

    Before I bring my car in for service, can someone please tell me what the problem might be since I know some of you have experienced the same thing: Usually when turning, I feel a "clunk" coming from the driver's side front wheel area.

    (I think my service department tends to smirk when a woman describes a problem this way, and they claim never to have heard of the static problem experienced on my stereo system's Dolby setting either. I was apoplectic when the owner of the dealership patiently explained to me in the most condescending way possible that Dolby systems are supposed to lessen noise, not increase it. DUH! He also claimed not to hear anything!) Please help before I give up and switch to another dealership for service.
  • rollierollie Posts: 337
    Regarding post #495:

    flowerpots, are you kidding? I would switch dealerships in a heartbeat if I were in your position!

    The clunk noise you referred to is well documented and is related to some front-end suspension issue(s). I'm not 100% sure if it is a need for a bushing fix (there's a Tech Service Bulletin for it - actually several successive ones) or the ball joint replacement which is an actual recall item. The ball joint recall occurred after Volvo went through a couple of iterations on improved bushings to eliminate the noise but I don't know if both are required to eliminate the noise or just the ball joint replacement. Either way, ANY competent dealership will well aware of this issue.

    Regarding the Dolby static that occurs only when you play a CD with the Dolby Prologic engaged - it is hard to catch. It tends to happen very sporadically but it is usually consistent about where it happens with a particular CD track. It seems that those who have encountered this issue have been issued factory refreshed head units that have eliminated the issue. I had this problem about a year ago but couldn't duplicate it consistently for a dealer. As it happens, I (or someone) broke a button on my radio earlier this year and ever since the head unit was replaced the static problem disappeared as well.

    Back, to my first thought: you experience with your dealer will make or break your satisfaction with your car. Given what you have experienced already I would run, not walk, to another dealer if it is an option. Call them ahead of time and tell them of the customer disservice you were given at the other dealer and they should welcome you with open arms since service is how dealers make most of their money.

    Good luck.

    [email protected]
  • Rollie, thanks for your advice. Believe it or not, the clunking began right after I had the ball joint replacement per the Tech Service Bulletin! Could they have screwed it up or is it more likely to be the bushing? Interestingly, the manager of the Service Dept. phoned me two days after the replacement to ask if the car was running o.k., which in retrospect leads me to believe there may have been other complaints. At the time of his call I hadn't yet detected the clunking.

    As for the maddening CD-Dolby static experience, I agree that it happens only sporadically and usually during the same CD tracks, which nearly had me convinced that it was a CD defect and not my stereo system. But it was happening loud and clear when I was playing my CD for the owner of my dealership, and he claimed he couldn't hear it! And to add insult to injury, both he and the Service Manager promised to investigate other reports of this problem with "Headquarters", but neither of them called me back. Definitely time to switch!
  • flowerpots,

    I did not experience the clunk until after the ball joint replacement was performed either. Apparently the area that they work on for the ball joint involves the same mechanical items as the clunking issue. The service technician indicated that the ball joint service (a couple of months ago) likely brought on the clunk. I've since had the clunk fix incorporated, and not heard the clunk since. Neil
  • kjewelkjewel Posts: 19
    20k on my T6. All is relatively well.

    Very cold in Atlanta for 2 weeks. I have noticed some suspension squeaking (front end) when car is slowing (on and off the brakes - like a rocking motion). Doesn't appear to from the shocks. Anybody experience this in cold climates? A bit of WD40, perhaps, in the right location?
  • jarchjarch Posts: 16
    snarman - I have a 2000 T6 with DSTC as well. In the past month, the service indicator light has come on along with the service message "DSTC Service Required" - four times in fact. It always goes away by simply restarting the engine. Did your problem get resolved? If so, what did the dealer do to correct it? My dealer here in Southern Calif just said 'duh - don't know what to make of it'...

    Thanks in advance.
  • I just got home from the dealership with my brand new 2001 S80 T6 and noticed that there is moisture on the inside of the headlight assembly on both sides. I have scanned the previous posts, but there are just SO many. Can anyone tell me if this is normal and will take care of itself, or if I need to head back to the dealer?

    I would also like to mention how very helpful this site and your comments have been. I began thinking about a Volvo or Saab more than a year ago, but wanted to wait until I could get out from owing more than the worth of my 97 LeSabre. The 99 reviews scared me away from the Volvo at first. Saab wouldn't negotiate on trade in. Autobytel hooked me up with a Volvo dealership and the 01's, based upon what I am reading, have had the problems cleared up. I was prepared to purchase the 2.9, primarily based upon the reviews posted here. I test drove the 2.9 first, then the T6, and the difference was extraordinary when passing cars on the freeway. Additionally, my wife won't drive a manual transmission, and the Geartronic gives me at least of sense of more involvement in driving the car. On the whole, I didn't feel that the handling was compromised. After purchasing the car and driving it home, I can say that it handles as well as and is as comfortable as my father's Lexus 400. All this and the epitome of safety to boot!

    Thanks for your help in all of this.
  • jarchjarch Posts: 16
    revitupster - when I first got my T6 a year ago, I had the same (similar) problem with moisture / condensation in the headlight assembly after bringing home my new T6 home (2000 T6). I shortly found out that from this site that this is a relatively common phenomenon on new S80 vehicles ... it simply disappeared on its own after a week or so. It has not returned since.

    Enjoy your new wheels!
  • I own a '99 T6 that's almost two years old and I also experienced the moisture in the headlights that went away after a day or two.
  • As I posted here a couple of weeks ago, I too experienced the DSTC Service Message. Mine occurred the next day after "exercising" the DSTC system. The message has not returned since, but I'd like to know also if I should do something about the reported fault. Thanks in advance to any/all who comment.
  • Sorry for the blank message!!
    We leave next Saturday to pick up our 01 S80 T6 in Gothenburg on Monday the 15th. Staying at Hotel Gothia. Any of you TDS veterans have any thoughts on shopping (not my idea of fun!)restaurants etc?
  • My son noticed a patch of small bubbles in the paint under the clearcoat on our new S80. The surface is smooth and I don't see any metal under the defect. I'm inclined to live with the problem rather than have it fixed because I'm concerned the fix may be worse than the defect. Any opinions or suggestions? Thanks.
  • the service soon light appeared on my "new"2000 t6.after the dealer had the car for 4 days(I"I not complaining) he discovered a faulty abs sensor. all is better now.
    water in the headlights is a design flaw by dealer has ordered "shields" from Volvo to correct this problem.i"ll keep all informed once this is fixed.
  • got a copy of my work order and this is what it says
    "hooked to vadis pulled codes abs-00A2 & abs-00A3.replaced central accel.sensor and per techline mark abs control module."
    hope this additional info helps!
  • dougf2dougf2 Posts: 21
    I was surprised to notice my driver side headlight with a major crack in it.

    I was astonished to find out the part assembly to replace it is $300 and to do the work will involve removing the front bumper and 3 hours of work!
  • pmvipmvi Posts: 63
    Does anyone know of a good service dept. in L.A. County? Also, please advise if there are any that you would avoid. I have ordered an S60 T5 through European Delivery (I didn't go through a local dealer), and want to start off on the right foot. Most conveniently located dealers to me would be 1. Studio City, 2. Santa Monica, 3. WestSide Volvo.

    I will be picking up my car in a couple months, and am a bit nervous about Volvo reliability. I do love the S60 and S80 though.

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