Last post on Jul 01, 2011 at 6:51 AM
You are in the Volvo S40
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Volvo S40, Sedan
#408 of 1807 S40 - nice car - but there are troubles . . .
Feb 04, 2001 (7:11 pm)
My wife and I bought a 2000 Volvo S40 last February. It now has 20,000 miles and has proved to be a fun well performing car.
We have had more than our share of troubles I would say.
All cherrfully fixed by our dealer in Ohio. But you have to take the time to bring the car in . . . . .
- The most severe was a power brake malfunction. Pretty odd for a brand that prides itself on safety. Powerbrakes would not work for the first 10 minutes of operation of the car.
- the radio / cd has at times refused to play or fades all the way out. It seems the volume knob stopped working. Took it to the dealer and they could not find the problem.
- several problems solved by new / updated computer codes - check engine light, etc.
- air conditioner thermostat giving out
- door seal coming unglued from the metal
- cupholder in the rear not working right
Of course I am interested in any solutions owners and dealers have run across for these problems.
I also wonder if the 2001 models are any less troublesome? The S60 and V40 have sort of caught my eye as replacements for my 1992 Prelude. But if this experience is typical of Volvos I am not sure that the cars are worth the trouble.
Hondas may be bland -- but at least they are less troublesome for the same or less money.
#410 of 1807 Deciding on S40, but heard of some problems
Feb 05, 2001 (8:49 pm)
I test drove a S40 today and is thinking about buying it. However, I've been reading some of the comments concerning problems with the 2000 S40. The few that stands out includes: headlights burning out consistently, bad gas mileage for a 4-cyl, engine light comes on, and bad service from the dealership.
I've always owned a Japanese car and is looking for something a little more solid and safer. That's why I was looking for a Volvo. In fact, I'm still debating either the S40 or a 2dr Accord V6.
Does anybody have any suggestions or comments on what I should do?
#411 of 1807 To melbourne1, RE: Headlights
Feb 06, 2001 (6:36 pm)
I, too, have had issues with the low beam head lamps burning out consistently on my 2000 S40. There is an upgraded' bulb the dealer has on-hand issued by Volvo that should correct the problem. I have had the lamps on my S40 changed at least 4 times, all within a 9 month period. If the head lamps burning out were my only problem I would be happy. The car is on its way to another dealer, as a trade-in, toward a truck this time. There is a myriad of problems I have had from the head lamps, to the drivers seat coming loose, to the front suspension loosening up while driving, to the check engine light, to the radio..... I have given up on the car- period! Too bad, my wife's 2000 S70 is a great car. No problems at all with almost 25K on the odometer. If only Volvo could learn from there previous models the S40 may not have been a bad vehicle.
Feb 08, 2001 (10:04 am)
Just wanted to present the opinion of a more satisfied customer.
I bought a 2000 s40 in 12/00: 9K miles (had been dealer loaner) w leather/sunroof pkg for $20.6K. Perhaps could have paid $20K if I was a hard core negotiator. But, I was happy to get the interest rate benefits - 8% from dealer, less than my bank would give on a used - of a new car and to avoid some of the usual new care charges - no destination, advertising, registration, etc.
I've only added about 1K miles but have not yet experienced any of the problems reported above.
First impressions: pleased -- though for mostly superficial reasons.
1) I like the styling if only because it's not a Jetta. LA is overrun with the Volkswagons, and they're attractive, but I enjoy the meager amount of individuality the s40 provides.
2) The driving experience is pretty good. I am a commuter rather than a sophisticated driver, but it has pep (it's easy to pass), handles on the sporty side of average, has excellent brakes, a good climate control system and the seats are comfy. Negatives here include a mediocre radio, poor blind spot visibility and limited rear seat leg room (but I'm short, so that'll help riders).
3) Safety is a priority for me. Without having to do extensive homework, the Volvo name suggests that reasonable care has been exercised in designing the car. It's small, but has front and side air bags (would have liked the head bags issued in '01) and I'm placing faith in Volvo that the cage and other structural elements are decent.
4) The 4yr/48K mile warrantee is better than VW, Accord and some other competitors.
All in all, I prefer the image to the Accords and VW's I was also considering. I recognize that it might be hard to justify its higher price, but those cars aren't cheap either when you add leather (which I love) and a sunroof (which I could care less about).
In terms of comparing it to low end Audi's and BMW's, I think its hard a strech to put it in the same class as those cars. On the other hand, it's cheaper and safety is probably equal.
#413 of 1807 Please tell me they're wrong...
Feb 08, 2001 (1:37 pm)
Long story made short... was torn between a 2000 S40 and a 2000 CR-V. I went for practical and bought the CR-V. I don't regret the purchase, but I am always thinking about trading in my wife's car, giving her the CR-V and buying an S40 or S60 for myself.
Here's my question, I read in the Cleveland Plain Dealer that the 2003 version of the S40 will share a platform with the Ford Focus. Has anyone else heard this nonsense? In my opinion, that would be a disaster for the S40.
#414 of 1807 Why a disaster?
Feb 08, 2001 (4:51 pm)
The Focus is a Euro-bred small sedan. It's handling has been widely praised. Why would the S40 sharing its platform be a bad thing? You are aware that the S40 currently shares its platform with some Mitsubishi, right? Anyway, the platforms are pretty similar in terms of their suspension, drivetrain, handling, etc., so I doubt you'd even have noticed if you hadn't heard something.
IMO, using the Focus and Mondeo platforms on lower-end Volvos and Jags is a great idea. These platforms have a great reputation, so it's a good way for Ford to save money without there being any detriment to the consumer. Just because they're using the base platform of a cheaper Ford doesn't mean that the luxury features normally found on these cars will disappear, and they may in fact improve since less of the cost of the car will go toward recovering platform development costs.
#415 of 1807 valid points
Feb 09, 2001 (5:51 am)
You've got some valid points but I just don't trust Ford. I've always felt that if you want to lease a car it's ok to go domestic. If you want to buy a car and keep it for an extended period you are much better served to go Japanese. Being built on the same platform won't stop me from test driving the S40 again.
#416 of 1807 S40 Safety Vs. Larger Car
Feb 25, 2001 (6:59 am)
Hello Volvo Owners:
I'm going to be leasing a new car later this year after my current lease expires, and I'm debating between an S40 and a larger car with fewer safety features, such as a Crown Victoria. I've always wanted to buy a Volvo because of their devotion to safety, but until the S40 came to the U.S., I haven't been able to afford one.
My main concern with the S40, at least in terms of safety, is the overall size of the car. It weighs only 2,800 pounds compared to a Crown Vic which weighs 4,000 pounds. The CV only has dual front airbags for safety (no side airbags, no head airbags, no WHIPS system) and ABS is an option. What seems to make the CV so safe is its enormous size. I wonder in a head-on collision between a CV and an S40, which driver would be more severely injured?
Other than the size issue, I like the S40 much better. It has FWD (better in the snow), much better gas mileage, better handling, easier to park and maneuver, more comfortable seats, more attractive styling. It's just that most safety experts say that bigger is always better. If a 4,000 pound object collides with a 2,800 pound object, the 4,000 pound object will likely come away with less damage...so they say anyway.
I know that the S40 got very good ratings from the government agencies that test car safety in Europe, but does anyone know when or if NHTSA (here in the U.S.) is going to crash test an S40?
Like I said, everything except the overall size of the S40 is telling me to buy it over the Crown Vic. Thanks a lot for any advice you guys might have.
#417 of 1807 to STEVEM327
Feb 26, 2001 (4:08 am)
there are many other cars out there that do well in crash tests and have more features than the crown vic for about the same money as the Volvo....these include the VW Passat, Toyota Avalon XL (check the NHTSA site on this one...did very well), Subaru Legacy/Outback, which have the added feature of 4 wheel drive and did well in crash tests, Honda Accord EX V6 (a bargain, and now has standard side airbags and VSC), Infiniti G20 (less money, about the same length as the S40, many more features), Nissan Maxima. These are all good cars, reliable, and safe. My personal opinion about the Crown Vic up against the S40 is that the CV will win every time. It is the only car still that is NOT unitbody construction (steel I-Beam construction), weighs over 4000 pounds with payload, and is well over 200 inches in length. The S40 is safe against similar cars in Europe, but is less than 3000 pounds, less than 180 inches long, less width than a bigger car...your body is right up against the side of the door...., etc. BUT, if it was only Crown Vics you were up against, you might do OK....It's those damn SUVs that are the real problem. They'll run right over you.