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Volvo S80



  • kjewelkjewel Posts: 19
    Shauns, you ARE lucky. I just finished looking over the Passat bulletin board. You think S80s have problems?
  • aedge3aedge3 Posts: 3
    I had posted a number of positive comments about my 1999 T6 (late build) in the Reliability Topic and this one earlier in the year. At that point, my experience was mostly positive but a few new items of concern have developed in addition to having received the much discussed recall notice. Since the car is at 14,900, I plan on calling today to get an appointment for the 15K, the recall work, and the following list of wierd items. Unfortunately, many of them do not occur all the time and that usually seems to spell the dealers' reps looking at you as though you have two heads and can't think with either one!

    1. Since leasing the car, it has stopped, dead, on at least four occasions. Three while on the road (all in slow moving traffic) and once in my driveway. No warnings, no messages, just turns off. On the road, since the car is so quiet at idle, I didn't realize it until I pressed the accelerator and it didn't go...then looked down and saw all the warning lights on. Reported to dealer (Prestige Volvo, E. Hanover, NJ) at 7.5K checkup and got the two headed response! "We can't find anything"
    2. AM radio lets out a shriek at about 10mph, up or down, apparently worse on weaker stations. In addition, since reporting this to Prestige (and again getting the two headed response) the reception has gotton increasingly worse in AM band. FM and CD are fine.
    3. Door lock on drivers side rear door fails to open with remote entry about 25% of the time. Have to use the unlock on drivers door. This just started a couple of weeks ago.
    4. About 5% of the time, when starting the car in the AM (garaged), I get extremely rough idling for a few minutes. This started a couple of months ago.
    5. On a number of occasions, the car has "lurched" as it (I think) shifts from 2nd to 3rd gear. This occurs at relatively low speeds and without hard acceleration. This started about a month ago.
    6. This morning when I started the car in the garage (it had been sitting for three days while I was on a trip...significant?), it let out a very loud whine which seemed to be louder as I turned the wheel while backing out. It was not a belt squeal at all. It continued making the noise as I drove off for about 5 minutes and then quieted down. This is a first.

    Oh, and when I took the car in for the 7.5K I asked them to turn off the DRL feature. When I picked up the car, they said that it was not something that can be done?!?!? Rather than stand there and argue with the rep (remember I already got the two headed response for the radio), I just grabbed the keys and left, thinking, "I know more about this car than you do, moron! And it scares me!" Thanks to those of you who posted the various settings that can be changed with computer codes.

    Wish me luck at the dealer!

  • shaunsshauns Posts: 24
    All right, I admit that the Passat is quite new, so no wierd problems have cropped up. And I've had personal experience "early build" problems in even the best automobiles - reliability wise. And frankly, a problem rate of 1.72 per vehicle is dang good. Consider what it was just 5 years ago.

    My impression of the Passat is that it handles better, is quieter, and is more composed over bumps and rough pavement than the S80, for 10K less. Heck, so was my Accord.

    My point here is that these two cars deliver - in terms of performance - more than their unremarkable styling would imply. Stealth cars. Volvo, on the other hand, poured everything into styling, making compromises in front end geometry (having to do with the lack of a V-6 that would permit deeper suspension elements?)
    and suspension that prohibit it from performing well against its competition.

    A contemporary luxury car must offer a clear advantage over midrange vehicles to be competitive. This is partly emotion, partly reality. Volvo must improve its design balance greatly to be viable long term.

  • ponghpongh Posts: 8
    I have not met any disappointed S80 owner yet, I am very happy with my 99' T6 especially the awesome GPS, to my opinion the GPS design is better than Audi, Mercedes, Accura, Lexus, Infinite and BMW. It takes me to everywhere always in pleasant ride, despite of the bushing, light bulb and one time false check engine warning light issues. This morning I took my car to dealer for 15K miles service, met a lady having the T6 in the same color of Nautic Blue, her comment of "I love my Volvo" along with her beautiful smile, reflects my opinion of S80.
  • pbrienpbrien Posts: 2
    Art is isn't your faith or your S80 that is slipping, it is your dealer that is slipping. If I was you I would run to the nearest dealer other than the one who has already demonstrated his lack of knowledge on previous occassions. What makes you think they will suddenly have an awakening and become S80 experts the next time you go in. Your other problems sound electrical in nature, my guess is a bad ground somewhere in the wiring harness. As regards your recent whine at start up, check your power steering fluid level, it may be low, and if it isn't that check your belt it may be glazed and slipping as well. The fact it went away when it warmed up is common to either of those conditions.

  • My '99 S80 2.9 continues to have a vibration problem shifting from 2nd to 3rd. (This is really noticeable under heavy acceleration.) I've seen posts before regarding this subject. Can anybody who's had this problem tell me what the dealership did to correct it and if that correction actually worked?
  • ponghpongh Posts: 8
    can someone please explain what 28-23 or 28-26 idle variance is? Is it a software upgrade like one-touch unlock?
  • dalkeydalkey Posts: 1
    I feel your pain. Bot a 99 S80 2.9 in June from your friends. After waiting for 3 months, I am still waiting for my 2nd key. They tell me that a blank ignition key is back ordered, and has been for 3 months - other area dealers do not have the problem. I am now waiting for national customer service to engage. Needless to say, I use a different dealer for service, and my parents who covet a Volvo wagon are going elsewhere as well. Try another dealer - may make you feel better about your wheels.
  • rollierollie Posts: 337
    Regarding post #420:

    disappointed4, I'm afraid your bad experience with your car has robbed you of your ability to objectively read and comprehend. The J.D. Powers survey you posted everywhere was for the TOP 15 cars in the survey. There are many many more vehicles that didn't make it into the Top 15. That said, sure I would like to see Volvo closer to the top but being in the Top 15 with a couple of models is no disgrace.


  • shaunsshauns Posts: 24

    Good point, but in rereading the posted results, the S80 was 14 out of the 15 LUXURY cars tested, with a problem rate 50% more than the average for its segment and 3 times higher than that of the best in the survey - Lexus and BMW. It was only slightly worse than the A6.

    This wasn't a test of the top 15 cars in the fleet.

    But it would be interesting to see how 1.72 defects per 100 cars compares to other segments of the fleet. It is quite a low number, but methinks that the mid-price segment may actually have better quality numbers than the luxury segment.


    The on
  • was wondering if there was a published list of tech bulletins and the problems they address. I have ongoing rough idle problems with my S80 and was interested in tech bulletin 28-26. My dealer said it was normal for this car but I have had that same response for two other problems in the past that Volvo had in fact recognized. It would just seem very productive to publish this tech bulletin list so concerned owners would not blame Volvo for not addressing problems that are in fact the result of unknowledgable or uncaring dealers. Any info from others experiencing rough idling would be appreciated.
  • scottc3scottc3 Posts: 137
    Bought my S80 T6 last december.. Yep, the recall has been done, the doors all open with one push of the remote, and the CD has been replaced due to lateral skip.. all else is perfect. I read this pounding the S80 is taking and count myself lucky.. I never have been lucky before (like this). I read someone said, "I have never met an unhappy S80 owner".. neither have I! I talk to people owing S80's all the time.. they all love their car. Is the car perfect, NO.. but everytime I drive it, I enjoy it. I have changed the oil 3 times in the 15K miles on the car and I just rotated the tires. I'll continue to count my blessings.
  • I've noticed an odd thing with the radio face-plate on my '99 S80 2.9. A "ring" is appearing around the volume control on the plastic face plate. At first, I assumed this was just some oily residue presumably from one's fingers (when adjusting the volume). However, it doesn't seem to come off, so I'm thinking the plastic finish is just wearing off.

    Has anybody else noticed this? If so, have you done anything about it?
  • bucky1bucky1 Posts: 20
    While in the service department for the ball joint recall campaign, my dealer replaced a defective antenna amplifier (P/N 9459991-7) under warranty. I am now getting the best AM reception I ever have since taking delivery of the car exactly two years ago. I kept complaining every time I brought the car in for service, until they finally fixed it. This has been my only ongoing complaint with this car. Now, I guess my S80 is perfect in every way. Just kidding.
  • I am about to purchase a demo 2000 S80 T6 with about 6600 miles. I've been reading this discussion list, and I see people talk about a recall for ball joints. Is there anything else that I need to be sure the dealership does before I take possession of the car? Thanks.
  • After all I read I'm scared to buy this one. It was my dream - car, and I would expect my love to be flawless, seems like everyone have experienced problems - big or small - with it; and a "decent" price of $40000 doesn't worth all the trouble for me: I don't earn millions and I'm expecting a child. I will not have time to run to the dealership everytime to change this and that. Concidering it's beauty and safety, it was my choice of car - but how about frank answer: What about it's reliability? Will I have to repair it on the next month I bought it, Rollie?
  • Seems like quality of T6 is better, but the price of it is quite biting: 45K. I was wondering: if I bought 2.9, would I regret it for the rest of my life? Convince me otherwise, because it's a first car for me and I will become very obligated financially - I'll be tied up to the car for 5 years - long years with my new Volvo 2.9. I don't know how important is the perfomance for me: I read that car has no fog lights; AC problems; car seats are not as comfortable as any other model's; and what about breaks- the most important thing in the car especially for the sake of safety- they require a "hard foot"!!!Oh my god!!! Isn't it too much? Its true when they say when people fall in love they go blind: otherwise with all these flows, how do you people manage your anger???(good idea to attend to anger managment classes:-)
    I'd like to hear an opinion of one 2.9 Volvo owner who have had it for awhile and didn't have problems at all, since the day he bought it: please be frank - should I buy it or not?
  • bucky1bucky1 Posts: 20
    It seems like things have gotten completely out of hand on this topic, and especially on the other one on S80 Reliability (Topic #3247) regarding the quality of the Volvo S80. It is like a freight train; it started slowly and now it is underway and impossible to stop. The few people who are posting on these topics have their own axe to grind (whether legitimate or not), but they are a vocally loud minority. It is a shame that so many potential buyers for this fine near luxury vehicle are reading their posts and are running away without really accessing this fine automobile. Does anyone remember what happened to the Audi 5000? Those of you who have this vehicle and have not experienced the multitude of problems as expressed by the few that have need to speak up loud and clear about the positives of this car. It will not hold its value if it is unfairly perceived to be an Edsel, dog, lemon, or whatever you want to call it. The Audi was a good car and was trashed by bad information being passed on how it would go into reverse on it's own. History proved that the car was fine and that the few cars that went into reverse did so by driver error.

    I think, too, that one has to fairly assess the comments of those that have had problems with the car and/or with VNA. There are some, however, who have posted here with such venom that I question their judgement and wonder how they worked with their dealers and with VNA for a resolution to their problem(s). Cool heads prevail; hot heads just piss everyone off.

    I have had my S80 2.9 for 2 years and 24,000 trouble free miles. My only problem has been lousy AM reception, and that has finally been resolved. This is truly the best of the four Volvos that I have owned, and I would buy another one tomorrow without a second thought.

    Let's hear it from the rest of you silent majority! Let's let those who are reading these posts know how S80 owners really feel about their cars. We have heard a lot of negativity from the vocal minority! Now, let's hear some positive comments from the happy owners.

    I love my Volvo S80! Regards!
  • I'm actually afraid to jinx myself but we've got 14000 miles on our '99 2.9 with nary a problem. Only one trip to the service department and that for the 7500 mile work.
    The S80 owners I've met were happy campers. Except for this board I have never heard a complaint about the car.
  • Before we bought our S80, I read venomous comments on this board and on the Brickboard. So I did my own research, stopping S80 owners, going into service departments at different dealerships, and asking the independent Volvo mechanic. Every one of the s80 owners I met loved their car, even though some had had minor yet annoying problems, including the clunk and electonic glitches. AM radio reception was mentioned as a problem. The independent, who can't access the electronics, emphasized that it would be very important to have a very savvy, tech-oriented service department, and recommended that we wait until the end of the 2000 model year to get a car until bugs could be worked out.
    I owned one lemon in the past, and almost got to invoke the California lemon law on a Mazda whose transmission failed three times in the first year, so I understand the frustration of some of these owners, especially when the dealer lies.
    But our experience, including the European delivery, and our trip through Sweden and Denmark in our new T6, has been wonderful.
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