2000 Volvo S40 Turbo 1.9L turbo from North America


The worst car experience I have ever had, bar none


Brakes went out at 8,000 miles.

Headlights went out three times in one month.

Rear brakes/suspension made thumping noises.

Turbo was whistling out of control, ready to burn out.

Car burnt through 1 qt. of oil a month.

General Comments:

I've never been one to write car reviews, always sort of thought they are all the same enough that while you might have problems, they aren't too bad.

Then I bought a 2000 Volvo S40 "Certified Pre-Owned."

The problems started early on... the wonderful headlight problem. Volvo knows there was a problem was this, the resistor wasn't built into the car properly, and they issued a "Service Bulletin" on it. Amazingly, "Service Bulletins" aren't covered under the Certified Pre-Owned warranty. So after burning through 3 sets of Pep Boys headlights in 1 month, I called up Volvo to make an appt. to get my S40's problem fixed. I thought since I even had the Service Bulletin, it would be easy.

Boy was I wrong. I was told that since I didn't use genuine Volvo headlights, I'd have to pay to have them install them, at my cost, and see if the problem happens again. Obviously I wasn't down for this... so I enquired what cost I'd have to pay to get it fixed. $150!!! I was also told, and I kid you not, that since "Volvo's are safe cars, ahh, yeah, they go through headlights really fast." To put in a simple resistor harness that costs $10. No joke here. So I picked up the harness and installed it myself. Problem 1 solved... on my own, no thanks to the worthless CPO warranty.

Next problem. Car is purchased with 30,000 Miles. At 38,000 miles, brakes are soft and making a clunking noise. Quotes to replace brakes are absurd. Car was supposed to come with new brakes as part of CPO package.

Next problem. Just weeks ago, car develops a engine "shudder" that started as a rough idle and develops into a stall that occurs intermittently.

Next problem. Odd thumping noises when brakes are applied. This doesn't happen every time, but when it does, it's very obvious.

End of story is that I put out my Volvo to pasture last week (Trade In). Even though I lost money on it, as a result of it's horrendous residual value, I'm happier than can be. Replaced it with a Scion xB, and am amazed at the build quality. Isn't there something wrong with the fact that a $30,000 car has the same build quality as a $15,000 car?

Hope Volvo got it better in the 2005's... Stay away from the pre-2005 AT ALL COSTS THOUGH. READ THE EDMUNDS REVIEWS!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th March, 2005

24th May 2005, 10:23

I bought my used 2000 Volvo S40 a little over a year ago. In that time I have put over 15,000 miles on it and now have over 100,000 miles on the vehicle. Thus far, I'm a satisfied owner. This little car with Turbo certainly can move when you need that speed. My complaints (and I think others I have read) are few-they're with the windshield wipers, which squeak and drag except in fairly heavy rain to lubricate the way; and the headlamps. I live in a fairly rural area and must leave in the dark for a long commute. The headlamps, when on low, are pitiful and dangerous. I upgraded to some expensive bulbs with a claim to increase visibility by 25%, but it just isn't so. The high-beams are fine. I am waiting to see, now that the weather is warm again, whether a little "almost stalling" at a stop becomes endemic. Hopefully that won't happen. Also, in view of gas prices, I'm getting 27-28 mpg on regular.

1st Jul 2005, 09:17

I bought an S40 recently (2004 new) and have had nothing, but problems. The strartup shuddering thing you discuss occurred in my car at 18,000 miles. It is apparently a know problem by volvo and is currently being fixed by replacing the cylinder heads on the car. Wow a pretty big fix for only 18,000 miles. I don't think I'd ever buy another volvo again. I gave up a 1996 cobra that I loved, my wife convinced me to get the volvo on my 40th. I wish I still had the Cobra!!

16th Jul 2009, 14:43

The Engine shudder was the only problem that was similar to the ones that you have experienced. What it seemed to be in my case was that both of the engine coils had to be replaced; the problem was fixed after this.

29th Aug 2010, 22:41

I bought a Volvo 2000 S40 used, but what I bought was a bag full of problems. If you are thinking about buying a Volvo, it is time to change your mind before is too late and you will regret it.

2000 Volvo S40 S 1.6 from UK and Ireland


A good car which should be by your side and give you some pleasure!


First Major fault was the drive shaft and C. V joint failed at 50,000miles.

Several trims, mainly exterior, fell off. The main one being the Engine bay under tray which launched off at 80mph on the M25.

Several instances of poor running and randomly cutting out on motorways.

Problems with power steering at 75,000.

Problems with ABS all the way through.

Problems with suspension rapidly failing and constant knocks.

Problems with Central Locking. The car seemed to lock however when attempting to open the drivers door, It just opens and the alarm sounds. This is still a constant problem. However only occurs when using the key instead of key-less entry remote.

General Comments:

This 2000 Model has the re-vamped Volvo engine instead of the Renault lump. The previous Renault engine was poor on acceleration, died on hills and had poor performance at lower speeds. The new Volvo engine however is very good with power near enough when you want it, constant response on hills and a general good performer all round for such a small engine size, 1.6, on a full size car.

The interior is very well made, lade out and really comfortable especially with the winter pack option of heated seats. The lumber support does improve the ride and is a joy on long journeys.

The ride quality seems to be quiet harsh as the suspension struggles on bumps and corners however compensates by giving a nice ride the rest of the time.

The safety features are very good and you do seem to be welded to the road when launching the car round corners at speed.

The styling is clean and respectable, its shaken of the box look from its predecessor the 440 and has entered into the young drivers market.

The sound system is second to none for a standard entry level of equipment.

The general reliability of the car is actually very good, as I run it non stop and clock up about 35,000 miles a year. The car is always by my side and despite the annoying faults I personally believe it is a very good car and a good work horse at that.

I would recommend going for the 1.8 engine as you get better performance, better fuel consumption, a nicer ride and the car does not have to work so hard, which will more than likely lead to better reliability. The insurance difference should be a maximum of £50.

At the end of the day it's a Volvo! And a winner at that.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th January, 2005