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Volvo S40



  • kenaikenai Posts: 3
    My best friend recently leased a bamboo green (great color)Volvo S40 - she loves the car but noticed the day after she took the car that during the day (and night) the vents by the front windshield reflect and cause a bad shadow while she is driving anyone else experieince this???
    Thanks so much for your time - AI
  • hass3hass3 Posts: 2
    Can anyone help me? Is the sway bar a critical part of my suspension? If it is, my dealer has had one on order forever and my S40 sounds like someone is banging on the underside of the car with a 10 lb sledge hammer. Can someone educate me on this mechanical element?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    It keeps the car more flat in handling maneuvers. I would think it's a valuable part though. I mean, it is what holds the car up.
  • There is very little discussion of the S40 here. Is it a low volume car? Are the owners not online? Is there a discussion board at another site that owners go to? I'm considering buying an S40 or V40, and I would like to hear the opinions of current owners. Thanks very much.
  • Thanks, Robert. Those sites are exactly what I needed. I had found brickboard this morning, but I did not yet know about swedespeed. It is very helpful. Do you like your S40?
  • I do, more so now than I did several months ago. I had a few irritating problems during the first 6 or so months of ownership. Most were just minor, but sill required a visit to the dealer. They were all repaired under warranty. Otherwise, I love driving this car. The handling is descent, the low end acceleration is excellent (handy in heavy traffic), the transmission works very well and the suspension is firm but not harsh.
    E-mail me if you have specific questions.
  • Hi,

    I am a newbie. I came across a left-over 2001 S40 at a local dealer, with CD, Leather, Winter Package, Sunroof, Power Seat. The dealer showed me a invoice of $26,6xx and added some fee to make the offer $26,950 (license + registration is extra $175). The case about 260 miles on it and has no plastic cover. The price sounds attractive to me.

    1. I don't understand the reason for that $300 they added in. Any hint?

    2. I am wondering if the dealer is cheating on me about car -- maybe it is a demo or test-drive car? How could I find out.

    3. What are the important questions to ask?

  • What has 260 miles and no cover? Your message isn't clear.

    Just use common sense with mileage...even if the car is not a demo but it has a lot of miles it's worth something less than a new one without all the miles. More miles = bigger discount.

    The best way to check if you have a good price is to call another dealership and see what they can do. Works best if you're ready to buy though...

    I like my S40, but I think the A4 is worth taking a look at also.
  • Thanks fladriver.

    I was reading the odometer wrong. It is 11 miles -- the trip computer has 200+ on it.

    The invoice comes up at 26,300, + $625 destination charge, it is about $27,000. I am new to this bargain game so I took it at the offering -- the dealer said the lowest they can go is the invoice even tho Edmunds TMV shows TMV below invoice.

    Now need to handle the insurace stuff -- this is my 1st car so it is not that easy for me. Can't wait to get it home!
  • To anyone out there thinking of buying one of these pieces of junk unless you have a lot of extra money to throw in the garbage I would stay away from this nightmare. I have a 2000 S40 that has 37,000 miles on it that just spent over 20 days in the shop. The day it came out both headlights blew and I found out that they have a service bulletin on the car and it needs to be taken in once again. The car has had almost 2700.00 in repairs in the last 3 months including catelytic converter, power steering pump, struts, stabilizer bar, breaks, head lights... You name it and it breaks. I am at the point where I am afraid to look at it funny. The dealers are not much help and Volvo is even less help. Before buying go to the highway safety site and read the number of complaints on this vehicle and the breaks that need to be replaced every 10,000 miles for 150.00. If anyone has any advice on what to do with a car like this(besides pushing it off a cliff) let me know. I have looked at the board on this car and I see many others with similiar problems. I also have had the check engine light issue over 4 times each time the dealer charges you 40.00 to turn off and tells you it is the gas cap being loose. The gas cap is not loose and I have even offered to glue it in if it would help the problem....
  • Check the lemon laws in your state. You may be eligible for a buy back from Volvo. I don't own an S40 and I'm not an expert when it comes to lemon laws, but I know that if you have frequent and recurring problems with a new car, you can sometimes force the manufacturer to buy it back from you under your state's lemon laws (provided the problems are severe enough and especially if a safety issue is involved).

    Contact your state's Attorney General and their office can probably provide you with all of the details you'll need.

    Sorry to hear about all of your troubles. I came very close to buying an S40 in 2000 and I am so glad I didn't. I'm now looking at an S60, but am a little wary of buying anything from Volvo considering all of the problems with the S40 and the S80. It's too bad because I think they're beautiful cars and I like Volvo's safety philosopy a great deal. Maybe in the next year or two Volvo will be able to straighten these issues out.
  • I'm trying to decide between the Jetta GLS VR6 (auto) or the S40. I like the safety and nicer feel of the S40 but am worried about the S40's reliability.

    Any comments?
  • I had my heart set on an S40 last year, but decided not to buy one based upon all of the reliability issues. I think the Jetta would be a more reliable car, but if you truly like and prefer the S40, then I would buy it. It sounds like most of the problems were with the 2000 model S40, although some people with the 2001's have had problems too.

    I'm still going to consider the S40 when I'm in the market for a new car in a few more years. The seats are so comfortable, the interior is very nicely done, and it handles and accelerates well enough for my needs.

    Keep in mind that not everybody has had problems with their S40. Some people are doing fine, but there seems to be a significant number of people who aren't so lucky. Maybe you can throw some salt over your left shoulder before you sign the contract...couldn't hurt :)

    Please let us know what you decide. If you buy the S40, post here and let us know how things are going with it. VW's are not without their problems either. Good luck.
  • Given all the whining I've seen on this chatsite regarding the s40's reliability, I think that if I do buy one, I won't get the Premium package with the power sunroof, power seat, CD etc. The less electrical stuff the better. It's a shame because when you buy a car in the mid-20s you'd expect a few of the comforts to come with it.

    I had great luck with my '95 940. Dull but extremely reliable and huge without that Crown Victoria feeling.
  • You might want to try or

    This S40 forum is a little quiet sometimes but those other two offer good advice, too.

    Good luck.
  • maxmaxmaxmax Posts: 1
    I am considering purchasing a 2000 Volvo S40, however I am worried about reliability. Has this car had serious problems?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    From what I have read here, I would worry about the 2000 S40's reliability too.
  • godeacsgodeacs Posts: 481
    the past few years Volvo reliability has gone downhill.....esp with the S40 and S80. Hopefully the S60 will do better......
  • I traded my Jetta GLS VR6 for S40 (leased) about 7 months ago. I haven't had any real problem with mine. The Jetta VR6 is really a fun-to-drive car. What I didn't like about it at the time: 1) heavy fuel consumption combined with small tank. I had to fill-up every 200 miles. 2) the auto-transmission started to hesitate at around 20K miles and the car only came with 24K miles warranty. Like Volvo, VW is know for durability but not reliability.

    I am getting much better gas mileage with my S40. Handling is just as good with plusher ride. My insurance premium went down with S40. B-2-B warranty is longer although I hear that VW will offer longer basic warranty soon.

    I leased mine since I wanted to be able to return it in case the car starts to develop serious problems. But I am happy so far.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I bought a 2002 Jetta 1.8T in November, and am pretty happy with it. I drove the S40 before I bought the Jetta, but there wasn't enough leg room in the S40 for me (I am 6'3 and stocky built). All 2002 VWs come with a 4/50K warranty b-to-b and 5/60K powertrain warranty now. But no free maintenace anymore...
  • I still haven't decided between the Jetta GLS Auto VR6 or S40. However, a friend of mine suggested the (gasp!) Chevy Malibu!. I've never owned an American car (tho had good luck with a 95 Cherokee).

    I took a look at it. It seems like GM may have sorted out their reliability issues on this car. It also offers much more in the way of standard features. It's thousands of dollars less expensive. It appears you're trading a few grand for safety features (traction control is not available, less airbags in the car). It also certainly has that American rental car feeling to it. But this is going to be Dad's commuter car, not the family carrier.

    My concern is that the blandness of the car will make me want to sell it earlier than I really should - therefore negating the cost savings. However, it is bigger than the jetta and more reliable than the s40, and much cheaper than both.

    Comments? Thanks
  • JettaorS40: The 2001 Malibu only got TWO stars in the side crash test performed by NHTSA ( which is very low. It received four stars in the frontal test. They haven't side tested the 2002 Malibu yet (but the 2002 got four stars in the frontal test just like the 2001).

    You should consider the Chevy Impala as well. Bigger than the Malibu, better crash test scores, V6 180 HP engine, front wheel drive and just as reliable as a Malibu. I wanted to get an S40 last year but am now trying to work an S60 into my budget.

    Anyway, I think I'm gonna leave now as it appears that I'm recommending a Chevy product on a Volvo board....whoops.

    Good luck making up your mind!
  • I just showed this to my wife. She quickly reminded me that just because this not the family car but is rather Dad's commuter car, that doesn't mean we should buy a deathtrap. She reminded me she needs my paycheck for a few more years until our kids get thru college.

    I'm starting to wonder if I should just cough up some extra $$$, buy a stripped, low horsepower S60 instead of getting a decently equiped S40.

    Are the S40s really that less reliable than the S60s?

    Surely the Volvo badge is worth something?
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    Well the S40/V40 does have alot of Mitsubishi in it. Forced to choose, I'd take a stripped S60 over a loaded S40. They do start to butt up against in price.
  • I also was attracted to the 40, in my case the V40. The message boards here and at are full of complaints about the 40 series. Even taking into account the fact that unhappy owners are more likely to post than happy ones, the number of complaints is still worrisome. There were a couple of long rounds of S40/V40 discussions at in the past month.

    I debated between a loaded V40 or a stripped V70. I decided that if I were going to buy a Volvo I would go for the stripped 2002 V70. (Pre-2001 V70s also generate an unusual number of complaints). The owner of a firm that sells used Volvos told me that he won't even buy used S40s/V40s because there is so little demand for them. He advised spending a little bit more to buy "a real Volvo."

    I am now leaning against any Volvo, but I do think the 40 series , theV70 and S60 are attractive cars with phenomenal safety equipment. Clearly Volvo needs to work on improving reliability.
  • Jettaors40....a hefty life insurance policy payout is better than a couple addl years of regular
    paychex...lump sum, no tax, etc....hmmm....mebbe that has something 2 do w/my wife
    steering me towards deathtraps! If U go for the 'Bu then U cud get a nice life policy with the
    $1000's saved or "upgrade" your current policy....just an idea!
  • If I had to choose between a stripped S60 and a loaded S40 I would choose the S60 IN A SECOND!!!

    Take a few days and read all of the messages on this board about the S40. Then go to and and read the S40 forums there as well. Then, go back and read the S60 messages on all three forums and you'll see that the S60 is way more reliable than the S40. It's also much roomier and will be easier to sell when and if the time comes. It seems that the S40 and S80 have had way more problems than the S60. From what I've read, the S60 is much more reliable and it's also Volvo's biggest selling car.

    A base S60 has an invoice of only $25,851 with an Edmund's TMV of $27,146. They were selling some 2001's AT INVOICE here in the Washington, DC area in Nov and Dec of last year and you might still be able to find a 2001 somewhere if you shop around.

    If I were buying a Chevy, I'd get the Impala. I'd avoid the Malibu due to the two-star side rating. If I buy a Volvo for my next car, it will be an S60.

    It's really a shame that Volvo reliability has gone downhill. I had my heart set on an S40 until I started reading about all of the problems people have had with them. I also spoke to several S40 owners in person who voiced many of the same complaints.

    My hope is that Volvo will be able to improve the quality and reliability in the coming model years. I would love to own one, but I'm not thrilled about spending close to $30K on a car only to have it sit in the shop for several weeks a year!
  • Yep Jettaors40, stretch a bit for the S60--even stripped. Volvo Overseas delivery can get you into an S60 with a few options for right around $26K. I can't dog the S40 too much since I had one ordered loaded to the gills until I cnx'd for an S60.

    If you can live without leather and some of the price-bloating option packages, go for the S60. Mucho compliments on the car and people are surprised how little I paid. Although I'll never be able to sell an S60 stick with cloth! Hold up baby! Great car so far with 6000 autobahn miles. Nary a problem. Good luck all S40 owners/buyers. I really want them to be good cars...even more so if they would have offered the S40 T4 stick.

    P.S. optional headlight washers make a mess of your Volvo in the winter as they work with the windshield washers...the result is nasty winter sludge sprayed all back along the front hood...and of course nice clean headlights.
  • I was once told by the dealer that the powered seat has memory for different drivers. I could not find this feature in the manual. Does S40 have this feature?

This discussion has been closed.