2002 Volvo S40 1.9 turbo from North America
Bushings for the struts replaced due to "creaking" noise during acceleration or braking at 27,000 miles.
Uneven brake wear noticed at 30,000 miles.
This car is decent in terms of brisk acceleration. I noticed a creaking coming from the front suspension around 25k miles, but it wasn't too noticeable until around 27k. This was replaced under warranty.
I also noticed a "downshifting" feeling after releasing the accelerator. Obviously, the acceleration stops, but 1-3 seconds later as you're cruising, you feel the car lurch forward as if it suddenly downshifted or braked a bit. Explained this to the dealer, but they say everything is "within specifications" so I won't dwell on this, but it makes for a "jerky" ride.
A bit past 30k miles, I noticed a grinding. I find that the rear-left brake pad is down to pretty much 0% whereas the rear-right is still around 30-40% remaining! The front two brake pads are around 30-40% as well. You obviously can't expect the brake pads to wear perfectly even, but this is definitely a big difference!! especially if it's just ONE pad. This may be attributed to the EBD system that distributes braking power to each brake depending on driving condition. Apparently, the s40's configuration of this system will result in this type of uneven braking. According to the dealer, he said that you'll find your rear brakes wearing out earlier than your front despite the fact that it's a fwd car. As for the big difference in the bads from left and right? it's "normal for this car, we see it all the time", they say (Bozzani Volvo).
So make sure to check your brakes often. Especially the rear. I've had the car taken to be serviced by authorized Volvo mechanics at all the recommended intervals so this is something I didn't really expect to have to keep watch on. Especially if I rarely brake hard.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 2nd December, 2003
5th Sep 2006, 01:09
That's an interesting note on the EBD. As for as the not up-shifting even at 3500RPM, that is one of quirks of the ECM. I believe the car has different shifting-behavior profiles due to different driver's driving style. On a cold start, if I initially apply a larger amount of gas, all up-shifting will occur at higher RPMs. However, if I ease into the accelerator on a cold start, it doesn't do this. It's like performance versus handling. Also, I too have noticed that it lurches forward if you are cruising 20-30mph because it downshifts. Again, I think this is part of the ECM programming.