Last post on Jul 01, 2011 at 7:51 AM
You are in the Volvo S40
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Volvo S40, Sedan
#485 of 1807 Continuing Saga of Volvo S40 Woes
Jul 25, 2001 (10:59 pm)
Boy, I thought I was the only one having problems with my 2000 S40 until my sister shared this web site with me. I was informed by the dealer that I was one of the first in California to purchase the car when it became available in September 1999. I thought I had done my homework. After all, the car had been in Europe since 1995 and I could not find any reports of problems with the vehicle there. I actually had my heart set on the Lexus ES300 but where I live the nearest dealer is 2 hours away. So, I test drove the Maxima, A6, Toyota Avalon, and G20 before settling on the "Cute" S40.
Almost immediately I began having problems with the car. It went back to the dealer within days because of flaws and spider cracks in the windshield. I noticed tiny blue paint spots all over the white paint the first time I washed it (but the dealer refused to do anything about it.) Headlights have been replaced numerous times. Front right headlight sucks water in when it rains (dealer won't fix because they can not duplicate even though you can see the watermarks on the inside of the light.) I've experienced 2 "campaigns" (recalls) for a defective oil filler grate and driver side seat dampers. Rear sway bar replaced. Hard starts/grinding noises coming from engine when started. Plastic wheel inserts falling off. Rattles and squeaks from roof liner, dash board and rear seat on passenger side. Faulty gas gauge that has never been accurate. Drivers window makes grinding noise. Rear brake pads were replaced after only 26K. At 33K front and rear brakes had 50% remaining which seemed unusual wear especially since I live in a fairly rural area and my driving is mostly highway. However most intriguing and scary is the car was in the shop for more problems (new and recurring) at 40K miles (yes, I do a lot of driving) and my front brakes miraculously had 90% remaining and rear 80%. At 45K front brakes 30% and rear 60%. Now how does that happened?? Dealer is "looking" into this but I no longer trust their opinion or the car. The only thing that tickles my funny bone at this point is the Bag o'Parts I carry in the car to collect items that have fallen off. Unfortunately the dealer and Volvo N.A. find nothing amusing about this and can never seem to find where the parts are coming from to replace them. Nevertheless, each time the car is taken in the Bag o'Parts is delivered with what ever items have fallen off that week.
Needless to say I am very DISAPPOINTED with this vehicle and would caution anyone interested in purchasing an S40 to seriously think twice about their decision. Since discovering this page and reading the numerous service bulletins at www.nhtsa.dot.gov I am convinced that Volvo's quality and workmanship have taken a turn for the worse. By the way don't be fooled into thinking the 2001 or 2002 models are/will be any better. The word I hear is that they are not.
I hope to trade my little piece of work in on the Lexus AS 300 I originally had my eye on. My greatest fear is that they won't take it or I will take it in the shorts. Regardless, I will spend the money and it will be a pleasure to drive the 2 hours for service. At least they are friendly, open on Saturdays, will provide a loaner car for as long as needed, and will even let you pick up your serviced car on Sundays. He, real customer service... what a great concept. Had I known the past 22 months owning this car would have been this frustrating and time consuming I would not have sold my reliable, trouble-free '89 Honda Accord LXi with 230,000 miles on it. If anyone is curious the couple who bought my Honda still have it and have not had a single problem. In fact--they love it! Boy, did I make a HUGE mistake!
#486 of 1807 Problems already
Aug 04, 2001 (9:37 pm)
I picked up my new Volvo S40 on Monday and was not as excited as I would have been if I hadn't read the posts. Immediately noticed a big black stain on the beige cloth on the drivers's seat. I had uncovered the seat myself when I looked at it and it wasn't there before. They had installed the 10 CD changer, however. Promised to fix it when I gave them the car to install the LoJack and sunroof.
Just got it back after driving a S80 loaner for a week. The stain hadn't been completely taken off and I had to watch them do it again. Also there was a tiny scratch on the side, they left the car messy from installing the sunroof, forgot to put back the clip for my sunvisor and there is a vibration in the roof when I drive with the sunroof open. Is this normal? I've never had a car with a sunroof but I've driven with friends and don't remember a big vibration noise. I did have to added after-market but I basically can't stand the noise it makes above 30m. Anyone with a sunroof have this problem? Makes the sunroof pretty useless. Also, idle doesn't seem stable - rpm doesn't really change but the engine sounds different. Took me 10 mintes to defrost the back so I sat and listened to the engine. Never really settled down. Any recommendations?
#487 of 1807 Happy S40 Driver
Aug 06, 2001 (11:27 am)
I have had my S40 for 5 weeks now. I have had no problems with my sunroof except for a little wind noise with the sunshade pulled back. When closed, it is pretty quiet, even at highway speeds.
The only problems I have had was a slight pull to the right and some interior rattling. The dealer performed a frontend alignment under warranty. As for the rattle, I found that the right storage tray vibrates, especially when I turn up the volume on the stereo. I took the interior panel off the door and sprayed some dry type lubricant on the seams and it is very quiet now.
My only complaint with the car is the amount of torque steer is has. I'm not accustomed to it but have heard it is normal.
I like the car for it's power, handling, safety, and sports car feel. The other cars in the class are good too - Acura TL and Audi A4. Only time will tell, but having fun.
#488 of 1807 Brake Problems
Aug 08, 2001 (5:47 pm)
I own a 2001 S40, with 14,500 miles on it. The other day I started hearing a LOUD shreaking type of noise coming from the rear driverside. I brought the car into the dealer for service and they told me that my rear brake pads were completely gone and that hot spots were on the rotors and they would need to be replaced. They would cover the rotor cost, but I would have to pay $170 to replace the pads. Has anyone had any luck with getting the total cost paid for? How quickly do the second set of pads need to be replaced? Or are they lasting longer?
#489 of 1807 Check engine light
Aug 08, 2001 (5:50 pm)
I own a 2001 S40 and my check engine light has come on twice within 15,000 miles. Each time I take it in for service, they have to replace a valve or two within the emmissions system. Sounds like a reoccuring problem - has anyone had any luck with this eventually stopping?
#490 of 1807 Another Happy (New) S40 Owner
Aug 08, 2001 (10:02 pm)
2001 S40, 3,300 miles, no problems.
- Sunroof quiet.
- Car pretty quiet in general. I'm coming from a Jeep Wrangler so that's a relative statement.
- No "check engine" or any other lights flashing.
- It's spirited for a four cylinder. Feels peppier htan my 97 Honda Accord EX V6 which I think was 170 hp but heavier.
- I think it is very stylish.
- The stereo (HU-615) does sound pretty good.
Overall I like it. It is fairly utilitarian in trim for a "luxury sedan" and could use a few features and refinements IMHO.
- Cupholders (sorry non-americans). Come on. One cupholder up front in the middle of the HVAC and stereo controls? Not good thinking.
- Memory seats/mirrors for more than one passenger
- A compass. The "Info Center" has many good stats available but no compass. Seems odd.
- Quiet down the door locks. Sounds like you're closing the shuttle door when you lock them.
- The upgraded stereo (HU-615) has some wierd logic. With CDs, no track time is displayed when CD playing, although if you rewind or fast forward the time is displayed. No random shuffle. No repeat track. The price for it the "upgrade" is outrageous.
- The price for the 10 disk CD change is REALLY outrageous. A joke.
(Wish we had the T5 in the USA)
#491 of 1807 wrossie-brake pads
Aug 09, 2001 (12:16 pm)
Before I traded my 2000 S40 in for my Audi, I had replaced my rear brake pads and rotors at 14,600 miles. Volvo covered the rotors. The service manager told me to come back in another 5000 miles to have the front pads checked. At 4000 miles, the car was in for an oil change and an annoying rear squeak (that they never did solve) and I was told that the front pads were down to almost nothing. So, at 18,600 the front pads were replaced at my expense. This seems to be a common problem on Volvos. Too much money to be spending on a newer car in my book. That's why I now drive an Audi with all maintenance covered for 4/yrs-50,000 miles. And that even includes oil changes.
#492 of 1807 Check Engine Light
Aug 14, 2001 (5:31 am)
I have a 2001 Volvo V40 and it has been in the shop going on 7 times for the check engine light and now the dealer has had the vehicle for 5 days and still can not figure out why or what is going on. We have been told that 5 of the items out of 100 parts have been replaced, so I'm wonder if we need to have everything that is routed to the check engine light relay replaced. Even Volvo has no idea what to do. Any ideas.
#493 of 1807 Volvo S40... hmmm...
Aug 14, 2001 (2:05 pm)
Hi, Well the balance here tilts towards more S40 disappointed people than actually those loving it... I just can't digest is it Volvo we are talking about? I am looking to buy a car soon.. and S40 was/is certainly on my mind.. Please Help! Can I get any other "luxury" car for the same price? Also looked at G20 Infiniti, but guess they are enjoying their last year, so i wont spoil their party... G35 thats next year... si let me know of your opinions... ciao
#494 of 1807 Volvo S40 Hmmm
Aug 19, 2001 (9:23 am)
Well. it does sound like the Phase I version of the S40 was not the greatest of autos. The Phase II (2001) seems to be much better. I'm satisfied with mine to date (3,500 miles).
I'm sure you realize most people on forums like these are more likely to complain than praise their autos. Nobody comes onto a forum and says "hey, my heater's working great!"
I would recommend the S40 thus far.
FYI: A large delivery truck slammed into the right rear area of my S40 a couple days ago. The S40 felt very solid on impact. No injuries but car is out two weeks. Bummer.