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Volvo S40



  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I have read of similar problems on this board of S40s needing new brakes early on. Even if your daughter is a hard driver, they should last at least until 25-30K. Brakes aren't a strong suit on any Volvo, as I was told by a co-worker who has had several through the years.
  • bb_lhs_2kbb_lhs_2k Posts: 94
    I just bought a 2003 V40, and I noticed that the brakes are really sensitive, they stop on a dime. I guess Volvo uses softer brake pads in order to get a better grasp of the rotors, which gives this excellent braking system.

    But, unfortunately, these brake pads seem to melt away pretty quick (approx. 15k mile lifespan). The problem I don't like, is the excessive brake dust that covers the wheels. I've never seen anything like it. Can't keep the wheels clean!

    One thought I had, was possibly using "brake dust shields". They seem to be better than they were in the old days, where the rotors got too hot.

    Is this a good idea, or bad. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
  • bobo36bobo36 Posts: 7
    Although my lease price is $270 a month with zero down i find it the worst car i've ever had. the service light or the break light are always on and they won't go off. the cup holder snaped off with just a coke in it and they want $150 for it. the middle arm rest fell off and the break dust is like nothing I've ever seen. It eats up gas like a truck. It's to crampy. What a mistake this car is.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
  • 062062062062 Posts: 1
    I just brought my S40 one month ago. It cost me 22K with premium package. I think it is a good deal for a European car. It might cost me if you want to buy a 4 cyl. Camry or Accord w/ leather package and sunroof.

    I'm still Ok with this car.
  • goldkeygoldkey Posts: 36
    I think comparing S40 with Camry or Accord is not the best way to look at this car's value. Rather than see it as an overpriced alternative to Camry, I tend to see it as an affordable alternative to Audi 4 or even BWM3.
    Camry is an akward, boring and underpowered car in 4cyl version. (try driving it up the mountain if you don't beleive me), but it is a reliable family hauler.
    S40 is fast, nimble and has very nicely appointed interior, and did I mention fast? But family sedan it is not - too tight or as my wife put it -snug.
    So, depending on what you are looking in a sedan it might or might not be a good deal. My wife had S40 for three month so far and can't think of driving Camry again.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    are you basing the camry's four cylinder performance on the current design? it's no rocket, but it's more than adequate with the new 157 hp engine. but you're right, the s40 is a different type of car.
  • Geez,...I have a 2001 S40 and thought I do a carsdirect check on the 2003 S40. The dealers must be getting rid of them b'c it's $4700 under invoice for a fully loaded one (includ child bolster seat, prem pkg, and 16" wheelies. Total price: $22,627!! I think that price is amazing!
  • jeff186jeff186 Posts: 95
    Yes, I saw that price too on I'm guessing the redesigned S40 is coming out very soon and they are trying to unload current inventory. Nissan is doing the same thing with the Maxima right now.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    So is now a good time or a bad time to sell an S40?

    We have a 2000 model. It had some teething pains (brakes, suspension squeak, ac, engine managagement chip) but is now pretty much sorted out.

    Long term reliability is a question mark for me.

    I like how the car drives though it is a bit small for me. I just wish it had a stick and am considering an Acura TSX, Accord Sedan or Subaru WRX.

    So is now a good time to sell? Or will it get worse when new 04s arrive?
  • jeff186jeff186 Posts: 95
    ...when a car is redesigned, the older models go down in value rather quickly because the public sees the new body style and your car becomes the "old" body style.
  • theflowtheflow Posts: 98
    Seems like nobody goes to the V40 board so I have to ask a question here. I just test drove a V40 today with the moonroof. When the car hit 60mph, there's a wind noise kind of thing coming from the moonroof. I have the moonroof fully closed but the sunshade fully opened, and there're no roof rails/rack. Anyone experience this wind noise also? Can you guys think of any reason for this noise?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Probably the roof rack causing the wind noise. Common in cars with roof racks. You should have tried it with the sunshade closed, it might have reduced the noise to a tolerable level.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Also, giving large incentives on a particular car will make its resale take a nice dive too. Since the S40 is not a hot seller on the market, I am sure trade-in/resale value will pay for it.
  • theflowtheflow Posts: 98
    Thanks for the reply. But there are no roof rack/rails on the car........
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Oops, then I don't know.. :)

    Perhaps a loose sunroof seal?
  • I got bit with an Infiniti G20 the same way.

    The current sales incentives are not new to the S40/V40 lineup. Last year, at model end, Volvo was offering similar incentives to move out the old inventory.

    Unfortunately, you have a car that is nicer than the market will recognize, and is a bit overpriced at sticker to be competitive. If you are ready to sell, sell...but expect the resale to be lower than if you had bought a Passat or Camry.

    Volvo has not been able to capture the wide open market, so only Volvo people are buying Volvos. The S40/V40 was not enough of a great car to change that.

    Personally, I would not buy a 2000 S40, and I like the cars. So, use my anecdote as a small indicator of just what it will take to dump your car for a new one...a mighty enticing price.

    Figure if I can get a base S40 brand new for just under $20k, that a 2000 isn't going to be very interesting at any price north of $13k...regardless of options. No warranty, no new-car smells, etc.

    As the new S40 hits the market, this will only make the matter worse. If you are ready to buy a different car, put the 40 on the market and get on with your life.

    For me, a potential S40/V40 buyer at year end...I am looking to make the car a long-term investment, so I only factor in resale mildly. But if I was looking for a 3-5 year car, the S40 wouldn't be the ticket. If you intend to put 100k miles on it and 8-10 years..the resale is a moot issue.

    One advantage to holding the car may be the sorting out of new product interest. If the new S40 drums up more interest in the market, you may be able to sell the old S40 faster and for more money based on name appeal alone. I strongly believe that a new model release directly affects the old model, a strong new product helps carry the old model, a weak new product can errode an already bad position.

    Good luck. :)
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    The car has 39k miles and a year on the warranty. It drives nicely but I would prefer a stick shift.

    My main motivation is getting a car with a stick shift again. I sold a Prelude with a stick which I miss. Cars I am considering include Subaru WRX, a BMW 3 series, maybe the new Acura TSX when it comes out, or even an Accord 4 door, 4 cylinder with 5 speed. I know these range in price from $22k - $35k.

    There are also some issues with the car that just do not seem to get repaired, like suspension squeak.

    I am somewhat afraid that if I am holding the car after the warranty runs out, it could be expensive to repair OR I would just live with minor annoyances. But then again, even 1 or 2 $500 repairs a year is less than a car payment.

    Our S40 model is fairly basic - Cloth seats with the only options being weather package and in turnk CD changer. I have about $22.5k in it and the car is paid for.

    The wife would not mind keeping it till it truly becomes a problem. I'd like to bail now and get something else.
  • I think it works to your advantage that your S40 is on the more basic side. Good luck selling!

    On the buy side, I might recommend looking at the Mazda6 with the stick, Infiniti G35 (stick on the way?), Volvo S60 (hot Turbo edition may be the cure for what ails you) or an Audi A4.

    The Subie WRX is a great car (wagon or sedan?) but not very civilized. The BMW is all-around great, but expensive. The Honda/Acura duo are very good...but always seem to be as dull as an accounting seminar in most comparos.

    Your tastes will have to dictate your purchase, obviously. I honestly don't think you can go wrong in that price range, as long as you stay true to your needs and wants.

    For the money, the BMW is a great car with better than average reliability, great resale, and dynamic driving characteristics. If the price isn't a killer, that is the car to have. I just can't make the leap from low 20s to low 30s in my finances, or I would be signing my name for a 325 tomorrow. (After some lengthy test drives of the competition, of course.)

    Back to the S40 - would you recommend for or against buying the current S40?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    The S40 is a nice enough car, if not a paragon of reliability. They are very safe cars though. Also, if you are going to keep the car a long time, then it's worth the investment. Be warned that it's expensive to have European cars worked on though, when the warranty run out on them.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    BMW has better than average reliability! I don't think so.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    That's what I'm sayin... where did that come from?
  • not to pick hairs with you, but BMW 3-series, the one we are talking about here, has very good reliability records. In short, it is only the V-8s and V-12s that seem to be problematic at all.

    Edmund's own 330i has been nearly flawless. 3-series BMWs do offer very good reliability AND performance...a tough package to beat. Statistically as reliable as an Accord or Camry? Maybe not, but the 99.5% of BMW 3-series buyers will never see that difference.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Not to crush your theory, but I have to say it's not quite right. According to CR, most of BMW's cars are rated below or worse than average for predicted reliability (per the April 03 auto issue). Camrys and Accords are at the other end of the spectrum.

    Now with the part where most drivers won't care, you might be right. I have a VW Jetta myself, which is not the most trouble-free car (according to the CR surveys), but I love the car and wouldn't drive anything else. The German 'feel' is unmatched by the Japanese or American counterparts. Since you own a BMW, you can more than likely identify that 'feel' for yourself.
  • matt00matt00 Posts: 32
    Looked at an S40 last night and really liked the way looked and drove. How is the reliability of the S40? The car is loaded MSRP is $28,000 and I was offered $22,500. I was originaly thinking about leasing, but they said it would be close to $400 a month w/ 0 down, 36 months 12k a year? How can this be on a 22,500 price?

    Can someone tell me what a "Great" lease payment would be on this car.

  • sully242sully242 Posts: 7
    The current s40 has all the bugs worked out and is a nice car. They are giving hugh discounts because the car isn't selling well and this is apparently the last year before an updated s40 model comes out.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    High payment is a function of a very low residual, high money factor or both.
    The price you pay for the car doesn't matter if the residual is low.
    Or you have a high money factor.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Considering the car is so cheap, I would buy and not lease. You would be able to take advantage of pretty low rates now as well.
  • corbaczcorbacz Posts: 2
    I just bought the S40 and love it aside from the fact that I thought that the DSA system came on when I started the car and it does not seem to. Also, to turn it on I have to hold this button down for a significant period. Has anyone experienced this. By the way I got the car for $22K incl. license, reg. and GAP insurance.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Default is on.
    The only time the light comes on is if you shut the system down.
    the light will flash when the system is operating.
    DSA doesn't engage the brakes, it retards the throttle
This discussion has been closed.